Working on some NPC agency. Am I correct in understand any such things are following from the Every turn rule? To give a concrete example, in the initial section the PC is looking for money in a house, searching all rooms, accompanied by an NPC. My daughter says it would make more sense the NPC is also searching while the PC does... that sounds kinda cool actually.
In general if you want stuff to happen every turn, it pivots off an Every Turn rule, or some other action by the player, such as going or looking.
Like if you don't want your NPCs to move until the player does.
You can also kind of cheat agency in descriptions with idle/ambience messages.
The only thing I do not want an NPC to do is to walk out of the room, I would need to study the "Characters the Player Can Follow" chapter from Jim's Handbook.
oh yeah you mean the random "Stage Business", NPCs "doing" something which actually does not change any state
The description of the Study is "It's a study, packed with paperwork.[if Holmes is in the location and the player does not enclose the key] Holmes is here, [one of]searching furiously for the key.[or]puzzling about the location of the key.[or]consulting his phone about potential key hiding spots.[then at random]"
The only problem I can potentially see is the Every Turn rule getting very large... I will probably have to split it up in more manageable chunks.
Ah the "enclose"... that was an eye-opener when I came across that relation.
Yes, and the trick with that is you can only technically have one Every Turn rule. If you write multiples, it will only run the last one you wrote.
just a sec
"enclose" is a good catch all since the player may not be holding the key, but may be carrying a closed matchbook in their backpack with the key inside.
If your Every Turn sequence gets really complicated, you likely want to have a general Every Turn that refers to other rules to run instead of doing everything directly.
hmm there are a lot of things which can happen actually... the NPC will follow the player (to ensure they stay together, I do not want the NPC to do stuff the PC cannot witness) so thats an easy one. However if the player does anything except move around, then the NPC can do a bunch of things, which would all be handled by this every turn rule...
thats the "manageable chunk" part I am looking for
I have a list of high level actions I want to implement
You could put the NPC business in their description and base it on locality.
instead of every turn.
erm sorry that part I do not understand
description does not affect world state, does it?
Bob is a man. "[if bob is in the location][bobdesc][bobactions][end if]"
that would only fire if the player does a 'look' wouldn't it?
Yes. Depends on if the npc actions are just for atmosphere or actually doing stuff. That's why you can use a "to say" phrase that includes actions.
I want to go for the actually doing stuff... as in "assisting" the player when looking for hidden treasure
to say bobactions: if the location is study: say "Bob searches the study for clues."; otherwise if the location is the beach: say "Bob chills with a drink in the sand.";
you can do that either way. This is probably a good forum topic.