NPC Artha

Any time I use NPC artha, it feels like I’m cheating, because I’m not systematic about it. I’m not organized enough to collect artha for my NPCs acting on their beliefs. In any case, I don’t think it’s a good idea to reward NPCs for their use of BITs, the same way that players are rewarded. NPCs are intended to serve the needs of the story, rather than be self-realized characters in their own right.

Here’s what I propose:

NPCs get 1 Fate and 1 Persona for each written belief.

Mooks and Newly circled NPCs will (of course) have no artha; if the GMs want to give them some artha, they must write a belief (which they can do on the spot if so moved). This encourages good GM behavior!

Assume that most NPCs will keep a Persona point in reserve for Will to Live. The one-belief fishwife, isn’t going to blow her only Persona point on Haggling with you, so for all practical intents it will be as if she has only 1 Fate. If her belief comes into the picture, however, that’s another story!

The first time that players meet an NPC in a session, ask three questions:[ol]
[li]Did the NPC accomplish a goal during the last session?[/li][li]Has this NPC been out of the spotlight long enough for them to have accomplished one or two minor goals, off camera? (Perhaps several weeks or months.)[/li][li]Have the players suffered a setback or failure that would give this NPC opportunity to have made a meaningful (if unspecified) gain?[/li][/ol]If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, the NPC appears with full artha for this session.

For many campaigns, this means that NPCs will be appearing with full artha most of the time. Cliffhanger combats and party groupies (who have little time to pursue their own goals plausibly) will be at an artha disadvantage.

Would this apply to major antagonists too?

Yes, I originally had a scheme that had different artha amounts for different grades of NPC, but I figured it was better this way. If an NPC is a major antagonist, give him three beliefs!

Does this apply only to named NPCs, or do mooks get Artha?

While I like it in principle, I’ve always determined artha at start more by my needs.
Almost all non-mooks get a base of 1 persona, but that is ONLY for survival of the 1st Mortal.

The rule would apply to everybody, I don’t give mooks beliefs. (I suppose they have implied beliefs, or perhaps an instinct, of ‘do what the leader says’.)