Note: This tutorial assumes that you know what events are and how to edit them, as well as how to make new maps and set up transitions between maps. If you don’t know how to do these things, I have a great tutorial to get you started on using RPG Maker here.
If you’re anything like me, your first attempt to make a shopkeeper in RPG maker went something like this. You created a small map to be the inside of the shop (using the interior tileset of course), made a shop counter, placed an NPC behind the counter and set them to have “Shop Processing” with whatever items you wanted them to sell. Your shop would look something like this:
Then you run the game in playtest mode and tried to buy something from your shiny new shop, only for noting to happen. You check to make sure that the game is working, and everything works fine except for the shopkeeper. What happened?!
The answer, gentle reader, is that the shopkeeper is working fine, but you can’t get to them. By placing the counter in front of the shopkeeper, you placed an impassable tile between the player and the event they need to interact with. Does this mean it’s impossible to have a merchant behind a counter in RPG Maker? No. The trick to making it work is that the counter will actually be your shopkeeper. Click on the tile directly in front of your NPC.
Right here. In the event editing screen give that tile shop processing with whatever items you want this merchant to sell, and make sure to set the event priority as “Same as Characters” and the the trigger as “Action Button”. You can leave the graphic blank so it will look exactly the same as the tile below it. When you’re done it will look like this:
Notice the part I’ve circled in red. By default, the priority will be “Bellow Characters” which means you won’t be able to activate it unless you’re standing on top of it, but since it’s on an impassable tile, you can’t stand on top of it, so you won’t be able to interact with it.
If you follow all of these instructions, you should have the appearance of buying items from a merchant behind a counter. This is also how you create a merchant who has different lines if you talk to them from behind the counter. When they are on the other side of the counter from you, you are interacting with a different event then when the counter is between you and them. It also means that all this time you’ve been buying items from magic, item-selling counters and desks!