Of Hobbits and Adventures

2008 December 8
by Stupid Ranger

This past weekend, Dante & I went to a dinner with some of his coworkers who also relocated to Colorado.  Our post-dinner conversation turned to a very familiar theme, one our good friend Tolkien incorporated into his well-known books:

You Can Never Truly Go Home

This is a theme that is very true to life.  As you grow up and move away from your childhood home, change will set in.  The places may or may not physically change.  But those you left behind will change as they have new experiences.  And you will have new experiences that will change your perception of things.  Things will never be exactly the way you remember; you can never truly go home.
And how this is related to roleplaying…
In my experience as a player, as life in adventures moves on to great things, the hometown seldom changes.  It provides a comfortable place to which adventurers can return when things are tough or just to unwind and refocus energies to their “save the world” quests.
There are occasions when this has not be true.  I played a character once whose mother was murdered by the Big Bads.  I had a difficult time moving my character beyond the destruction of her home environment, and for the rest of the time in that campaign, there was always that unsettling knowledge that she no longer had a home.
And my point to all of this
As a player, I never want to see my character’s home environment change throughout the campaign.  But I also know that changes occur while you are out adventuring.  The challenge for the DM is to understand how your players are attached to the home environment and incorporate change according to your players’ needs.  If returning to the home town is an integral part of the players routine, introduce small changes that don’t disrupt their way of life too much but are significant enough to be noticed.
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