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Quick NPCs (nWoD)

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Main Page > New World of Darkness > Quick NPCs

Many chronicles have large casts of NPCs, and the Storyteller may not have time to crank out a half-dozen detailed character sheets for each game. The Storyteller may also need to generated NPC encounters on the fly.These rules describe how to quickly generate NPCs for the new World of Darkness games.

TraitsEdit

Quick NPCs do not have a full set of traits. The power-level of quick NPCs are defined by their Rank.

Rank Description Competency Resistance Powers Arcana Energy
1 Beginner 4 2 1 2/1 1/turn
2 Competent 5 2 2/1 3/2/1 1/turn
3 Veteran 6 3 3/2/1 4/2/2 1/turn
4 Expert 7 3 4/3/2/1 5/3/2/1 2/turn
5 Master 8 4 5/4/3/2 5/4/3/3/2 2/turn

RankEdit

Rank 1 is weaker than a starting character, and represent "normal" people or brand-new supernaturals. Rank 2 is roughly equivalent to a starting character. Rank 3+ represent more experienced characters. These Ranks applies to humans, vampires, werewolves and mages, but humans of a given Rank will be weaker because they lack supernatural powers.

Experienced supernaturals have more experience points than the "Advanced Characters" described in the rulebooks, about 100/250/500 for Veteran/Expert/Master. This puts them on par with the NPCs presented in the various World of Darkness supplements (or a bit weaker).

Trait SpecialtyEdit

Quick NPCs choose one category of Attributes and Skills to specialize in: Mental, Physical or Social. They get a +1 bonus to dice pools inside their area of Specialty.

CompetencyEdit

This value is the NPC's base dice pool for any activity that he would be skilled at. Outside this area of Competency, the dice pool is only his Rank. If appropriate, the NPC gets a Trait Specialty bonus. With supernatural powers, Quick NPCs gets an additional bonus equal to their rating in that power (see Powers).

Any attribute-only roll (perception, resisting frenzy) falls under the NPC's Competency. If appropriate, given them their Trait Specialty bonus, doubled if both attributes fall under the specialty.

ResistanceEdit

This value is the NPC's base Resistance trait when opposing rolls. If appropriate, they get a Trait Specialty bonus. When contesting supernatural powers, supernatural NPCs roll their Competency instead, to include the bonus they get from Blood Potency, Primal Urge and Gnosis.

Derived TraitsEdit

Values for derived traits are as follows (with bonuses for appropriate Trait Specialties):

  • Initiative = Competency (+1 for Physical or SocialSpecialty)
  • Defense = Resistance
  • Speed = Competency + 5 (+2 for Physical Specialty)
  • Health = Resistance + 5 (+1 for Physical Specialty)


Willpower (Optional): You can give Quick NPCs Willpower equal to their Competency, but this can be unfair, since NPCs have no reason not to spend Willpower against the PCs. It is more balanced if all opposing NPCs share a pool of Willpower, equal to half the total Willpower of the PCs. This forces the Storyteller to manage NPC Willpower more carefully. You can either refresh the NPC Willpower pool for each encounter or (preferably) use the same pool for an entire session

Morality (Optional): Morality ratings vary depending on how "good" the NPC is. The upper bound is usually 8, the lower bound is (8 – Rank). Vampires tend to be on the low end of the scale, werewolves on the higher end, and mages in the middle, but the values vary considerably. You may want to give low-morality NPCs a couple of Derangements.

Equipment and MeritsEdit

Quick NPCs should note armor and weapon bonuses, plus special items (fetishes, enchanted items). Give the NPCs any Merits they need for the story.

Optional: To be more exact, give Quick NPCs twice as many Merits as their power ratings. For example, a Rank 3 Vampire would get 6 Merits with ratings 3/3/2/2/1/1.

Attack PoolsEdit

There are two possible attack pools for Quick NPCs, based on whether combat falls within their Competency. Warriors use Competency + Weapon Bonus, and non-warriors use Rank + Weapon Bonus. The NPC gets a +1 bonus if they have the Physical Specialty.

PowersEdit

The base power-trait (Blood Potency, Primal Urge, Gnosis) of supernatural NPCs equals their Rank. They also gain a number of supernatural abilities based on their Rank: Disciplines for vampires, Gifts for werewolves and Arcana for mages. Mages gain slightly more Arcana at each Rank, to balance them against starting mages.

For example, a Rank 4 Vampire would have four Disciplines with ratings 4/3/2/1. Most of NPC powers should be among those with which they have an affinity (based on clan, auspice, tribe and path).

NPC werewolves take sets of Gifts from the same Gift list rather than individual gifts. Write "Dominance Gifts 4" to indicate that a werewolf has the first four Dominance Gifts. Werewolves can choose the Rituals ability in place of one of their Gift lists.

