Alternately, cast the reverse to turn into a villainy.
The point is that people who display genuine kindness or villainy are more interesting than people who do not. If you want your PCs to care about an NPC, one way or the other, have them do one/more of these straight/reversed:
- join them for a meal
- ask if they'd like to go with
- help them learn something
- bring them food
- give them a piece of art
- give them something personally important
- express genuine admiration, sympathy, or interest
- clean or tidy something for them
- do or offer to do a chore or small task
- visit them while they are sick or down
- give them a thoughtful gift: relevant trinket, favorite meal
- tend to something important to them: pet, relative, child, collection
- stand up for them, overtly or subtly
- throw / take out for a party or celebration
- buy drinks or meal, pay entry fee
- pay off a debt or purchase something expensive
- ask what they want to do
- offer genuinely helpful advice
- give them an opportunity to get something they want
- give them company
Here's how it works. It's your turn as GM to say something interesting. Maybe they're in town piddling around, or maybe they've just rested up at the guild, and let's spice things up with some investment in the fiction, shall we?
So you roll / click on the list and you get 16: buy drinks or meal, pay entry fee.
- Think of an NPC you'd like to show off with this kindness / villainy
- Have the NPC approach with an offer to display this kindness / villainy
- Have the NPC display this kindness / villany
- This may lead to something else: another kindness / villainy, an opportunity for reward, whatever.
Example: PCs have just rested up in the guild. I have their old handler Igrild approach one of the PCs and ask if they want to head to the Roost tonight, drinks on me. Even if the PC declines, I've made the NPC more interesting. If you want to put some oomph in the fictional offer, actually offer a small amount of XP for completing the "quest" of going with her. While there, she offers an opportunity ("I was wondering if you might be interested in...") or reveals a vulnerability ("Thanks for coming. I haven't really been able to have much fun recently.") or else there is in general something interesting that happens—or not! This scene alone is fine.
And then you move on. Took maybe 1d4+1 minutes of game time and made the world and the people in it seem more real. And maybe netted folks some XP.
To do the reverse in the example above, have the NPC ask if the PC wants to go out to the club or whatever, but, when they arrive, have the NPC expect the PC to pay her way and to be genuinely nonplussed when the PC won't pay. Or, if the PC does, keep pushing her narcissistic sense of entitlement and general nastiness. Whether the PC ditches her in disgust or unaccountably goes along with it, either way you've got a good thing.