Running NPC allies in C&S combat



Long time listener, first time caller. How are folks running allied npc’s? For example, in the Storm Point Asylum, its possible to rescue and ally with Uruhito. Awesome, but I’m adrift on how they would mechanically operate in a fight with say, The Butcher, since they, as npcs, are both spec’d in terms of modifying the players rolls, and doing attrition not HP damage.


This is a great question and on YouTube, Runehammer has a discussion about his trouble dealing with NPCs and what he can do to improve .

Main point is that you treat the NPCs as a Spell or Sword that can be used or activated. If they are not, they won’t act. They’ll follow and talk, but won’t do anything typically on their own.

Review Uruhito’s statistics and make an appropriate assessment or conversion to a simple PC. Don’t worry about making a whole character sheet for them. When in an encounter and players are taking their turns on phases, any player can choose to use their turn to have Uruhito do something based on their abilities if it is more beneficial at the time due to current locations or other things. REMEMBER that the PCs are the heroes and should not be outshined by the NPCs.

If you really wanted to translate his set of abilities, he can JUMP incredibly far to any hard surface (Don’t roll it, they can just do it), they can attack using a Deadly Spear (2d6 or 2d8), or they can cleave and attack multiple people with the spear with 1d6 or 1d8. This isn’t a whole other character; they would need to be called into action by the players in order to do something.

Another way you can think of it as well is having them be like an EQUIPMENT and give one player a buff once per round and it can be switched. Maybe they can either give a DEF bonus if the party is playing defensive or they can give a Damage bonus where Uruhito is fighting along side a PC.


My approach so far at the (virtual) table has been to treat them more as a monster rather than a PC and to give them just one action as a group if there is more than one NPC in a fight.
So, if there are more of them, they all act in one phase altogether; one roll affects all of them. Have 3 tactics and pick the one that makes more sense. Also, I would not roll tactics for them most of the time, but when uncertain, roll tactics as well.


If my players fight frogs and see what terrible foes they are, all the cool moves, then ally with a rebel and get a + to def… They’re gonna skin me alive:)

Uruhito leads me to ponder the hard asymmetry of the system. It’s amazing when your players are in the thick, enemies are streamlined, the resolution in on the PC’s, attrition is brilliant. (I will probably “chunk” enemies, so they suffer a similar degradation). It’s SO good. Fanboy for sure.

BUT, how to smoothly handle a defection? A player turn on another, or the allegiance of a brigand changes with coin, Uruhito joins the band to fight other npcs, and the table is completely outside the RAW?

In that quite common moment, the hard mechanical asymmetry leaves us without an elegant way (yet?) to mutate characters specs across the divide of the games core equation.

That’s it. Took me a walk to get there, but that’s the Uruhito problem as I currently grok it. Maybe this is the seat we took out to get the car to go faster, maybe there’s a clean catalyst between enemy and pc architecture?


Sticking with the introductory adventure, how would you resolve an Uruhito attack on the Butcher?


I wouldn’t overthink this. You can treat them like a high level companion (12+ points) and go from there. Keep in mind, they should be awesome, but not overshadow the players. In the Companion Rules they state they are not just a secondary action, but an extension of the original PC. Go with that.

Regarding PVP, I’ve brought this up before in a previous post:

If it’s a situation with two players having an argument or altercation in game (Please be sure it’s just in game), have the players state what their character is trying to accomplish here and agree to what is at stake: then they can just do a Flat Roll and whoever rolls lower wins. Roleplay this out and let the player that lost the roll submit to the other with no penalty or attrition (You don’t want to hurt your friends, really). If they don’t like the results of the physical encounter, they shouldn’t have picked that fight!

This is nice and easy because it plays to everyone’s strengths and evens it out, letting Fate decide. I say it plays to their strengths because a warrior would use his strength or combat prowess, a wizard would use magic and logic, a rogue would use cunning and subterfuge, a cleric or paladin would use their words or force of personality to end the conflict.

