Communal NPCs

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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby AlwaysAPrice » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:25 pm

Alexis Apollo wrote:Thinking about a portal-slinging villain some more... the ability to come and go as he pleases would give him a constant upper hand, always keeping heroes on their toes. I'm imagining a colder, more calculating villain, a real schemer. Perhaps he doesn't rely on strength or firepower to triumph, but instead on his ability to adapt and stay one step ahead. Strategy vs. power.


I was so busy mocking Vis for inadvertently jacking the name of CO Nation's current NPC leader Enkindler, I forgot to mention that this is basically the same power ascribed to its founder Warden, for just that reason, the subtlety and strategic value of it (I think this is just in our sekrit history docs so not claiming ripoff, just amused by the coincidence). It occurs to me, if you guys want a ready made villain to get this element down I could volunteer this dimension's version of Warden. Just give him a more flamboyant name, less patience, and a fancy cape for Bolty - tying the destruction of Wilmington to a mutant (or more general metahuman) supremacist's agenda could do a lot to explain a much less meta-friendly legal environment.

Also he's conceived of as portrayed by Gary Oldman. Even if you don't borrow Warden, I think this should be a trait of the Big Bad.

Tactile TK sounds fine, although I had absolutely no idea what it meant until I read the wiki article. So basically, Superman. With force fields? I'm still having a hard time visualizing it. But I also have personal issues with Superman, so maybe that's coloring my judgment.


IIRC, it basically means telekinesis that only affects what the person has physical contact with. So it allows for the duplication of the classic brick powers - flight by affecting the air molecules around them or their clothes, super-strength by lifting the car they're touching with their mind, invulnerability by telekinetic deflection - along with the possibility of newer or more creative tricks. So you can have limits on it that are a bit more interesting than SPACE ROCKS, like needing to be in skin contact with whatever is being telekinesised or susceptibility to psychic interference, and can come up with some more creative applications of the power as well.
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby Dr. Qiang » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:58 pm

Before we start to design NPCs from the top down, we might want to consider what sort of organizations they're leading and then design a Face NPC (someone the Reciprocators are likely to deal with regularly) and a Leader NPC (that guy or gal who represents the organization as a whole). To do this, we're probably going to want to think about the organization itself, something like:



Advent Police Department (A.P.D.)
The A.P.D. has one of the largest and best trained SWAT departments in the United States, but due to budgetary constraints "The Department" has fewer patrol officers than typical. This means street crime in Advent City tends to be high in spite of a large and well-equipped police force. Largely due to the prevalence of street crime, Advent City hosts numerous private security firms and "private security firms" who specialize in protecting corporate assets or "protecting corporate assets."

As a whole the police force is not corrupt, it's simply overspecialized in an attempt to deal with organized and/or super-powered crime (the latter it is ill-equipped to handle). The turnover rate for officers is probably higher than the city can sustain in the long term, but the current administration has chosen to ignore this. The A.P.D.'s leadership tends towards fiscal irresponsibility, and graft is common. Often the police are dispatched to protect corporate or economic interests instead of protecting the city's people.

Leader NPC: Police Superintendent Gordon Hewett
Gordon Hewett is a professional manager who has never personally served as a line officer. He's both intelligent and capable, but his distance from the realities of the streets creates friction. Many officers refer to "the man upstairs" in disparaging terms and consider many of his assignments and reassignments to be arbitrary and ill-conceived. Superintendent Hewett excels at putting people where the city's budgets can most sustain them; but tends to fail to put officers where they actually need to be.

Face NPC: Lieutenant Guy LeBlanc
Officer LeBlanc has served in nearly every department in the city. The Ubiquitous "overworked cop," he deeply wants to do the right thing but is often forced to cut corners on investigations either due to pressure from his supervisors or simple volume of work. Whenever the Reciprocators bump into a police officer, more often than not it's Lieutenant LeBlanc, recently transferred into this or that department by superiors more concerned with deficits than efficiency. He seems to respect the Reciprocators for what they do, but vigilantism is still illegal. Fortunately, he often looks the other way to costumed supers trying to clean up the streets: the last thing he needs is more paperwork. Unfortunately, there's always a risk that his superiors will force his hand.
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby Visavis » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:29 pm

Dr. Qiang wrote:Before we start to design NPCs from the top down, we might want to consider what sort of organizations they're leading and then design a Face NPC (someone the Reciprocators are likely to deal with regularly) and a Leader NPC (that guy or gal who represents the organization as a whole).


I like most of this. However, I think designating a Face NPC is unnecessary. Keyword there being 'designating.' The Face NPC, in my opinion, should be someone created through story telling, and comes to fill the role naturally through their personality and consistent characterization. This would also potentially mean that only people who really liked and felt capable of representing the character properly would try writing for them. I feel like this would help us to fulfill our goal of creating the tone of the world and its people through our stories.
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby Black Seven » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:42 pm

Visavis wrote:
Dr. Qiang wrote:Before we start to design NPCs from the top down, we might want to consider what sort of organizations they're leading and then design a Face NPC (someone the Reciprocators are likely to deal with regularly) and a Leader NPC (that guy or gal who represents the organization as a whole).


