I've been thinking a lot about stakes recently, and how to make them more interesting. It sometimes feels like every fantasy story I read has the exact same stakes. Usually, the protagonist's life is at risk, as well as someone they care about. What I've noticed, though, is that while those stakes are technically both high and personal, (Which is usually the default advice for creating stakes) they in no way guarantee a story will have strong tension. I'm curious what other things you've used (or seen other writers use) as stakes in their stories, and if you have used life-and-death stakes, what techniques you've used to make them more compelling. How do you make your reader care about the plot as much as the characters do?