While there a many, many roles that go into making our world run, it seems to be a lot of the same faces filling these roles over and over. And while some of these fine folks do it because it is how they have fun with the game, many others do it because no one else steps up. No one seems to know why this is. Maybe by pointing out the different ways to contribute (and how satisfying it can be), people can be aware of how much this community relies on give and take. Taking a step towards understanding contribution, I gathered a few quotes on NPCing.
"I hear 'The Realms is a community' said a lot. It's not just a community, it is a system based on cooperation of it's participants. When you attend an event and play, you count on others to show up and be your entertainment, and that's the way it's supposed to work.
If you have a good time playing, and want to be a part of the give and take that is our game, then you should reciprocate the effort put in for your benefit by npcing so others have fun as well.
If you are only taking from the community and not giving back, are you truly part of it?"
Jeremy "Nighthawk" Greyson
"I NPC because that is what makes Realms the Realms. I've been to other larps where you are either a cast member or a pc with no chance to serve both sides of the coin. Here in the Realms we aren't just a corporation, we are a community. We all take turns with what we do so that everyone can be the main character of their story and have fun. As much as I love my characters, I love getting the chance to play the obnoxious troll or greedy goblin. The times when I play the big bad boss and watch the "oh snap" look on the pc's faces as they run in fear from my blade, and knowing next weekend one of them will be the big bad, and I'll be the one running in fear. I NPC because for me it is an honor to serve on the western flank to help my friends have fun."
Britny "Tarja" Fowler
"I npc because it's a great way to give back to the game. Events wouldn't be much fun without bad guys. I enjoy getting to play a variety of roles when I npc, anywhere from crunchies, to in depth role playing roles. Npcing is also a great way to get to meet new people and work with people you might not otherwise get to interact with."
Jason "Malaki" Grey
"As part of a community, our actions impact upon more than just ourselves. What we do at all times shapes the game. Sure, you can spend all your time doing the same thing, but what do you learn from that? Where do we grow from that? If you've fought and won in all the tournaments, it's time to use that hands on knowledge to improve how the tournaments can be run, and how they can be won. If you've defeated all the EvilBaddiestm you know the cliches and how it's been done before, step behind the curtain, and help run the next generation of baddies. Use your experience as a PC to shine some light on "what's been done" show new plot holders "what does/n't work". Use that knowledge you've gained becoming the best, to give 'the next generation' a chance at a better event of entertainment.
Alex "Lucas" Newbold
"I NPC firstly to give back to the community, but right behind that because there is a freedom in what you can do with npcing compared to being a PC. Sometimes you get to fight with weapons outside your restriction, or styles you normally don’t practice, and often you get spells you normally don’t have. One day you will have overpowered stats and can take on multiple PCs alone, the next you will be unarmored with a single short and have to challenge yourself to just stay alive. Sometimes you will be given a recurring role with depth that rivals your PC, and sometimes you will be part of an endless horde where you can face death without consequence. Sometimes you can roam around with your best friends, and sometimes you end up in the perfect environment for meeting new ones. Freedom, Variety, Duty: all reasons I enjoy NPCing."
Steven "Kaelkatar" Yazinka
"If you play this game for its intrinsic rewards of role-playing and live action, you should love npcing. It's everything the game offers in a high dosage, condensed package. Many people have likened grunt npcing similarly to fight practice, and in many cases it's true. You also are usually not expected to win, so it's perfectly fine to try out styles and moves you need to refine, which in the long run makes you a better fighter. Alternatively, most PCs are very comfortable RPing with an npc, so if playing many face roles is something you excell at, npcing gives you that chance without having to roll a slew of alts!"
Michael "Swoop" Zajac
We want to hear more about how and why YOU contribute. Please get in touch with Kelly via Facebook or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share.