What characters and NPCs live in the back of your head?

Roger wrote:

I quite often get PCs I’ve played a lot doing that, but NPCs are rarer.

I did have a related experience in a cyberpunk game at a Stabcon a few years ago. I got invited into it by some people I barely knew, and since the system being used was unfamiliar, and the setting was a future Japan that was going militaristic and authoritarian, I decided to create a PC whose objectives were to end up at the top of that via politics. Using the Hitler (1925-33) playbook worked horrifyingly well: at the end of the session, I’d ended up as the leader of a clique that was controlling Japan, without the players or GM realising who I was basing the character on. They wanted me to carry on with the campaign, but I wasn’t going to play that character again.


I can’t think of any time that’s happened with me, with either PCs or NPCs. Perhaps this is because I play not as “I do such and such” but as “he/she does such and such.”

I tend to use NPCs and side characters from one game as the basis for main characters in others.

De in the the 5e game here is based off my squire from my Pendragon campaign.

1 Like

I don’t think I’ve ever done that. If I’m running the world, then I want the NPCs to emerge from that distinctive world, not to be archetypes or stereotypes that could exist in any world. If I’m a player, I probably am going to try to do something new with my character for each new campaign, as a strategy for challenging my own roleplaying ability.

1 Like

Ah, but there’s also the fanfic impulse - this character didn’t get to have their own story in the original setting, and now they can.


I don’t seem to have much of that impulse. It always seems to me that a character grows organically out of a particular setting and could not be the same character if they were translated to a different setting. And that sense is particularly strong when I’m the GM (as seems to be assumed by talking of subordinate characters), because I’m very strongly invested in thinking about the logic of a particular fictional world.