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Storytelling devices for PC vs. NPCPCs in Class Stories

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore > Spoilers
Storytelling devices for PC vs. NPCPCs in Class Stories

clintcasey's Avatar

05.29.2012 , 06:36 PM | #1
And NPC/PC is a Non-Player Character Player Character. In other words this is an NPC that represents a PC that is in the game.

Currently there are two player character classes who have reasons to come into direct conflict with one another.

The Jedi Knight, and the Sith Warrior.

The Warrior at this end of Chapter 3 has become the Emperor's Wraith and the Knight has presumably killed the Emperor, who was likely actually the Emperor's voice. As the Emperor's Wrath, the Knight should be at the top of Emperor's kill list at this point, given what we know about the Emeperor and his personality from the Revan Novel and the events in game.

These two characters should be very easily motivated to come into conflict with one another directly even as part of a continuation of their class stories.

Currently, they cannot in game because of one reason.

The Species, Gender, Body Type, Appearance, Advanced Class, and Alignment (DS/LS) have to remain undefined, and not canonized, at least while people are still playing the game. They cannot canonize the player characters in the game currently because it would invalidate people's experiences playing the game.

I mean how would you feel if in a cut-scene if you found out the Imperial Agent was completely different from how you played your Imperial Agent.

There are some workarounds I've thought of though.

1. Random Variable/Variable NPCPCs

This is simply an NPCPC who has had their appearance, species, gender, alignment, and advanced class determined by variable. Some of these variables could be best written as being determined randomly, such as Appearance or alignment. Now you can determine all of these randomly, or you can assign values.

Pro: This lets you have quite a bit of freedom when writing scenarios.

For Example: if the Imperial Agent (Being played by a player) where to go under cover as part of the class story and infiltrate Havoc Squadron under the Trooper's command (who is an NPCPC), you might as a story telling tool, make it so that the Trooper is the opposite gender of the Agent during the story. You might also want the two of them to get along really well to help foster that potential romance angle, so you assign the trooper a similar alignment to the Agent. Also you might randomize the species and apearence, or just the species and have a predetermined appearance for the Trooper, or just make the Trooper and the Agent the same species.

Pro: This allows you to further define the characteristics of the characters in the game without actually defining who they are. So now you know that the Trooper and the Agent share the same alignment, but opposite gender of one another. But you still haven't defined what those genders are, or what their alignments are like.

Continuing the example above:

The Agent the Trooper can now potentially be star crossed lovers on opposite ends of a Galactic conflict whose relationship is strained by deceit and their allegiances to their respective governments.

Con: This could lead to some confusion at first, as people might night recognize that the characters are characters they are generated by variables. Someone might play a continuation of their class story-line only to find that the randomly generated NPCPC is completely different from their version of that class when they actually played.

Eventually as word of mouth and information spreads people would become aware though.

2. Legacy Variable NPCPCs + Random Variable/NPCPCs

Instead of determining the values for each of other NPCPCs randomly, you instead link them to your Legacy. So now the characteristics of your NPCPC interactions are determined variables found in your versions of those characters in your Legacy. You can even include variables about the relationships between characters so that they end up the same as they are in your legacy tree. Of course not everyone is going to have one of each character class in their legacy. So before you can make this work with Legacy characters, you have to first make it work other variable characters. From a scripting perspective its nearly an identical process to determining the variables randomly, only in this case you can set the variables = the values of characters in your legacy.

Pro: Validation of past playing experiences. Also leads in to increased depth of experience and pay off when these events happen.

For Example: My main is Jindo Case, he's a level 50 Mercinary Bounty Hunter, and he is Lightside 5. Jindo's Dad is a Gunslinger named Mayor Case who is in his 50's, and has grey hair now, and has a Neutral alignment.

So in a the future class story expansion Jindo is hired by the Empire to hunt down the Smuggler who has been causing the Empire problems. Jindo finally tracks his target down and realizes that the man he's been hunting is actually his old man. Is Jindo going to honor his contract and capture his own father for a few credits, or is he going to let his Dad escape, maybe even help him escape?

Con: That's even more variables you have to track per character now! And what if someone has two or more of a character? You have to design an interface for that now and let people pick out which version of that character they want to be associated with their character's class story.

Also: The above Pros and Cons for Random Variable/Variable NPCPCs still apply, its just that the con side is diminished somewhat.
Al'den, Jedi Guardian, Level 50, The Bastion, 4/4 EC HM
Jindo, Mercinary, Level 50, The Swiftsure, 3/4 EC HM
Jiindo, Power Tech, Level 27, Squadron 367

Velaran's Avatar

05.29.2012 , 06:57 PM | #2
I like both ideas, minus allowing the NPCPC decided by Legacy to share the actual relation to the current PC. It should stay within the realms of appearance, advanced class, basic storyline, and alignment.