While The Rhine is a persistent world, our primary focus is on campaign and narrative; we create a setting for the story with the NPCs being supportive characters, but in the end the PCs are the starring roles who are really meant to make the most impacting and interesting changes to the world around them.
On many servers, PCs are almost permanent fixtures – they remain a common and constant part of the world, but little they do actually changes the setting and story other than how they impact the other PCs around them. On The Rhine, we look for more out of a PC; each character is a story of their own with a beginning, a middle, and eventually an end. We encourage and expect PCs to influence the world around them, shake up the status quo and leave lasting impressions on both other PCs the world around them during their lifespan.
PCs having personal quests, goals and desires is a very important part of The Rhine – we don’t expect all PCs to have world changing aspirations nor for players to know on the first few days of a PCs existence exactly how they plan on pursuing goals. We also don’t expect all PCs to necessarily make a huge impact – but we do want them to be memorable. Your PC may strive to be remembered as a gladiator who defeated a captured drake barehanded in the arena, or they may strive to become a master crafter that even the Magistrates personally seek them out. Your PC could be a religious devout who funds the building of a new temple, could be a legionary who becomes renowned for dealing a crippling and lasting blow to barbarian cultists, they could be a mage who aspires to create flaming blades, a barbarian who intends to assassinate the Prefect or even a witch who becomes famed for astrology readings – or any number of other things! We want players to explore, we want players to push the setting and we want players to test the limits on what a PC is able to do. We want PCs to each have their own narratives, and work with one another to meet their goals.
As DMs, it’s our role to support these goals and desires of PCs. That doesn’t mean every PC will get their goal met – some will die before they can, others will end up supporting the goals of others, and others will simply fail for one reason or another. That’s the way of things — but we do want to see the PCs do well, we want to see impacting changes, and we want to have the narrative shook up.
It is also worth noting that every single NPC is their own character, and their own being within the world. They’re not as fleshed out as PCs, they won’t run around doing memorable actions like PCs on a normal basis, but they still have their own goals and desires, and they might not always work with the PCs, or they could actively work to prevent a goal – afterall, the Prefect certainly does not want to be assassinated, and it’s safe to assume the NPC Tribunes would likely not support anything of the sort.
The actions of NPCs do not reflect a DM’s opinion of a player; if a player is a wanted villain, a loved hero, or a cultural leader of druids that doesn’t show how we personally feel. In fact, as long as the PC is doing something to change things up.. we probably like them! We assume the role of NPCs much like you assume the role of your PC, and we do our absolute best to keep personal feelings and meta-knowledge out of any kind of NPC interactions.
We encourage players to have their PCs pursue personal quests for their own goals – any goals, as long as they are appropriate within the setting. Not every personal goal has to be enormous, and PCs may very well have a number of smaller goals they achieve to lead up to their main goal – and again, we want to help make that happen. If you have any questions about anything, feel free to discuss them with us at any time – we won’t give you a roadmap on completing a goal or give concrete answers on everything (unless the goal is impossible, we will tell you if it cannot be done), but we will provide information and hints, and help out along the way.
Once your PC reaches level 3, feel free to send a message to a DM about any type of quest or goal that you think your PC is in need of – this will need to be arranged in game, and sought out by the PC, but letting us know if you have a solid idea on what you want makes things easier for everyone.