NPC Sharing

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Last week we snuck in a feature without really elaborating on the possibilities it creates: the possibility to share NPCs between players that are not game masters.

This is a big deal for forum games.

Why? Let’s say you are running a science-fiction forum game, and you have a dedicated thread where players post in-character news. They post items about events on their planets, expose the lies their world’s politicians have been caught in, and things their world’s want to announce publicly.

Next to being great for immersion, the news thread also offers a place where players can shoot off a quick post that highlights their world’s cultural, social, political, or ecological qualities.

Some players will create a news caster character just for posting in the news thread. Other players might not really get into it. Some will have ideas for quick one-off posts every once in a while, but don’t have time to find an image (and don’t want to post without a mask because they want to keep the immersion up).

This is where shared NPCs come in.

By having a publicly available news caster, everyone can join in on the news thread. Regardless of how much time they want to spend on other things, if they have an idea for a news item and some time to write it, they’re off!

In other cases, you as a game master might not have the time to play all relevant NPCs in a thread. Sharing NPCs will allow you to hand some of the NPCs off to a trusted player that can play them for you.

How? Sharing an NPC works by creating a tag with the Non-Player Character special tag ability, and tagging the shared NPCs with this tag. When creating the tag (or afterwards when you edit it), you can toggle the allowed roles and add specific players that you want the share the tagged NPCs with:

Tag special ability Non-Player Character

Once you have created the tag and tagged the NPC, you’re done. Everyone that is listed on the tag page is now allowed to play the NPC.

Take note: If you make a Public NPC tag that allows all players to use the NPC, not only can everyone can use them players will be able to tag other pages with the Public NPC tag and starting playing as those as well.

We feel that this is a strength of the system, since you do not have to configure everything just right — but in an open forum game where everyone can join, you might want to make sharing tags for specific players, or protect certain pages.

What are your experiences with sharing NPCs (or characters in general)? Let us know in the community forums! As always, you can also have a look at this week’s changelog.

Happy playing!