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Super female NPCs: Thots, comments, ideas, etc

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    Super female NPCs: Thots, comments, ideas, etc

    Since they are essentially the big "pay off" of the game, i think it's really worth it we start thinking about how these NPCs will fit in the fiction. SC has provided a blue print for five characters that I want to kind of build on, and reconnect to mechanical discussion that's happening elsewhere (which i would like you to be part of, btw, playing Tennis with SC is fun, but it would be more fun if more people joined in; there's no such thing as bad feedback). One thing i would like to stress is trying to actively connect the narrative to as much of the rest of the world as possible. This not only eliminates redundancy, but also makes the game feel more connected and organic.
    If you want something to be in it, but something else has to exist for this to be true, just state your assumptions.

    Assumptions i'm making: There are 4 factions in the game, and 5 super NPCs (which i'm calling Icons for convenience). There will be 5 major areas in the game (and perhaps minor areas, but i'm focusing on the big ones).

    I think that each Icon should be aligned with one of the major factions (with the 5th one being neutral) and be housed in one of the defining landmarks for that region. I don't think they necessarily HAVE to be the explicit leaders of each faction, but should be "iconic" to these factions (hence the name). Note: I generally suck at giving names, except those to be a big hamfisted. Note that, like SC, i'm not married to any of these ideas, so by all means, use this as a starting point for your own discussion, rather than a definitive statement of what the game will be like.

    a) Icon of Wealth

    Name: Ms. Moneybags
    Position: CEO
    Age: Late-twenties to Mid-thirties.
    Landmark: Selectower, regional branch of SC corp.
    Backstory: Was exiled to the back end of nowhere because she under-performed. Is generally resentful of SC management for this (and the male patriarchy this implies), but applies herself to the task of milking this country dry with grudging efficiency
    Narrative hook: She is an SC exec, but she lacks imagination, and is generally content to make money by conventional means i.e. she sees local faith as a problem, not an opportunity. She's also something of a man-hater (but not an outright feminist) so the loyalty of her subordinates (specially the locals) isn't where it should be.
    Narrative outcomes: Make her recognize you as the next Robin Jobbs, and let her ride your tailcoats to power; Make her see the error of her greedy ways, join a monastery and abandon all ill-begotten wealth to your capable hands; if you're going old faith, convince her that she DOES NOT KNOW THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE, and take her on as your disciple... etc
    Mechanical reward: Access to the local SC bank-account. Game-breaking amounts of money, essentially.

    b) Icon of the Church

    Name: Beatrice Giovanni (or some such)
    Position: Sister, Lead Singer of the Pristine Chapel choir
    Age: Mid to Late-twenties; youngest of the Icons
    Landmark: Prisitine Chapel (duh)
    Backstory: Received divine "visions" at a young age, and ear-marked for sainthood, but she is a kind-honest soul who believes in the power of love and prayer and peace. Also a virgin. Her voice draws people from the entire world to the chapel.
    Narrative hook: I like the idea of Beatrice herself being pure, but the people around her, not so much. Personally, i can think of two NPCs that could be tied to her; The local deacon of the faith, a greedy old man who resents the shadow she casts on him, lusts for her body AND greeds for the money she brings in. Another NPC Could be her uncle (who is part of the earthly family she 'renounced'), who is essentially the Godfather. He is a deeply religious man in his own way, loves and admires his niece greatly, but has a more "earthly" interpretation of the faith, esp. things like religious tolerance for the heathen dogs, or the vow of chastity that could see the Giovani family die w/o a male heir to carry on the family name.
    Narrative outcomes: You could persuade her to abandon the faith entirely, and become a babymaker for her uncle (literally? XP); alternatively, you could convince her that faith is nothing w/o money, and turn her into a pop-idol/religiously themed singer and roll in the $.$; If you want to stick with the Church, you could also convince her to embrace the "divine voices", turning her into semi-prophetic living-mary like figure.
    Mechanical reward: Gain the blessing of Don Giovani, gaining control of the criminal underworld and a massive bonus to all illegal activities.

    c) Icon of Atheism
    Name: ??? (Yeah, i suck with names)
    Position: Chief Commissioner of Police
    Age: Early-Mid 40s
    Landmark: Decagon
    Backstory: The embodiment of temporal order, rose through the ranks with complete dedication to the state above all other considerations. She dabbled in the local faiths in her youth, but experienced a small riot at some point that convinced her that religion is the root of all evil, and only the state can preserve man fanatic damnation. She pushes and enforces most of the state's restrictions on religious practice.
    Narrative hook: Has a rebellious daughter who's fallen in with the Old Faith movement, and as mentioned above, her past is less devoutly atheistic than she might lead others to believe
    Narrative outcomes: Solidify her "faith", and convince her to begin a campaign of violent religious repression (pay off would be her daughter, who she herself puts for rape?); Convince her to return to her family Church roots, turning her into an Inquisitor of sorts (etc)
    Mechanical rewards: Criminal activity no longer draws the attention of the police.

