Talk:Non-player character

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"l337 insult"[edit]

"The term 'NPC' can also be used as a l337 insult for someone who seems not to have a mind of their own. For example: ' 1 w1ll r0x0r j0 npc a55, f00l! '" What the hell?

Yes, I don't think that we should have untranslated leet examples in articles. I am going to remove this for now. I would contact the user who added this and ask for a translation, but it was made by an IP back in April and it is the only edit from that address. TigerShark 12:59, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

-If you can verify that with an example from a reputable blog or other site, give it here so that we can put it in without it being simply original research/unverified claims Blueaster 22:42, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

oops- just realized that that was a quote of something u removed. i guess it makes sense though... "I will roxor (rock) jo (yo)NPC ass, fool!"... with "NPC" questioning the target's individuality and calling him or her a participant of mob rule or something..... it seems like a very, very rare usage however, and its very possible this person made it up Blueaster 22:45, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

More importantly; I've never seen that being used as an insult, anyway! Melaisis (talk) 12:17, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Acted NPCs[edit]

The first sentence of the new revision of this article doesn't make sense with the rest of it, as it describes NPCs as AI. Some RPGs are still pencil-and-paper affairs with a group of people sitting around a table; an analogy for people unfamiliar with this might be to compare an NPC at such a game with the banker in Monopoly. And even multi-player computer games occasionally have among their population human-controlled characters that aren't regular players, in roles analogous to forum moderators, to ensure fair play. B7T 13:55, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. I've reverted the edit. Percy Snoodle 17:13, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Looks like someone changed the definition again; considering that directly following the definition of NPCs as automated characters there is a discussion of D&D gamemasters, it didn't make sense, so I revised the introduction. B7T 20:52, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
The statement about some clients having a moderation roles in some multi-player computer games does not equate to an NPC. Just because they are moderating but not playing does not mean they are a character. I agree with all argument that there is ambiguity when using the term in pen and pencil role playing games, but it's a logical fallacy to assume that if a human client in a computer game is not a player, the person is playing a character role. While most MMORPG games have moderators with Avatars, they are usually called GMs like in pen and pencil role playing, like in Ultima Online. Other MMORPG games like Guild Wars don't even have moderating characters... just administrators; administrators do not equate to characters. Play any First Person Shooter on the internet and you'll notice that server administrators almost never have a corporeal presence (unless there is a modification in place, in which case they are playing -- even if not on an even level with other players). In all practicality, the rule of thumb for what should be called a player is any human that interferes with gameplay. The notion in the current version of the introduction that "an NPC in a video game is usually part of the program, and not controlled by a human" is a silly concession to make. The character is either controlled by the program or by a human. If the character is program controlled, it's an NPC; if it's human controlled, it's a player. There's no "usually" about it. I'm making the change to remove the word, and I welcome any and all to argue that it should be reverted. PsychoBob 15:19, 19 May 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
I reverted the change. I'll wait for any opposition before committing it, since the change directly conflicts with the paragraph about Uru. It's an all or nothing affair, so it waits. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
In a tabletop RPG, the NPCs are "program-controlled", too, if you consider that the "program" is the game rules that are being followed. The medium in which the game is played shouldn't change the definition. I've actually participated in an online virtual world which included several human-acted characters native to the game environment, which by the tabletop-game definition would be NPCs; even though conventionally such characters are automated in computer games, there's no reason they can't be roles controlled manually by "non-players". B7T (talk) 04:03, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Believe it or not, the "programs" for pen and paper RPGs you speak of do not constitute rigid computer programming logic. Were that the case, there would literally be no reason to play them anymore as they would be 100% deprecated by computer RPGs; Game Master improvisation is encouraged in every pen and paper RPG I've ever played. Either way, it's silly to try to retrofit the term into what is a subjectively equivalent situation for the simple sake of consistent terminology between the formats. Even if your logic stands, you simultaneously argue that Game Masters in tabletop games aren't playing a game at all. Incidentally, syndicated actors in Uru are playing a game to act the parts they do, regardless of whether or not they are being paid for it.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:04, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Like I said before, a player is anybody who participates in the process of gameplay regardless of the level of interaction. Even Wikipedia's own article for Player (game) is consistent with that view.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

neutrality in the 1st paragraph[edit]

"Gamemasters should remember that just as a player character has hopes, dreams, and goals, so does every NPC, and ignoring such elements tends to lead to 'cardboard-cutout' personalities that are boring and/or over-simplified."

Isn't this an opinion stated as fact? Something like "more gamemasters are realizing..." might be better. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wormyguy (talkcontribs) 19:37, 7 April 2007 (UTC).

