Not saying you can't meet them of course, they can help you, give you quests, appear in the main story, travel a little with you during a specific part of the story timeline etc......
This could be very interresting and good reference to the FR.
But seriously, reduce them as a "camp follower" such for exemple :
- your bags holder (mules),
- merchants following you everywhere (just for convenience because this is another immersion breaking element)
- "doctor" that's going to heal or "un-cursed" you ?
- craftsman that's going to craft your arrow or repair your weapons
- Monster hunter that gives you side hunting quests
Baldur's Gate 1&2 looks like they are a part of the story / side story in the FR and BG3 should definitely look like that too.
Pick elements or names and put them in wtf situations just to show it's connected with The Forgotten Realms would just sucks.
Maybe I'm wrong about what they call "potential camp follower" but this is really what it looks like to me in such a RPG.
Clearly there is more to this the camp then just ease of access, I think its tied to the larger plot. For example we know that there are alot of refugees, like cast out Tieflings and others that you met on the road to Baldur's Gate. So perhaps refugees, mercanaries, victims of the mindflayers and others are turning to you and your companions for answers and protection, that is why you have this camp, which seems to evovle into a mobile town/stronghold.
So maybe the merchants are refugees you rescued so they join your camp because they feel safer. And your companions join you because of the shared interest in the tadpole. And you run into Mercs that join you because you pay them and they need the work. And others see this growing entourage following you for security and opportunities and even hope, and they get attracted to your camp as well.
And Volo sees something special going on around you, that you and your companions are at the center of important events, and as a writer, he wants to know what's going on, he wants the story and he might also have jobs for you maybe that will help him with things he wants to know.
Who knows maybe Volo will be a romance option!