    d) Icon of the Old Faith
    Name: ??? (still suck with those, but in my defense, it will vary based what the old faith is based on)
    Position: Social Worker
    Age: Mid Thirties
    Landmark: Slum Social Welfare center (viking longhouse building?)
    Backstory: Grew up to a life of privilege, then came to realise the great wrong done to her people. Was disinherited by her rich "church" family. Time has blunted her idealism somewhat, but she loves her country as much as she loves her people, and endeavors to keep the old faith troublemaking away from trouble. She dreams of having the old faith re-instated as a major religion with well-defined documents and rites.
    Narrative hook: As a scholar, she is well-read on the old faith, and finds its darker elements very unsettling. Furthermore, she is aware that she is on the losing side of the cultural war, and is increasingly desperate for a way to break the stalemate.
    Narrative outcomes: If you're looking to double down on the old faith, you can convince her that she can't pick and choose which parts of the faith she wants - she needs to embrace all of it, bloody sacrifice/male authority and all; instead, you could exploit the poverty of the slums, encourage her to abandon her dreams of religious revival for the financial well-being of her people; etc
    Mechanical Rewards: Calm the masses (Extends turn limit by X turns - if the lose condition is society falling apart, it would make sense that calming the most repressed part of society would give you more time. Also a cool concept we haven't really explored in the SC universe)

    e) Icon of Independent thought
    Name: Louise Street (sue me. Wait you can't, it's parody covered under fair use)
    Position: Star reporter/news anchor
    Age: Mid-late twenties
    Landmark: Weekly Globe
    Backstory: Local wondergirl, with a flair for getting in and out of trouble, and a passion for bringing the "truth" to the public eye, wherever it might be hiding. Grew up in a mixed-religion family, works in close collaboration with the civil service and the commissioner, and treats the rich fairly (points out when they go overboard, but recognizes the fact that they pay the bills). No explicit affilitiation with any one of the competing factions, and is part of the reason why she is looked up to; she is seen as the only truly unbiased voice in the story.
    Narrative hook: Lois Lane. Nuff said.
    Narrative outcomes: She'll come out and explicitly align herself with anyone of the factions.
    Mechanical rewards: Street seal of approval: All actions with NPCs have +10.

    P/S: If you're wondering why "Icon of..." seems vaguely familiar, depending on how old you are, you may or may not be thinking of "Icon of Sin", of Doom fame.

    All I tend to have is "I like this idea" and otherwise don't have much to say.

    On the figures you have suggested

    1) Do a double-barred name? Make it so she is of a metropolitan, well connected family and was expecting to rise high so that adds to her frustration at moving to backwater. Might need to set out why selectacorp hired a man-hater so high up as executive (the connections could provide a route here)

    2) I like the pure saintly one with the poor judgement about those around her. Her naievity could help in getting her downfall. Is it the uncle or her who doesn't like the heathens?

    I assume the player would like the option to break her chastity rule herself

    3) Yep the old believer put off and become the chief enforcer of attempt to curb it works

    4) This one is the one that doesn't quite click for me until I realized the old ways are more tribal then say upholding an old empire. The general idea of someone of the old guard fighting to maintain the traditions even as it's flames are dying out, someone troubled by the darker elements, that works well. I would want to integrate the social care aspect more. Maybe alter backstory

    Backstory: Grew up to a life of privilege from a family who had switched early to the new ways but as she grew up and studied at university, she came to realise the great wrongs done to her people. Unwilling to keep silent, she was disinheirated by her family after one too many public stunts so went to the slums and used her name to help with local projects. Time has blunted her radical protests to something more softer, she still loves her country and it's old traditions as much as she loves her people, and endeavours to keep the old faith's hot-headed youths out of trouble. She dreams of having the old faith re-instated as a major religion with well-defined documents and rites.

