Change is coming to World of Warcraft with the announcement of the new expansion: Cataclysm. Whether you’re familiar with WoW or not change in fantasy games can be a good thing.
With the launch of 4e D&D, Wizards of the Coast brought change to the Forgotten Realms by advancing the timeline almost 100 years. This kind of change is pretty major and significant, but what about the smaller changes. I’m not talking about world breaking change. You don’t need to redefine the geography or have the PCs survive an apocalypse. I’m talking about smaller, subtler change to keep things interesting for the PCs.
When was the last time you brought change to your game?
Let’s look at an example, the PCs return to town and head to the local tavern. They find Sam the bartender waiting for them, the barmaid Carla is only to happy to bring the PCs drinks and there is Woody always happy to help out where needed. Is the scene the same every time the PCs go into the tavern?
Returning to town, after the harrows of exploring a dungeon, is supposed to be a welcome rest for PCs. They are able to restock and head out on their next adventure. But town doesn’t always have to stay the same. By having Woody disappear you can introduce new plot themes. Perhaps Sam was bought out or Carla was kidnapped. How do the PCs react to the news?
This example is a short one, but the point is that by changing what is comfortable for your PCs you keep them on their toes. You keep your campaign fresh and you introduce the possibility of many different adventure paths, which is particularly useful if you’re running a sandbox styled campaign.
What have you done to keep the little details of your campaign fresh? What small amounts of change have you introduced to your game to keep the plot moving? We’d love to hear from you.