Playing old PCs as NPCs

Has anyone ever done this? There are two departed characters who are relevant, but it feels like we, as participants invest connections to PCs and NPCs for very different reasons. A PC turned NPC feels like a new character, almost, like Kermit without Jim Henson.

I have two former PCs who, just from a story role point of view, are relevant now. Mark’s character Inge was last seen being hauled away by undead servants of the liche, near Vault. Now the players are set to go there, not addressing what happened to Inge seems like pulling a Chuck Cunningham. Same thing with Corn, played by Andrew, who when we last saw him was busily injecting himself into the criminal element of the players adoptive home town. He’s perfectly placed to be a thorn in their sides

I guess it’s like when you’re watching a series and they keep a character, but replace the actor. Sometimes it’s just better to write them out.

This was quite common in our Shadakai campaign. Since it’s such a long-lasting world, we’ve had countless overlapping adventures and campaigns. So many different characters, but a relatively small amount of players. But we do really love it when a PC-turned-NPC shows up to offer wisdom or help out a PC. If you read the 1-1’s Luke posts, you’ll see many references to once-PC characters.

I have found as long as you treat the character with some respect (no clown shoes), it’s a tried and true method. I find it keeps a sense of continuity in the campaign. On the other hand, sometimes it’s better to just have them fade into obscurity… not every PC is destined to be important.