Wow! Come on, OG... I would bet that half the players reading RPG.Net weren't born in 1976 (no slight on you or them, just the facts). An old plot doesn't mean it's not a good plot - as long as it's not overused. I am more concerned about PC betrayal myself, as it tends to affect long-term players and PCs dynamics.Right. And if 100 orcs in a 10 x 10 foot room is "Fantasy Role Playing Cliche #1", then "NPC Betrays PC" is "Fantasy Role Playing Cliche #2".
This idea was stale as early as 1976 or 1977.
I always like seeing advice for junior (or even not so junior) GMs which might make them reconsider how to play villains.
See, that's all based on the system. Being a GURPS adept, I feel that any PC who selects the "Dependent" disadvantage deserves to see them threatened, whereas one who decribes his dependents in his background but is not inclined to pick the disadvantage clearly states that he doesn't want his PC's relatives to be part of the story. And some PCs like the cliches......any GM who uses "Hurt the PCs with their background" or "betrayal" should be forced to clean Jabba the Hutt's toilet.