Author Topic: Animating Your Own VNPCs  (Read 2613 times)


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    • they fight crime
Animating Your Own VNPCs
« on: April 28, 2018, 04:19:21 PM »
I want to talk about imagining and using the emote code to animate your own VNPCs, whether they're fellow patrons at the bar, a made-up lover or friend, a child or and entire family or tribe.

Do you do this?
What do you think of other people doing it?
Have you ever seen it cross a line?
How much fun does it add?

Here are my answers to the above.

Yes, I do this with some characters. I think it's a really interesting way to shift the perspective of the character and give them differing motives. It seems to deepen them as people.

I don't see other people doing this very often. Sometimes I see them including a crowd cheering around them in their emote.

I think it could cross a line if, for example, you decided your PC had a powerful red robe as a lover.

For me, this is one of the things that brings the world alive the most. I want to do more of it. I want to see more of it. I think it's a kind of edgy, exciting take on role play and I've found it both challenging and fabulously beneficial.
Do you kill your sparring partners once they are useless to you, so that you are king?

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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2018, 04:54:57 PM »
I think it's fun to do this to help evoke environment and atmosphere. And I think it's well and good to emote the presence VNPC members of a family, tribe or professional organization. I enjoy doing it and I enjoy when other players do it.

I think the line gets crossed when those VNPCs are used to give some benefit to the character, or used against other players in the scene. Put another way: I think it's cool when players use VNPCs to augment their own roleplay, but it's not cool to force other players to react to the VNPCs. Expecting other players to react to the game world, outside of our own character's actions, is for staff to do, not players.

examples I think are fine:

emote raises his mug to ~grizzled.sergeant, joining nearby Bynners in a cheer that fills the tavern.

emote faintly nods to the Oashi Elites who stand at attention as he walks through the gates of his Estate.
emote reaches down to pick up an azure-eyed little boy who runs up to him for a hug.

emote shares some of his fruit with a bony, tribal-inked child squatting with him around the campfire.

examples I think cross the line:

tell gemmer.PC (while several other patrons of the bar glare at ~gemmer.PC) You don't belong here, gemmer, and these people agree with me! (while this fits docs, this is forcing another player to react to VNPCs)

emote stands up and reaches for his weapon, while two other tribal-inked men stand up, ready to fight alongside. (using the backup as a threat against another player that they now have to react to somehow)

tell friend (while nodding to a pair of soldiers that salute him as he walks past) They're saluting me because I saved them from spiders that attacked their patrol. Ever since that day I'm an honorary member of their unit. If anyone bothers me, they'll arrest them. (it's fine to make something like this up and lie about it, but when you include the VNPC soldiers saluting, you're using the game world to make it 'true' and give your character a benefit)

It is said that things coming in through the gate can never be your own treasures. What is gained from external circumstances will perish in the end.
- the Mumonkan


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2018, 06:41:09 PM »
I do this.

I don't think staff likes it very much, but I do it. Thanks, Kestrel, from SOI and Atonement. I stole your ideas for gossip emotes, and when you're bored in the bar, assuming you're alone ...

I don't think it's a huge idea. Obviously, you're not going to use a vnpc soldier and tell them to arrest someone. But little flavor things like who else is at the bar, or who fell in a puddle of piss, or whatever, is cool to set the scene.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2018, 06:44:29 PM »
Anything that bypasses the code is grating to me.

So having your VNPCs talk in emotes - no, because we have language code and this bypasses it.

Having your VNPCs be exclusive to you, and not allowing me to use them too - is bypassing the code because if they were NPCs or PCs we'd be able to target them with the usual emote symbols, or coded combat, or even the steal command.

Examples of what I would not want to see:

>The PC smiles at the little girl, who says, "Hi mommy! I got a new toy today!" The PC bends down and picks the little girl up, laughing gleefully.

>The PC sets the infant down on the seat next to her...
>The nearby elf emotes out stealing the baby.
>The PC emotes out that the baby is still there, safe and sound.

This kind of thing doesn't happen often. Hardly ever really. But when it does (or similar) it's incredibly jarring. But that's what the request tool is for.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2018, 11:04:11 PM »
I like to see the presence of VNPCs referred to in emotes, but for their actions to remain a mystery. It's enough to mention them in an emote as a reminder that there's a whole world out there, and not just the coded PCs and NPCs we see. But deciding what they actually do (in most situations) doesn't feel right to me.


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2018, 09:39:34 AM »
Generally. Whenever I involve some kind of a reaction of VNPcs, it must either be neutral, or derogatory towards my own character.


emote Amongst many other suspicious, sneering glares, @ scowls at ~gemmer 
sit bar (bringing upon &me many a scowl and a sneer as #me settles down)


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2018, 04:37:42 PM »
Animating virtually to your detriment makes sense sometimes. Like if you're playing a rinthi, or a gemmed, or a breed, or even an elf in some situations. Animating to your detriment doesn't make sense if you're playing a noble, a templar or a reigning.

So while I truly enjoy Dar's RP, I can't agree with that as a rule of thumb. I don't think only the downtrodden PCs should be allowed to play the VNPC card.

To Lizzie:
It's been maybe a decade since I've seen any newbies try to slip text into an emote, but I don't think it's an actual issue. It's more a sign of a player who has a lot to bring to the table but hasn't assimilated our roleplay culture yet.

As to others being allowed to manipulate your VNPC I couldn't agree more! That's one of the most fun parts!
Do you kill your sparring partners once they are useless to you, so that you are king?


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2018, 05:00:17 PM »
Yeah I once did a mediocre dart throw as a noble and had some VNPCs clap. I felt kind of guilty about making the VNPCs praise me, but I feel like a big part of a noble's job is to bring to life that unfairness and class disparity.


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 02:43:20 PM »
So, I don't think you should feel guilty for this any more than you would for dressing the same noble in silks and jewels. It's all in accord with the docs, supporting the world.
Do you kill your sparring partners once they are useless to you, so that you are king?


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2018, 12:53:26 PM »
Some great advice in this thread!
Quote from: Rock
Scissors are fine.  Please nerf paper.


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 03:13:11 AM »
Kind of a tricky area.  I'm okay with people with virtual children, because frankly, family-life roleplay can be very constructive in terms of elements of character play.  I'm okay with light, passing interactions that are mostly meaningless but bring life to the world.

But I'm not okay with:
1) Dude insults elf, makes vnpcs clap and cheer and support him...thus completely ignoring the elven vnpc population that is also present (particularly in places like the Gaj).  I realize you're trying to support documentation by doing this, but in so doing, you're actually world-destroying, not world building.
2) Person makes up story about this vnpc they saw doing this the other day.  While innocuous, if you're going to tell me the story about this person, I should be able to go and -see- this person.  What if I had a problem with the action?  What if I don't want it to happen again?
3) Reacting directly to echoes as vnpc population.  This will rub some the wrong way.  But long ago, I decided it was outright -stupid- to think that a half-elf took a piss in the corner of the Gaj every few hours.  I view these echoes as demonstrations of atmosphere, mood, and setting, not a literal action that takes place -every fucking time-.

Personal opinions, not 'damn you for doing these things.'  Moreso, if you do those things and read those and have an 'ahhh, that's why...' to some reactions, I'm happy.  If you disagree and say 'F U, Arm, I'm doing it anyway', then in the -vast majority of cases-, it won't have much impact other than occasionally annoying someone else, in a way that will be mostly fleeting unless you make it a huge habit.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2018, 02:47:43 PM »
I think it can be boiled down to common sense:

Don't use VNPCs to help you "win". Use VNPCs to help you bring the world to life around you.
"There are no happy endings, because nothing ends." - Schmendrick


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Re: Animating Your Own VNPCs
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 03:01:21 AM »
Remember not to put vnpcs in your tdesc that could possibly be interpreted as guards (a blind elf I was playing once had a vnpc tribe member guiding them around; I lost link, and was told later by a staff member not to have vnpc guards.)

Otherwise, I've never had any real problems. Gladiators emoting cheering crowds is awesome, because that's the way life is for them. Like candy, short and sweet.

I'm newer to using vnpc peeps in my roleplay than I am at solo roleplay. Sometimes I hope I'm doing it right.
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