NPC stands for Non-Player Characters. The common denominator for such characters is, as the name suggests, that they are not represented on the game by a player object. On Blood of Dragons, the term is used in some slightly different ways from many other MU*s and other forms of roleplaying games, as it could be said that there are different two different types of NPCs on the game.
First, we have the CDB NPCs.
Any character that has been entered into the CDB (see +HELP CDB) but is not currently setup as a player object on the game is considered an NPC and are displayed as either NPC or Puppet (meaning it is temporarily in play via an object set PUPPET—see HELP PUPPET—, controlled by a player but not as that player’s main character) in the +CDB display.
If the NPC’s Type is Open, Restricted, Limited or Elite it has the potential of becoming a regular PC. Features, Extras and Cameos do not become regular PCs but Features may be in play as Puppets and Cameos are played temporarily by new players. Extras should be thought of as more notable background NPCs that need a CDB entry so that details about them can be noted down.
Most of the CDB NPCs have only a few basic details noted down in the CDB, but if they have been PCs in the past then they have a full CharGen setup done.
Second, we have the non-CDB NPCs.
The NPCs that have not been entered into the CDB are generally unnamed NPCs such as random guardsmen, commoners, etc. But even though they are not in the CDB, they are still very much present on the game and this must be taken into account by players. You can’t role-play robbing someone, and claiming you’d get away by saying that you decided that the NPC guard mentioned in that room’s description wasn’t there or was drunk.
The non-CDB NPCs can also include some of the personal NPCs that players make up. However, it is very important to keep in mind that if you make up a personal NPC that you use regularly and that has an important relation to your character, you MUST submit it to the CDB. If you give up your character and some other player takes it over, they will likely not know about the personal NPCs unless they were submitted to the CDB. If in doubt, please submit the NPC. See +HELP CDB SUBMIT.
CDB NPCs are either owned by the game or, if they were submitted by a player who is still active on the game, by that player.
The general rule of thumb is that players may not assume actions or opinions on behalf of Game-owned CDB NPCs. For example, if a player wishes to learn what the currently unplayed lord of his or her character’s house feels about a certain issue, they should consult the Staff via +jobs (see +HELP +JOBS). Similarly, unless a player is actually playing the lord of a house, the player should not ICly or OOCly portray their character as speaking for the whole house unless they’re a) approved to do so or b) being dishonest ICly. There are two exceptions to this.
First, players may make limited use of close and currently unplayed relations in situations where this facilitates the player’s roleplay but doesn’t dictate the personality and/or opinions of the unplayed character beyond what has already been entered into the CDB regarding this character and thus approved by the Admin. If nothing or very little has been established regarding the NPC, players may also (again via +JOBS) propose information to be added to the CDB. If an NPC is used in such a way that updates to the NPC’s CDB record are needed, for example to Events, Notes or Relations, players must submit these via +JOBS.
Examples of this would include things such as the player of a married woman assuming certain actions on behalf of the woman’s unplayed husband as long as these are in line with what has been approved regarding this character. It is also acceptable for players to occasionally emit relatives or household members that are known to be in the same IC location as their character. However, these NPCs should be used sparingly and should not be taking any important actions or actions that define their personality beyond what is already established.
If a player is uncertain about anything relating to NPC relations or connections, +jobs should be used to ask the Staff about the matter. This ensures that a record of the query is preserved. Players are encouraged to make as much use of jobs as they need, not the least when it comes to asking questions about NPCs and their actions.
Second, those NPCs that are of the type Extra may be used in scenes as long as they are used in a way that fits the information established for the character. Players cannot use these as freely as player-owned NPCs, but they can be used to fill out scenes where you need a septon, a guardsman, a merchant, etc and no such PC is available.
When it comes to player-owned NPCs, these can naturally be made use of by the player who owns them. If a player has submitted an NPC to the CDB, they have just as much control over that NPCs as they have over their own character. Such NPCs also fall under the same consent rules as regular characters.
A player may also request (see +HELP +JOBS) to be placed as the owner for an NPC (which will give the player access to updating the CDB record for that NPC) if they feel they need to use it so extensively that updates to the CDB record with for example Events, Notes and Relations will be needed more than just once or twice. A request to be placed as the owner of an NPC is most likely if the NPC that were created for a specific character by a former player of that character but may also be approved in other circumstances. If a player is made the owner of an NPC that was created by Staff they should not assume they can flesh this NPC out as fully as a PC as this would limit the choices for potential future players of that character.
Non-CDB NPCs are different in that it is perfectly appropriate for players to pose actions on behalf of them in certain circumstances and as long as those actions fall within what would be the rule rather than the exception for the NPC in question. For example, in the right area, it would be perfectly appropriate for one player to pose that a nearby guardsman attempts to apprehend another player who just posed stealing something. On the other hand, posing that the guardsman sees the crime but ignores it is not reasonable, as this would be assuming an abnormal reaction on the NPC’s behalf.
All players are expected to keep their own characters updated with, at a minimum, Events, Notes and Relations. History updates may occasionally be needed as well but generally Events will suffice. That such updates are done is crucial for the character system on Blood of Dragons to function properly.
Any player using an NPC is also required to provide updates for that NPC. In particular, if a player is set as the owner of an NPC they did not create (such as a spouse or a squire), the obligations to keep that NPC updated is as strong as the obligation to keep your own PC updated.
Failure to keep NPCs that you use updated will definitely lead to a denial of further use of that and other NPCs.
In general, conflicts that involve NPCs are expected to be negotiated OOCly, taking into account the likely IC abilities of the NPC. The likely IC abilities can be roughly extrapolated from the NPC’s tier. Barring exceptions agreed upon by the Admin, NPCs that have not been entered into the CDB are assumed to be Vs or possibly IVs.