NPCs, Non-Player Characters, are the principle sources of information about the game's lore. They are also the usual sources for quests and quest rewards, and the NPC merchants are invaluable for equipping your hero for battle.
List of known NPCs
Here is the list of confirmed NPCs that are going to be in Diablo 3.
Deckard Cain is an essential character in the Diablo universe. As a wise sage and the last of the Horadrim, Cain has played an important part in both Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 games.
Deckard Cain is seen on the gameplay video from the Blizzard World Wide Invitational 2008. In the gameplay video the player rescues Cain once again, apparently in the New Tristram Cathedral.
There is mention of Deckard Cain on the main page of the official page:
- "When Deckard Cain returns to the ruins of Tristram Cathedral seeking clues to defeat new stirrings of evil, a fiery harbinger of doom falls from the heavens, striking the very ground where Diablo once entered the world."
There is also a lore item, named Deckard Cain's journal, in the official Diablo 3 website. The main events of Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 are introduced in the journal.
By the looks of it, Deckard Cain will be a major NPC in Diablo 3.
List of possible NPCs
As of now, we don't have a lot information concerning the Non-Player Characters. Because of that here is a section dedicated to possible NPCs as well.
Leah is mentioned by name in the gameplay trailer. The barbarian says to Deckard Cain that Leah worries for him. There seems to be some kind of a consensus that the barbarian is referring to the girl in the cinematic trailer, even though the name of the girl is not yet confirmed. Whoever Leah is, she is a NPC who has given the player the quest to rescue Deckard Cain.
There is an interesting passage in the Gnarled Walker lore entry in the official page, concerning the village of Wortham:
- "I likewise found it odd that there seemed to be only elderly people in the village, with the exception of one beautiful young woman whose father was quite insistent I keep my distance from her. Though he was rude on this point, I found him to be a rather sociable sort once convinced I was not interested in his daughter. He introduced himself as Pablo DeSoto"
There is speculation going about that Leah, or the girl from the cinematic trailer, is actually the daughter of Pablo DeSoto mentioned in the lore. Other speculations include Leah being the new narrator, Cain's daughter or apprentice.
Be as it may, it is clear that there is some significance to the appearance on the cinematic trailer, as these take a substantial amount of time to prepare. Any random NPCs may be dropped out of the game as the development progresses but Leah, or the girl in the cinematic trailer, was important enough to be put in the trailer which they had to begin working on months before the game announcement.
Pablo DeSoto is seen in the concept art and mentioned in the Gnarled Walkers lore entry, as quoted above. He is said to be knowledgeable of magic and mentioned to have some sort of grudge against necromancers, as it is revealed in the Gnarled Walkers lore entry.
There is writings on upper left corner of the concept art picture of DeSoto indicating that he is been around at least from December 2006. Pablo DeSoto is also the only person named in the lore section of the official page. This indicates that Pablo DeSoto is an important character, most probably a NPC. This would make sense if the speculation is proven right about the girl from the cinematic trailer, supposedly Leah, being the daugher of DeSoto.
Other possible NPCs
Other possible NPCs include Adria, the witch from Diablo 1, which is mentioned in Deckard Cain's journal and other NPCs which might be returning to the game. Everything is possible but without appearance on the gameplay trailer, cinematic trailer, artwork or the official page lore section everything is open to speculation.