Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Honest John Stag on Sun May 31, 2009 2:03 pm

I'm wondering what peoples thoughts are on NPC's (non-player Characters- essentially parts totally under the control of the organisers and usually briefed to deliver or perform a specific function) and how they can best be used at an event like BBB.

NPC's are more than just scenery they are the catalysts quite often within a game and can be the mechanism by which the organisers can steer an event.My hat goes off to the Judge and the Colonel, who as NPC's did a sterling job. Excellently roleplayed and very entertaining for the public too.

I did however think that the event would have benefited from some more NPC's seeded into the game and able to interact with the public.

What does everyone else think?
avatar
Honest John Stag

Posts : 44
Join date : 2009-05-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Admin on Sun May 31, 2009 2:09 pm

I agree entirely and would support the inclusion of more NPCs within the game.

Admin
Admin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile http://thepirates.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Honest John Stag on Sun May 31, 2009 2:27 pm

While we are at it, what about DPC'S (Directed Player characters- Players who have some autonomy other there characters but are semi-controlled by the event organisers)?

One of the things that would add some spice to the game and improve the running would be that each pirate faction, the Militia and the Townsfolk all are headed by a DPC. That DPC acts as a ref and assists the event organisers by facilitating personnel for volunteer crewing when needed, dealing with ref calls for their own faction, feeding back to the event organisers on pace and player satisfaction etc.
This sort of model is tried and tested at the big fest events (CP & LT) and works when done without ego and in the spirit of the event.

How about for the Pirate factions, a Pirate Admiral each obviously, for the Militia a suitable ranking officer and for the Townsfolk (traders essentially and anyone playing a smuggler,wrecker or other non-pirate) a Mayor.

I can see the fun that could be had for the Pirates, players jostling to become 2nd in command, black spots for those who piss off the Pirate Admiral. Parley's between different factions. Everybody scheming to make there Pirate Admiral overall Pirate King (get the most dosh for your faction). Loads of fun to be had.

I would suggest that key characters like the judge and the Colonel remain top ranking NPC's. Giving the Militia and the Townsfolk something to kick against.

Downsides:-Roles like this are extremely hard work and if done by inexperienced people or overly large egos can cause more problems than they are there to solve. It requires a 100% presence and top-notch delegation skills.

What do people think?
avatar
Honest John Stag

Posts : 44
Join date : 2009-05-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Honest John Stag on Sun May 31, 2009 2:36 pm

Admin wrote:I agree entirely and would support the inclusion of more NPCs within the game.

Some suggestions for you:-

The Beggar- A lice ridden fellow who for the right price will pass on rumours and gossip and even signpost where the best illicit deals can be had. For the public a great fun NPC to interact with. For the players, someone to beat or more clevely use to gain info.

The Salty Sea Dog- A cunning old man of the sea, full of superstition and tall tales. Get a proper storyteller to do this one. kids would love him and for the players a source of information on the more strange and mystical going ons. Possibly some light relief to be had here on this one too.

The Press Gang- Fall on the wrong side of these guys, drink from a flagon with a shilling in it and you'll find yourself wearing a blue jacket for a few hours and getting all the dangerous jobs.
avatar
Honest John Stag

Posts : 44
Join date : 2009-05-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Unkillable NPC's

Post  Honest John Stag on Sun May 31, 2009 2:43 pm

One thing that became clear on the event was that the judge and the colonel could not be killed. I took this to be a necessary flange to ensure that they stayed on stage and carried on facilitaiting the game. However, rumours also abounded that the Colonel and the Judge were in on the lobster cult and the evidence for this being that they were unkillable. The problem for me is that which ever of the above is correct never should OC and IC be mixed up.

