Non-Playable Characters

Kestrel Sumner
Citizen of the World
Joined: June 17th, 2004, 9:25 pm

December 30th, 2011, 9:56 pm #1

Non-Playable Characters
Just as Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) are a necessary part of any good short story or novel, NPCs also enhance the stories that are told between players and their characters when they RP together. As part of our mission—to give players the most creative freedom that we possibly can—NPCs are welcome as character enhancements, plot drivers, and simply friends or foes that you may one day ask another player to take on if they expand beyond the limits of an NPC. And though we put minimal restrictions on NPCs, there are a few things that players should know before they create their NPC and throw it out into the world.

What Constitutes an NPC?
NPCs are considered extensions of your character, people or things that interact specifically with your character, but may end up interacting with others, as well. They will also be used specifically for plotting purposes—while the player may have a mild attachment to them, it doesn't matter if the NPC lives or dies, and they will typically be used within the confines of a player's character plot(s). These are not the same as a random shopkeeper, a healer who lasts for the entirety of a thread, a city guide, or general NPCs used for short stints—these are NPCs who will be around for several threads or for the duration of an entire plot (or plots). You plan to use them frequently and for a long period of time.

NPCs are also not treated the same as familiars. Where familiars tend to always be with the character, help the character over the course of their life, and are considered "pets" of sorts, NPCs are confined to plot development and the like. It's a fine line, so if you're unsure about whether your NPC is an NPC or a familiar, ask one of the staffers—they'd be more than happy to help.

NPC Guidelines
Before you throw your NPCs out into the wild blue yonder, there are a few things that members must do beforehand. They are:
  • Contact a staff member and put forward your idea for your NPC(s) and the plot(s) that the NPC(s) will be tied to. Other staff members will also be made aware of the NPC(s) involved so that everyone is on the same page.
  • Declare any abilities the NPC(s) will have. These do not take from your character's ability slots—it is the one time that a player can bypass the system. They don't have to be defined in the same way that your character's abilities do (a general idea will suffice), but anything powerful that your NPC(s) can do needs to be defined. This is also another crucial difference between NPCs and familiars: familiars require ability slots from your character's pool, while NPCs do not. The brackets (simple, intermediate, and advanced) also do not apply here, so an NPC can be as powerful or as weak as you'd like them to be.
  • If you would like to make a separate account for the NPC(s), you may do so. It will be added to the Non-Playable Character usergroup. A profile is not required.
Once cleared, you can begin posting immediately with your NPC(s). They do not require profiles, but if you'd like to make one, you're more than welcome to. Because we do not place restrictions on how powerful abilities are, you must have the permission of all players involved in your plot to use those abilities against their characters. This means that, if a player says you cannot use a particular ability on their character, you may not do it—you will have to find a way around the problem. General forum rules also apply, especially those related to metagaming, powerplaying, godmoding, and killing another player's character.

NPCs can also be played alone or in conjunction with the character they are tied to on the character's own account; the posts will still count towards the character's overall total.

If, at any point, you find that you are becoming attached to the NPC and would like to turn it into its own character, you can do this in one of two ways:
  • If the NPC already has an account in the NPC usergroup, just PM a staffer and the group will be switched to Citizen. Any posts made with that account will count towards the NPC's total abilities. A profile will need to be posted.
  • If the NPC does not have its own account (until now it has been played on your character's account), a separate account will need to be made and the NPC will start from scratch—any abilities it had as an NPC will be wiped and it will have to work towards them. A profile will need to be posted as well.
We suggest you talk to a staffer first to see if an account is appropriate for an NPC before simply making one. If the NPC will be short-lived or is going to be showing up every once in a while, it probably doesn't need an account.

If staff notice that an NPC is acting less like an NPC as defined above and more like a normal character, the member will be PMed and the situation will be reassessed. If, at any point, a player should have any questions, they are encouraged to PM a staff member.