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Web Video / Epic NPC Man

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Epic NPC Man is a web series by Viva La Dirt League about an NPC shopkeeper called Greg in the town of Honeywood. He has many interactions with his fellow, less genre-savvy NPCs and the players of the game (whose name is not given at first, but bears some similarities to The Elder Scrolls, and later episodes reveal that the name of the in-universe game is "Skycraft"). The series parodies the Role-Playing Game genre by pointing out some of the logic that can appear in video games, and deconstructs many video game tropes by replicating them in a live-action, semi-realistic environment.

All the episodes can be found here.

A Kickstarter campaign was held for a short film called Baelin's Route about the Fisherman NPC as he walks his scripted route around the world of Epic NPC Man which premiered in 2021.


Because of the nature of the series, expect a lot of Lampshade Hanging.

Epic NPC Man contains examples of the following

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Open Mic sees a player go AFK in front of Greg, then promptly turns on porn. Greg is forced to listen to every bit of it in sheer confusion and horror.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In "Blacksmith", the episode focuses on Bodger, the local blacksmith in Honeywood. He takes upon himself to forge a set of legendary armor for the PC's quest. Greg, the Garlic Farmer doesn't even show up in the episode proper until after the segment ends.
    Greg: "Hey! What are you guys doing over there?"
    Bodger: "Shut up, Greg! I've had it to here with you!"
    Greg: "It just—it just kind of feels weird, me not being part of this."
    Bodger: "It's not all about you, Greg! You don't have to be involved in every conversation!
    Everybody's always talking to Greg; well, it's MY time now!"
    Greg: (beat) "You're a little bit of a dick."
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
    • Most notably with Bodger who sells high level equipment to players at inflated prices. Examples include "Legendary Sword" (the player finds that they are not high enough level to wield what he just purchased) and "Markup" (where the player accidentally sells Bodger his main weapon and is infuriated to learn he has to buy it back with all the gold he has).
    • This also happens to Fred Orchardson the poor fruit seller, who is forced to buy items he doesn't need from players, despite not having enough to support his family. Later going mad as a result.
  • All Men Are Perverts: A good number of Male PCs shown have either a name of a sexual variation or are outright blatant with their sexual harassment of women in the game, be they PCs or NPCs.
  • Artifact Title: Originally, every episode was about Greg the garlic merchant or took place in front of his shop. Over time, fewer and fewer episodes showed the “Epic NPC Man” aside from the closing titles to the point where some seasons barely have him at all.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Greg hasn't exactly figured out that he's in a video game, but is more than aware enough to realize things aren't quite right about his world. Baelin, despite his very limited AI, also seems capable of functioning past that point should he be placed under enough stress.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Greg threatens death to an adventurer, when he does not stop skipping the dialogue.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Baelin is an annoying fisherman who always repeats the same phrase, but when two adventurers make the mistake of attacking him, he beats them both.
  • Blinded by the Light: A notable side effect for Holy Nova. The same can be said for magic in general.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Implied in the "Darkwood" episode, as Baelin's Evil Counterpart speaks in a noticeably more sophisticated manner.
  • British Brevity: The season lengths vary from seven to ten episodes. What they call a "season" is basically just what they could get shot in a day.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Of the two muggers, Bernard (the helmeted one) always tries to assault targets that are much more powerful than themselves, while Charles (the helmetless one) tends to fail to talk him out of it. In one episode, they even try to mug a literal dragon.
  • Butterface: In "Character Creation", The player briefly chooses Britt's body using the respective face, but quickly changes to a Rowan's face, but with the same body.
  • Calvinball: "Mini Games" features a bizarre Hearthstone-esque mini game which Greg lampshades as having completely incomprehensible rules.
  • Catchphrase:
    Baelin: "Mornin'! Nice day for fishin' ain't it? Hu hah!"
    Eugene: "Slow yourself, adventurer!" *pathetic crying*
    Greg: "Hello, adventurer, and welcome to the town of Honeywood!"
    The guard: "For the peace of the kingdom! For the King! For the Alliance! For king and country!"
    The muggers: "Let's mug 'em!"
