Non-player character

The non -player character ( NPC or often abbreviated NPC of English non -player character) is a class of characters that is used in certain types of games. The German translation is a false friend, correct would be non- player character. This term covers basically all occurring together in a story figures, which are not taken directly from a player. In the field of computer games, especially those figures are referred to as NPCs that the players behave towards friendly or neutral, in distinction to the computer-controlled opponents or monsters.

In pen -and- paper role- playing NPCs are controlled by the game leader, in computer games based on the principles of artificial intelligence from the computer. In the representational variant of role-playing, LARP, NPCs are embodied in people.

Pen -and- paper role-playing games

In the pen -and- paper role- playing non-player characters are a design element of the virtual world, the background against which the game takes place. They are described by the GM and are used to provide background information. The players may be mediated by the choice of linguistic style, the description of the external appearance and manners between multiple NPCs an impression of their environment. But the main thing is the interaction with the player characters. This does various things, such as the simple entertainment of the players ( involvement in fights, disputes, laying false trails, situations that may require the intervention of the SCs), the provision of key information ( through specific contact or incidental snapped conversations ) and also the advancement of the storyline ( by directing actions NSC - figure, a revelation adversary intervention high personalities ).

Live role-playing games

In the live role-playing game ( LARP ) non-player characters are represented by people. These are supplied by the Committee with background knowledge and the appropriate attire for their respective roles and act independently in the given context. The opposite of the NSC is called the player character ( briefly: SC or PC player- character), whose decisions and actions are almost entirely directed by the player 's will. The distinction between so-called Springer NPCs and fixed roles established - in live role-playing game has become - based above all on the performer. While hard rolls NPCs are integrated over a longer period of time or recurring in the game's plot, cover Springer NPCs from the short-term emerging figures ( monsters, ghosts, " passers-by ", etc.). The term alludes to the jumping between the different roles on as needed.

Computer Games

In computer games NPCs occur in contrast to the bots used mainly in multi-player mode does not take the place of human players and may therefore have only limited possibilities for action. In single-player mode, the player often fights against various types of computer-controlled opponents. In contrast to these which are also controlled by the computer NPCs have mainly a narrative function: With them, the player can, for example, make calls, Trading ( in computer role-playing games available) or get orders that determine the further course of the game. Sometimes NPCs must also be protected by the player against attacks from monsters or be escorted through dangerous areas.


Outside the roles and computer games NSC -like applications of controlled roles are possible: In computer simulations ( eg for mass behavior) called these figures also virtual agents, each agent corresponds to an NPC, that is, each NPC has its own routine including its own behavior.

  • Role-playing game concept
  • Computer game concept