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Peripheral NPCs and Combat Minions

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  • Peripheral NPCs and Combat Minions

    Peripheral NPCs
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    Never draw your dirk when a blow will do it.
    Scottish Proverb
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    For logistical reasons, it isn't practical to give all of our many, many NPCs their own set of statistics, nor is it possible to stat up every possible character the PCs may come to fight. So this is meant to be a simplified system for running both Peripheral NPCs.
    Last edited by NeoTiamat; 11-13-2013, 12:46 PM.

    GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
    New System and Setting Material

  • #2
    Peripheral NPCs

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    A Peripheral NPC is a character who does not do many rolls on-screen, as opposed to a Core NPC who does. Most often, this just means that a Peripheral NPC is one who doesn't appear on-screen all that often, or who does so in non-stressful situations usually. Peripheral is referring to their relationship to the central conflict of the plot. A Peripheral NPC might be the mentor, the witness, the plot device, the red herring, the bureaucrat, but they aren't going to be the main antagonist or secondary protagonist of the adventure (or rather, if they are, then they get a quick promotion to Core NPC).

    A Peripheral NPC has the following, simplified stat block:

    Mental ; Physical ; Social
    Blood Potency/Gnosis/Wyrd/Primal Urge/Arete
    Notable Powers

    A Peripheral NPC has Virtue and Vice, an inherent group (Clan, Seeming, etc), and a chosen group (Order, Court), same as a normal character.

    A Peripheral NPC does not have Aspirations, Banes, and Innocence or its equivalents (or rather, they do, but we don't bother specifying them until they become Core NPCs).

    Whenever a Peripheral NPC needs to roll for something, they roll Rank+Mental, Physical, or Social, as appropriate. When resisting or opposing powers, Peripheral NPCs subtract their (Rank+1) if they'd be resisting the power, or roll Rank+Power Stat+1.


    A character's Rank is how powerful they are, basically. I delve into it a bit more here, but the gist of it is as follows:

    Rank 0: Are mundane, civilian mortals.
    Rank 1: Are very young or weak supernaturals, or modestly competent mortals
    Rank 2: Are average members of the supernatural world, or competent mortals
    Rank 3: Are experienced members of the supernatural world, or very competent mortals
    Rank 4: Are powerful leaders of supernatural factions
    Rank 5: Are ancient forces of nature
    Rank 6: Are minor divinities and are beyond statistics.

    Rank will determine several other elements of the character. Generally speaking, all Rank 5 characters are Core NPCs (we only have 3) and Rank 6 characters are beyond stats, so the rest of this will only be concerned with Ranks 0 to 4.


    These show how good a character is at their basic rolls. A character has a number of dots to distribute to their Mental, Physical, and Social pools based on their Rank:

    Rank 0: 3
    Rank 1: 6
    Rank 2: 9
    Rank 3: 12
    Rank 4: 15

    So a Rank 3 character might have Mental 4, Physical 6, and Social 2. When a Peripheral NPC rolls, they roll their Rank + Mental/Physical/Social, and so if that character had to climb a tree, they'd be rolling Rank+Physical, so 3+6 = 9 dice.


    A Peripheral NPC begins a scene in which they participate with 1 Willpower Point, though this can go up if they indulge in a Virtue or Vice, or are the target of certain powers. A Peripheral NPC's maximum Willpower is (Rank x3).

    Blood Potency/Gnosis/Wyrd/Primal Urge/Arete

    A Peripheral NPC's Power Stat is based on their Rank.

    Rank 0: Power Stat 0 (Mortal)
    Rank 1: Power Stat 1
    Rank 2: Power Stat 3
    Rank 3: Power Stat 5
    Rank 4: Power Stat 7

    So a Rank 2 Vampire Peripheral NPC will have a Blood Potency of 3, a maximum Vitae of 12, and Vitae-per-Turn of 3.

    Notable Abilities

    Some Peripheral NPCs have unique or special abilities, specific supernatural powers, unusual knowledge, and so forth. This is covered by Notable Abilities, which is basically a catch-all for anything that the NPC can do that isn't covered by the above.

    A Notable Ability might be a specific focus or knowledge in specific rolls. Perhaps a character is particularly scary, or perhaps they have exceptional lock-picking skills. In this case, their Notable Abilities might read "Intimidation" or "Lock-Picking" and when they roll for that ability, they double their Rank (so the roll is Rank+Rank+Mental/Physical/Social).

    A Notable Ability might also be a specific supernatural power or a specific merit. A changeling might be known for having exceptional Ogre abilities and thus has Contracts of Stone 5, or a specific NPC is known for having connections to the dockyards and so has Allies (Port of London) 5.

    Finally, a Notable Ability might represent some kind of GMly fiat power, or something else difficult to describe in conventional terms (such as Zev's unique inability with magic).

    A Sample Peripheral NPC: Marcus Beverly

    Marcus Beverly
    Sage Escort

    Type: Changeling
    Court: Spring
    Seeming: Fairest
    Kith: Incubus/Treasured

    Virtue: Hopeful
    Vice: Gullible

    Rank: 2
    Mental 1; Physical 2; Social 6
    Willpower: 1
    Wyrd: 3
    Notable Powers: Beauty; Striking Looks (Male Model) 2

    GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
    New System and Setting Material