Solo Tips & Advice #16 A different kind of plot hook

I always suggest starting games ‘in media res’, in the thick of the action. It demands an immediate reaction, doing nothing is not an option, but this also leaves a myriad of unanswered questions. If you are on a plane where the engines have failed, what are you going to do? Why did they fail? Seeing as the game is all about your character it begs questions about the pilot and co-pilot.

I haven’t started a game with that opening scene, but it sounds like a cool Eldritch Tales, Ghost Ops, or Delta Green entry point.

The way you choose to proceed is likely to shape the entire game, as one door opens, often others close. If you grab a parachute, you may never know what happened to the pilot, if you head to the cockpit you may find the crew demonically possessed, dead in their seats, or trying to evade a hostile fighter that you had not noticed from your seat. Pick one, and it changes the game forever.

The closest I have ever come to “you all meet in a tavern” was asking the oracle, what is the worst thing I could read in this old book that I found in my Gentlemens’ Club in Mayfair? It may not sound very dynamic or action-packed, but it opened a door because the discovery demanded action.

If you are interested it was a grainy black and white photograph that looked like it showed an Egyptian Mummy strangling an Archeologist. These old cameras had slow shutter speeds and the movement had blurred the image.

The archeologist was a friend and colleague that had disappeared years earlier on an expedition into the Valley of the Monkeys.

From there I needed to find out who had taken the photograph, where was it taken, and as either, someone had made it back, why wasn’t the findings of the expedition reported. If no one had returned, as was commonly thought, how did this photo get here? Who had found the camera and where?

… and so the adventure began.

Leave a Comment

WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield