You know what? Today’s comic is a good excuse to do a little double duty. I’ve been running the same megadungeon campaign for nearly six years, and I’ve let a metric buttload of plot threads build up in that time. I’ve got 20+ PCs in this game. We’ve gone 15 levels down and 14 levels up, and it’s high time to collect my thoughts and start paying off some errant storylines. So in an effort to illustrate the point of today’s comic, here’s a partial list of all the subplots my campaign needs to tidy up.

  1. What is the source of the magic that teleports PCs in and out of the dungeon?
  2. What happened to all those ghouls in the woods?
  3. Isn’t there a nation of efreet that think the party magus is monarch of an allied kingdom?
  4. Will the fish people on Level 3 ever be permitted into town?
  5. Where are the missing sacraments of the moon goddess?
  6. There are 14 phase spider infants loose in town. Shouldn’t there be some consequences?
  7. What kinds of changes will the new Adventurer University bring to town?
  8. When will the gnome orphan ever admit to his sister that he’s the one who set the fire that killed their parents?
  9. Will the gold dragon on Level 12 ever let the cavalier out of his geas?
  10. What ever became of the possessed dark tapestry oracle?
  11. When will tensions with the Friendly Rivals adventuring party come to a head?
  12. Who will get the next town council seat?
  13. Did those medusa cultists ever manage to resurrect their god?
  14. Can the +2 holy greatsword possessed by the soul of a slain paladin carry on a successful romance with the party spiritualist?
  15. What was the deal with those mythos slugs that carved runes into the ground when killed? Did the party get them all?
  16. Wasn’t the party cleric trying to convert the local thieves guild to his side? That’s probably going to piss off the guild master.
  17. Who exactly was the party witch/investigator chasing before he got mixed up with the other PCs?
  18. What aquatic monster gave the bloodrager his arcane powers?
  19. What’s going to happen when the ogre PC is finished with his “year and a day” service to the party?
  20. There’s still a gate to the Abyss on Level 7. Shouldn’t the PCs get around to closing it?

I could probably go on, but I think you begin to get my point. A campaign can go in a lot of different directions, and it’s easy to collect loose threads as you move through an increasingly complex plot. It’s weirdly cathartic to sit down and write out my thoughts, but I think that’s only half the equation. Before starting on my list, I sent this question out to my players: What plot points and character-specific storylines do I still need to pay off? I can write out subplots until I drop from exhaustion, but it’s all meaningless if my players don’t care about them.

So yes, it’s theoretically interesting that Aristocrat is hanging out with the Heroes (on the off chance you’ve forgotten about her, you can see her bio on the cast page under “Companions, Familiars & Minions”). However, if no one actually cares about her story, it’s probably better to let that subplot die.

So here’s my question of the day. What storylines in your own games are you most anxious to explore? Is there a “plot thread that got away” that you’ve always regretted? Let’s hear it in the comments!


ARE YOU AN IMPATIENT GAMER? If so, you should check out the “Henchman” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. For just one buck a month, you can get each and every Handbook of Heroes comic a day earlier than the rest of your party members. That’s bragging rights right there!