They might have their own personal quests, but likely at some point they’ll need soemthing else to do – which is why it’s useful to have an NPC who tells them what to do. Maybe it’s a boss, a client, someone who’s holding their loved ones captive, they’ll set out a challenge that needs completing before the story can move on.
- A client asks you to take a shipment to another planet – Just like in Firefly, Serenity transports goods for a client, so they can get paid to keep flying.
- Baddie needs capturing/killing – There’s someone, a monster perhaps causing trouble, and needs taking out. Someone asks your characters for help.
- Fetch quest – A village eldar needs something. Perhaps it’s some stones of great power that have gone missing (like in Indiana Jones Temple of Doom). Your characters have to go find them and bring them back. It might involve a battle with a monster like above.
- A character has been kidnapped – And the kidnapper is telling you to do things, or they’ll return the captive in itty bitty pieces.
People who give you quests
- Space Admiralty – In a starship game (Star Trek etc) it might be an Admiral who calls up your ship and gives you a mission to do.
- The Captain – It might also be someone on your ship who tells the other characters what to do. This might be a player character or an NPC. The Captain gives the orders, so the other characters have to get to it! (I personally don’t like this one as much because it has a bottleneck of just 1 player giving orders).
- Client – Your characters need to get paid. The client is offering to pay them or a job well done.
- Parents – Everyone does what their parents ask, right?
- A secret organisation – This could be interesting if a secret organisation gives just 1 character a mission which is slightly different to the rest. It could even be to sabotage everyone else’s mission!
- Baddies – Like the kidnapper example above, it could be a baddie who gives your characters a quest. Perhaps they’re blackmailing your characters? Or have some sort of power of pursuasion over them.