Day 18 - Meet
I thought today I'd talk about the Non-Player Characters (NPCs) that the player characters meet during the course of play. What it boils down to is that not every NPC that the characters meet will be important to the story or plot, but the NPCs that are should be somewhat more fleshed out than those that aren't. They should have their own motivations, goals and aspirations; not every NPC of import has to be fully fleshed out, but having an idea of their motivations and goals always helps the GM in roleplaying these characters and perhaps making them memorable.
That said, the GM should remember that the players are the headline characters of the game (show), while NPCs are recurring characters or extras in the background that help the GM on different levels. They're in the game world to add realism to it, show that the game world is not static around the player characters, serve to show that player character actions have consequences, and can act to reveal (important) information to the player characters that might have happened while they were off doing something else. Naturally, NPCs can range between being actively helpful to the player characters to being actively working against the player characters' goals and motivations.
How to sum this up best? Players and their characters won't remember the stall vendor who does a mercantile transaction with them and hands them a small pouch of change when it's all done. On the other hand, they will remember the silver-haired stall vendor who talks to them about their taste in clothing, talks softly to them when conducting mercantile business, and shouts loudly at various passersby or at their poor, single worker at the back of the stall.
Personality and quirks given to an NPC does wonders for the bringing to life of the game world, but also helps players and their characters *remember* them, and who knows? Perhaps the players and their characters will establish a relationship with said merchant in future and even (gasp!) come to care for them.
Oh, and the silver-haired stall vendor I mentioned above? His name is Habib Ibn Aziz Abd-Al-Salif. He appeared in a session of the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked that I ran. :)
And there you have this eighteenth post for this #RPGaDay for August, 2020. Comments, thoughts, questions, etc. are all welcome, of course. :)