While we were working on The Gathering Storm adventure campaign for WFRP, the team was reminded of the importance and narrative impact that simply giving a non player character a name can make. This is especially true for villains and bad guys. A corrupt politician or fearsome orc is one thing. But facing Reiner von Steinkampf or Korghael Skullcleaver is another matter entirely.
I think we designed some memorable, varied, and interesting characters in The Gathering Storm. But it’s not just the name that makes the character memorable. We also developed what would become the foundation for our nemesis rules for major non player characters. These rules were expanded and became an integral part of the Game Master's Toolkit.
This designer diary discusses nemesis NPCs and organisation in more detail.