Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NPC Speech

As many of you know, the LARP Ohio contributors helped run most recent NCN event. The plot team consisted of Tim, Noah (frequent commenter), and Jenn, my wife, with me backing them up as general staff. The event was amazing (not to toot my own horn), but the biggest thing that stood out in my mind was the quality of our NPCs.

I've had events with lots of NPCs in the past, but generally they're uncontrolled balls of energy, some of which require more effort to corral than they make our jobs easier. This event, though, everyone was on the same page. NPCs were taking effects and hits, weren't blood-thirsty, roleplayed very well, and were willing to take on any role.

You guys/gals were amazing. Simply amazing.

Everyone runs different styles of games, so it can be very difficult as an NPC to understand the type of game that is expected of you. That's why we did something that I've always wanted to do but have never really been able to pull off - an honest to God NPC speech.

What makes a good NPC speech? Here are the key components:
- Key rules of the game
- Basic plan for the event
- Special effects for cards
- Things to focus on
- Things to Avoid
- Questions

After that speech, we were all part of the same team and were on the same track with what we expected out of the event. I didn't have a single complaint about any of our NPCs, and from what I saw, it was the best NPC performance I've seen in my 11 years of NERO.

Once again, Bravo to each and every one of our NPCs this past weekend. You guys showed everyone what it means to NPC.


  1. Just out of curiosity, how many NPCs vs. PCs did you have?

    I'd love to hear more about the event: how it was organized and run. I've been thinking about writing and running modules at my local chapter but I still don't feel I have a great handle on how to do it. Anything about the event would be great.

    I met Noah at the National event when I NPC'd (my first event) and he did a great job behind the scenes running things.

  2. As far as NPC numbers, we had a great turnout that helped us run multiple modules at once. I think at our highest point we had about 30 NPCs to 30 PCs, but I think by the end of the event it was more like 20 NPCs to 40 PCs, which are still amazing numbers.

    I figured I'd let Tim write a post more about the organization of the event, since he was a plot member and I was only staff.

  3. That was my plan for tomorrow in fact. I was going to do a lessons learned. I will try to make sure that I touch on the structure and how it differed from a standard structure. Maybe I can get Noah to write a paragraph to.

  4. Mark Henry ~MariusOctober 26, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Does NCN usually have that amount of NPCs or did you guys have to coerce ppl to NPC?

    Having that amount sounds awesome btw.

  5. It's tough to say. From what I know, there wasn't a lot of coercion, but I could be wrong. I think the big hitter was the fact that it was a specialty event, so no one was required to PC it. That really makes the possible NPC pool much larger.

  6. Actually they usually have in the 20 range. Mike's player base is more responsive to NPC rewards than ours. I am unsure why.

  7. I would say it's normally in the 10=15 range, but yeah, it's normally higher than WAR.

    Honestly, it's probably because he advertises the benefits far more than WAR does.

  8. We did start proactively recruiting NPCs pretty early on. I got at least my own team signed on as soon as I agreed to run the event, and kept pimping out from there. I've always found that active recruiting (ie, directly asking people to NPC for you) is far better than some passive post saying, "It'd be really nice if lots of people NPCed."