Non-player Characters

While the players each control a single player character, the narrator is in charge of all of the characters and monsters that the players will meet on their journeys. These characters are non-player characters (or NPCs). The narrator's task is to believably represent the behaviors of all of these characters.
NPCs fall into several broad categories:
  • Important characters - these are characters that play a big role in the story; perhaps the king or queen that sends the characters on dangerous missions, or a fae who harasses the players throughout their journeys while cryptically providing clues and assistance. These characters will have full backstories, with believable goals and behaviors.
  • Nameless faces - these are characters who are effectively extras in the story; each guard, merchant, innkeeper, and farmer the characters meet as they journey around; many will literally have no names as it simply isn't relevant, while others may have a small amount of backstory or detail (just enough to keep them believable). From time to time, one of these characters may be promoted to an important character.
  • Creatures - these are characters not of the mortal races, whose behaviors and motivations are typically straightforward (for example, they are hungry, and will attack prey). These characters typically don't need backstories, and many can't even communicate. Their entries are found in the Bestiary.
  • Villains - these are characters that act as a primary antagonist, with plots and lieutenants to defeat; these are effectively a subset of important characters, that bring with them a variety of gameplay mechanics and rules in addition to their impact on the story.

Gameplay

NPCs should effectively be treated like player characters from the perspective of gameplay rules, with the following exceptions:
  1. NPCs do not gain story points, tales, or talents - they do not progress in this way; typically, an NPC is fixed in its ability, but if the narrator deems that an NPC has grown and experienced enough, they may opt to upgrade them directly by modifying their character information
  2. NPCs do not gain virtues - however, most NPCs templates will specify which virtues and how many an NPC starts each encounter with

Templates

The Bestiary section defines a set of templates that cover what a generic NPC of a certain type looks like. This section does include mortal race NPCs of a variety of professions. Unless a character is an important character or villain, using these templates directly (or with differentia modifications) will be sufficient.
For important characters, the narrator may wish to either use the player character sheet, or may heavily modify the appropriate template.
For villains, the narrator should use the rules presented in the Villains section for constructing a villain character.