In less traditional RPGs, narrative control is less strictly separated between gamemaster and players.In this case, the line between PC and NPC can be vague.
Although these characters are still designed and normally controlled by the gamemaster, when players are given the opportunity to temporarily control these non-player characters it gives them another perspective on the plot of the game.
Some systems, such as Nobilis, encourage this in their rules.
In other cases, these "live" NPCs are virtual actors, playing regular characters which drive a continuing storyline (as in Myst Online: Uru Live).
In early and less advanced RPGs, NPCs only had monologue.
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