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Chatter: Rumors
Staying in the know

So, chatter is great. But I thought that a really nice way to add to it would be more types of information, and I've always wanted to know about a lot of minor NPCs, places, and other stuff in Withmore, the kind of thing you don't really want to request a puppet for since it's just fluff. Maybe it's just me, but I never felt like I should just ask for a puppet because I want to know more about that NPC. And because sometimes you can't ask directly, and none of your chums seem to know anything...

Rumors!

Expanding the chatter system to include more npcs, and the chatter itself to be drawn from a pool specific to that npc (ie a Sinner would know about stuff related to/around Sinn Street and those NPCs) or occasionally just be a random bit of lore.

This could be even more interesting since these rumors don't have to be true, and you'd get people parroting stuff in public and then being shamed or possibly getting in trouble for making stuff up. Perhaps how likely they are to tell you a true rumor or a false one could be based on the already pre-existing 'qualifiers' for chatter, but expanded upon.

And to make this more feasible, it could easily be crowdsourced; players could easily write rumors of all kinds about NPCs, areas, factions, history, whatever, submit them somewhere privately, and all the admins would have to do is read them over and approve the ones that fit. This could be a great worldbuilding tool and plot-instigator, and would also help with that common problem of 'I've worked here a year but I still don't know what that receptionist is called even though I see her every day."

I think new generic scripts for faction NPC's along the lines of...

"Who are you?"

"How's it going?"

etc.

That provided a little more depth to NPC's for fellow faction members to explore would be good. Does this mean Joe Baka should be conversing with the Corporate Secretary? No but if someone with the appropriate faction rating makes inquiries there should be some canned answers.

That said, that's a lot of mechanics and empty interaction for what should be RP driven. Slippery slopes and all that.

I don't feel like it'd be a slippery slope, it would free up the staff from having to manually pore through notes whenever they need to puppet NPCs for minor things, and it would give more material for players to RP around with each other.

I just really don't see how adding more context and color to a setting will lead to less RP.

I definitely support this, especially if it doesn't burden GM's. Stuff like "What's your name" "What are you into" that kind of thing (generally, not that exactly.) GM puppet time is precious, and I'd like to be chopping it up with locals without feeling like I'm draining puppet time that could be spent running plots.

Especially if they were gated behind faction status. Someone going from telling you to fuck off to dropping a really cool story at the highest level would be awesome.

A lot of the times PCs that are higher in a faction have to straddle the line between letting the NPC "breathe" and not put made up stories on them when introducing them to newer players, but also trying to make them interesting for lower level faction members. This could be cool if staff had the time.

@Reefer

That's the thing, I thought this up because you can't really RP this sort of thing unless you directly request a puppet with the reason of 'I want to shoot the shit with this NPC' randomly, which is... Not great.

I also like the syntax you suggest. This is basically just a more specialised version of random SIC scripts.

I'd also like some sort of big cooldown so you can't just go around spamming NPCs. But yeah, there's a metric tonne of NPCs who almost never get puppeted and probably have a cool bunch of stuff they know or neat things about them. I've definitely been in a spot before where I've been quite close with a faction, and knew almost nothing about most of NPCs there, neither did the other PCs around that faction.

So is it just scripted nonsense, or an expansion of the chatter system into faction domains where access is dependent on your standing with said faction?

i.e.

to NAME What's up chum?

NAME [to You]: Nothing good. Some average mano in a black shroud came at me swinging a katana this morning!

etc etc.

I really do like the idea of NPCs, at the very least, being able to respond to "Who are you?" and maaaaybe "What do you do?"

You could set restrictions, like...

- The NPC tells anyone

- The PC must be in same faction as the NPC

- The PC must be a mixer

- The PC must have a coded job

- The PC must be good-looking

- The PC must be corporate

Imagine how much time and frustration that would save.

Could there be a charisma-based mechanic where high-cha characters could "plant" rumors about notable NPCs or PCs?
Why would that be a mechanic, Bear? That's RP.

Do you mean, have the chatter system pick it up when it happens organically? If I'm not mistaken, GMs are already able to add things to the content of the chatter system. Use your @notes, talk to humans.

Or do you mean, have someone use the chatter system to accomplish that? I mean, "the chatter system" isn't an IC thing and trying to do that without RP is cringey.