I had my spring cleaning just the other day (living in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are the reverse of what most readers would consider normal), and it reminded me of something that should be an annual tradition with gamers – spring cleaning of their games.
For Players, that means looking at any long-standing character goals and assessing whether they have moved any closer to achieving them in the past year, or have discarded them in favor of other, more immediate objectives. Are there any mysteries that have been presented on which the events since the last spring cleaning can shed any light? Have new questions been raised, and how do they relate to the old ones? Are you still playing the character with the same personality that he had a year ago, or have you slipped away from the purity of concept that you once had – and is the result an improvement? Have you told the GM what you like about the campaign he’s running? Is there something you would like to see more of? (I assume that if there was some cause of unhappiness that this would be communicated).
For GMs, its time to look at the loose plot threads – are there any that have been forgotten, or neglected? How about the NPCs, do they still have realistic goals and reasons for staying with the party, or are they due to strike out on their own at the first (in)convenient opportunity? Have the villains done anything to advance their own agendas? Has there been political and economic evolution within the campaign, or has it slipped into a perpetually-stagnant never-never land?
When should Spring Cleaning take place in a campaign? I would vote for the anniversary of commencement, that’s the date that I usually use…