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There are a bunch of moving parts, but this is basically how it works…
Upon creation of a new topic or reply (let’s call them ‘posts’ for brevity), bbPress triggers the new_topic or new_reply action, which bbpnns is tied into.
bbpnns will check which roles are supposed to be notified upon new posts, loads all users for all selected roles, uniquely, and sends out one message to each person.
At the same time, bbPress loads all users that were subscribed to the forum (for new topics) or to the topic (for new replies) and tries to send a message to those people.
bbpnns hooks into one of the filters inside that bbPress mailout function and takes over, but only if the respective forum/topic Override core option is checked in the settings. If it is checked, it replaces the body of the message and sends out a one email to each recipient (as opposed to one email with all recipients BCC’d, which is what bbPress wants to do).
So if you had a role set that would encompass all users and bbpnns was active, that would explain why they all received notifications.