A Non Player Character or NPC is a character controlled by the computer running the server. NPCs usually appear onscreen with a generic name like "Human" or "Guard". They are all those people populating the cities or wandering around the most dangerous places. The GMs can program the NPCs in different ways; the NPC can be a shopkeeper or serve as a guard or priest, for example. Some NPCs assign quests. An NPC can also be a trader, who sells items without being in a shop. NPCs tend to be peaceful and they walk around randomly. Some NPCs are also far more keen to hold a conversation than others. Random bits of the history of Oberin can be learned by listening to their first-hand experiences, and occasionally, much longer stories can be heard.
The term "character" usually refers to someone controlled by a player. NPCs form a leftover category in fantasy games like Oberin. The main two categories are the players on one side and the opponents (the beasts and other hostile creatures of Oberin) on the other side. The shopkeepers, the guards and almost everyone else go in the NPC category. The GMs and QChars do not count as NPCs because they are controlled by a human in real time, and not characters programmed to respond to a set of keywords. However, sometimes NPCs become temporary Quest Characters and take part in RTQs.
Some NPCs result from past story lines and RTQs. For example, when Kendra, form the magic shop in Andris, was killed by giants, there was an arc designed to find her replacement. Other NPCs will remember bits of information about the history of Oberin, and some relevant characters. Have you every tried asking about Alastor in Gast?
When GMs take control Edit
If an NPC does something unusual, like start a conversation or attack a player, then a GM has taken control of that NPC. Some players may have stories of how some annoyed shopkeeper left their shop and chased a player away.
Talking to NPCs Edit
Most Non Player Characters have a very limited ability to talk. Their programming is to respond to keywords. When an NPC hears a keyword, it immediately speaks the response. By using the correct keywords, a player might be able to start a conversation, learn about a quest or uncover some interesting information. An NPC acts on reflex and never remembers any part of the conversation, so the same keyword will again trigger the same response. The most common keywords are "name" and "job" and "quest".
It might be fun to use the keyword in a sentence. For example, the player says, "What is your name?" or "My name is Kernigh." The NPC hears the keyword "name" and responds with his or her name. The problem is that NPCs can become picky with things like capital quests. So "quest" might produce a response but "Quest" will not work. Then the player must either not start sentences with keywords, or not start sentences with capital letters. Another problem is that a player might cannot determine which word in the sentence was the keyword that triggered the response. Avoiding such problems, most Oberin players say the keyword alone, as "name" or "quest".
The NPC will not hear the keyword unless the player is close enough. It is best to stand adjacent to the NPC. Some players stand too close to Luskin or Nusbalm and accidentally use a keyword that causes him to speak. Then the players may want to move away from him.
Most of the "Human" NPCs will understand at least some of the three keywords, "name" and "job" and "quest". The "Guard" NPCs usually do not talk, but they may respond to "hello" or "greetings". Hidden among the Guards are a few who say other things like give quests.
- The NPC will tell his or her name. Another way to see the name is to use the Identify feature (press Command-D and click on the NPC).
- The NPC will describe his or her occupation. Usually this is very obvious, such as being the shopkeeper in the shop or the priest at the temple. Some NPCs do not respond to "job".
- The NPC will assign a quest. Most NPCs will tell the player what quest item to bring, but they will not say what the reward is. Sometimes, the player may need to use another keyword to determine how many quest items to bring. To determine the reward, the player needs to do the quest once, or ask another player who knows, or check an online quest list such as this wiki's quest page. If the NPC does not have a quest then it usually ignores the "quest" word.
- Many NPCs respond to "hello", and return a greeting to the player.
- In some places, "greetings" works better than "hello".
- <town name>
- Many NPCs have something to say about the area or situation they happen to be in.
Sometimes, to continue the conversation, the player will need more keywords. Usually the player needs to repeat something that the NPC said.
- Guard, an NPC that protects an area
- Priest, a trader at the temple
- Luskin, the most famous NPC
- Oberin Quick Start Guide at oberin.com, mentions NPCs and keywords
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