For the next event I'm hoping that the combat system will be adapted so there is a very clear mechanical reason why major NPC's are tougher. This may be more hit points, magic or something else, but I leave that discussion for another thread.
avatar
Honest John Stag

Posts : 44
Join date : 2009-05-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Admin on Sun May 31, 2009 3:11 pm

Unkillable NPCs such as the Colonel and the Judge are pretty much a given if the game is to continue in a beleivable manner. Why? The person is responsible for keeping certain aspects of the game going so if they are killed that person has to resume the duties and there is nothing cheesier than "the brother of the late departed judge" etc. Personally I'd be inclined to use an IC reason why they must not be killed - for example they represent the crown and are of noble status. Hurt either and the King would come down on Widley so heavily that this pirate haven would be no more. I would be interested to see players having a chance to kidnap and ransom these senior NPCs though as long as they accepted that they should not be killed.

We do have one mechanism that facilitates this too - mortrooms. Both men can afford to purchase Mortalis and use it and both are high enough in the eyes of the law to get away with it.

Love the press gang idea - that has got to be in the next session.

The fortune teller was doing some of the rumour spreading as was Mr Steele. Both were DPCs by your system and there is scope for more who are already scripted for the next event.

I would like to see the storyline develop to the point that ALL players understand that Widley is one of the few places where a pirate can get away with being a pirate. It is not an open war zone so they have to have a little bit of cunning. They have a vested interest in not rocking the boat (pardon the pun) too much. It would be nice to have an election of town Mayor and PCs could stand. Of course the property requirements of the time would mean they would have to be Pirate captains (say 20 followers minimum?) and there would be a financial cost for standing. The mayor could have a lot of clout within the administration that might help his/her faction but he/she would certainly be a target too. Food for thought?

Admin
Admin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile http://thepirates.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Benjamin Parts on Sun May 31, 2009 3:39 pm

Every NPC, except those on the linears, should be a DPC anyways. A beggar and such would certainly add colour, and would likely be appreciated by participants and public alike.
That`s how far I agree.
I don`t believe in putting NPCs on top of the factions, though. Not OC, because they have been tried and tested at other events, and BB&B are not those other events. Been there, done that, didn`t care much for it. Not IC either, because pirates are a fractious lot who are hard pressed to stay loyal to their own captain, never mind an admiral. If I wore a pirate captain`s hat, my first concern would be to do away with the old admiral and take his hat for my own. And never mind Pirates of the Caribbean, pirates and privateers did not have admirals. (Buccaneers had, but only on a “I`ve got a plan, who`s coming with me” basis.)
Some form of liaison might be okay - I didn`t play a pirate and have no knowledge of how needy the factions are of dedicated refs - but I wouldn`t put them in charge. You could call them Pilots, though. Pilots were respected for knowing what they were doing without actually being in command. They weren`t very likely to become pirates, because they were well paid and treated, but they could be assigned to a pirate ship by its land-lubbering sponsors. (There`s a thing I`ve been missing, town-dwellers sponsoring privateers. I keep trying to think of a way to incorporate ships into the game, and I keep coming up with a cross between terrace chess and Wings of War©️. Not sure whether it would function best as a display or as a backroom cardgame, but I`m thinking of captains trying to get together a full crew, and then going to the sponsors to be outfitted with a ship to enter this sub-game with. Kinda like a linear but with less walking through dungeons and more sitting at tables/prancing across giant chessboards, and only for those who are into this kind of game.)

Benjamin Parts

Posts : 19
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Dre on Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:22 am

About unkillable NPCs and Widley as a pirate haven - I would love to see this written down explicitly in a flavour document/brief that every player gets given a copy of (even just by e-mail). Personally I'd prefer to see a system by which these NPCs can still succumb to wounds, but either due to their legendary luck (perhaps they 'dodge' shots and blows due to their long experience receiving them!) or some other IC reason they always survive. Especially after the public leave, it should be possible to wound them long enough to make them have to retire for the night, to return the next day thanks to mortalis or surgery.

Another thing about these NPCs - they shouldn't be allowed to attack/rob players personally. It simply isn't fair to have an opponent you know you can't dispatch if you get in a fight with them. Fair enough if they always 'draw a white bead' but if they can ignore all blows then they shouldn't be dealing any either. Otherwise the judge on his own could take out ALL the pirates; extreme case but that's the logical result and in character this would soon become evident.

