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Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!
In many cases, a good horror scenario does not depend on creatures from another world or some indescribable horror, but is based on the banal fact that seemingly normal people suddenly do things or act in ways that break with generally accepted social standards. A well-designed non-player character can contribute a lot to the success of a scenario. Therefore, FHTAGN focuses more on the motivations and psychological disorders of a non-player character than on a complete listing of all his game values.
USE AND PRESENTATION OF NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS
The following are two examples of how non-player characters are written in FHTAGN scenarios and what they mean.
Specialties: Hardened to violence.
Important Attributes: Strength.
Important Skills: Melee weapons, Alertness.
Dr. Petra Manusco
Specialties: Tablet addict. Collects compromising material from her patients.
Important attributes: Intelligence.
Important skills: Bureaucracy, psychology, psychotherapy.
Especially for less significant non-player characters or for spontaneous encounters where the game master has to create a character ad hoc, generic types of characters are helpful. Here it is assumed that these non-player characters have the same values for the attributes and are also either oriented to the basic values for the skills and only have better values in individual exceptions.
Competence level: A distinction is made between four levels, which reflect a basic statement about the abilities of a non-player character. This allows a game master to quickly determine the quality of this character in use for or against the player characters.
NOTE ON THE USE OF COMPARATIVE TESTS
The following attributes and skills of non-player characters may seem comparatively low. However, if they are used in comparative rehearsals against the player characters, the probability of a successful rehearsal on the part of the player decreases drastically. For example, if a player with Persuade 40% completes a normal trial, she has the full 40% chance of success. Against a non-player character with 30% conviction, however, a comparative sample looks quite different.
It is at the discretion of the game master if and when comparative trials are used. If a non-player character does not actively resist or is not particularly alert or warned, then a simple sample by the player should be sufficient. This is also true if the importance of the sample is not immensely important. In all other situations, in which a non-player character offers active resistance or the dramaturgy is important, comparative samples must be taken (this always applies to fights, for example).
Important Attributes: A non-player character may have one to a maximum of two important attributes that distinguish him based on his role. All other attributes are rather incidental to his role and are therefore simply given a value of 10.
Important skills: According to the role of the non-player character, he should have up to three important skills. As the skill level increases, it can be more. All other skills are secondary to the role of the non-player character and are therefore simply given a value equal to the base chance.
Service Cost: If a non-player character is hired by the player characters as part of a service, for example, the service cost indicates the corresponding expense categories. Services of small scope can be purchased one category cheaper, longer term services may be more expensive.
Table: NSC Competence levels
The procedure with skill levels is suitable mainly for generic types of non-player characters. If the gamemaster wants to create special characters, such as significant antagonists, they should be given full stats and skills. Unnatural non-player characters may also have creature traits or Unnatural Rituals.