  • Chainmail Bikini: Whenever Britt (the sole female in the main cast) is playing a PC, this trope inevitably comes into play.
  • Chew Toy: Fred Orchardson, gets abused by both players and NPC s alike:
    • Players force sell him items he doesn't need at inflated prices and rob his chest left out in the wilderness.
    • Another player, lies to him about accepting his quest and leads him to a demon to fight on his behalf.
    • When the muggers mug the wheelbarrow, the producers like a suggestion that it belongs to Fred so much that they made it canon.
    • In Baelin's path, he is restrained and robbed at knife point by a female assassin.
  • Conspicuously Selective Perception: Played straight and doubly subverted in "Assassin". The guard is killed because he concentrates on the stone being thrown, despite Greg noticing the assassin and trying to tell him. Greg, on the other hand, knows what's going on, but he is programmed to look, and he knows it!
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Baelin, most of the time he is an annoying fisherman who always repeats a phrase, but if they make him angry, shows how dangerous he really is.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: As the PC completes her final quest in Honeywood, Greg warns her to stay away from a dark evil town named Darkwood found up in the north. She then takes a time-lapsed journey to "Darkwood"... which just ends up being Honeywood with a dark fog filter applied to the camera. She then has a brief encounter with an "evil" version of Greg (who offers her a virtually identical quest!) as well as Baelin, the fisherman:
    Evil Baelin: "Good evening! Glorious night for fishing, wouldn't you say? Muhuhu... muhuhahaha!"
  • Damage Is Fire: It is to Greg's cottage. Fortunately, other NPCs have some sort of builder function and can repair it by hitting it with a hammer, causing the flames to vanish.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: One player, who is used to 'F' being the 'Use' key, discovers that it is the 'Punch' key, resulting in him accidentally punching Greg constantly when he presses it to advance the conversation.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The eponymous character gets to respawn if he is killed by a player.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Honeywood's Evil Twin settlement is "a dark, evil town named Darkwood, where darkness reigns".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: If a player kicks a chicken they will be horribly killed.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
    • The episode "Soulmate" can be seen as a metaphor for Alzheimer's.
    • "Quest Greg" reflects the idea of someone like a police officer, soldier or EMT watching a loved one die, but having to bury their own grief because they still have a job to perform.
  • Dull Surprise: Bodger's friend Isaac sleepwalks his way through any video he appears in, no matter how dramatic the situation.
    Isaac: (flatly) It's heartbreaking knowing what has happened to the women and children. They truly are suffering in these dark times.
    Ben PC: Yeah man, you seem really heartbroken about it.
  • Evil Hero: Many of the adventurers who are destined to be great heroes are assholes who will kill NPCs for fun.
  • Face of a Thug: Snuggles is one of the kindest adventurers Greg meets, despite being a troll with the respective terrifying appearance.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Baelin's Route", the rescued girl speculates aloud that Baelin might be something more than an ordinary fisherman. One of her guesses - that he's an orc disguised as a human - turns out to be correct about a different character.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality / Invulnerable Civilians: During the episode "Taking advantage of NPC's - Cannon Fodder" a patch that made village escort npcs unkillable is introduced. Ben decides to exploit this and accepts their quests, instead walking them to a high level giant demonic boss. Suddenly all the harmless looking civilians yell out catch phrases and pull out improvised weapons, witling down the boss' health while the players steps back and smirks.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming:
    • Greg the garlic farmer and the main quest-giver NPC for Honeywood, Baradun the main storyline quest giver, and Bodger are at least somewhat self-aware and recognize the many oddities about their world. The wood cutter from the episode of the same name was able to start grasping his situation, but then reset (possibly out of despair).
    • Charles (the helmetless mugger) appears to attempt this when the circumstance is stupid enough, but is eventually reset by Bernard with a "Hey! What are we?!" He also notices when a dialogue loop happens, but is again unable to break out of it.
    • The "Baelin's Route" movie is all about this. Baelin the fisherman is the single most basic NPC in the game with only one line of dialog, but when faced with new situations he breaks out of his behavior loop and develops rapidly.
