starsteemer

NPCs

5 posts in this topic

So i've searched around and so far haven't found any information regarding npcs, and you'd think npcs is a rather self explanatory concept. a non player character helps to propel the story, and is eventually forgotten about. but my question is a bit riskier than that. 

suppose you're in a roleplay with a group or one on one, and your characters come to a point where they need to interact with....dun dun dun... A CANON CHARACTER. this may be a silly or obvious question, as i'm new to the site and despite me poring over all the information i could possibly glean, there is a chance i missed something. or perhaps it is an unspoken rule? When your characters must make a deal with discord or visit princess celestia, what are the rules? the outline? is it allowed to fill the role of that character temporarily to propel the story, or is it permanently in stone that you MUST have an official representative of that big important npc? like do you have to put the entire roleplay on the backburner while you run and beg the nearest person roleplaying this character to make a brief appearance in the roleplay? If they say no and this character is necessary to the roleplay, what then? Is it possible to roleplay a canon character within a private roleplay extensively, without an official claim so long as you make sure all involved know you do not claim the character? 

What if what was intended to be an npc turns out to be a major player in the rp? personally, in past roleplays i enjoy adding a plot twist to the story by interjecting a character that flips things on it's head, reviving the passion and interest in the roleplay. my past partners have enjoyed when an npc becomes plot important, because it's unexpected and adds that something-special element to a realistic roleplay. in real life, you never know who all your players are or who's controlling the pieces. Now, this isn't to say i'm asking permission to do this at utter random. courtesy demands that rp partners be made aware and given the choice if they do or don't want an npc to become important. my question is if there exist certain guidelines i haven't seen, if npcs absolutely must undergo an application process, even if they are important to only one roleplay or plot.

 

I may think of more questions regarding NPCs later but so far these are all the burning questions i can cook up. I apologize for making this long but i felt it was necessary to fully get my questions across in an eloquent and clear manner. i eagerly await a response. 

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Assuming you're talking about WoE here, because in FFA you can do whatever you want within the site's ToS. That includes using any canon character you want, and making extensive use of an NPC. 

 

In WoE though, things are different. The site's undergone some RP changes recently, so things aren't quite as stringent as they used to be, but the basis of making sure characters are appropriate for the WoE setting still remains. To my knowledge, you can't use a canon character as an NPC in WoE unless you've apped the character yourself, for the same reason you can't RP a canon character without an app. The point of the app for a canon character is to make sure the person can RP a canon character to closely resemble how that character is portrayed on the show, and not wildly out-of-character. I mean, what if I had an RP where I wanted my character to rebel against a tyrannical Celestia NPC who suddenly decided to enslave all the ponies of Equestria? That's not exactly true to canon Celestia. 

 

If you feel your RP really needs a certain canon character to propel things along, you can always just app the character yourself and then use him/her as an NPC. Multiple people can app the same canon character - that way, you don't have to rely on a single player to be willing to play a canon character for you, you can just do it yourself. 

 

As for NPCs becoming important to an RP...it's okay for an NPC to be featured heavily, but if starts getting to the point where you're essentially roleplaying the character, then they probably require an application. For the same reason that canon characters require an app, to make sure the character fits within WoE guidelines. That's probably a tricky thing to decide where that line might be - personally, I think that if you have an NPC set in stone (their desires, motivations, relationships with others, personality, etc) then it's okay to feature/use them prominently. But if those types of things about the character start to change and it feels more like you, yourself, are causing those changes due to how the RP is progressing and those changes not being a planned part of the NPC's path, then at that point it's probably more that you're roleplaying the character out rather than having him/her react as an NPC.

 

...I probably didn't explain that very well, but that's just how I see it. Like you said, NPC stands for Non-Player Character. If you are playing the character, then it's not a non-player character anymore.

 

I'm not RP Staff, so someone might come along and correct some/all of what I've just said. But this is just to the best of my knowledge of what I know about the rules of WoE RPing. Again, the Free-For-All section doesn't put any stipulations on what kind of characters you RP or use as NPCs, so long as you still follow the overall site ToS. 

 

 

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ADDENDUM TO ZEIG'S POST: My doctrine concerning NPCs is that as long as you're not getting into their thoughts or having them play major roles throughout multiple unrelated RPs, apps are not essential. However, things go beyond standard game master duties once you start writing in 3rd-person omniscient about the NPC's motivations, feelings, and backstory (ie. things the player characters shouldn't know about). Also, we ask that cast characters do not be used as NPCs if there are active players who have already apped that particular cast and are willing to use them. :) 

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Thank you for your insight, both of you, i feel it's helped me gain a better understanding of this website and how it works, and i thank you both immensely for your time and consideration into my question!

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No problem! If you've got other questions you can feel free to let me know (here or through PMs) and I can try to answer them as best as I can.

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