Sharing NPC across users - Feature Requests Discussions on Obsidian Portal Community Forums
Sharing NPC across users
edited August 2007
I see that several folks are already running the Savage tide campaign. I would love a way to share NPCs with them. This would greatly decrease the DM workload.
This is the way the site worked originally (ie. before about a week ago). However, I determined that it's probably not a good idea. The original author can edit (or delete) the character at any time. So, if you're using an NPC, and the author decides to radically change them, it could be quite a surprise.
One option I've considered is to allow someone to copy a character into their campaign. So, they find a character they like and make a copy of it. It's not hard technically, but I'd like to hear thoughts on how to make sure the original author gets credit or how to deal with copyright issues.
Anyone else have thoughts on this?
Well, copying the info would suit my purposes well. Perhaps you might tier the editable info. So cannonical information can be locked down to a limited set of editors, but campaign specific info remains editable on a campaign specific basis.
Here's my 2 cents (for what it's worth... or not)
Locking it down should be easy. The creator is the only person who can add/change it. If any one wants to change something, they can click and add function, which then notifies the creator - change control - they accept/amend or reject it. The only issue I see is changes after that. Maybe splitting it up - a master object per se with the characters base details - that being the "true" version, but it its used in another campaign, they get the choice to either a) Use that version and its changes or progression, or b) take a snapshot of the character at the point of inclusion and any changes from there are specific to only that campaign/dm. Also the point to revert/update that choice at later stage. i.e Original one gets used, updated, developed, but the snapshot hasn't been, but they then want to use it, so effectively re-import back into the campaign at that new point in time.
How the original person gets credit. Plaster their name next to it where its listed, and make it a link to the original creator/character somehow.
Adding a true or false to say its shareable, and that forgoes any entitlements to the character from a copyright perspective.
Include some sort of rating/tracking system against shared NPC's. Show how many people are using it in their campaign.
I would argue that copying would be the best bet -- that way you don't have to worry about changes as the NPCs do different things in the different campaigns. Some canon purists might feel the need to reconcile all possible story paths into a single canon story, but I say bugger that. So what if the same NPC was at the North Pole in one campaign but the South Pole in the other? It's their campaign, its their story, and it really doesn't affect yours.
Still, although I think the vast majority of GMs won't care (and will probably actually be a little proud) if an NPC (or any other campaign info) is copied, there might still be a rare few who will have a problem.
I suggest that you create a "quick-copy" feature for PCs/NPCs/items and maybe even for Player Wiki pages, but that you allow the owners to disallow the feature on an individual item basis. Unfortunately, even if the owner were to disallow a quick-copy feature on an item, that can't possibly stop someone from copying the info down manually and using it elsewhere, but owners will at least be able to make them do a little work for it, plus they'll have a legal leg (albeit minor) to stand on if they decide to (god forbid) sue. On the whole, however, I think this will be a non-issue.
That's pretty much dead-on to what I was thinking of doing. It's quick, easy, and provides a lot of flexibility. The only thing I didn't consider was to disallow the quick-copy, but that's a good idea.
I agree that most people would be flattered to have their characters used in others' campaigns. I know I would.
Still, this is kind of low on the priority list. We were running for almost 6 months with NPC sharing enabled, and no one was doing it. They were more interested in campaign wikis and such.
I like your ideas, even if they are a little complicated. I especially like the "keep track of how many times it's being shared" sort of idea. One thing I think OP needs is more stats on viewers, visitors, and the like. It's nice to know if people are reading your stuff :)
Keep the ideas coming!
I am a new user here, and I am glad to see that a "copy character" feature will be available soon. I was just noodling around with my account and was surprised to find that once I added a character as an NPC in one campaign, I was not able to add it in another.
Though I must admit it didn't even occur to me that people might feel the need to alter the character file as NPCs gained levels or suffered major traumas or whatever. I'm much more inclined to the "fluff" than the "crunch", and I would have simply thought the NPC link would be the background story, and then anything that happened to said NPC would just be in the adventure log (oh hey, Tisk discovered a new creative use for her power).
To the best of my knowledge, most of what I'll need to do across campaigns can be done by just using the wiki-link feature for now, but I'm still happy to hear this is being planned. The way I see it, if I wanted to keep my characters out of the public eye, I wouldn't be here in the first place. =)
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