Example would be that the Wizard yells at the Rogue that the gem they found is evil and needs to be destroyed! The Rogue states his goal is to keep the gem and either sell it or harness its power. The Wizard states that he wants to take it and destroy it. If both agree to the terms, they can roll play out how the conflict starts, then they both roll a d20 and whoever rolls lower wins.


Hey All

This process puzzled me for quite a while, trying a few different methods to make the NPC “convert” in an easy, at-a-glance manner.

This is the conversion method I ended up settling on and it’s worked really well at my table.

  • Skills & Equipment: Divide HP by 10 (round up) to determine total Skill & Equipment Attrition
  • ATK: Divide ATK by 2 (round up) = 1: D4, 2: D6, 3: D8,: 4: D10, 5: D12
  • DEF: Creature DEF +6
  • ATTRITION TYPES: Basic = ATK, Flesh & Equip = 2x ATK, Destroy = x3 ATK, Brutal = x4 ATK
  • Phases & Tactics: Takes up owning player’s action.

This would make Uruhito:


Attrition: 5 ATK: D10 DEF: 11

Tactic 1: Iron Leap. Jump to any far surface and increase DEF by 1

Tactic 2-5: Spear Hand. Focused melee attack. 3D10 damage

Tactic 6: Cross strike. Fast area-flurry attack. 3D10 damage

and the Butcher


Attrition: 5 ATK: D6 DEF: 11

Tactic 1: Build Rage. Increase DEF by 1, recover 1 Attrition

Tactic 2-5: Iron Cleaver. A crushing attack, 4D6 damage, change target each round, Bleed 1 round.

Tactic 6: Clear the Kitchen. A mighty sweep of one arm clears all melee combatants out of reach. Roll Muscle 9

As C&S suggests, I don’t allow NPC’s to out-shine the players, so additional Phases and Tactics are lost when one is being controlled by a player

It’s a nice and easy method that works for me and retains the flavour of the NPC. I don’t even need to re-write the stat block. Just glancing at the monster stats is enough to prompt the conversion values

Hope that helps some folks



This is great, and a very different metric than we’ve been experimenting with. Super appreciate you throwing this down. Question, if you run the ‘enemy’ version vs the mutated form, does it feels like a close fight? Would they fight to a draw? You know, on average.


Thanks, Asteroid. And thanks for the question

I’ve never ran the kind of fight you’re suggesting, as my NPC conversions have always been played as such: under the control of the player using their single action. Also, I’ve ruled that when an NPC is hit they take 1 attrition for each basic, flesh, or equipment hit; 2 attrition with a destroy hit, and 1D6 with a brutal hit

Plus, an NPC under the control of a player can easily end up with whacky ideas and situational tactics that are impossible to quantify :rofl:

So, you can see that mathematically my answer would be “No idea.”

However, I have seen a few players stay out of combat and just fight with their NPC against a normal monster. My observation was that on average, against a similarly matched monster, one-on-one:

  • With a DEF roll, the NPC survives around double more hits than what their attrition rating is
  • The NPC kills the opponent within 5 hits

For me, this is perfect. It’s easy to calculate, doesn’t bog down combat or out-class the player, and is super cool for imaginative uses of things like animal training and creature summoning.

My players have loads of fun with it, and that’s the best reward for a DM



Solid. Certainly way more streamlined than what we were evolving, absolutely gonna bring this to the table for a test drive. Cheers mate.


Thank you!

Very elegant solution. This came up for me just today. Not having read your solution, I fudged it and had Uruhito doing d6 damage and “Ki Strikes” every other round to take target defense down. He ended up being amazing but as support and an extra target for monster attacks.


Cheers, Imhal :+1:

As long as you’re all having fun at the table, there’s no wrong way to handle NPCs

Originally, I found just using the damage conversion worked well enough in the hands of a player. It was only later that I thought it would be fun to convert tactics for NPCs too. The looks on some of my player’s faces when they roll a 1 on the tactics dice and the NPC retreats to heal, decides to attack an enemy that the player didn’t intend, or just stands around acting indecisively creates some funny moments. It also reinforced the feeling that the NPC is their own character and not just a player puppet.