The base dice pool for a supernatural power is Competency + (Discipline/Arcana/Gift rating). If appropriate, the NPC gets a Trait Specialty bonus. For simplicity, NPC werewolves get dice pool bonuses based on their rating in the Gift list instead of Renown.

Optional: If you need to known an NPC werewolf's Renown, him Renown ratings equal to their power. For example, a Rank 4 werewolf would have four Renown, with 4/3/2/1 ratings.

EnergyEdit

Quick NPCs always have enough "energy" (Vitae, Essence, Mana) for their powers. They are limited instead by their "Energy per turn" rating. This energy can be used for powers, healing or anything else appropriate.

NPCs mages have a lower Mana-per-turn rate than is defined in the Gnosis rules. Their extra Mana is spent mitigating Paradox. Quick NPCs mages don't make Paradox rolls; they only suffer Paradox when the Storyteller wants.

Vampire NotesEdit

NPCs vampires can spend Vitae up to their energy-per-turn limit:

  • Healing: 2 bashing or 1 lethal per Vitae.
  • Physical Actions: +2 per Vitae.
  • Celerity: 1 Vitae per turn.
  • Other Disciplines: As appropriate.

Werewolf NotesEdit

NPCs werewolves can spend Essence to heal, immediately shapeshift or use Gifts, up to their energy-per-turn limit. If they don't use Essence, shapeshifting takes a turn and a Competency + Rank roll. They get the following, simplified bonuses for non-human forms:

  • Physical Actions: +1/+3/+2/+0
  • Health: +2/+4/+3/+0
  • Speed: +1/+4/+7/+5


The maximum time in Gauru form equals the NPC's Resistance, with a +1 bonus for Physical Specialty. You may assume the werewolf has Renown appropriate for her Gifts, unless you use the optional Renown rules above.

Mage NotesEdit

As noted above, NPCs mages get fewer Mana-per-turn than specified in the Gnosis rules. The excess is assumed to be spent mitigating Paradox, so that NPCs mages only suffer Paradox when the Storyteller feels it would be dramatic.

For Improvised Magic, NPC mages get a reduced dice pool of Rank + Arcana. They get full the Competency + Arcana dice pool for Rotes. You can decide which effects they cast as Rotes based on their general area of focus, or explicitly note them (see below).

You can assume any mage will have an active Mage Armor of Rank + 1 (maximum of 5).

Rotes/Rites/RitualsEdit

In general, you can assume the NPC has any appropriate Mage Rotes, Werewolf Rites and Theban Sorcery/Crúac Rituals.

Optional: Give werewolves and vampires Rites/Rituals equal to their ability rating. For example, a werewolf with Rituals 4 would have four Rites with ratings 4/3/2/1. Give Ithaeur twice as many Rites for their auspice power. Give mages Rotes equal to their Arcana levels. A Rank 4 mage would have 4 Rotes of level 5/3/2/1. If you want to give the NPC more Rotes/Rites/Rituals, spend Merits on these abilities, since the costs are the same.

ExamplesEdit

Thug (Rank 1 human): Competency 4, Resistance 2, Specialty Physical, Pistol (7 dice lethal)

Police Officer (Rank 2 human): Competency 5, Resistance 2, Specialty Physical, Baton (7 dice bashing), Pistol (8 dice lethal), Kevlar vest (1/2)

SWAT (Rank 3 human): Competency 6, Resistance 3, Specialty Physical, Pistol (9 dice lethal), SMG (10 dice lethal, autofire), Flak Jacket (2/3, -1 Defense)

Daeva Clubowner (Rank 2 vampire): Competency 5, Resistance 2, Specialty Social, Majesty 2, Celerity 1

Ventrue Mafioso (Rank 3 vampire): Competency 6, Resistance 3, Specialty Mental, Dominate 3, Fortitude 2, Majesty 1

Mekhet Herald (Rank 4 vampire): Competency 7, Resistance 3, Specialty Mental, Obfuscate 4, Celerity 3, Auspex 2, Fortitude 1

Iron Master Rahu (Rank 2 werewolf): Competency 5, Resistance 2, Specialty Physical, Full Moon Gifts 2, Technology Gifts 1

Hunter in Darkness Ithaeur (Rank 3 werewolf): Competency 6, Resistance 3, Specialty Mental, Nature Gifts 3, New Moon Gifts 2, Rituals 1

Bone Shaodw Elodoth (Rank 4 werewolf): Competency 7, Resistance 3, Specialty Social, Half Moon Gifts 4, Insight Gifts 3, Rituals 2, Mother Luna's Gifts 1

Acanthus Priest (Rank 2 mage): Competency 5, Resistance 2, Specialty Social, Time 3, Fate 2, Mind 1

Moros Assassin (Rank 3 mage): Competency 6, Resistance 3, Specialty Physical, Matter 4, Death 2, Prime 2

Mastigos Scholar (Rank 4 mage): Competency 7, Resistance 3, Specialty Mental, Mind 5, Prime 3, Space 2, Spirit 1

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