05. NPCs
Non-Player Characters


Table of Contents
NPC stands for Non-Player Character -- as opposed to a PC. There are various types of NPCs at 'Souls, ranging from aNPCs to pNPCs.

General NPC Guidelines

  1. NPC perspectives may not appear alone in roleplay -- NPCs cannot be roleplayed except where it accompanies a played character's perspective.
  2. Players are not permitted to control NPCs belonging to other players without permission -- this is akin to powerplay.

Companion NPCs (cNPC)

Companion NPCs are "side characters" to individual, active, played character. Every played character of 'Souls is entitled to a single canine cNPC. cNPCs are generally closely related (familial, friendship, mateship, etc.) to their attached character, but can be of any sort of relationship: a random follower, a found puppy, etc.

Specific Guidelines

  1. Each played character is allowed a maximum of one canine cNPC at any given time.
  2. Played characters joining without a cNPC may obtain one later.
  3. Unlimited non-canine cNPCs are allowed within reason.
  4. Non-canine NPCs should be of native species. See exotic species restrictions for details.
  5. At joining, a maximum of two (2) hoofed livestock cNPCs is permitted per adult character. This means your character and its canine cNPC (if it has one!) may have up to four animals between them. Hoofed livestock include horses, cattle, oxen, sheep, goats, pigs, etc. Traveling into the area with a large number of livestock is not permitted. Characters that join packs can, post-joining, obtain more personal livestock within a reasonable amount. Loners remain restricted to two livestock per adult.

Youth NPCS (yNPC)

A Youth NPC is any puppy born into 'Souls via our Puppy Procedures (in other words: not all puppies are yNPCs).

yNPCs do not count towards their parent character's cNPC allotment and may remain attached to their parent(s) up until they are two years (24 months) of age, at which point they must obtain a different type of NPC status (cNPC, pNPC) if they are to remain an NPC.

Ownership of yNPCS

Formal OOC ownership of a yNPC is by the player who contributed the point. For example, if Parent A contributed two points to a litter and Parent B contributed one, then Parent A owns two of the resulting puppies and Parent B owns one.

yNPCs can retain yNPC status in the absence of their parent(s) only when formally ICly adopted by a third party. In these cases, formal OOC ownership of the yNPC passes from the parent(s) to the adopting party. For example, if a puppy's parent(s) die or leave the board without taking them with them, and the puppy is then formally adopted by another character -- the player of that character is the puppy's new owner. It is acceptable for a pack to be the third party; ownership in such cases would be the current leadership of the pack.

If the parent(s) are aNPC'd, their puppies are also aNPC'd.

Pack NPCs (pNPCs) / Board NPCs (bNPCs)

bNPCs and pNPCs are similar, but with a few key differences: namely, who owns the NPCs, and who can roleplay with them. The following stipulations, however, apply to both types of NPCs:
  • The bNPC/pNPC owner makes the key decisions regarding the NPCs' lives, direction, and so forth. Major changes to a bNPC or pNPC are not permitted without the owner's permission -- control pNPCs and bNPCs within reasonable limits. Major changes include, but are not limited to: killing, maiming, or otherwise injuring them; engaging in romantic, mateship, or child-begetting plots; engaging in plots which may cause major alteration of the character's life, etc.

Pack NPCs (pNPCs)

Pack NPCs belong to a pack. Any member of that particular pack may roleplay with the pack NPC freely. pNPC specifications differ by pack -- please check with your pack's information or your leader(s).

Board NPCs (bNPCs)

Board NPCs belong to the 'Souls Assemblage. Any member of 'Souls is permitted to roleplay with them -- though all bNPCs have specific guidelines (e.g., their personality, purpose, general location, etc.), detailed further on their information pages and this must be adhered to.

Absentee NPCS (aNPC)

Absentee NPCs are radically different from all other NPCs. aNPCs are formerly active, played characters that have been dropped, but which still hang around pack territories. Placing an inactive character on aNPC status allows players to go on extended absences without having to come up with a reason for their character to leave and return ICly. aNPCs are presumed to be present and attending to their normal duties.

Specific Guidelines

  1. aNPCing is absolutely equivalent to dropping a character -- you must adhere to Drop and Switch procedure.
  2. aNPC status is a privilege for pack characters only; Loners cannot be placed on aNPC status (but may be assumed to remain around 'Souls playable territory).
  3. aNPCs must be approved by your pack leader. Check with them for more information; different packs may have different guidelines regarding aNPCs, such as a maximum period of time a character can remain aNPC'd.
  4. aNPCs can be referenced as being seen around the pack and attending to regular duties. However, they should not have active, speaking roles in any threads. They are not cNPCs.
  5. If the aNPC has any cNPCs in the same pack, they may also become aNPCs at the discretion of pack leadership. Again, these characters can be assumed to be around the pack attending to their duties, but they should not be actively used as cNPCs while they are aNPCs.
  6. aNPCs cannot be adoptable, as to be on absence they must already have a player.

