Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Modest Proposal for NPCing in a Manner Which Avoids Being a Burden to the EH and for Making The NPC Beneficial to the Event

NPCing is a right of passage that can bridge the gap between being a player, and being an event holder.  It is such a fundamental  part of the game that most events would not function properly without at least one experienced NPC, and this guide is to help you be that experienced NPC.  The first and primary goal an NPC has is helping make an event be as memorable as it can possibly be.  The event is already written when you arrive on site, which may make things harder, but don’t worry. There are many things that can still be done to make this the most memorable quest anybody has ever been on.  The ideal arrival time is approximately one and a half hours after the event is scheduled to start.  This shall ensure that everything is ready as you arrive, and all the setup has already been finished by people who thought event start times actually matter.  The briefing should already be wrapped up, but as an experienced NPC, it should be obvious through the costuming everything you need to know.  Green is goblins, red is demons, and brown is trolls.  Black is a scary plot creature.  If someone manages to fill you in on exactly what you are, that’s helpful but not too important.  It’s not like the PC’s have a way to figure out exactly what you are anyways.
Now that you know what you are, it is important to give yourself powers that are fun and awesome.  While rule 1 is make it memorable, rule 2 is to win.  Many people say that NPCing is about giving people a fun event, but that’s really just one way to do it (and is a loser's attitude to boot!).  The other way is to NPC to win.  It guarantees the event will be memorable by associating the event with a wide variety of strong emotions.  There are many tricks that an experienced NPC can use in their arsenal to win.  The first, and most important thing is to ignore the event holder and “head” npc.  After reading this you are a more experienced NPC than they are, and while you can accept their input, your choices will be far superior to theirs.  After all, if they truly knew what they were doing, they wouldn’t need your help, now would they?  They may say to fight at around a “3”, but you know that a “10” is the right level to be fighting at.  This even applies when fighting new players.  After all, how else will that group of newbies learn how to fight better if not by dying and being dragged into the woods?
So, now that you are ignoring the EH’s input, you need to break out every trick you can to win.  First off, look at the PC’s.  What weapons are they lacking?  Is it a group of new and young adventurers?  Then, you should only be affected by swings of magic.  What about a series of seasoned adventurers who have every weapon known to mortals?  How about “magic silver”.  They definitely don’t have one of those.  That should keep you alive for a long time before they come up with something to kill you.  Finally, If someone calls for a magic marshal (probably to figure out how to kill you), be sure to answer.  It will help the staff out, since they clearly don’t know what is happening at all.
After they manage to kill you, you should choose a place to respawn from.  I suggest right behind the person who just killed you.  It will show them what the consequences are for fighting back.  Be sure to do it as quietly and sneakily as possible.  Any warning noise might alert them, and cause them to turn around.  Of course, if they do that, there is an easy solution, just don’t be in play yet.  You can choose where and when to spawn!  While getting into position, since you're out of character, feel free to take your mask off and chat with your friends in the questing party.  If you smoke, now is a good time time for a smoking break.  Nothing highlights fun more that talking about how the EH is incompetent and is making lots of mistakes.  You get bonus points if the players hadn’t noticed the mistakes yet.  Of course, once you are done chatting, stab anybody near by.  If you haven’t finished your cigarette yet, all the better, because nobody will expect it, and it will make the situation all the more memorable.  Right after you kill people with your respawn, scalp them.  Scalp by 50’s because it’s faster that way.  Be sure to scalp everyone with call the soul, because you are not a loser, so you’re playing to win.  Also, even though you are playing an entirely different NPC, don’t forget all the tricks the PC’s used to kill you last time.  Watch for people who feign, and scalp them before they can even start to swing at you.  Be sure to change your powers constantly, just so nobody can guess what you have and keep the PC’s on their toes.  

Take these words to heart and you can be the most memorable, and therefore best, NPC ever.

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