Posted By protagonist at 11:49 PM - Thu May 31 2018
Sounds like perm OPC may be actually required in some scenario. But I'm sure there's pros and cons to doing that over using somebody you know and trust, an NPC, a random enlisted via contract system etc.
But your example SilkyBazaar got me thinking of the finer points. Take stabling, this might be best suited to an NPC rather than any of the above.
Think of the logistics. If that was player run, you'd have to keep track of whose horse is whos, what if they log off in your town and come back days later. Is a player going to remember them? You could use a contract or simple ticketing system on parchment. But you would still have to be online when they come to collect.
Much easier if devs make a mechanic NPC can use.
There should be no need for permanent OPCs. Anything NPCs can do, OPCs should be able to do, except progress skills from doing so. Fulfilling the terms of contracts that a PC has created should be possible for that PC as an OPC. It's something that NPCs will have to be able to do if they are sources of PC contracts, so the script will have to be written by SBS and should therefore be available in some form for OPCs. That's one task required for storefront management, and it's no more complex than other tasks of managing a storefront.
One way to think about PC/OPC phases for characters is as fun time (PC) versus day job (OPC). This is not exact, but is a way of viewing characters so that "always in the world" is easier to conceive of. The questions then become related to how trustworthy an OPC compared to an NPC. An OPC is not necessarily more reliable than an NPC at a day job, especially if working for someone else. If your (non-adventurer) character is in an early stage such as apprentice or novice, it will almost certainly be working for someone else. (Adventurers need another discussion, but WTF does an OPC adventurer do anyway, besides hope not to die?). Moreover, do you trust your OPC scripting more than SBS's?