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Ability to use Willpower to get a free success on a roll is a huge advantage, making the one who does it frequently extremely strong: he essentially gets +2.5 dice to any dicepool and is exempt from failing a roll. Of course, NPCs should use Willpower when some power calls for it, for example, to resist Presence, but getting autosuccesses this way seems to make encountering relatively weak enemies very dangerous.

The concept of spending Willpower this way is very good for PCs, since it encourages better roleplaying one's Nature to regain Willpower during the session, but no matter how good you roleplay, if you have frequent combat encounters, it seems like NPCs are going to have huge advantage over players because their total overall Willpower pool is going to be extremely high.

Should I call for NPCs to spend Willpower to automatically succeed when rolling against players?

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In all my games (as player or ST) story important NPC would use Willpower in critical moments (based on their Nature and desired goals). This would be added into their roll automatically.

  • Negotiating with the Prince about expanding your Domain: off course he will use Willpower to bolster his roll.
  • Talking with the Prince on Elysium about the most innocent subject possible, no Willpower will be used by him.
  • Fighting a pitched battle with a Tzimisce in his castle. Use Willpower.
  • Passing a Tzimisce in the halls of Rustovichs castle. He won't use Willpower.

No Willpower will be used by generic mooks, cause that's just prolonging things unnecessarily.

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Speaking from experience I think it would be a bad idea to spend NPC Willpower willy-nilly as it will just annoy most players.

However, assuming your NPCs are fully fleshed out with Natures and Demeanours, spending Willpower where you have planned it in advance, where it matches either the NPC's Nature or Demeanour, and you have suitably role-played it, then it could be justified.

Good Example: NPC vampire with Presence anda Bravo Nature or Demeanour bursts into a room with your PCs in it. They use Awe and roll Charisma + Performance and spend a point of Willpower for an extra success, and you describe the great effort the vampire is using to impress the PCs and your players are (probably) suitably impressed

Bad Example: An NPC vampire with a Survivor Nature or Demeanour is shot at by your PCs and spends a point of Willpower to improve their dodge, you describe the extra effort the NPC makes but your players are likely disappointed that their efforts have been annulled

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