Respect is a Two-Way Street–A Tip for RPG Players
You are not alone in the world. And, I’m not just talking about the other characters. I’m talking about the NPC’s. In a fleshed out game world there are dozens, if not hundreds, or NPCs you’ll come across, merchants, soldiers, healers, farmers, travelers, and so many more. Many of them are nothing more than a bit of background, but they can often be much more than that. A good DM will have spent some time crafting some memorable NPCs for you to interact with, some of which may even becoming recurring figures in your story. Whether they have a rich background or no background at all, they still deserve a bit of respect.
Now, obviously some of the NPCs you encounter are meant to be antagonists and were made for conflict. However, the blacksmith selling tools or the fruit merchant are just average folks going about their business. If you decide to give them a hard time, bear in mind that such things can come back to haunt you later on. You want to break in to the glassblower’s shop and steal his coins? You think you can rough up some of the beggars while seeking out information? You feel you don’t have to listen to what the queen’s guard tells you about admittance to the castle? Now, to be fair, you can do any of things, they should all be possible, but, what will the results be? That glassblower, they are a well respected member of the merchant’s guild and you may find yourself locked out of buying from many other merchants as a reprisal. Those beggars, maybe they work for the local thieves guild and you may find your pockets much lighter next time you visit town. Defying the queen’s guard is tantamount to defying the queen herself and you may end up exiled or in the dungeons.
The flip-side to all of that is NPCs can be a valuable resource when they are treated as such. The glassblower may need rare materials and will pay well for them. The beggars see everything that happens in town and they could share that knowledge for a few silver coins just as readily as they would from intimidation, without any bad side effects. The queen, it is always good to have wealthy and powerful patrons in your corner, as adventurers you never know when you may find yourself in need of aid.
So, the next time you think you can do whatever you want without any repercussions, remember that in a town, a castle, or anywhere in the world, everyone is connected in some way to others. Whether you want to be on the good side or bad side of that is of course up to you, but I know which side I’d prefer.
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