Non-player characters (NPCs) are characters controlled by the GM. They are the key to many stories, and they can be friends, foes, or just neutral. While with some NPCs all interactions will be talking or trading, some of them might perform actions and engage in confrontations.

The FAITH: Core Set includes a deck of 54 NPC cards ready to use, and the GM can always create her own for the story she is running.

When NPCs perform actions or engage in confrontations they play cards from the top of the GM’s deck and she decides the actions they will take. Whenever an NPC has the opportunity to play a card from the deck, the GM can decide to play a card from her hand instead.

When a NPC plays a card with a suit that matches the ambience he immediately draws another card and the GM chooses if she wants to replace the previous card with it or not. If it is replaced by another card that matches the ambience, she will immediately go through the same process again. All the replaced cards are discarded, as well as all the unused cards.

During initiative rounds the GM will either discard one card from the top of her deck or her hand to establish the bonus to the initiative value of all NPCs for that round.

NPC Cards

NPCs can be as complex as the GM wants; the GM is in charge of creating and  elaborating on their backstories. NPCs can be as detailed as a PC or even more. To make the game easy and interesting without too much hassle, she can use the NPC cards.

NPC cards represent simplified characters with the information needed to use them in a quick encounter. Additionally, they can be used as a base for the GM to create a more elaborate character if the story requires it.

Physical and Mental Skill

They do not have Attributes and Skills like player characters. Instead, they have a Physical Skill and a Mental Skill to establish both the base action value and the amount of cards played by the NPC. It is up to the GM to say which of the two Skills the NPC uses for each action and it is also up to her to determine to how many areas they cover.

For example, a Raag warrior might use the Physical Skill for Shooting, CQC, and Athletic actions; and the Mental Skill for Survival and Cunning actions, but it is probably safe to say that he wouldn’t use it for Hacking. On the other end of the spectrum, a Corvo hacker NPC will probably use his Mental Skill for Hacking or Technical actions, but he wouldn’t probably use his Physical Skill for CQC actions. In any case, the GM is always free to modify the values of both NPC skills as well as the number of cards they play to serve the story better, but she should inform the players beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings.

Playing NPCs

NPCs do not have a limited number of cards they can play per round. It is recommended that NPCs only perform the same type of action once per round but it is up to the GM to use these characters as she sees fit to drive the story.

Most NPCs have physical and neural health as any other character, but usually those that are not important for the story can be considered dead once they are bleeding out or traumatised.

NPCs are affected by modifiers to their actions in the same way other characters are, as well as by advantages and disadvantages. Unless stated otherwise, all NPCs have a Faith Attribute value of one.

NPC Traits

The GM can decide to apply the traits of the species to an NPC as she sees fit, as well as apply any other rules to better reflect the nature of the NPC she wants to use in the story. NPCs also have traits which are specified on their card or in the books.

Using NPCs in Encounter

The NPC cards have a level of difficulty for the GM to use as a guide. Have one NPC per PC in the encounter: Level 1 NPCs are best used against starting characters and characters who have gained a few Skill points and maybe one Upgrade, but have yet to increase one of their Attributes to 3.  Level 2 NPCs can be used to face characters that have  increased their main Attribute to 3 and have a couple of high value Skills. Finally, level 3 NPCs are meant to fight against players with fully developed characters.

Alternatively, the GM may use fewer NPCs of higher level, or many lower level NPCs to face the players and create a different kind of encounter. Varied encounters will force the players to play smart and try to gain advantages through role playing to raise victorious, which is a rather rewarding way of doing so.

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