    5) Fine as a neutral figure. Lacks a degree of excitement to me though


      1) Man, thoughts are so hard to express. I didn't mean man-hating in the 'literal" hates men, sense of the word (i stressed she's not a feminist for that reason); more that, as a result of being denied promotion/sent here as a punishment, she's come to resent the "patriarchy" in general. To give further context, this is kind of the angle from which she'll resist the PC; as far as she is concerned, a bunch of old men sent her here, she's not about to let another one take w/e she has left. As to how a woman got this high in SC; i can come up with a number of reasons, but the most compelling one would be that this country is so far from the middle of anything by SC standards that it's basically the equivalent of making her the CEO of the local lemonade stand.
      On the subject of connections, it would make sense for her to be half native (her mother got "exported" by SC at some point) though.
      2) Her uncle. She believes everyone is worthy of love and salvation. On chastity: depends on what scene possibilities we get out of the model, really, but sure, w/e rocks your boat.
      4) I've been meaning to say for a while, but most non-Abrahamic religions not called buddhism are REALLY dark, bizarre or sexually explicit. Sometimes all three at once; most indians are too PC to mention this, but one of the core rituals in the worship of shiva involves pouring milk on a symbolic representation of his erect phalus so his cosmic boner doesn't go on a world ending rampage. And i do mean his boner, and not shiva himself. This is NOT a joke and it IS a national holiday in India. I can't speak for all of them, but at least three of Vishnu's avatar were involved in bloody conflict, with Krishna instigating a genocidal war between brothers. And that's not even going into the Cult of the Dark Mother (Kali), where people enter deep trances (drugs may or may not be involved) and perform very questionable things in public. That, btw, IS hinduism, the third largest religion on earth after Christianity and Islam, with almost 1 Billion followers.
      5)I'm kind of assuming the implementation of this NPC will be along the lines proposed in other threads; i.e. she'll be a very present and visible figure in the game, commenting on events happening in the game world, perhaps annoying the PC with comments about their cult early... essentially, she doesn't have to be "innately" compelling, the compulsion to interact with her will be created as you play the game.


      • mackaie
        mackaie commented
        Editing a comment
        1) The lesson here is never to think :P Ah sorry for the misunderstanding, that makes sense that is simply bitter about her superiors. I more meant term executive sounds high (maybe it sounds higher then it is, in which my bad) rather then runs this backwater. Half-native (which her superiors no doubt used in explaining why she got this post) works, maybe half the double barreled name be native, other half something more international jet-set?

        2) Thanks, thought so but felt best to double check.

        4) I'm not surprised at the bloody civil war and I think I have heard the shiva ceremony before somewhere. We can indeed use dark tales and some less then modern practices as part of that old religion+the divide between those who wish to update it and those who want to stick to the old old ways

        5) Indeed, think I was part of that discussion. Just felt when seeing the description, it doesn't stand out though her personal role in a person's story should fix that

      I like what you've done. My original concept was that 'Selects' were a kind of a superclass b/c of their high degree of spirituality (more as a resource than a moral base-- as if they demonstrated an ESP trait), as opposed to more temporal SOTU type powers/influence. These would be women could be 'unlocked' b/c of their innate gifts and used accordingly. Would it be possible to consider this angle?

      There is also another group of 5 female 'super npcs' FOUNDERS that I see as representing the original 5 founding families of the province. I would see these five as 'unlockable' also.
      Always working behind the scenes


        "Name: Louise Street (sue me. Wait you can't, it's parody covered under fair use)"

        Better watch out-- she's a temporary super power!
        Always working behind the scenes


          a) Natalia St. Marcos-Vargas
          b) Sister Beatrice is fine
          c) Traci Thompson (give her a tomboy name)
          d) Annabelle Green (Anne of Green Gables?)
          e) Debby Drive or Sarah Street - at least maintain the alliteration

          I like the spread of topics. If we don't want to go a full 5 characters deep (this is already looking quite cumbersome to make already), I'd go with B,C, and D or E, and let the other 2 be mini major characters (you'll get a dedicated sex scene out of it, but they're just a means to an end).

          Avatar: Kloe Kane



            A lot of the thinking lies with making the characters feel unique; if we were talking over, say, a convent, it would make sense for all the women to be "devoted" to their cause in the traditional (christian) sense. The issue with that is that, well, it quickly gets old, unless you want to parcel things out, or start getting really strange (or both).
            E.g. (a) this little piggy looks like a wabbit, but is actually the incarnation of a divine piggy
            (b) this little piggy has an almost hypnotic voice
            (c) this little piggy hears the voice of god.
            You see... they're all piggies, and none of these things make a compelling character in their own right. Nor does it feel realistic; in catholic tradition, someone who's "invested with the holy spirit", is expected to exhibit (a), (b) AND (c). After all, the god of Abraham has never been one to half-ass his blessings or his interventions, so the idea of "peace-meal sainthood" doesn't really make sense. Nor would it, imo, feel good to corrupt. I mean, you're corrupting/converting religious figures, not assembling the five limbs of Exodia, the forbidden one (well, you could, but it's gonna feel as juvenile as being that kid who 1. plays Yu Gi Oh and 2. uses an Exodia deck)
            This is why i just frontloaded all of the "christian sainthood" into a singular character.

