OK - So what really made me think of this was that my boys were watching that new Marvel superhero show/cartoon. The only thing they ever seem to do is chase after these fragments of some massively powerful device. That’s it. It reminded me of when Dr. Who was going after the Key of Time (Key to Time? whatever). For those old folks like me out there you probably remember - That thing went on forever! By the time we got to the end of the story line, I just wanted to never hear of the Key of Time again. I really didn’t care what he fought next, as long as there was no connection.
Then the smoking hot Romana got turned into the weird looking Romana and Tom Baker actually dated or married the goofy looking one. OK - no relevance, but I’m still upset that they stopped using the hot one. So...Forget this paragraph
The point is this - Linking adventures is a good idea, but it can be taken too far. Fighting dragons is a good idea too - lots of daring and adventure, but come the eleventh dragon fight it's, yawn, another dragon, pass the Cheetos. Dr. Who is actually a really good example of this. Why does that show work? Well, you have action and adventure, but not too much fighting. There’s a strong element of being afraid, even if you’re armed with a super powered laser rifle. There are recurring bad guys (“permanent enemies”). Let’s look at those. Dr. Who would not be what it is without the daleks, cybermen, sontarans, and the Master. The risk is over using these main stays, but Dr. Who seems to dance the tight rope well, coming up with new stuff while hitting some of the old stuff every once and a while. For my money, that’s where the best campaigns sit as well - lots of new stuff, with enough reminders of the past to keep everyone nostalgic.