The first line of automated things I can think of are things that might help with common meta/small-world mistakes. Examples:
- Just get some NPCs to walk around and hang about disguised
- Have some NPCs sneak around in the mix sometimes just going somewhere random, sometimes sticking in one place for a while, sometimes shadowing a random character for a while.
- Have NPC dips head somewhere, hide out until someone comes by and try to dip them (go for flash, wallets, phones). If they think they get caught, they run away. Otherwise, keep moving, hiding and dipping.
- Have NPCs go and hang out outside apartments and attack people who come out or open the door.
- Have NPCs hang out and mug people for visible items or crates. The NPC posts themselves somewhere. If a character shows up they aim and demand flash or a visible item. If they get it they run off and if they don't might still run or they attack and try to take it from the unconscious person then run.
- Have NPCs run crates. Just literally show up, run a few crates, then go away.
- Have NPCs go to a bar, order some drinks and leave.
- Have NPCs drive/fly around wherever.
- Have lots of SIC messages played that report things like the above have happened. Some from the perspective of the victim, some from the perspective of the perpetrator and some from the view of the agent/judge that dealt with them.
Then there are things you can have NPCs do that might give people of various roles something to do. Examples:
- Have injured NPCs wander in to clinics or hospitals seeking treatment. First they use "address /all" and "say" to ask for someone to help heal them. If they do this a few times with no luck, they ask the NPC doc to heal them. If a PC starts healing them they keep still for about a minute then pay the PC a reasonable amount. Then they leave.
- Have an injured NPC sit somewhere and call out on SIC for help. Maybe have them be bleeding out and they keep calling until someone comes heal them or they die. If they get healed they pay a fair amount and leave.
- Have NPCs with distinctive features show up and slowly wander around. Then have actionable bounties added to the CnC term for that NPC. Have the toughness of the PC and the size of the bounty range.
- Have NPCs spawn and head to places that have bouncers/security and then start making a scene. If no one interacts with them they will leave after a bit of fuss. If they are moved, they run off or attack when released.
- Have random nodes hacked and silly/insulting content put in place. You wouldn't really see them but it would be the act of an ambient gridrunner. If it was the node of an active character/corp/biz, now they have a reason to contract a gridrunner to fix it.
- Send out some cheesy scam sounding gridmails to random accounts. Again, ambient gridrunner.
To be honest I think that a lot of these things are best done by other players and that a lot of ambient things can be reported via SIC without them ever actually happening. And sorry for the messy presentation. Just a quick and rough brain dump here.