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NPC interactions
waiting times more specifically.

Firstly two things,

1) I am extremely proud of and grateful to the mods/admins (all the staff we have) for their time and dedication, and appreciate that they put a lot of time and effort into this. I definitely could not do a better job myself, honestly.

2) this is not a personal attack on any member of staff or the staff in general.

Those out of the way, what I want to say.

As of lately I've been noticing that the NPC's I've been meaning to interact with have simply not been animated. Don't worry I'm patient and always wait up to 30 minutes before giving up, and repeating my requests to talk to them, in form of talking directly to them asking for an answer ("Hey, do you have a moment", "Hey doc, I really need to be treated.")

To be specific (disclaimer these are estimates, and my timekeeping isn't great, I may be wildly out, apologies if they are!) :

NPC1: Poked once every ~20 mins I think for 3 hours really needed to talk to them. Got a reaction after about that long.

NPC2: poked about 5 times for about 40 mins. gave up

NPC3 poked about 5 times by me and another character for 20 mins or so, gave up.

Admittedly this isn't too short a time, I only felt the need to mention it because those are my interactions between NPCs in this game in consecutive order.

Am I simply too impatient, should I be expecting to wait longer? Or are the staff too busy or we need more? Perhaps I was just unlucky I don't know.

Before people think I'm complaining about the staff see points 1) and 2) I just think that the times I've experienced waiting for npc's in this game is too long, especially as the particular NPCs I've needed to talk to have been important.

Please put me in perspective!

Question for you: how are you talking to the NPCs? Meaning, how are you forming your requests. I know for it to trigger, or I think I know, you have to form the contact like this: to . It can't be in a 'say' format or in an emoted format. Also, for the doctor NPCs, I think how you get response is to type: to heal me.

But, I could be wrong.

I'm using "to [NPC's Nane]" which as far as I know is the best way to get the NPC's attention.

And I knew as much for doctors, but thanks for the help!

hmm...that didn't like my post so some parts are missing, so I'll try that again. To get responses from NPCs I think you have to write it out as 'to -name-' and then the message. Not as a say or emote. For the doctor NPCs, I think you type it out 'to -name- heal me'.

I think the OP means reactions that require administratior animations, not the automated responses.

Really, im new here, but I've read through help files and am aware of @notes.

Its probably best to include a note in there if your trying to communicate with a NPC in that way, I think!

To interact with NPCs, the best way is to use a 'to' message. Those show up admin side. You can also pose something, but you must include the NPC in the pose, and only that one NPC. No other players. '.look up at NPC and ask, "Am I doing this right?".'

That said, the -best- way to get the NPC to interact is not with something like, "Yo doc, got a sec?" or anything general like that. Be very clear what you want with the first message to the NPC.

@ jwimpeney - yeah, that's the extent of my help..sounds like you're already doing that part correctly. :)

@ rikern - even to get admin animation, you have to form it in the to -name- or GMs won't notice you're trying to get the NPC' attention. (again - I believe that's what the Staff have said - I could be wrong.)

Hi there.

It's a good idea to talk to the NPC about every ten minutes.

Also, put more in it besides, "Hey doc, I need to talk to you." Something like, "Hi, I'm a new patient and wanted to get those nanos I've been saving up for." (Although, you should go to a PC for that even though we know to treat NPC's as PC's.)

Or "Hey there, I'm the one Cabbie is sending for that package. He was supposed to tell you that Squeak was comin' to get it. Well, I'm Squeak and am here to get that off your hands."

See how there's a bit more? Let's the people who puppet it know what's going on and what it's about so they can more easily work with you on whatever it is. Especially if you've already left a Note in your own Notes.

Also, sometimes there'll be several people who need puppets at the same time. Sometimes the puppetmaster ;) will let you know to come back in an hour. Othertimes they might not. Sometimes whatever situation they are in is taking a little longer than expected and can't get to you.

Leaving a note helps and just being patient.

There's a link. I'll find it for you but that'll help get you started.

@notes are definitely a good idea here. If you can't get a response from the NPC, then staff are probably busy.

Tell the NPC (ICly) how best to contact you, then leave it in your @notes that you did as such. That would probably help the most I think.

