A hierarchy of Non-Player Characters
Walk-ons and placeholders. You wonít develop these characters at all usually. They are just people in the background meant to lend a little realism or perform a simple function and then disappear forgotten. Of course players can always surprise you and take one of these walk-ons and make them important, but more on that latter.
Minor characters may make a difference in the story but the players (and the gm!) just arenít supposed to get too involved wit them, negatively or positively. Their desires and actions might cause a twist n the story, but play no role in shaping its ongoing flow.
Major characters are the npcs that we care about. They are loved and they are hated, feared or express hope. They show up repeatedly in a story. While their desires and actions do not drive the story forward in the same way as the player characters, they do provide a lot of twists and turns and the players often expect to find out what happens to them by the end.
There is no real wall dividing one level from the others in a campaign.