When you’re using a campaign model like the octopus, in addition to a main plotline or two, you have a number of side plots going at any one time.

Side plots can be events that spun off from PC actions, threads that the PCs ignored (or missed) in favor of other options or simply background events — part of a living, breathing campaign world.

As a GM, I enjoy progressing these plots while the PCs tackle the main storyline, but I have trouble with two things: making the side plots matter to the main game without muddying the waters, and finding ways to show my players that there are side plots at all. And if my players never see them, do they really matter?

Do you keep smaller storylines running in the background in your campaign? How do you handle them? Do your players ever get to see or interact with them?