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NPCs (2000)

NPCs (2000)

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4.03 of 5 Votes: 2
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About book NPCs (2000)

familiarity with tabletop roleplaying games is not required to enjoy this book, but it may help with understanding the review fully.On the backdrop of a group of terrible gamers (as in "all but one are complete arseholes") who are trying out a new module with a more realistic approach to resource management, food, loot etc. etc., a quartet of NPCs becomes entangled with the main plot. When the first Characters rolled by the Players all die from food poisoning within seconds of starting the game, our "heroes" go through their stuff and realize that the village where these deaths occurred might be wiped out as a retaliation for those deaths. To avoid this, they decide to hide the bodies, impersonate the adventurers and take on their mission, as detailed in a parchment they've just pilfered from the corpses, in order to remove any suspicion away from the village. Their assumption is "we're not adventurers (but mere npcs is the unspoken truth) and we're going to die anyway, let's try and get as far away from the village as possible before that happens, so that our loved ones at least won't be involved" In time, each of them grows in the roles they are trying to cover, albeit with a twist (barbarian, rogue, paladin and wizard)... but the new characters rolled by the actual players also enter the fray.... then things get weird.The distinctive trait here is a deep sense of genre savviness explicitly shared by all characters, who play off the tropes and world weariness of their ordinary in-universe existence (behold Grumble, god of minions!) which flirts with all things that are humorous to players (and fantasy-readers alike)... without ever quite breaking through the fourth wall.It's not a masterpiece and some lexical choices grate here and there, but it is a fun read that any gamer (but not only gamers) should enjoy... and which left me rooting for the npcs/main characters and wanting a sequel, which may be in the works... in fact I hope it is.Since I had it as an audiobook, I'll confirm that I liked the voice that did the reading without overdoing the "voices and accents", which I appreciate. So I loved the idea of the tavern wench, barkeep, town guard, and random tavern dweller being forced to become heroes and the play on many gaming tropes worked well. The amoral player characters that occasionally appeared seemed to be a not very fun group to play with so I questioned why the sympathetic character and GM would play with them.Still it was a fun, if slightly predictable, story. The former NPCs become actual heroes and go forth to adventure some more. Nothing shocking or unexpected in the book but a decent read.

Do You like book NPCs (2000)?

Really fun and well-written. Maybe a little too simple but still a good, quick read.

Finally answers the question: Yes, the dice ARE trying to kill you.

Drew, The Minions of Gygax would be proud.

Great, fun story!

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