I usually prompt with thinks; those can help get the staff's attention.

Here you go. The search function of the site comes up with some good help threads. :)



In the above one, Slither mentions:

When speaking with NPCs please consider that it is very possible the GM that is puppetting is unfamiliar with the exact circumstances that have brought your character to this specific NPC. That means that the burden of bringing the GM puppeting the NPC up to speed on the current situation in a brief, effective and IC manner is a VERY important skill for you to develop.

And one last thing you might like to read:


Hope that helps! :)

OK, good as I suspected the fault was mine! (don't worry I'm not salty)

In the future I shall: leave @notes for why I wanted to talk to those NPC's

just leave and leave a message (spoken with to - ) with the information I wanted to give to the npc anyway!

That seems to have everyone happy :)

For example, "Hey, doc, I'm having these weird symptoms, I think you should check me out." Five minutes later: . o O ( God, what if I have ebola? I hope I haven't infected the doctor....)

Tricky, that's interesting but you really don't need to do that. At least in my experience.

If you include some of the symptoms in that comment to the doc, that will clear some things up for the puppetmaster too. Like, "Hi, I'm and I've been feeling odd. I've been having symptoms like, blah blah and blah and I'm really worried. I hope I don't have ebola or an STD. Can you help me? Please?"

Of course you might want to leave out the 'I hope' sentence. You don't want to give the person on the other end ammunition. ;)

Just my opinion. I never needed to use thoughts.

Your continued 'think's are out of context if we are not intimately watching your character. You said one thing to an NPC ten minutes ago and it is now lost in a thousand extra lines running across our screens. Your think just makes us want to make sure you have ebola. This goes the same if you do one very clear 'to' message, and then later make another along the lines of 'to NPC Hey, you free yet?' -- If that's the only message I see, I have no clue what you want and I'm barely interested in finding out.

Target your NPC with a message that tells us exactly what you want, and if you get no response, feel free to repost every ten minutes or so. That is the best way to get our attention. This isn't rocket science.

ah ha! See?

Even Cinnamon admits to the ammunition. :D *chuckle*

Is it preferred that we just repeat the same "to" message again and again?

eg: "Hey doctor, I'm feeling really ill, can you see to me?"

and continue sending that until you get a reaction

or is it better to say "Hey doc I'm still feeling ill here.. .any chance you can come and see me yet, it's been ages?"


There's a link up there. But give all the info from at the start and then, what I do, is repeat the same thing or along the same thing as if I haven't spoken to the NPC ten minutes before.

Adding on an upset later may alter how you present yourself. If that's how your character just normally acts, that's one thing. Just remember that they're people too and can be busy. Just because you don't see anyone else in the store with you or in the clinic doesn't mean there aren't dozens of people in the ambient population waiting for help or getting help.

In other words, you may be the only 'pc' in the room, but Withmore population is likely in there as well with you, browsing for clothing or on gurneys getting help from ambient nurses.

Yeah understood, I understand the concept of ambient people, often had to politely scold people who say "Well this bar's really quiet" When there were only two PC's in it etc.

Thanks for the advice!

Either one would be acceptable. The second definitely more so than the first if there are other people RP'ing with you at the location. However, that still isn't entirely clear.

You're feeling funny? Ha ha funny, sick funny? Probably sick funny, but why not throw in details about what you're actually feeling. Maybe it's something I don't know about. 'Hey, I'm hallucinating some crazy shit, peeing blood, and my hair's falling out. Can you give me a hand with that, Doc?' -- Well, now I know what I'm getting into anyways and I can prepare a diagnosis, possible venues for cures, gather up info on pricing, determining what needs to happen, all without having to respond to you or having you say anything else. You help me the more clear you are. You help me, I help you.

No rocket science.

Hey, that's what we're here for. :)

Ask away. Also, use the 'xgame' function in game for some community help as well as the search option.

It's a good group here so poke us when you have a question.

OK, good as I suspected the fault was mine! (don't worry I'm not salty)

In the future I shall: leave @notes for why I wanted to talk to those NPC's

just leave and leave a message (spoken with to - ) with the information I wanted to give to the npc anyway!

That seems to have everyone happy :)

I'm possibly reading this wrong but, make sure you actually give the information that you put in the note.