I like most of this. However, I think designating a Face NPC is unnecessary. Keyword there being 'designating.' The Face NPC, in my opinion, should be someone created through story telling, and comes to fill the role naturally through their personality and consistent characterization. This would also potentially mean that only people who really liked and felt capable of representing the character properly would try writing for them. I feel like this would help us to fulfill our goal of creating the tone of the world and its people through our stories.


I'm of the same opinion in this, hammering out the big details are key - city zones, mayor, police commissioner, but digging down into the smaller details not so much. The overall goal is to build the world with our stories.
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby Dr. Qiang » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:16 pm

True, but designing an "average joe" in the organization can help give people an idea about how to build a story around that organization. Especially when most people aren't going to be meeting or encountering a CEO or the Mayor or police chief every day.
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby Visavis » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:02 am

Dr. Qiang wrote:True, but designing an "average joe" in the organization can help give people an idea about how to build a story around that organization. Especially when most people aren't going to be meeting or encountering a CEO or the Mayor or police chief every day.


We certainly don't expect them to engage with the head of an organization directly rather than going through one of the little guys of the operation. That, though, presents an excellent opportunity for them to show their creativity in creating an NPC. Should they decide they don't really want to create a new NPC, we have an excellent resource. Check it out!

Keeping that updated seems like a reasonable concern, but given the speed with which Bolty created that page at the mere presentation of an idea and our general obsessive compulsiveness about these types of things, I don't think we'll have much of a problem there. So with this, we have both. An excellent go-to should they want to use a character that's more familiar, without presenting the character in such a way that people feel that's the person they should be using, if they feel a different flavor of NPC would suit a particular scenario better.
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby Visavis » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:10 am

Omgosh, another double post.

Bolty and I were discussing Captain Amazing and his Amazing Friends. So, we now open to debate the idea of 'American Anthem,' lead by Arbiter.

(arbiter |ˈärbitər|
noun
a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter : the military acted as arbiter of conflicts between political groups.
• (usu. arbiter of) a person whose views or actions have great influence over trends in social behavior : an arbiter of taste.)

Arbiter, real name Alicia Kohler, is the third in her family to carry the name. It is thanks to her predecessors that she has the powers of Tactile Telekinesis. These powers are primarily used in service of the United States government alongside her teammates in American Anthem. Her position, however, is not without its burden, even outside those typical for a public protector. The second Arbiter, Alicia's father, was involved in a number of scandals, both in and out of costume. After years of negative media attention and lengthy trials which prosecutors were never able to win, the second Arbiter finally decided to hang up his cape. If Alicia had not already proven herself quite capable as the outspoken heroine Columbia, it is doubtful that Arbiter or the American Anthem would have continued.

Fortunately, the United State's only government approved supergroup carries on, though it is not without its troubles. The actions of the past Arbiter, combined with the political nature of the group, have proven to be restrictive in terms of what the group can handle. This means that the group typically only intervenes in situations that are safe, from both a political and media-image angle. In addition to the problem of which issues the group can engage is the matter of its membership. American Anthem is not an organic group. Its members, like its actions, were 'safe' choices. Its members were chosen to reflect the growing diversity among America's citizens, rather than for any sort of ability to work as a team. Although not actively detrimental to the group, this has resulted in a lack of combat efficiency when compared to other naturally formed groups.

Arbiter, now in her mid-thirties, has performed her role well. However, with her role being that of a leader who is only able to act when the threat is almost entirely apolitical in nature and bent on redeeming a name that she sees as having been sullied, there are those who wonder if she wouldn't have been happier, and perhaps more effective, if she had never donned her family name and taken to leading the American Anthem.


Alright. What do you like? What would you change?
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby AlwaysAPrice » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:41 am

Visavis wrote:What do you like?

  • Most of this. Particularly the group name.
  • My favorite part is the third paragraph, because it establishes her as someone who could very well sympathize with the Reciprocators, maybe even envy them, even though she can't overtly support or collaborate with them. It's a more interesting dynamic than "Statesman is a dick."

What would you change?

  • The name. "Arbiter" brings one thing to mind for every CoX veteran, which we all are. Its definition also suggets a level of power and influence that is the exact opposite of what she possesses - she's bound by all manner of superceding governmental authority.
  • Its members were chosen to reflect the growing diversity among America's citizens - DIBS ON GAY SPEEDSTER! DIBS! DIIIIIBS!
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby Plague of Wasps » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:35 pm

AlwaysAPrice wrote:[
Its members were chosen to reflect the growing diversity among America's citizens - DIBS ON GAY SPEEDSTER! DIBS! DIIIIIBS

Granted, but only if you use that character to rub it in Bocc Cob's face and talk about HAWT BOYS.
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Re: Communal NPCs

Postby Black Seven » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:24 pm

Plague of Wasps wrote:
AlwaysAPrice wrote:[
Its members were chosen to reflect the growing diversity among America's citizens - DIBS ON GAY SPEEDSTER! DIBS! DIIIIIBS

Granted, but only if you use that character to rub it in Bocc Cob's face and talk about HAWT BOYS.


Knowing Bocc he would have absolutely no problem with this whatsoever. :P
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