In their travels in the Traveller universe, the PCs will sometimes run into true professionals. They are not all alike, but they do share some features and attitudes.
If the Referee is really good at roleplaying such NPCs, some of that attitude might even rub off on the PCs!
Naturally, if the PC wants to play such a man, that PC should do a bit of research on how such leaders and stand-outs become what they are. It’s OK if the PCs just want to hit every target, but it’s definitely better if the Player acts in a way that shows he actually earned his stripes, abilities, and powers.
If you have read my Stellar Reaches works, you know I like to make deep and complex NPCs. (The phrase “frustrated novel writer” as a bit of a bite in my case…)
Most NPCs are not like this: not even most of my NPCs are — or even can be — so deep. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they just give directions, add colour, shoot at (and get shot by) the PCs, etc.
And even my deeper NPCs exist to give the universe depth for the Players, the real focus of the adventure. I want to give them some real meat to chew on, to react to, to reflect on and plan against.
BTW: I admit that I am amused by the NPC meme, so clearly sketched out by Black Pigeon. But it took a bit of time for me to realize that the term ‘NPC’ today mainly refers to computer-run characters on software role-playing games, not pen-n-paper NPCs who – however flimsy and shallow they usually are – are still run by a real human being, the Referee.