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NPC

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NPCs or Non-Player-Characters are the individual characters that either the Storyteller or a individual player controls (with permission) as a supporting role (shopkeeper, companion, nemesis, child, spouse) that helps to augment and enrich the story. NPCs are never the focal point of stories and they rarely if ever progress in terms of skills or arcana throughout the stories they appear in. Below is a bit of background about NPCs, how to acquire one, and the rules governing them.


Contents

Background

NPCs add an important aspect to game play. Players often feel the need to control NPCs and to do so in a manner that keeps those NPCs fair and balanced in game play. NPCs can not give a player character unfair advantage over other players. Unfair advantage constitutes monetary gain or augmentation of skills other players do not have. Fair advantage is acceptable under certain circumstances - (Ie. paid bodyguards that are supported and paid wages with money earned by the PC, employees hired to help maintain a business also well documented and fully supported by the PC). NPCs need to be actively played - either talked about, mentioned, or ran as being present in a thread and responsive - to be kept.

In all cases, player character should always be more well rounded, and higher skilled overall than NPCs. The admin staff reserves the right to remove NPCs (they will quit, find new jobs, move out, run away, or possibly die) which are being abused or ill used (or even ignored) by the PCs who are in their charge. NPCs should augment a story, not be the focus of a story, and should never be used as 'padding' or to buoy up a PC's lack of proficiency.

How to Acquire an NPC

NPCs can be acquired at character creation (via a Help Desk request) or through actual game play in which an NPC is hired or otherwise acquired in a thread overseen by a Storyteller. Most NPC (the exception being DEAD NPCs) must then be added to the characters Storyteller Secrets by the storyteller or Founder who awards it.

The Three Types Of NPCs And Their Rules

The first type of NPC is the Stationary NPC who has a link to the PC, but remains at the same location and are generally unchanging. Classic examples: the family living at home or employees in a PC's business. The defining trait of these NPCs is that they don't move from their location or do anything special. They don't follow the PC around except in special RPed events. They adhere to the following rules:

  • No limit to numbers
  • No transfer of income, possessions or skills to the PC (DS approval and possibly moderation required for this)
  • Up to 50 skill points and no racial bonuses or special notability within the city (again, DS approval required for more)
  • Unchanging - meaning can't be trained up or skills expanded upon
  • Must be supported in common seasonal expenses if these are a Personal NPC and not immediate family (ie. Friends). If you don't want to support them, they must be applied as domain NPCs and approval must be by that particular domain storyteller.
  • Must be added to the PC's storyteller's secret thread.

The second type of NPC is the Traveling Companion who follows the PC around at will. Classic examples are: children, kelvic bondmates, and slaves. They just adhere to the following rules:

  • Must be requested at the Help Desk to be available at the start
  • Up to 30 skill points and no racial bonuses or more than 10 points in any one skill
  • PC must properly justify NPC via an explanation in the help desk
  • Unchanging - meaning can't be trained up or skills expanded upon
  • Must be supported in common seasonal expenses if these are a Personal NPC and not immediate family (ie. Friends).
  • Founders reserve the right to turn any and all NPCs down
  • Founders may alter main pc's starting package to balance out the presence of NPCs by giving PC less starting money or less skills at creation in order to approve NPC
  • Must be added to the PC's storyteller's secret thread

The third type of NPC is a Dead NPC who can be used in Flashbacks in a character's history. These pose no potential conflicts to the present PC doings, so they do not require Help Desk permission. PCs are free to just add these NPCs to their CS without approvals.

  • They can only have 3 skills at competent.
  • Must be DEAD prior to the PC's start of gameplay date.
  • Unchanging - meaning can't be trained up or skills expanded upon
  • Ghosts, in this case, are not treated as DEAD NPCs. They fall under the first two NPC categories - Stationary or Traveling.

Supporting an NPC

Most NPCs - including those used only in Flashbacks - will need to be supported financially by their PC owners, in particular, if they gain the PC any benefits or perks beyond skill training. One example of an exception to this rule would be a Stationary NPC that exists for the sole purpose of adding color to a PCs storyline. Other exceptions may apply, but would require Storyteller approval. If you cannot maintain your NPCs at at least a common living expense, they will not stay with you unless they are slaves. If you keep them at a poor or squalor condition, they are likely to die. Make sure you can afford your NPCs. All Storytellers will be watching out to see that NPCs are accounted for in living conditions. NPCs that are employees must be paid a fair wage. Fair wages can substitute living expenses because it is assumed that NPCs that are employees (such as a housekeeper or guard) will take their living expenses from their payroll. Housing an NPC also counts for part of their cost of living as well.

  • Squalor is 5 gms a season
  • Poor is 45 gms a season
  • Common is 135 gms a season
  • Good is 450 gms a season
  • And Exquisite is 675 gms a season

Children NPCs

If children are under twelve they do not need to be supported until they actually age up in real game time and turn twelve years of age. That means infants, toddlers, and young children require no additional funds to raise. We realize this seems unrealistic, but we do this to simplify many PCs who have big families and their tracking on their ledgers.