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NPCs Audiobook

NPCs

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Publisher's Summary

What happens when the haggling is done and the shops are closed? When the quest has been given, the steeds saddled, and the adventurers are off to their next encounter? They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters?In the town of Maplebark, four such NPCs settle in for a night of actively ignoring the adventurers drinking in the tavern when things go quickly and fatally awry. Once the dust settles, these four find themselves faced with an impossible choice: pretend to be adventurers undertaking a task of near-certain death or see their town and loved ones destroyed. Armed only with salvaged equipment, second-hand knowledge, and a secret that could get them killed, it will take all manner of miracles if they hope to pull off their charade. And even if they succeed, the deadliest part of their journey may well be what awaits them at its end.

©2014 Andrew Hayes (P)2014 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (4185 )
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Story
4.6 (3927 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Miachi MD 01-23-15
    Miachi MD 01-23-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    210
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    "Enjoyable if you manage your expectations"

    This book is written for a fairly narrow audience.

    1) You must be fond of old school RPGs. Table top dice rolling is best, but something like a text-based MUD would be good, too. Me, I loved Gemstone III.

    2) You must be able to laugh at yourself and your fellow players.

    3) You must embrace the awkward phrasing that lots of players liked to use to create "character." Aye, 'tis true.

    4) You must not be looking for anything deep or meaningful. This is a romp, and the author's tongue never comes fully out of his cheek.

    If meet these criteria, then enjoy! This book is for you!

    108 of 118 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Hyattsville, MD, United States 10-14-14
    Jonathan Hyattsville, MD, United States 10-14-14 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Charming and Cute"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you're a gamer, you may appreciate the meta-ness Hayes offers. Without giving away too much, NPCs takes some of the conventions and tropes of tabletop roleplaying and applies them to a world, treating them more seriously than Order of the Stick does - while still keeping a fairly light tone.

    The story isn't grand or revolutionary, the characters aren't gripping, but the story still has its own charm and the prose is both readable and has a welcoming feel to it. There are three real action sequences in the book and the first two do get a bit long, because they are told from multiple characters doing their own thing on the battlefield. That said, this point didn't grow too onerous. Overall I enjoyed the book and would gladly read more by Hayes along this vein.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Drew Hayes? Why or why not?

    Yes - he has a pleasant writing style and a sense of humor that, while it doesn't make you laugh out loud, can still make you smile.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator does a good job. His voice is pleasant, and all of the character voices are both distinct and enjoyable. I'd listen to more by him.

    48 of 53 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Interested buyer 03-12-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I expected"

    good listen, but only a small part of the book is about role playing, most of the story is a general adventure, which could be about anyone. enjoyed it all the same though

    27 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PretzelCoatl California 11-18-15
    PretzelCoatl California 11-18-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'll be failing a test tomorrow because I couldn't"
    What made the experience of listening to NPCs the most enjoyable?

    ... stop listening to this.

    I'm a huge fan of tabletop RPGs, and it's always interesting to see other peoples' takes on the game. This story was not at all what I expected. I expected a light-hearted romp through the genre that lacked depth but made up for it in entertainment value. What I got, instead, was substantially better. NPCs was a clever, if not ingenious, blend of depth, character development, personification, and sardonic pokes at the genre. The characters were well developed, and the performances of the characters, even the supporting cast, were unique and refreshing. Every character was distinct both in voice and in personality, and the motivations and driving forces behind every aspect of the story was superbly well-envisioned.

    The plot was clever and intriguing, the concepts introduced into and by the story were fascinating, and, overall, the story was exceptionally well-written. It was, at times, a little dry, and the similes were corny and somewhat lacking, but the approach was exceptional, and the execution was delightful. I eagerly look forward to the sequel.


    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Sigler San Diego 11-13-14
    Scott Sigler San Diego 11-13-14 Member Since 2012

    Author of ALIVE, Book I of the Generations Trilogy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Give me book 2 already, dangit!"

    Absolutely loved it. A fantastically fun book that captured the essence of me D&D days. Really looking forward to the rest of this series.

    45 of 57 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Small Mountain Orlando 10-12-16
    Small Mountain Orlando 10-12-16 Member Since 2014

    Audible subscriber with dozens of books listened to. Mostly non-fiction but with a number of epic fiction titles.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Fun Read for a Gamer like Me"
    What made the experience of listening to NPCs the most enjoyable?

    First of all, the performance by the narrator was fantastic. The voice acting was some of the best I've heard. As far as the story, the embedded RPG humor was fun, yet the story was serious to the ragtag NPCs who find themselves trying to survive the RPG module. The story was fun, funny and adventurous.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Hard to say. The premise and main problem were right up my alley. The story encompassed the feeling of how it might be to be an NPC in an RPG well. The characters went from flat to surprisingly complex as the story went on; I don't know if that was intentional, but if not it was a really great accident.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is surprisingly epic; I don't mean that only in the slang way, but in the fact that it had surprising depth and length for what I expected to be mostly a comedy on role-playing games. Still wish it were longer though. I bought the second book right away.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurel 01-12-16
    Laurel 01-12-16

    I am a retired teacher who listens because she is vision impaired and can no longer read. I love history, a touch of fantasy, and mystery!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did that really happen? Fantasy games and fantasy fiction cross paths!"