To NPC: Hey, I'm coughing up blood, my hair is falling out, and I'm the only one that sees the dune dragon following me. Can you check me out?

*do repeats as needed and previously described*

Then, if you run out of time or just want to do something else:

To NPC: Sorry. I need to go lie down, I think I'm going to start coughing blood again soon, I swear that half my hair just fell out, and the dune dragon behind me is licking his chops. I'll leave my contact info: SIC, Gridmail, Name maybe. I'll try back later.

@addnote Tried to speak to Dr. NPC's Name

my character's name spoke to Dr. NPC's name and told them he was coughing blood, losing hair, and hallucinating dune dragons. Gave name(name given), SIC alias(alias given), gridmail(gridmail given) and said I'd try again later.

An NPC doctor isn't the best example here but, that's the idea. The other tip I want to give is to be proactive! Don't just wait forever for contact, check back sometimes if you have time.

To NPC: Hey, I talked to you a few days ago and said I was coughing up blood, losing hair, and hallucinating dune dragons. Well, it's all still happening and I wanted to see if you could make time to check me out today.

I've had the best success with this when I needed it. Also try and make it a goal to use PCs when possible. (PC docs, fixers, chemists, so on.)

Forgot to write my counter example.

Don't do this:

To NPC: Hey, I need help

@addnote Talked to NPC's name

I tried to talk to NPC's name about my coughing blood, hair loss, and hallucinations. My name is: my sic is: my gridmail is:

With that situation, you didn't actually give the NPC any of that information and they aren't psychic.

This is a super helpful post. I feel a lot more clear on how this works overall now.

I didn't even know about the 'to thing. I've just been using pose and say since I also didn't know say didn't work. And... I didn't know pose with other PC and NPC names in it wouldn't work.

The main thing the OP needs to appreciate is that the ratio of player-hours to GM-hours is enormous. There might be 40 players and 1 GM on, or 20 players and 2 GMs on, at a given moment, or there mighg be an admin on who's really not available for puppeting but logs in anyway to build or code or configure or manage economy or just watch for xhelps from people who are broken, stuck or otherwise really need some kind of OOC immediate emergency attention.

Or there might be 4 GMs on, who might ALL already be right in the middle of puppeted scenes with several of the 30-40 other players who are on at the moment.

GMs might be declining to react for IC reasons. Think about the effectiveness or soundness of what you're saying to them? Does the NPC have "ambient" business which you're simply intruding on, without giving them a compelling reason to stop what they're ambiently doing and divert their attention to you? Are you just saying to them, "Hey can I talk to you?" withhout a @note or any "say to" content to cue the GMs with the necessary supporting information to pick up the puppet?

But mostly, just understand that even when you're doing everying right and unquestionably deserve a puppet, GMs are spread thin and you meed to be ready to persevere.

If you keep trying and aren't getting anywhere, leave a second @note stating that you've been making the effort and will be back. Let the GM/NPC come to you, by telling "to" them how to cntact you (SIC, gridmail, phone) and leave that reminder note.

And then, go put and find PCs who can help your character get somewhere. There are shitloads of players who do great, have wicked fun, develop their characters' careers, make money, run plots, deal gear, engage the authorities, make RP for others, employ henchmen or minions, etc wtc wtc without ever talking deliberately "to" any NPCs. Ideally there would be PCs who can do ANYTHING for you that a NPC could. That's a fantasy but it's still a place to start.

Is there a PC who jas a relationship with, or another way to influence, the NPC you need to talk to? RP with *that* character, in between NPC approaches.

And just be prepared to persevere. Keep trying. Make the GM's job easy, provide all the necessary info. Show how your plan will affect other PCs around you, for better or for worse. Make the NPC (and the GM) WANT to listen to you - develop your angle of persuasion or leverage. Because that's what successful players are doing and that's sometimes how puppet priorities get chosen.

We have a website search which includes the BGBB

This is important because just like Battlestar Galactica, all this has happened before and all this will happen again.

Don't believe me? http://www.sindome.org/search/?q=talking+to+an+NPC

Here are some links to other topics which cover this. This discussion would have been better as a revival of one of those posts, and should have included links to the other topics.

Come on people, I know you can do this :)