Temporary NPCs (tNPC)

For personal and pack plots spanning multiple threads over a short period of time (0-5 weeks), up to five (5) temporary NPCs are permitted for use.

For example, a group of wolves from your character's former pack can come and attack your character and their family. The five tNPC limit remains regardless of how many played characters are involved in the plot.

A plot is defined as a set of multiple threads involving many of the same characters in related scenarios. tNPCs all belong to the same plot if they interact or otherwise contribute to the same events. This is true even if individual tNPCs aren't all of the same alliance or origin.

You don't have to request permission to introduce tNPCs into the game; however, you must create an explicit note regarding their introduction to the game by noting it in the OOC section of the first post of each thread. It should always be clear which characters are tNPCs, and tNPCs should not be referenced except with regard to events from a played thread -- this means tNPCs cannot be "seen around" for any amount of time prior to or after their official use in specific threads.

If more than five NPCs or five weeks are needed, or if after the duration of the plot, you wish you re-use the same NPCs for a new plot, permission must be sought from the 'Souls Assemblage.

Formerly played characters cannot later be used as tNPCs. tNPCs cannot later become another type of NPC or a played character.

Minor NPCs (mNPCs)

Minor, single-use canine NPCs are allowed within reason.

You can assume there are plenty of loner NPC canines around 'Souls, and you are free to interact with them and use them in your posts. Minor NPCs cannot have an affiliation to any group, pack, or coalition, on-board or otherwise. They are permitted on a single thread basis and cannot be used for multi-thread plots (even if each NPC only appears in a single thread within the plot).

Recurring minor NPCs are okay, but threads involving reoccurring minor NPCs cannot be related (e.g. not a multi-thread plot). Take care not to abuse mNPCs and treat them like other types of NPCs.


Adoptable NPCs

A clarification regarding NPCs (regardless of their adoption availability): all NPCs must have an active character attachment (i.e., be a Companion NPC to an active character) or they must have an active pack attachment (i.e., be a Pack NPC within an active pack) or they must be a youth NPC (i.e., born into 'Souls via puppy procedures). In other words: there's no such thing as an "adoptable NPC" except that it's a pNPC, yNPC, or cNPC that is available for adoption. Players (and packs) may not create any NPCs beyond their companion or pack NPC allotment.

Location NPCs

Individual players, loner bands, and packs occasionally set up "areas of interest" and permit open use of the area, including characters designated to oversee the area.

For example, a band may set up a bar or tavern and allow characters to come and go as they wish and to make various approved assumptions about the characters that run the tavern (e.g. "you can assume Barman and Bouncer are always around being friendly and grumpy respectively) -- in essence, these locations offer up played characters or attached NPCs (such as cNPCs) for "approved powerplay." Non-owners of the characters are permitted to "NPC" them in roleplay, as long as they follow the guidelines set by the area/character's owners.

Like adoptable NPCs, "location" NPCs must always be either active, played characters or have another formal NPC designation (cNPC, yNPC, pNPC, bNPC, etc). Players (and packs) may not create any NPCs beyond their companion or pack NPC allotment.

If a barman character for a tavern is the cNPC of Wolf, and Wolf gets dropped, then the barman loses their cNPC status and can no longer be assumed to be around the tavern. Similarly, formerly played characters cannot be indefinitely assumed to be in an area or manning any sort of operation. If Wolf was the owner of the tavern and gets dropped, the tavern cannot still be assumed to be operational.



What is Preybot?

Preybot is a 'Souls account originally created for the purpose of roleplaying prey animals' perspectives in hunting threads. It has since become a general account for roleplaying as prey or as a one-time-use, member-controlled NPC character. This can make playing these sorts of threads more interesting, realistic, and less confusing for other members, as your character's actions and the prey character's actions are clearly separate.

'Souls members wishing to use the Preybot should post in the Requests and Suggestions forum.

Preybot Rules

  1. Multiple players can use the Preybot account concurrently.
  2. You may play a character and a canine NPC on the Preybot account, but no further canine NPCs may be played via Preybot (like an active character and its single canine Companion NPC attachment).
  3. The same character may not be played in multiple instances of the Preybot account unless permission has been granted. For example: if you play a deer in one hunt thread, even if that deer escapes and lives, you are never permitted to play that particular deer again.
  4. Preybot cannot be used to play NPCs of any designation. Preybot characters are played -- that's the whole point! It is a means to play a temporary character. Preybot characters should not have a past or future life as an NPC.
  5. Preybot also cannot be used to play a former active character or character intended to be active in the future.
  6. Prior to launching a plot, packs may request use of Preybot for recurring characters for said plot. In this case, with approval, three (3) temporary characters (and their cNPCs) are allowed to reoccur in up to three (3) threads over a period of time of up to three (3) weeks. Preybot approval cannot be sought mid-plot, and Preybot characters cannot be used as NPCs (e.g. Preybot characters cannot be present in threads they are not played in).
  7. You must add your Preybot thread to the Preybot Wiki Log.

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