  • HA HA HA—No: When Dinkledork applies to join the Rangers Guild this is the ranger's response. Then Dinkledork puts on a Charisma Ring and the ranger immediately sees him as worthy, even though he's still the same dork as he's been before.
  • Hammerspace: Most times with the players' "inventory" system, but notably in "Horse Pocket," where the player characters are shown to produce horses from thin air.
  • Healing Potion: The mechanics behind these are parodied, specifically the fact that you can stop play to heal, and that eating will heal you of all ills.
  • Idle Animation: Player characters sway subtly whenever the player isn't doing anything.
  • Ignored Epiphany: In Vikings the Honeywood Muggers are robbed by the titular Vikings — two of whom had distracted the pair with a polite conversation that described the very method that was used on the pair, as a third snuck up and stole their stuff — and thus realize, for the first time in their lives, the sort of feeling that they've given their own victims. To cheer themselves up, they decide to mug Eugene.
  • Impossible Thief: Players are able to do this, as demonstrated when a guard has his uniform stolen off him.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy: Parodied.
    • In "Over Powered", A guard congratulates the adventurer for defeating the troll, as the guards were not strong enough to defeat him, but the adventurer was. When the adventurer accidentally kicks a chicken, the guard kills the adventurer in a single attack.
    • In "Danger Music", an adventurer meets a little mouse who turns out to be a very powerful enemy.
    • In "Multi Escort", 4 npcs that seem to lack fighting skills and need the adventurer to protect them, are able to defeat a powerful dragon.
    • In "Baelin's Route" the title character can barely block enough enemy attacks to stay alive when recruited as a companion by an adventurer, but when fighting by his own choice lays absolute waste to every adventurer and monster to oppose him. Another character directly asks about this, and he dodges the question. To be fair, initially, he really didn't know what was going on at first, and thus would be more concerned about protecting himself than killing someone he'd just met.
    • In "Why you don't fight NPC's", a level 60 adventurer who has defeated orc armies is no match for a fruit vendor.
  • Improvised Weapon: Baelin, the fisherman in "Chicken" uses his pole like the rest use their swords. Yeah, go figure. In later instances he uses it as a staff.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Necessary due to the limited cast, but justified as this is a video game that reuses character assets. Often noticed by characters.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: In "Blocked Path," Rowan and Ben argue about their ability to cross an ankle-high fallen log. And in "Block", an NPC stands in a doorway, preventing the player from passing through.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Baelin's "Mornin'! Nice day for fishin', ain't it?" line usually has no deeper meaning, but when he does want to convey something else the other characters have no trouble interpreting it.
  • Jerkass:
    • A lot of the player characters come off this way, be it they skip the dialogueinvoked, pull some very stupid moves (like block another NPC's path, or fire at a Chainmail Bikini clad player), or some...more questionable actions.
    • There is the Main Quest-giver NPC named High Sorcerer Baradun, who never misses a chance to be condescending about Greg and Honeywood.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In "Bare Minimum", Greg criticizes the adventurer for only rescuing 4 of the 14 children, but the adventurer points out that the mission requirement was to save a minimum of 4 and if he wanted him to save everyone, he should have made it a requirement.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The ingredients needed for the Argons armour set are Argons Mushrooms, Argons Cup, Argons Emblem, Argons Plug, Argons Belt, Argons Lock, Argons Eyeball, Argons Helm and... Gregs Garlic.note 
  • Lawful Stupid: The City Guards, oh so much.
    • "Perception": A guard investigates the murder of one of their comrades, only to holler out repeatedly "What could have done this?!".
    • "Persuade": A group of guards attempt to arrest a player for her numerous crimes. They set her free when she simply convinces them that she didn't do it... only to let her murder one of their comrades.
  • Meaningful Name: There's an adventurer named Dinkledork, who's... well, you know.
  • Left-Justified Fantasy Map: Yes, it has one.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: Using the pause and inventory menus to turn the tide and win mid battle occurs more than once during the series. Notable occurrences are: "How to win battles in RPG’s - Pause" and "Healing in the middle of combat - Banquet".
