Sword & Sorcery protagonists don't change and that's just how we like it.
Are you going to ride the Story Horse or the Game Horse?
What is it for? is a question that can help you when you are brainstorming ideas for magic items, locations, and quest objectives.
In RPG's generally and sandbox games especially, theme can be very hard for the game master to create. I do not control or attempt to control the actions of the player characters in the game. If the player characters are the protagonists of their own story and game master has little to no control over what the characters attempt, then how do they become the embodiment of the theme?
While I am open to being convinced that I am wrong, I have previously proposed the following thesis: RPG's are not stories but games that utilizes stories as well the structures and tools of story telling as a central part of the game experience. The game and story sections bleed over. The underlying premise is …