Idea of the week, formulated:
It is very common to see CRPGs dominated by so-called FedEx quests — “Take this package and deliver it to X.” or “Go to X and tell him Y.” These are commonly considered bad form, since the characters are supposedly trying to save the world from the Bad Guy, which are also the two foremost RPG cliches. Saving the world and the Bad Guy, that is.
But why not do it the other way round? Let the characters actually be delivery agents. Let them go on missions for their delivery agency, picking up side jobs and saving the world not because they’re noble heroes, but because failure to save it will mean a definite loss of business and they just happen to be in the way, being delivery agents who poke their nose everywhere where they’re wanted and not wanted. Let alone all the possibilities of suspicious, malicious and otherwise infamous packages to be delivered, people taking their anger out on the messengers and other interesting things. And just imagine this sort of scene:
The Great and Terrible Miderian was preparing the last step for his world domination plan — the summoning of the evil daemon Arklezijuba. His loyal minions were ready for the ritual, the magic circle has been drawn, the sacrifice spread on the pentagram shaped table, the sacrifical dagger sharp and clean. Only one thing was missing.
Suddenly, someone knocked on the door.
“Federal Expresss delivery service! A delivery of one magic crystal for Mr. Miderian, sign here please!”
Don’t you like it already? :) I think I’m going to try it.