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DNPCs - What do you like to have on your sheet

What DNPCs do you see on character sheets over and over again?  

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  1. 1. What DNPCs do you see on character sheets over and over again?

    • Love Interest - Lana Lang (Superboy), Mary Jane (Spiderman)
    • Intrepid Reporter - Lois Lane (Superman), Ben Urich (Daredevil)
      0
    • Older Relative (father, grandfather, aunt, etc) - Martha Kent (Superman), May Parker (Spiderman)
    • Younger Relative (daughter, niece, little brother) - Matthew McGinnis (Batman Beyond), Gabriel Reyes (Ghost Rider)
    • Relative about the same age (cousin, sibling) - OK, got nothing here. All the sibling I could think of are either villains or supers. I could use Gabriel Reyes, but I used him as an example of a younger brother.
      0
    • Scientist/Doctor/Engineer/Professor (basically a smarty pants) - Cisco Ramon (The Flash 2014 TV series), Erik Selvig (Thor, 2011 Movie)
    • Employee (Basically a blue collar worker) - Alfred Pennyworth (Batman), Jarvis (Avengers)
    • Police Officer/District Attorney (basically someone dealing with the law) - Commissioner Gordon (Batman), Jean DeWolff (Spiderman)
    • Sidekick(A super but always needing help) - Robin (Batman before striking out on his own), Bucky (Captain America)
      0
    • Non-biological family - Other orphans in the orphanage/foster home (Shazam)
      0
    • Floating DNPC - An undefined but GM usable DNPC (girlfriend of the week syndrome)
    • Other - Please explain who the DNPC was and how you would describe them in simplest terms possible


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Just another useless poll to provide general non-argumentative talk.

 

We've all had them in our complications/disadvantages.  DNPCs.  What DNPCs do you see on character sheets over and over again?  Many DNPCs cover multiple spots, so choose the ones the best describe what you see.

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After submitting my vote, I realized I should have also selected Other - Group of friends / associates.  For instance, a college student whose gaming group members sometimes get into trouble, or a teacher whose students have some bad luck.  I suppose they could fall into "Non-biological family", but they're not really family. 

 

But yeah, I think most of my players have selected either their character's kids or their parents.  Though honestly, they don't tend to pick DNPC too often.  They're heavier on Psych Lims and Hunteds.

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3 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

But yeah, I think most of my players have selected either their character's kids or their parents.  Though honestly, they don't tend to pick DNPC too often.  They're heavier on Psych Lims and Hunteds.

 

Yep.  That's me, too, and most of my players.  Not all, but most.

 

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3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

I'd have to say "any or all of the above".  The bigger question for me is whether the NPC is an interesting character who will add to the campaign - one that, even if no one said "DNPC", would be someone the players want to interact with.

 

Agreed.  A two-dimensional DNPC is dull for a GM to run, and just as dull for the players to interact with.  And while a good bit of that dullness could be the GM's fault, it also falls on the player to provide a little personality for their DNPC-to-be.

 

Give me the DNPC teen daughter of a superheroine, who is also discovering she has powers and some of the superheroine's teammates actively work behind Mom's back to help the teen learn to use them.

 

Or the PRIMUS agent boyfriend of another superheroine, who plays in a garage band that the whole team goes out to see.  And then two heroes later steal a supervillain's battlesuit and modify it so the PRIMUS agent can become a superhero on his own. 

 

Or the EMT partner of a superheroine (in her secret ID), who has a crush on said superheroine but doesn't know she's actually his partner.  And some male heroes try to set him up with a supervillainess because they know it will drive the superheroine insane.

 

(And I'm now realizing that my female players are more likely to have DNPCs, and more interesting ones at that, than the male players.  If the guys have DNPCs at all, they're more likely to be less distinct, like the rich playboy's Girlfriend of the Week, or the PI's Client of the Week.)

 

The same thinking applies to non-dependent NPCs, by the way.  I once had a "Make-a-Wish" recipient who wanted to be the superhero Honey Badger's sidekick for a day.  The way the team rallied around him to provide superpowered equipment and spells so Badger Boy could be more than just another "Bat-kid" and even helped him capture a shrunken supervillain - and all without my prompting.  Their eagerness to interact with him made me want to work harder at fleshing him out.  It was a thing of beauty.

 

 

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Relatives show up most frequently as DNPCs, I think because blood is thicker than water.  This allows for more conflict between the hero and DNPC without breaking the relationship; no matter how awkward the relationship becomes, you can't change the fact they are family.  That just makes for more role-playing opportunities and more development of the DNPC because they aren't being rotated out periodically when their relationship with the hero falls apart.

 

The most unusual DNPC I have ever had was for a PC sorceress who had gotten trapped in a hellish dimension as part of her origin story.  In order to escape, she made a pact with an incubus that brought them both back to Earth, which established a link between them that was like the Corsican Twins - they shared emotions and injuries.  They had to keep each other safe lest they die or return to hell, but they constantly fought with each other as well, having dramatically different sets of morals.  The incubus was not particularly violent, and usually more interested in debauchery than viciousness which kept their relationship from completely disintegrating, although the sorceress was never quite sure how evil he would be were she not effectively part of his life.  She was always trying to reform him and he was always trying to corrupt her.  It was a complex relationship that was constantly shifting about, which made it a lot of fun.  I was disappointed when that campaign ended.

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