I'd like to reset NVRAM, but in the instructions it says, "If your Mac is using a firmware password, attempting to reset NVRAM causes your Mac to start up from macOS Recovery instead. Turn off the firmware password before resetting NVRAM."
So is there any way to know if I have a firmware password?
I reset SMC without issue.
Thank you, Lydia Running 10.9.5 OS X, late 2013
For something as old as 10.9, you would need to (try to) boot to Recovery HD by holding down Command + R at boot. If you don't get a firmware password prompt, then there's no firmware password. If you do get a prompt, then there's a password.
More recent versions of macOS have a command line binary built in to check the firmware state.