    I have never played a fantasy style game, but I have enjoyed a wide variety of fantasy books. I love Robin Hobb and Dragon Riders of Pern and been thoroughly immersed in Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time. This book is an easier and lighter read, maybe young adult fiction. It was a pleasant break from walking dead and vampire types. The emphasis was much more on the good guys working together to grow and develop and win the day. It was a pleasant read. It didn't require a 200 hour life commitment, it didn't invade my life or haunt my nights. I needed something healthy and light. I will read the next one.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flavius Morro Bay, CA, United States 04-20-15
    Flavius Morro Bay, CA, United States 04-20-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Are We What We Pretend To Be?"

    "NPCs" did exactly what I expect of a book of this type: it entertained me from start to finish.

    The premise is a fun one. When a group of adventurers (player characters) screws up and gets themselves killed, an unlikely group of townsfolk decide to take on their identities. What follows is fun, and not always expected.

    There is more character development in this story than in a lot of stories like it, and in fact, much of the story is built around this development. I enjoyed the blurring of the lines between pretending to be something and actually becoming that thing. The characters are believable, likable and worth rooting for.

    The narrator is great. He manages to do distinct voices for all of the major characters, but is never obtrusive.

    This book is a fun, diverting listen.

    21 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JDL525 06-10-15
    JDL525 06-10-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Some adventures start after the dice are put away."
    Where does NPCs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was an Audible purchase I made as an addition to buying the kindle copy of the book. A bit of a throw away really, but I've never been happier with an add-on. This story was wonderful, and the performance fits it masterfully.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I've been a fan of Paper and Dice RPGs since I was a young boy and this story does a great job of making you appreciate the games and making you think about what did happen after you left that "bar" that the story started in?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The opening transition from Players to NPCs was a great setup for what was to come. However, the scenes with Grumble were ultimately my favorite.


    Who was the most memorable character of NPCs and why?

    It's hard to choose a favorite, but Thistle probably wins in the end. He has a nicely developed back story and takes an entertaining arc throughout the story.


    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Hardy 08-12-16
    T. Hardy 08-12-16

    U.S. Soldier

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Great concept but..."

    The concept of this book was a lot of fun. However, the execution fell flat for me. It built up the story but never really took advantage of the original idea. I'm not sure why the author chose to use the blended world concept at the beginning and then the end but it wasn't present anywhere else. I thought the characters were likeable though.

    There was a strange background story at an awkward place toward the end of the book that I felt took something away from the climax.

    The voice acting was really good. The characters were distinct and he kept the story moving.

    All of that being said. I was entertained but I would think twice about getting another book in this series or by the author. I would listen to another book by the voice actor though.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
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  • Elizabeth
    12/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great adventure (and gaming) story"
    Would you listen to NPCs again? Why?

    Yes - the narrator was very good and I think I'd pick up more references on a second listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of NPCs?

    It was in the final scenes, so I don't want to spoil the story.


    Have you listened to any of Roger Wayne’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but will be looking out for them in the future: he narrated the book well and included a great range of character voices.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The characters' initial decision to leave, and Thistle's backstory.


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to getting the next book in the series!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Zen
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    10/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you have ever played a Role Playing Game"
    Where does NPCs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not the greatest book I have ever listened to but at the same time it left me with a smile on my face. It's easy listening, the plot isn't complex, the characters fit really well and the premise is good. I enjoyed it enough to buy the second in the series which is what you would hope a good story would encourage you to do.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • DAVID EELES
    1/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great listen"

    loved it great listen, nice story will be getting the next in the series, brilliant

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    London, UK
    5/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Struggled a little with the narrator."

    Was still a good book with am interesting idea at the heart of the story. Was short enough that got through it in 2 or 3 days just didn't find myself caring for the characters didn't buy in and feel invested in the outcome. Would give the author and his books another chance maybe it was my mood at the time I started.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Charlie Tomkins
    4/27/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really enjoyable."

    I thought the overall story was a good start to a series but in my opinion there were a lot of missed opportunities for comedy throughout.

    Having said that, I thought the performance was very good and the characters well written. I'll be getting the sequel Asap.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Misspelt
    4/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting take on D&D!"

    The NPCs strike back and outshine the players! Though if you roll like some of these players you can't expect much of a result. An interesting story with a definite unusual approach. To my mind it missed an opportunity: it pits NPCs alongside 'real life players' but there is so little interaction that it's almost a D&D story devoid of that twist. A little slow in places but generally moved along quite well. Very enjoyable and extremely well narrated. Worth a listen but really only if you're a fan of this genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • LifeToLawrence
    4/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great fantasy adventure!"

    I'm a regular D&D player but even if I wasn't I think I would enjoy this book! The characters are likeable and the story is brilliant and original. A great listen, hours we'll spent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs.
    10/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "High highs, but a low baseline"

    An interesting premise that soon feels played out. Only when it twists at the end does the basis for the book seem worthwhile.

    There are some clever references and great lines that Will make you chuckle if you're into RPGs, but I didn't quite connect with the characters, possibly because I wasn't mad on the voice of the narrator, specifically the voice he used for one of the main characters.

    A decent read (a little short) and a sequel has a lot of potential if lessons are learned from the saggy areas of the original.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matt C.
    10/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it"

    I thought this was a well written book, i look forward to the next book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clayton
    9/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "D&D like novel"

    Really enjoyed this book, was a cool and entertaining viewpoint on a 'classic' D&D type based world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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