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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Scorpias Lair - We Need People in RPGs

Default Scorpias Lair - We Need People in RPGs

April 5th, 2008, 11:35
Scorpia goes on a bit of a rant about the lack of engaging NPCs in RPGs, observing that a good story is all about the characters:
For instance, we know all the “people” (a.k.a. NPCs) are really there just for us. They populate the world so it won’t look empty. They wait around with little odd jobs for us to do outside of the main line. They provide cannon fodder so we can grab goodies and level up on our way to Foozle.
Added to that is the fact that NPC personalities tend to come in just three flavors: forgettable, obnoxious, and helpless. Throw in the difficulties of conversation, and it’s no surprise that we have a hard time feeling anything beyond exasperation or antagonism for any of them.
…and in a related piece, she discusses the need for better motivation:
Even when a game allows one to be “evil”, we still end up knocking off Foozle at the finale. Once in awhile, there’s a change of pace. Might & Magic VII, for example, allowed one to “go darkside” and obtain a different ending where the “bad guys” win.
Usually, though, good, evil, or neutral, we follow along and perform our heroic duty. The particular reason why is typically left up to us, the individual players.
Oh sure, sometimes we have “The Fiendish Hordes Of Ancient Evil Foozle wiped out your family, nay, your entire village!”, so we’re supposed to be motivated by the revenge motif. Ho hum.
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April 5th, 2008, 11:35
100% agreed, this is a part where J-rpgs really shine , while they are not great at a lot of things, it does have a bunch of memorable characters! Which created a very DEVOTED legion of followers, just look at FF7, people still play the most Cloud, Aerith or Tifa, in cosplay! and there is a host of sites mentioning those! fansites etc etc etc.

Which is the last C-RPG personality I remmember?? hmm some from Ultima? some from the witcher, hmmm yeah Betrayel at Krondor did a good job,, but that was cheating, it stole the already existing characters of Raymond E Feist novels!

In games such as NWN or Oblivion there isn't a single memorable character! BLEH! Could it be because C-RPG's are developed by anti-social freaks? HEHEHEHE
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April 5th, 2008, 11:56
Fallout2, Torment and Baldur's Gate II..
Oh and Jagged Alliance 2.

Those have truly great NPC's.


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April 5th, 2008, 19:21
The most rpg memorable characters i've 'met' are in multiplayer neverwinter nights games over on nwnconnections.
Cheating really but having a dungeon master play the characters is great.

Single player np characters i remember well are few and far between..some from Ultima stand out though.
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April 7th, 2008, 15:38
mmm gothic and witcher do seem to have some unforgettable NPCS for me. Well G1 and G2 do G3 had only one char I just wanted to meet: Rhobar. What a let down.

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April 7th, 2008, 17:01
Mud was unique in a way.

I have never seen such an annoying NPC, except one in BG1.

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April 8th, 2008, 01:18
Yes, getting Mud killed was one of the small pleasures in G1!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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