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: The gold farmer's user name is "DefinitelyNotAGoldFarmer".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Whenever Britt is featured as a character, Britt's attractive appearance is often emphasized in most episodes, such as the episode about female armor in RPG video games.
  • Nice Guy: Greg is usually nice to everyone.
  • Ninja Prop: Despite the live-action appearance, the show still takes place inside a video game and thus often features typical onscreen graphics such as dialog windows, tutorials, gamertags and option boxes. Some NPCs and players do notice these; one episode features Greg and Bodger attempting to inflate their respective graphics in a bizarre pissing contest.
  • No Hero Discount: Skewered in "Legendary Sword" when Bodger The Blacksmith charges Adam the player for the titular sword to slay the dragons that threaten to destroy everything, including Bodger himself.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: The Troll Snuggles in "Troll". Despite his terrifying appearance, Snuggles turns out to be much friendlier than most player characters, who tend to act like jerkass.
  • Not so Above It All: Greg is usually the most level-headed character, but he's not immune to having his crazy moments.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Greg usually fulfills that role, although even he is not immune to oddities.
    • Inverted in several sketches staring 2 PCs, played by Rowan and Ben. Rowan's character is using real world logic, and thus makes sense to the viewer; while Ben's character is respecting the rules of the game's logic, and thus naturally the sketch will ultimately prove Ben right.
  • Photo Mode: The "Taking photos in games - Photo Mode" episode parodies this, with the NPC being not paused and getting confused about everything what's happening.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Evil Twin of Greg in Darkwood. Despite being supposedly evil, his evil actions are limited to a Machiavellian laugh, but beyond that, he is no different from Greg.
  • Prone to Tears: Eugene the Escort Mission NPC, who is constantly sobbing uncontrollably and loudly about his dead family. This can lead to very unpleasant situations, like alerting enemies during his quest.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: Most of the characters played by Britt, they don't like wearing a bikini as armor.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: The chicken that was kicked in "Chicken", and the rats that were killed in "Rats", were added into the videos in post-production.
  • Shout-Out: VLDL, from the very beginning, asked for viewers to provide their gamer tags to feature in episodes. The most prominent to feature: PewDiePie in the second episode of the first season.
  • Skewed Priorities: In "Mini Games", the PCs seem a lot more interested in playing a Hearthstone-esque card game than defending Honeywood.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The muggers can't resist trying to mug people, even high level players who can kill them in an instant. Or dragons. Or, on one bizarrely successful instance, a wheelbarrow.
  • Take Your Time: In "Accept", Greg is poisoned and supposedly has a few minutes to live, the adventurer can afford to do a lot of missions before, and still save him in time.
  • Team Rocket Wins: The muggers finally get a successful robbery when they decide to mug a wagon. (It should be noted that they were not mugging a driver, but the wagon itself)
  • Uniqueness Value: Straight-up subverted in the episode One Of A Kind. He provides his family heirloom, a ring, to the first adventurer. He then, more reluctantly, offers the same to the second adventurer. The box gets dropped, and we find that there are actually a lot of rings in his box.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Two adventurers take a beating later when they try to attack the fisherman.
    • Exaggerated in Over Powered, where an adventurer gets killed by a guard because the former accidentally kicked a nearby chicken.
    • Not to mention the other player who'd kicked one deliberately, and immediately got mobbed and slaughtered by the entire town.
  • Violation of Common Sense: When a random PC decides to attack Greg's shop, it spontaneously catches on fire. As the assault continues the fire gets worse, until the PC gets bored and leaves. While Greg frets over the calamity, Baelin calmly walks over and decides to help put the fire out... by repairing the hut with a hammer!
  • Welcome to Corneria:
    • "Nice day for fishing, ain't it?" Even after he has repaired a shop, or killed a player. And even in winter!
    • The other NPCs are similarly prone to repeating various stock phrases, always with the exact same cadence and tone.
  • You All Look Familiar: Parodied. All of the player and non player characters are played by the same handful of actors, and the characters notice.
  • You Monster!: The trio of players in "Hot Stuff" who killed every maiden in Honeywood...for an achievement!