It’s been a while since we last saw the sentient sword Goldie. It’s been an equally long time since we’ve seen Skitters. Laurel says that has something to do with the difficulty of drawing a spider to-scale in the same panel as human-sized characters, but i think this one’s on me.

Whether you’re writing a sprawling series of disconnected fantasy vignettes or running a campaign, you’re bound to come up with characters that get left behind. While it’s a bit depressing to imagine the dreary lives of disused sentient items, I think that a sprawling cast of characters can actually serve an interesting purpose. When a few months or years of campaign time go by and  you’re able to pull out a blast from the past, the world suddenly feels more real. These characters don’t disappear simply because they’ve gone off-screen, but have continued to grow and change while the PCs were away. The effect is actually more powerful when it’s a minor character: a quirky shopkeeper who now owns a franchise or a stray dog, saved by the party back at level 1, who’s since been adopted by a local nobleman. Verisimilitude comes in a lot of different flavors, but I find that minor characters growing, changing, and making return appearances is an easy trick to pull off.

Question of the day then. Have you ever seen a throw-away character come back into the campaign months or years later? Was it a cool moment? Did it fall flat in a, “Wait…who was that again?” kind of way? Let’s hear it in the comments!


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