            Re: the other 4 marks, i would like to stress that they are all "devoted", however, they are dedicated to different causes, and express this devotion in a way that is consistent with the nature of their faith.
            The police commissioner is spiritually married to the state (the embodiment of secular order) and expresses this faith by acting as its right hand. Mrs. Selectacorp is spiritually married to money, and bends all things towards its acquisition, Mrs. Old Faith expresses her faith by protecting the last few remaining faithful, and Mrs. Reporter plays her part by pursuing the one thing that transcends all faiths; the pursuit of truth.

            Re: ESP-like powers (I'll make a post on that aspect in a separate thread)

            Re: Founding famillies as well
            Like MaxDS points out, we're reaching a point where "feature creep" becomes a legitimate. My questions to you would be
            What are the narrative and mechanical implications of these founding families. What will the payoff be (sex)? Are they sufficiently distinct (narrative, mechanics, payoff) from Icons to justify being a distinct feature? Most importantly, can we implement this in a way that feels satisfying in a world where we have limited resources to work with. If not, we should just roll this feature into another one; Part of the reason why I attached the "giovanni crime family" to Beatrice was an example of this; you could make the Giovanni family one of the founding families, and give all of the other Icons similar connections. This will allow us to 1) implement a cool idea (founding families) into the game that doesn't quite justify its own centerstage and 2) do it in such a way that adds value to one of the bigger features.
            After all, all of the Icons will have some "sub-quests" that you need to perform to get to them. Why not make one of these sub-quests acquiring the support of their respective "families".

            Re: The names proposed by max
            I like all of them, except...

            It's really, really hard to be impressed by Commissioner Traci Anything. Imo, no need to be gun shy and go tomboy; just give her a weirdly gendered name outright; Valentine Thompson, for example.


            • MaxDS
              MaxDS commented
              Editing a comment
              Grouping by families work (they all get a "crest" in a sense). I just want to make sure that the groups are distinct from each other (because the pawns underneath the matriarch will all be similar, giving resources or access, just differing faces)

              Re names, one major consideration is that the names of the main characters should all have different initials (because we'll probably refer to them by such either during writing or debugging, and keeps them unique).

            OK, I'll go along for the ride and see how we go. fwiw right now I'm in pre-production-- working with map/art/music commissions (and working on a new contributed arcana). Until I have a map, it is hard for me to do a prototype, which would be next step. When we get there (prolly next week), I'll put together a very limited prototype to give a sense of very basic gameplay. In the meantime, I'll leave it with you all to work out the NPC details/dynamics
            Always working behind the scenes


              I'll start revisiting threads as time goes by, and add to stuff as we build on the discussion made elsewhere.

              So one of the cool features that bubbled to the surface (and was lost to the depths) in the initial discussion surrounding the game was the idea of having an "ambiguous" relationship with the antagonists. I.e. in the end, you would fight them head on, there was talk of allying with them, absorbing them, or outright destroying them.

              I think that Icons allow us capture that feeling; by allowing the PC to start with an initial affiliation to any one of the factions, we can put them in a "junior" position within that faction. This will mechanically and narratively subject them to the whims of an NPC who, if we implement our factional action system, will behave in erratic and/or unpredictable and/or inefficient ways. This is a really cool concept because the game to impress upon the player, in a very tangible gameplay sense, why all Icons, INCLUDING THEIR OWN needs to be put on a leash. It also helps create that tension between the PC and the leader of his faction; at first, you are an insignificant errand boy in the grand scheme of the board game, but eventually become a force in your own right.


              • MaxDS
                MaxDS commented
                Editing a comment
                So, if I'm interpreting this correctly, each faction becomes its own mini CR quest? Is the idea to be able to "bat for both sides" and bring them all to their knees?

              • Le_Wang
                Le_Wang commented
                Editing a comment
                Maybe i'm having a bad day, but i'm having a hard time figuring your posts out Max. Mini-cr quest in what sense specifically (climbing up the corporate ladder, doing odd jobs for the company, taking over the boss... the gameplay implications of each one are very different, js).
                What does "batting for both sides" mean here - work for AND against your faction, OR work for multiple factions at the same time (again, different gameplay implications)?
                Might seem strange that i'm asking those questions, but the concept isn't a definite thing for me either; there's multiple ways of implementing these things after all, and I don't really have a preference here.