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What if the NPCs were the main characters of the game...

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Okay, so I just finished a mission in another game I played.  When I went to open a chest, the NPC complained, but ultimately my character wasn't even given the option to say "Oh, I didn't know that this was yours," and give the money back.  This got some gears working, and I started to think:  Is this an example of how this character thinks?  Do they, because they're adventurers, assume that the silly little NPC isn't important enough to keep their goods?

What if we started our story in a typical village with a main character who is a town guard or some such.  He's been saving up his pay to propose, and the adventurers walk into his house, open his chest and straight up steal his gold.  He doesn't know what to do!  They're all high level adventurers off to literally save the world!

I can think of lots of ways this story could develop well!  Does this sound like a game you'd want to play?  Do you think it'd be worth putting up a recruitment thread?  How would you categorize player classes for NPCs who are supposed to be naturally weaker than the heroes?  I've got a few thoughts, but I wanted to put this forward as a fun thought exercise before I start trying to really dedicate myself to working on a game.

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I do think that the movie Free Guy have inspired you :P
That might be interesting, If done with care and not making NPC just a hero but a side character like the NPCs are.

The way I would do it.


Player Character (PC) starts their daily routine, by visiting various houses and establishments in their village. Each time they visit, a Hero Character (HC) does what heroes do best (walking around, picking up items and openings chests and ruining the economy). Around the village full of generic npcs there also will be one unique character, a future party member of HC. In the end PC goes to village elder and walks into the cutscene where we see entire party (instead of just one walking character) talking with elder asking for safe passage to old temple and recruiting unique looking villager. Heroes walk out while PC comments that this temple shouldn't be that open and have some guards because its very dangerous. We go to sleep but wake up surrounded by fire, we escape. We see the cutscene where newly recruited teammate of HC promises to avenge the village, not realizing PC survived, HC leaves the  ruined village and PC promises the revenge. We then walk around, talk and recruit other NPCs that were wronged by the team of heroes....



Edited by Vodun
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Actually, I was inspired by several sources.  Firstly, the "NPCs" series by Drew Hayes (a great read!), which is based on a group of NPCs who must pretend to be heroes to protect their village from the wrath of a fickle king.  Most recently, a scene from "Lawmage Academy" inspired me (Such a great game, which I'm super excited to see develop!), in which the main characters (you) loot a few chests and are later seen by the villagers as thieves.  Funny enough, it wasn't until after I finished the post and was doing some dishes and contemplating the idea that Free Guy came to mind, though I think the premise is only passingly similar.

I love the idea you put forward!  It's cool how there are so many ways to approach this!

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You've inspired me and it produced another cool idea.


We enter a fantasy world based on the premise of existing within an RPG video game, yet is living and breathing. In this world, instead of social or economic classes, there are role classes. Monsters, Bosses, Nameless NPCs, Major NPCs like plot characters and kings, and Player Characters, or Heroes. The world revolves around these heroes, but they are rare, having been "made" using a special artifact called the Protagonist Ring.

Over the centuries, many Heroes were created and took part in many adventures and stories that helped define and give life to the world. But they became drunken with power and narcissism. One by one the Heroes perish and fall, their purpose of protecting the world having been lost in the throws of stardom.


Present day

Four Heroes remain, and travel the world trying to restore some order and peace.



Cut: Small Town.

We see a sleepy little town in black and white. It's cute, yet seems lifeless, almost as if stuck in slow motion. NPCs (including the future PC) very slowly roam about as NPCs do.


Scrawl: Down to town gate.

Four Heroes enter town, their sprites in full color. As they enter the view of the NPCs, color seeps into the entire frame.


Our Heroes pass through town to a glorious welcome from the townsfolk as they cheer their passage toward the castle, perhaps some fireworks being set off as a grand horn section scores their triumphant return.

As they pass, the color fades away once again to black and white.

Navigate: To PC's sprite.

Your NPC friend approaches, beginning a dialogue, neither having names.


FRIEND: "Come on, buddy. We better find some loot for our household chests before the Heroes are unleashed upon the town."

PLAYER: ". . ."

FRIEND: "Don't tell me you actually sold your chest. You'll be the laughing stock of -insert town name-."

PLAYER: "The Heroes never come to our little town. Besides, I needed the gold."

FRIEND "At least help me find something good. I'd like for one of them to talk to me this time."


PC and NPC friend navigate the outskirts of town to forage items, and FRIEND reminds him that monsters and bosses can't see NPCs, so they have nothing to fear.

After they gather some materials and craft a potion, they return to their homes for the night.


Not expecting the Heroes to search his home for loot, PC prepares to bed down for the night when Hero #1 busts into his door, wounded. PC is both flabbergasted and star struck, as well as embarrassed about his loot chest.


PAYER: "I sold my loot chest yesterday-"

HERO: "Please. . . There isn't much time. . ."

PLAYER: "I would normally keep a tribute on hand, but the economy has been so rough-"

HERO: "Keep your potions, good citizen, for my end draws near."

PAYER: "Yeah, I'm not really the healer around here."

HERO:" Please. . . You must take this."

HERO lurches toward PC.


Hero #1 gives PC the Protagonist Ring, explaining that the king has betrayed the Heroes, killing the others and becoming a Boss in the process. He tells him that he must use the ring to become the last Hero, and fix the damage and chaos the Heroes of old had allowed to take root, and defeat the evil Boss king.



Using the power of the Protagonist Ring, the PC can recruit other NPCs, discovering what skills talents and perks they an grow to offer your party.


Also, the PC can click a button to change from NPC to Hero in order to accomplish different ways of approaching situations and navigating different types of scenarios and actors/enemies within them.

Edited by That One NPC
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There is a chance I will begin developing The Last Hero: An NPC Story, using the concept I posted above.


If anyone wants to get in on that in any capacity, they are welcome to.

I'm adding in a ship dynamic that expands the classic sailing experience, with the Hero's ship being handed down to the PC. It is crewed by NPCs the player can recruit, each having "talents" that are like stats which tell your ship how they perform in a job. The player will assign crew members to jobs and stations, changing how the ship performs and functions.


It will be a simple game, though, for the most part, and generally speaking.

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I've actually had the same thought. I had an idea of doing a demo game for my larger typical RPG game called an NPC's quest. I was going to call it 'An NPC Quest'.

The idea is that you play a random NPC in a village and you have a set routine you have to adhere to so you can pay your taxes to the castle. Each day you go to work, interact with other villagers and learn a snippet, but heavily bias part of the usual grand RPG story from the main game. However, the NPC you play as lives in a village that belongs to the opposing faction from the main game, so the news you're getting is basically propaganda because the printing press is owned by the royal family who paint the heroes of the main game as the bad guys. All the villagers believe themselves to be the good guys...

At a couple of points the heroes will pass through the village and you (as an NPC) will get to interact with them. Initially, you'll be very restricted and only be able to access the smithery where you work, the main village (but can't enter houses), the local shop and your own house... however, as the game progresses, you'll get chances to go against the narrative and 'break your programming' allowing you to enter area's you shouldn't have access to. By breaking the routine you're told to, acting kindly to the heroes you're told to hate, going against royal instruction and snooping around with your new found freedom, you'll start to learn a different side to the story... all of which gives clues and would tie into the full story of the main game.

You can also mess with other NPCs to break their programming to. So say someone has an item they use in their daily routine, you can steal that item to see how they react when they can't complete their job. However, if you act too out of character, the other villagers will consider you 'a bug' and start to become hostile to you, eventually expelling you from the village. You can still sneak into town to mess with the other NPCs, however, if you get spotted you'll get expelled back to the forest. The game would only last for a set amount of time (say 2 months), and you'll get a good or bad ending depending on how many NPC's you help break their programming.

Figured in the main game, as the heroes, there could be a side quest where you have to find the NPC from the demo, and set in motion events that would happen in the demo. Then later, when you return to the village you can see would happen after you got the good ending and how it affected the village once they break free from their Royal oppression.

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