I like the idea of kidnapping for a profit; a lot of times at the event we thought about it but the end result always seemed to be 'ok, but then the militia would kill us all once we released them'. I suppose you could find ways of getting coin for a hostage - for instance by passing it off to other members of the same faction. NPCs could suggest these sorts of daring acts, pointing out that the kidnappers might face punishment but that the coin would survive... and coin is the important thing!

Also as I mentioned in another thread I'd love to see more NPCs encouraging reactions to game events, both planned and player-driven, for instance the rolling battle with the cannon or pirate raids against each other or against the militia. This could help draw the public's attention to unscripted events, as well...

Dre

Posts : 15
Join date : 2009-05-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Admin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:15 am

The only unkillable NPCs that I would advocate are the judge and the Colonel since they are integral to the functioning of the game and are difficult to replace during the course of the game. Neither was an active character robbing etc and since they are NPCs why would they rob anyway since they can't win by collecting coin. Remember an NPCs job is to follow a brief to the letter - all we have to do is say you will not aggressively attack pirates - job done.

DPCs spreading rumours, encouraging actions etc are a different kettle of fish. They should be as vulnerable as anyone else but players should have an idea that if they do put paid to one of them then they might lose out in the long run because a source of information etc would dry up.

I have had a chat to Martin this morning and he was prety favourably impressed with the Mayor idea since it leaves scope for voting, ballot rigging, extortion etc. As I said I see this as one of the Pirates running for office. What do people think of this idea? It would need some rules development as to just what a mayor can and can't do, what their responsibilities and powers are so as not to unbalance

A new flavour document together with a plot synopsis from event 1 will be written up in time for the next event and probably published on the website. It is in urgent need of a reset but will take a couple of days to get round to.

More news as and when I get it.

Admin
Admin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile http://thepirates.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Benjamin Parts on Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:48 pm

Having a pirate mayor seems fine to me. He`d have the town`s seal, meaning he gets to write permits. He would also be in charge of town taxes, although he wouldn`t get to in them personally, meaning he could raise or lower them, or invent new ones. Let`s say the toll at the gates is to be handled by the militia exclusively, as it is to be used by them to maintain the town`s defenses, and that the gunpowder tax is a royal tax, over which he has no authority. But he could, for instance, charge the captains a docking fee for the ships they have in port. He could also raise or lower taxes on certain tradegoods (possibly with a tie in to the trade game Dre suggested) giving smugglers something to do.
He would be in charge of the town guards, such as there are, but not of the militia, although he could ‘request’ the colonel for military support, like extra guards for the treasury, town hall, court, etcetera. He could also give the colonel leave to withdraw guards from any site that is not military. The colonel would not be allowed to bluntly refuse a request for support - although he might get creative and try to talk his way out of it - but wether or not he withdraws the (extra) guards or not is entirely up to him.
To prevent him making off with all of the tax money, he should also have expenses. Town guards and retenue would have to be paid out of the town`s coffers. Both crown and county might levy a fixed tax on the town, as well as take a percentage of trade tax. Things like that. He would only be able to skim the treasury.
Two trumps to keep the mayor in check: The judge might order an audit if the embezzlement becomes too outrageous, and the colonel might instate martial law if the town comes under siege or becomes ungovernable. Especially that last bit means the mayor will have to do his best to keep on everybody`s friendly side, to prevent a general uprising.

Benjamin Parts

Posts : 19
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Honest John Stag on Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:32 pm

Admin wrote:I have had a chat to Martin this morning and he was pretty favourably impressed with the Mayor idea since it leaves scope for voting, ballot rigging, extortion etc. As I said I see this as one of the Pirates running for office. What do people think of this idea? .

