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Large Groups of 'Toss Away' NPC's. Fun, or annoying?

 
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Sulissurn
Ancient Wyrm
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Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 665
Location: Where you don't want her to be.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Large Groups of 'Toss Away' NPC's. Fun, or annoying? Reply with quote

I was thinking about NPC's the other day, and that got me thinking about 'Toss Away' NPC's. Mainly large groups of NPC's that represent either an army, or a town or a...well...group of people.

My question is: if you and your play group were in a public room and a large group of toss away NPC's creating multiple accounts of chaos entered--would you find it fun or marginally annoying?

(Annoying because, maybe you have a really important scene being played and the group of NPC's are making it hard to focus and so on.)
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Lydia Loran
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't really annoy me when people play out something like that that doesn't interest me, because I just choose not to play into it. I don't see reason we both can't have our fun.

And when it does interest me and I do play in it I have fun with it.

I've created 'toss away' NPCs or just random things of that nature to be played. Some of it is really ridiculous. I know that. Some is even based on a joke with people I know. Like GI Joe ads that were redone... But when I do this, I don't expect everyone to drop everything and interact, since I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. If people join in, or just acknowledge peripherally, that's great. If they'd rather ignore, that's fine too. Smile
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Grem
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Joined: 26 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on what I'm doing at the time, the vast majority of such instances are either fun or something I just have my character not notice (or have him actively ignore - see it, decide not to deal with it, then pretend it's not there).

Very rarely, it has annoyed me. Usually not because of a loss of focus, per se, but because if the invading NPC horde (or whatever) decides to actively pursue my character's attention - particularly through repeated physical contact - I'm forced to either play into it or outright ignore it. I can probably count the times that's happened in the past ten years on one hand (not counting the ever-popular "runz in and killz u all" sort of situations) and have fingers left over, but it has happened.

But if it's something where he can happen to coincidentally be looking in the other direction for the duration, remaining blissfully unaware, it's generally not more than an extremely minor annoyance, and usually not even that.
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Alystrianna
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Joined: 06 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me it just depends.

I've participated in both the zombie and the jello NPC attacks. I had a blast with both. I didn't play every night that it was happening, but the nights I did it was a lot of fun.

I really loved the Jello one myself.

However, sometimes it is like "ugh!" if there is a particularly important scene I am trying to play out, but usually I just play in another setting or try to time it when the NPC attackers are not at the Inn.

I think it can be a great way to get people who never play with eachother to play with one another. It's great to get new people involved.

And sometimes it's fun to just be silly and goofy.

So yeah, I guess I like them, although sparingly.
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Keaton
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Joined: 16 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I can take it from the perspective of the "DM" - that is, the player who's controlling the NPC's and bringing them into a public play environment...

It can be very difficult to get a good sense of how such a scene will go down, how many/few people will participate, and who will simply be annoyed, just because of the nature of such environments as the RDI. It can vary wildly who will be playing in there, what kind of characters they might have and what they might be engaged in, so when possible I like to do a little recon in advance of a scene, and if things don't look like they'll go too well, I postpone or cancel the scene.

Still, though, that can be difficult to judge, and if multiple players are involved in the playing of NPC's, postponement isn't too attractive of an option. And if you're handling your NPC's all by yourself, especially in a crowded room, it can be even more difficult.

I was involved in the zombie SL a little over a year ago, and that involved a lot of juggling. I had to balance giving people enough time to have fun with the threads and play their roles with how many nights there'd be zombie hordes involved in live play, as I didn't want to get people too tired of the whole thing, and for those who might not've wanted anything to do with the zombies to begin with, not to wear their patience too thin. I feel like it was fairly successful, but it was still a trick and a half trying to figure out what to do, even with the generous help of a number of players in planning, executing, and participating in the SL.

All that said, I still strongly believe it is the responsibility of the player behind the NPC's to be considerate of what is going on in the room in spite of the great difficulty of his or her role - because after all, you're doing it so people can have fun participating. =)

Personally I've never found NPC-"barrages" annoying, as they tend to let well enough alone if I choose not to get involved... and it's pretty fun to get involved when I've got the attention to spare for it. =D
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Natolii
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes there is such a thing as going overboard.

The constant killing of NPC's in the playables gets annoying, because as a DM it kills the mood to depopulate your village, only to have it repopulate 10 minutes later.

As Keaton pointed out, there needs to be a balance in play, and the constant killing and depopulation of the city is annoying.
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Dora Lynch
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Joined: 30 May 2005
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Location: Lives in an Estate owned by Tara; stays in the RDI , at times.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see the fun of playing multiple NPC characters in a scene or event, if you can visualize them, they move and RP interactions with the rest of the characters there. Nameless hordes, built to be targets, I am not so in touch with that concept. To me, that is more of a storytelling thing and more interesting if you can identify with a few samples of the horde. I , myself, need to see them as individuals. Tragedies happen in role played stories, but they need to have purpose. For example, one story I was in ended with a tragic disaster. It did not start up again.

As for single, one time NPC characters, they can become more than that, easily. Dora was written for one scene and she is still tottering along, since 1998. I role played another which started as a costume for a party and just took over.
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