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Are 'recurring characters' a good idea?

I am not sure mr pratchet is in the spirit of the question. Were not all his books on the same disc world where characters crossing stories would not be far fetched?
I missed the part of the OP where they weren't allowed to be in the same universe. Question to me seemed to be about having recurring characters, such as you might find in a game series. I think Discworld fits that bill perfectly, where all the parts are individual installments, but there can be cross-overs between the different parts.

Well...death does come for us all. He's such a jerk.
Actually he's quite adorable in Discworld. Very friendly really.