On Common Descent MUSH, non-player characters (NPCs) are a vital part of scenes and plot-running and a shared resource. To help players and provide consistency in storylines and plot environment, we observe several conventions for these characters.

The basic process is this:

  • Determine the type of NPC wanted or needed.
  • Determine how they will be used.
  • Follow the appropriate “check-out” procedure.
  • Tag scenes properly when posting them to the wiki.

NPC Types

Non-Staff NPCs

Just like PCs, NPCs can appear in two varieties: Original or Feature.

Original NPCs are player-created NPCs and do not appear in any comic, film, or TV property. These could be a group of untrained mutant kids from Mutant Town in New York, the staff and customers at Gotham Bank, or the employees at a business in Metropolis. Maybe they’re an OC’s brother or sister or parent. Maybe they’re a street gang.

Feature NPCs appear in a comic and may or may not be a frequent player choice on a comic game, even if they have a lot of potential for antagonizing the game. Sometimes, rather than fleshing out an NPC, a player might want to use a less prominent villain or hero character.

Recurring original NPCs or feature NPCs may have a page created to track their appearance in logs, but players should feel free to discuss this with staff. Players utilizing NPCs with a page already created should consult that page prior to use to verify and take into consideration any pertinent history or circumstances.

The full listing of NPCs is available on the Character Directory.

Staff NPCs

There are some feature characters who have been set aside from the pool of player-available NPCs due to their power sets, positions, or current situations in game canon that prevent them from frequently engaging with the grid and available plots.

They are not available for players who are not staff or their designated plot helpers to use.

The full listing of Staff NPCs is available on the Character Directory.

Checking Out NPCs

Original NPCs

Original characters that are of comparable to or greater level (either in power or influence) to other PCs should be signed off on in a formal +plot request.

Original characters of lower levels do not require staff approval. (Your Saturday morning cartoon style one-shots, bystanders, etc.)

These characters will NOT have pages on the wiki unless they are intended to be recurring characters.

Feature NPCs

We ask that comic-created NPCs be requested formally through a +plot or +request submission prior to the scene occurring, stating which character you wish to use and what you expect to do with him/her. Staff will respond to approve the use, typically with three important caveats:

  1. The character must survive the scene / plot.
  2. The fundamental spirit of the character must be kept intact.
  3. The character cannot be so altered at the end of the scene / plot as to be made unplayable by a player who might want to pick up the character at a later time.

If the request is denied, they will respond with the appropriate rationale.

Because sometimes a feature NPC’s appearance will sometimes act as an advertisement of sorts for that character, they may appear on the NPC section of the Character Directory and their listing will be updated to reflect the player who has been granted control, and if the character is still available for app.

Staff NPCs

These characters are only available to staff or staff-designated plot runners for use and are admittedly harder to gain approval for. If you desire these characters to participate in your plot, it will require the participation of staff or staff-designated plot runner.

If you desire assistance in running these characters, then please submit a +request or page an available staffer to schedule a one-scene appearance or, if needed over several scenes, pitch a plot through the +plot system.

The full staff NPC listing of character is available on the Character Directory.

Tagging NPCs Properly on the Wiki

With regards to NPCs, the tag system on the Common Descent MUSH wiki is used to:

  • Track where NPCs appear within approved plots.
  • Track usage of higher profile or frequently appearing NPCs across plots.

Depending on what kind of NPC you are using, you will need to utilize different tag procedures.

NPCs with Wiki Pages

If the NPC that appears has a wiki page, you should:

  • Include them in the Participating Characters Section AND give credit to the person writing them in the NPC and GM credits section.
  • Add their wiki tag and a tag for one of the GM’s characters to the page.
  • Add the wiki tag for any associated plots and add the plot to the Associated Plots section of the log form.

Pro Tip 1: All Staff NPCs have wiki pages.

Pro Tip 2: If you believe that a certain NPC should have a wiki page but does not yet, please submit a +request to staff.

NPCs without Wiki Pages

Because not all feature characters have a wiki page (many original or unnamed NPCs will be like this), there may not be one to include in the ‘Participants’ section of the RP Log form. In this instance:
Add the tag for one of the GM’s characters to the page.
Add the wiki tag for any associated plots and add it the plot to the Associated Plots section of the log form.

EXAMPLE: A player runs a scene for her friends and NPCs a character, THE THREAD. Although her character, SUPER DUPER GAL, did not appear in the scene and will not be listed in the Participants section, she should be given credit in the NPC and GM Credits section and a tag for her character added to the log page, super-duper-gal, so that it counts towards her activity timer for the month.

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