Possesing player characters?[edit]

I don't recall that ability on Neverwinter Nights. Unsure about the other game...but I doubt that would be an added feature. Since that would allows DMs to really mess around with people. With all due respect, DeadlyDilemma 20:14, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

non-player class[edit]

what in the world? where did this term come from and what does it mean? i have never in all my 20+ years of gaming heard NPC to refer to, or the term itself or non-player class. shadzar|Talk|contribs 20:20, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I've only been playing for 15 years, but I've never heard it either. I assume it's a video-game thing. Percy Snoodle 15:37, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I've only been playing for 10 years, but in D&D 3.0/3.5 there are classes in the DMG (Warrior, Aristocrat, Commoner, Expert, Adept) that are called NPC classes and are considerably weaker than the standard classes (Fighter, Cleric, Wizard, etc.), designed for use by NPCs who are "Ordinary people," rather than heroes, villains or adventurers. I would guess this is what they are referring to. Falard 00:34, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Requested move to Non-playable Character as it is the right and main term for NPC[edit]

I think moving this page to Non-playable Character will be better, as "non-player" is not the right term. The term "non-playable" can be 'tweaked' to another player in an online game for example, when "non-player" can only be a computer running that Agent.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by SmileyBarry (talkcontribs) 14:05, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I fully understand your argument; but Wikipedia generally goes by common usage, and it seems that "non-player character" is the more common term. I don't understand what you mean about 'tweaking', so I can't comment on that. As for 'right', 'non-player character' seems to adequately cover the concept this article describes. TSP 14:36, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
PS. in case it wasn't obvious, my edit summary should of course have read "Non-player character' gets 99k Google hits, vs 18k for 'Non-playable character'", not vice versa. TSP 14:37, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I would oppose this move - while it's possibly correct for video games, it's definitely wrong for role-playing games. However, I'd support splitting the article, using the existing title for thr RPG use and "non-playable" for the video game use. Percy Snoodle 15:36, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

It isn't Wikipedia's job to tell people what they should be calling something. This move would be inappropriate. --Yath 00:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I've also almost never heard an NPC called a "non-playable character." The term makes sense in the sense of "a character who is not a player," and is the far more common term and should be kept as the title. Perhaps include "Sometimes referred to as a Non-playable Character," in the introductory paragraph. Falard 00:39, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I oppose this move for the above-mentioned reasons, in particular a) I don't entirely understand the nominator's argument, and b) "non-player character" is the more common usage for this concept. --Muchness 00:45, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

The term originates from pen and paper roleplaying games, where it has always been "non-player character". To call it something else would be actively harmful, as it's simply incorrect. If computer games use a different expansion of "NPC" (I don't know if they do or not - I've certainly never heard it before), then that is a more recent usage, and 'might' justify placing computer game versions into a separate article, but it does not justify moving the entire article as it is. -dmmaus 04:46, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it be moved. --Stemonitis 11:02, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:ElderScrollsOblivionScreenshot6.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 20:20, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Human controlled?[edit]

"An NPC may be a bot in a computer game, but traditionally NPCs have been human-controlled characters"

This has to be a mistake. Surely that is completely contradictory to the term "non-player character"?Gfnw (talk) 12:07, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

All players are human, but not all humans are players. If the Game Master (a human) runs a character, that makes it an NPC, because the GM is not a player. --A D Monroe III (talk) 13:35, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
And with what authority do you say that GMs are not players? If you're participating in a game, you are a Player (game). To argue that a GM is not playing a game when participating in a tabletop RPG would be ludicrous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
The GM is the host. They may sometimes act as both host and player, but that is a special case. Would you say Alex Trebek plays Jeopardy!? No, he hosts the game. -- (talk) 01:53, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

NPC by An Other Name[edit]

Before multiplayer games, NPC had the same meaning, but was a different acronym, or so I remember. Originally, it was a "Non-playable character." Is this just something in American Lexicon, or is it an accepted term? Honestly, I've never heard "Non-player character" outside of D&D, because in video games it's usually about what you can and can't do, not who you can and can't BE.JourneyV (talk) 10:53, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Pretty sure NPC spread to other tabletop RPGs; I have heard other people use the term in relation to computer games as well, but no idea how "official" that is. (talk) 16:37, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

History of the Term[edit]

I came to this page on wikipedia to settle a debate about where the term "NPC" originated. My *guess* is D&D, but I don't know for sure. If this information can be found and sourced, I think it would be a helpful addition to the article. Benthatsme (talk) 00:52, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Pretty sure it's D&D, but I agree with you about needing the source. (talk) 01:01, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

"Also used in RPG games"[edit]

"The term non-player character is also used in role-playing video games (as well as non-RPG video games)" What's the point of this sentence? It is used in RPG (but also in non RPG)... so it is used in many games nevertheless their kind... "The term non-player character is also used in video games" would be a way better and logical one. (talk) 14:18, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Video games[edit]

The video games section, should cover companions/followers(similarly to "Dependents" section), which is the reason why NPC sometimes distinguished as non-party or non-playable characters. In most RPGs you can recruit such characters and have varying degrees of control over them, from total control in the more classical party based cRPGs to helpfull sidekicks in more "modern" Action-RPGs.-- (talk) 09:36, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Find a source and get to writing! :) 2601:D:CF80:1C9:CC68:4006:DB29:6250 (talk) 12:45, 25 November 2013 (UTC)