Abbreviation for "Non Player Character". These are participants in the game who, like the actors in a play or staff of a haunted house, play a variety of roles to support the game world.
Becoming an NPCEdit
Participants who elect to become NPCs are responsible for staffing encounters and assisting with the set up of a particular story scene. Their roles can vary wildly depending on the needs of the particular game.
Roles available for NPCs may involve roleplaying, combat, or a mixture of both. Very often you can indicate what type of role you feel most comfortable in, and the staff will work to give you roles that match that style of play - this is at the discretion of the staff for that particular game.
Players may decide to become NPCs or PCs at any time and are encouraged to discuss such transitions with the game staff - particularly if the player may one day return to being one of the PCs. Staff can help a player avoid being involved in scenes or encounters that could expose them to stories that they would not want spoiled by being "behind the scenes". This is at the discretion of the individual games, and the nature of players transitioning to or from NPC roles is largely a matter of working with the staff for that game to determine the best course of action.
Costs & BenefitsEdit
Costs to participate as an NPC also vary by individual game, but frequently games offer free participation, meals, loaner weapons, and lodging in a Monster Camp for persons who volunteer to be NPCs.
Types of NPCsEdit
Named NPCs are characters with significant story associated specifically with them. They are known "by name" and may reappear in other events or encounters if they are not defeated. Their stories may last as briefly as a one time appearance, or as extensively as multiple years. Named NPCs may be hostile or friendly. They can roleplay extensively with PCs, though it is not required depending on the nature of the story or role. When a named NPC dies, it does not return unless via some story mechanism that would allow for such an event.
Unnamed NPCs are characters defined only by their association, and not necessarily by a given name or personal story. They are used to represent broader threats of the game setting, and carry names that brand them with particular story connotations. Examples include:
- A goblin
- A pirate
- A blood tribe barbarian
- Blood tribe barbarians
Unnamed NPCs can still roleplay and interact with PCs, but their interaction is restricted to those topics or actions associated with their type. Example: A pirate might be able to chat with you about sailing or port evasion, but they may not have anything much to say about dealing with the inland political climate.
When an unnamed NPC dies, a new one may take its place, played by the same person. The fallen NPC will wander out of sight of the encounter, wait for a few moments, before returning as a new version of the same NPC with Refreshed abilities. If you attempt to interact with an NPC in this state, they will respond with the phrase "spirit" to indicate that the character perished and is exiting combat. You may speak with an NPC who is in spirit form using in-game abilities, though the NPC is not required to respond to you.
Setting Specific UnnamedEdit
- Farmers - These NPCs represent the non-adventurer "commoner". They are frequently used when an NPC has no particular role to play, but must move through the event site in view of PCs in order to reach another destination. This is done to avoid breaking the immersion for participants. Farmers may role play with those who interact with them, though their interaction is restricted to those things which a farmer might have knowledge of.
- Spirits - These NPCs represent deceased beings in the game. They are used to communicate messages from beyond the grave to PCs. They may not have a particular identity, or the identity may need to be discovered.