[IAWA] Bringing Back NPCs

edited July 2009 in Story Games
[PS - I tried searching on this and didn't find anything relevant, but please point me to a thread that covers this if you know of one.]

We're playing IAWA and in the second session we brought back an NPC from the first session and gave her some more color from the Oracle (i.e. she fit the bill for one of the characters). We didn't apply any of the "When your character comes back" rules on page 26 to this NPC. Is that right? Should we be increasing Particular Strengths for the NPCs to keep them in balance with the PCs? Or just because they are clearly more important to the fiction?

Is there a point where doing so or not doing so would become problematic? Five chapters? Ten chapters?

Should we even be working the NPCs into Oracle bits or should the GM bring any NPC into any chapter? What about bringing back a Big Bad later on; should we up their Particular Strength even if they haven't been in the intervening chapters?

When you're in Chapter 3 and beyond, can new NPCs be brought in with Particular Strengths of Significance 2 or does that just apply to PCs?

What's worked and not worked with IAWA NPCs at your table?


  • RyRy
    edited July 2009
    Stat 'em up like new, and if it's chapter 3 or later their PStns can be 2 if you (the GM) wants.

    If you get really attached to an NPC I'd say something like "Hey guys, I really like Prince Natan, and he's been the underdog a few times. Can I put him on the Owe list and have somebody else GM when we get to him?"
  • Not that I've run IAWA very often, but...

    The last time I did, I created an NPC that amused the table so much (his name was Trappeo. he laid very obvious traps that the characters just kept falling into. eeeeeeeey.) they requested he go on the owe list. Were we to play subsequent chapters, hell yes I woulda done that. I think that's the easiest way.

    I don't really see a need to up the Particular Strength unless it seems appropriate to the chapter you're in, or if he's a bigbig bad, he should be more bigbig baddish. Mostly, I agree with what Ryan said on this point.
  • Yea, I don't usually We Owe List. When folks like an NPC, I just bring em back. Often someone will end up playing them as a PC at some point, usually through the "oh that dude in the oracle is totally that NPC" method.

    As far as PS goes, its just like Ryan said -- chapter 3 or later, make me PS 2 if'n you like.

    Recently we've been talking about making ways for NPCs to get on the We Owe List, but most of the times we've tried it its been less than optimal.
  • Thanks all! I mostly wanted to see if anyone jumped out with "Oh gawd no, that will break the game!" Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. We'll probably try all of this except the We Owe list.

    I wouldn't be too surprised if one of the NPCs become PCs this time as there were some interesting ones last time.
  • FWIW, here's a compilation of what Vincent Baker has said (or OK'ed when others have said) about the topic in various IAWA threads:

    NPCs can recur if the Oracle brings them in again. In the rules, "The unwitting husband of a serpent-demoness" comes up and is grabbed by Mekha's player as describing Mekha in that chapter. If no player picks a particular suggested character role, the GM could do the same thing to an NPC in order to bring that NPC back. "The unwitting husband of a serpent-demoness is your former mentor from Chapter One, Tullius!"
    Another way for an NPC to recur is for someone to create a PC from an oracle entry with the same name and Particular Strength (if any) as a previous NPC; daring anyone to say it's not the same person. No NPC can ever have a particular strength of greater significance than 2, because NPCs do not go through the advancement process. At the beginning of the chapter, assign all NPCs their dice. Recurring, not recurring, it doesn't matter. They all get a fresh set, damage never carries over for them.

    -- Vincent (& others)

  • Thanks DainXB, I wasn't able to find that. I like using the Oracle to bring back NPCs as much as possible.
  • You should differentiate between NPC as "a person not a player character who appears in the fiction" and NPC, "a person played by the GM that is statted out and important". The latter get a character sheet, the rest are just window dressing and the change if they come back is that they DO get a character sheet, instead of a more advanced one.
  • Yes, definitely we do that without even thinking about it. We had the queen in a scene and no one even suggested that she get a character sheet as we new she was just a plot device for that scene.
  • As Brand says, It's totally trivial to bring back NPCs as PCs. That's because they show up in the oracle.

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