Why do RPGs have no tools for following the larger plot?
We have tons of mechanics for opening doors and climbing walls. Why do we have nothing to pull the players’ attention back towards the larger story? Why are there no rewards for furthering the plot?
No wonder DMs complain about players destroying plots; there’s nothing to keep them tied to the plot. No wonder most characters are basically kender, easily distracted by the latest NPC or plot hook; there’s nothing to remind them of the larger story.
So, I’d like to propose a fix for this:
At the beginning of your next session, pull out a piece of paper. Write Big Open Questions on the top. Ask the players: What are the big open questions remaining in the story? What are the mysteries? Write them down.
Encourage players to add new questions to the sheet during the session. Once the session ends, review it.
At the beginning of the next session–and every session thereafter–pull out the page, put it in front of the players, and ask them “Okay, what’s one question that you’d like to answer this session?”
See if it helps.