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Those characters (more precisely, the story that you see when you click on them and then "examine their soul") were created by backers who backed at the $500+ (or maybe higher -- I can't find the award on the Kickstarter page) level.  Thus, the story is 100% unrelated to the content in the game -- you miss out on absolutely nothing if you don't read them.

 

Of course, you'll make the backers who made the game sad if you don't read their stories, and they made the game possible, so YMMV. :)

 

The same applies to the gravestones that you'll see later in the game -- both the names and text were created by backers and have zero gameplay implications.

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I've found that you can kill them in groups as long as non-yellow NPCs aren't within Fog of War distance of them.

And yeah, it would behoove you to read each one's story through once even if only to enjoy some of the stories (which are usually actually pretty cool). Otherwise they're just window dressing and free equipment. 

One of them is unfactioned though, the Moon Godlike in the heavy armor near the Temple of Eothas, you can kill him and get some unenchanted Plate mail early in the game. The only NPC around is a small child and apparently he doesn't count against faction loss when he witnesses the murder. Maybe he's racist against Moonies.

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Yeah they suck. Horrendously named, ridiculous characters. Just ignore them if you can. They definitely take a lot of to the game's atmosphere.

 

How do they take out of the game's atmosphere exactly? The ones I've read have had quite logical stories, presumably from the characters past. They also nicely fill out the cities instead of random "Villager" and "Beggar" NPCs.

 

Aside from being abused for not causing a reputation drop and dropping items way above your level in Gilded Vale, they seem to be a great addition to the game. And even that is not as much about them dropping good stuff as it is about them not causing any reputation loss that breaks the game.

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They can be simply ignored.

 

However... a nice update to the game would be if you could recruit them as NPCs, or as hirelings for the Stronghold. Wouldn't that be nice?

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How can anyone in their right mind try to ship a multimillion dollar product without making absolutely sure that they don't upset all their players with a degree in Medieval English Linguistics?

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I find myself disagreeing with the harsher criticisms over backer content NPCs. There isn't an over abundance of fire godlikes as well. I was initially influenced by the net vitriol, but after spending some time reading the actual text I find it adds flavor to what would otherwise be generic NPC #201. 

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Backer designed NPCs, not important to the plot but people  seem to hate on them quite a lot

I hate on them because nothing in the game tells me they are not important to the plot. The first few backers I met, I read their stories thinking I might need to know this sometime. Then I noticed just how many backers there were and I was like, fk it. I'm not sure if the loading screen tip was there at launch or got patched in, but it's inadequate either way, because it still doesn't tell me they're not plot relevant. Furthermore, even if it did, how long before I saw that message? It might not appear, I might tab out...

 

I agree they're great flavor (unlike many uninspired epitaphs, saw one with an XD and decided never to look at them again) but it needs to be clear when I click the first one that their stories are optional reads.

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.

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Should have made them into randomly appearing "lost spirits" like the ghosts that you see after coming out of the intro dungeon. Would have made more sense and been a lot less immersion breaking. Having random stories come of random roaming spirits that only you could see would make sense while being fairly easily surmised that they were only there for the flavor.

 

I don't hate on the backer idea. Only the implementation. It inserts a non-gameplay element into the game, which is just confusing (for new players) and annoying for the rest of us.

 

-Stigma

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Some of them are really helpful. If you want to do a solo run for instance, there is a moon godlike dude in Gilded Vale that can give you his plate armor :)

 

I don't think we're talking about the same thing. The 'gold' background NPCs have a 'reach for soul' option that gives you a wall of flavor text (which is indeed well written), and nothing else.

 

Unless you're attacking said NPCs, which is a different story.

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How can anyone in their right mind try to ship a multimillion dollar product without making absolutely sure that they don't upset all their players with a degree in Medieval English Linguistics?

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Backer designed NPCs, not important to the plot but people  seem to hate on them quite a lot

I hate on them because nothing in the game tells me they are not important to the plot. The first few backers I met, I read their stories thinking I might need to know this sometime. Then I noticed just how many backers there were and I was like, fk it. I'm not sure if the loading screen tip was there at launch or got patched in, but it's inadequate either way, because it still doesn't tell me they're not plot relevant. Furthermore, even if it did, how long before I saw that message? It might not appear, I might tab out...

 

I agree they're great flavor (unlike many uninspired epitaphs, saw one with an XD and decided never to look at them again) but it needs to be clear when I click the first one that their stories are optional reads.

 

Perhaps a mesage should appear the first time a player clicks on one. This would certainly reduce the griefing. I read about 3 before i realised they were totally insignificant.

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Some of them are really helpful. If you want to do a solo run for instance, there is a moon godlike dude in Gilded Vale that can give you his plate armor :)

 

I don't think we're talking about the same thing. The 'gold' background NPCs have a 'reach for soul' option that gives you a wall of flavor text (which is indeed well written), and nothing else.

 

Unless you're attacking said NPCs, which is a different story.

Depends on how you define "attack". It's more like a stern request for assistance to me.  :grin:

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For a group of players taking pride in favoring old school RPGs without silly quest markers, you're awfully annoyed by lack of "Plot NPC here!" and "Not plot NPC, ignore!" pop-ups.
 
I like reading stories for the sake of stories, not only to move the plot forward. I treat backer NPCs like every other background NPC in the game: usually I ignore them, but sometimes I stop by and listen to the odd comment or read the soul story. They aren't all as horrible as you say, some of them are actually rather nice, except those with ridiculous names of course. I knew they weren't quest-related by the time I left Gilded Vale, it really wasn't such a terrible bother.

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For a group of players taking pride in favoring old school RPGs without silly quest markers, you're awfully annoyed by lack of "Plot NPC here!" and "Not plot NPC, ignore!" pop-ups.

I actually just want one. Included in the tutorial, which trades immersion for understanding anyway.

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.

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For a group of players taking pride in favoring old school RPGs without silly quest markers, you're awfully annoyed by lack of "Plot NPC here!" and "Not plot NPC, ignore!" pop-ups.

 

I like reading stories for the sake of stories, not only to move the plot forward. I treat backer NPCs like every other background NPC in the game: usually I ignore them, but sometimes I stop by and listen to the odd comment or read the soul story. They aren't all as horrible as you say, some of them are actually rather nice, except those with ridiculous names of course. I knew they weren't quest-related by the time I left Gilded Vale, it really wasn't such a terrible bother.

Dude, the solo RPG novels back in the '80s were the best **** ever.

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You know, you guys can hold down TAB and it shows the names of NPC's on the current screen. If you're looking for a very specific person this alleviates you having to click on these "dreaded" yellow named NPC's that everyone loves to hate around here.

 

If you never click on them, they don't ruin your immersion. 

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