I like the idea of the Mayor but for me the fun to be had there is for the non-pirate players to stand for election not the pirates themselves. So I'm not convinced over a 'Pirate' Mayor. My reason for this is I would suggest that the Mayor is head of the townsfolk faction. I have explained this in a bit more detail on the other thread Factions are they fun

It is however a big yes from me for the opportunity for the Pirates to rig/wangle the election to get a candidate in that they like. It gives them all sorts of reasons to form alliances with the townsfolk or bribe and threaten to get a Mayor in post that is favorable to their particular pirate faction. That is all lost if the Pirates can just walk in take over the Mayor-ship themselves.
avatar
Honest John Stag

Posts : 44
Join date : 2009-05-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Judge Hangemhigh on Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:53 am

Admin wrote:I would be interested to see players having a chance to kidnap and ransom these senior NPCs though as long as they accepted that they should not be killed.
The Judge was kidnapped (by Swallowtail Ted and co), but as I had no income they had to be content with a very small ransom Sad . Also, although immortal, he was wounded twice (probably should also have been earlier, but I was still on the steep part of the LARP learning curve) including by one of those lobsters - no I don't know whence they came, either.

Mayhap it's to do with soldiers of the pre-"Thomas Atkins" era being called "Tom Lobster"? Rolling Eyes
avatar
Judge Hangemhigh

Posts : 8
Join date : 2009-06-04
Age : 71
Location : Southampton

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:17 am

Well yer 'onour, I'm sure if the town has an active "merchant venturers" or town hall then a ransom can be found toot sweet as they say across the wa'er. Might need some protection next time, if you gets my gist. Very Happy

Admin
Admin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile http://thepirates.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Kidnap

Post  Troy. on Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:43 am

Is it the kidnappee who people are worried about narking them out or the militia?

Surely the best way to handle disguise is to arrange the group sash over the bottom half of the face. We could then say, rules-wise, that people thus disguised cannot be recognised? But that anyone so disguised is subject to arrest.

Ideally you could hood the victim to stop any ID problems, but thats outside most peoples health and safety comfort zones. (including mine where we are talking about a fort with unfenched staircases! Of course one option would be for appropriate NPCs to be provided with kidnap hoods, with a mesh front so that they can see properly, but that might not help too much.

Troy.
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:17 am

We did say that any bandit wearing their bandana over their faces was unrecognisable but would be subject to arrest - indeed it was even written into the script for the skyline battle. We will make this clear for next time. I think hoods are best not used for the safety concerns you raise.

BTW Troy isn't it time you joined this forum so folks can pm you?

Admin
Admin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile http://thepirates.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Registering

Post  Troy. on Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:21 pm

Well, I'm trying to...just have to confirm registering from home.
Stop oppressing me!

Troy.
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:26 pm

Come and witness the oppression inherent in the system. Help, help I'm being oppressed!!!

You'll be showing your wounds next and explaining "you've had worse". Laughing

Admin
Admin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile http://thepirates.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

A NPC TOWN CRIER

Post  Swallowtail Ted on Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:20 pm

One thing that struck me during the weekend was that some of the timetabled events such as the court sessions would have had a much better impact [i](they were great fun and many people missed some great entertainment) if the public and others had had a better idea that they were going on. I know there was a PA system in the ship's stern but I can't help thinking a suitably dressed fellow with a bell wandering around the township 'Oyez Oyez'ing at appropriate times would really help this as suitable announcements could be made, along with some pretty big hints to players, such as Oyez Oyez Make way for the Powder delivery, revenue collectors, ship's cook and concubine etc etc.
It would certainly be more in keeping with the flavour of the event.
avatar
Swallowtail Ted

Posts : 12
Join date : 2009-06-04
Age : 46
Location : Essex

View user profile http://www.spiritofthegame.org.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:43 pm

It's a fine idea.

Why does it have to be an NPC though? Does a player character want to apply for the job? I am sure we can manage some IC wages.
Good opportunity for establishing a personality within Widley Town.

Admin
Admin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile http://thepirates.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Why not?

Post  Swallowtail Ted on Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:50 pm

Cool, just need someone with a loud voice and a bell!
avatar
Swallowtail Ted

Posts : 12
Join date : 2009-06-04
Age : 46
Location : Essex

View user profile http://www.spiritofthegame.org.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Admin on Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:48 am

And a signed statement from an accredited surgeon that he is not just another leper on the make. Very Happy

Admin
Admin

Posts : 54
Join date : 2009-05-27

View user profile http://thepirates.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Non-Player Characters, how can they best be used?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum