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Drethon

NPC interactions based on attributes/relationship

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I've been putting some thought into how I'd like to develop NPC interactions for an RPG and my initial thoughts are to have the interactions be based on NPC attributes, relationship and PC attributes. Here are how the attributes and relationship affect interactions based on the NPC's view of the PC. NPC and PC attributes are attribute held by both NPC and PC but are only shown here where they affect this particular interaction. NPC Attribute: Cynic vs Trusting The more of a Cynic the NPC is, the more his perception of the PCs attributes is skewed negatively. The more Trusting, the more the perception is skewed positively. Relationship: Fear vs Trust The more Fear the NPC has in the PC, the more likely the NPC is to lie to the PC or go against the PCs wishes behind his back. The more Trust the NPC has in the PC, the more likely the NPC is to respond positively to the PC and do things as requested. PC Attribute: Unfriendly Appearance vs Friendly Appearance The PC's appearance will be a slightly complicated attribute based on a combination of the PC's charisma attribute which determines how well the PC can appear friendly and what type of good or bad actions the PC has taken in the past. The less friendly the PC appears, the more likely the NPC will try to ignore or get away from the PC. The friendlier the player appears, the more likely the NPC will interact initially. Putting it all together: Upon first contact between a PC and NPC the relationship will be neutral so if the PC and NPC attributes combine to be negative, the NPC to ignore the player. If the attribute offset each other then the NPC will interact neutrally, willing to talk with the player but not say a lot. If the attributes combine to be positive, the NPC will openly talk with the player about anything and everything. Once a relationship begins between the PC and NPC, the relationship will take increasing precedence over the attributes. If the NPC is a cynic and the player appears very unfriendly but the relationship is very trusting then the NPC will deal openly with the PC. At any point the player can force the NPC to talk or to reveal information the NPC is not willing to reveal but this will lead to an increasingly fearful relationship. This is a pretty simple way of handling the relationships but I just get the feeling I'm missing some other parts that should be taken into account. Any thoughts or comments on this approach, let me know.

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White Wolf games have a pretty nice system which you could adapt. They basically design the mind of an NPC around intimacies, motivations, nature and demeanor.

Intimacies are related to people, regular activities, organizations; and can be either positive or negative (examples: a husband or wife, orphans, witches, the bloody tyrant). They slowly erode over time, and also erode under mental influence of other characters, or when they oppose a stronger intimacy or motivation.

Motivations are ultimate objectives, much stronger than intimacies, but are usually also something much more important (examples: staying alive, becoming extremely rich, avenging a family member). They cannot erode.

Nature is how the character thinks. There are a few generic thinking patterns, such as Architect (tends to plan things in advance, dislikes unpredictable occurences) or Protector (tends to minimize risks for himself or others, often eager to sacrifice some things for others).

Demeanor is how the caracter acts. This is often the same as the nature, but it can happen that people have a different demeanor to hide their true nature. An Architect could for instance hide behind a Gambler demeanor by taking calculated risks.

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