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In my online game, it's often hard for me to handle NPCs with the loads of characters we have so sometimes I ask or a player volunteers to play some of them. The issue is though, that one player (let's caller her player A) has taken it upon herself to take two NPCs that she provided for my use so she could rp relationships with the PCs of players B and C.

When I asked the player about this, she had said that 1) She did it to provide more rp opportunities to the players and that 2) I should be happy I created a world they want to rp in more than once a week. I can agree with this to a degree as player B just treats it as another event to play with but player C has a hard time engaging in the plotline. When it comes his time to act he says "umm uhhh" and ends up doing what others tell him to.

I'm worried that player C is only engaged in the plotline as far as his reactions to player A. Because he responds with banter back and forth with A frequently, and it varies with his interactions to the other players. I worry that player A occupying player C with an NPC is preventing such interactions from happening.

So, how do I handle this and prevent it in the future?

Edit: In short, Player A is distracting Player C by playing an NPC.

(Sorry about the mistaken edit. Pffbt. Writing questions while sick man...)

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Thanks for the edit SSD. That reads a lot clearer now. –  Bigeshu Oct 12 '12 at 19:02
    
No problem! It's what I do 'round here. :) Wish I had some helpful words instead though, but I've no experience with that dynamic. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 12 '12 at 22:41
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Hmm, maybe I'm being thick, but I'm still struggling to really understand the situation you're describing here. –  Phil Oct 12 '12 at 23:32
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Agreed, can you explain more clearly? What exactly is going on and why you think it's a problem? It's hard to parse but it sounds like "a player likes roleplaying with another player as much as/more with me and other players." –  mxyzplk Oct 13 '12 at 3:43
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Wait, are you sure about your last edit, that Player A is distracting Player B? Because that make it more, not less, confusing. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 14 '12 at 17:03
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Maybe player C likes player A as a DM more than he does with you. Maybe player A's npc has something more interesting to offer than player B or your NPCs.

Analyze why player A's NPCs are of some interest to player C's PC and build on it. Talking with the players might help you at being more efficient at this.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I've talked with the player since posting this question and the players in question have a long history of play together through MMOs, so naturally they're more comfortable playing off each other. I've decided to play around that and challenge these relationships. Still debating if I want to risk them since it's clear that the players treat these NPCs like a treasured item and I have a general rule that the stuff you pay for gets some plot immunity. –  Bigeshu Oct 25 '12 at 15:41
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