Wednesday, August 12, 2020

#RPGaDAY 2020: Day 12 Message

The cryptic message, or even messenger, is likely one of the oldest tropes in RPGs next to "you all meet in an inn."

It is a central feature of the Ravenloft module, likely because of it's prominence in Dracula.  It's a good hook to get otherwise sane adventurers to go into a creepy castle that they know has a vampire in it.  They have a leg up on Harker. 

The difference between a message to the characters and hanging out in the bar is one of tangible props.

While I discovered in college that D&D&Drinking don't mix well for me.  Soaking some resume paper in a bath of tea and setting it in the sun to dry as a message to the characters also really pleases the players.

I remember when LARPing was getting really big in the 90s (yes it was a thing before that, but not where I lived) and I was confused. Playing D&D in 80s we did some of that, but doing too much of it got you pegged as one of those "steam tunnel weirdoes" and with the Satanic Panic still on people's minds we tried to avoid too many real-world activities.  Hell, I got looked at weird for dressing in all black.  Now? No one bats an eye. 

A message then, as a prop, was always easy to create.  Now it is even easier. 

Plus it is also a good way to get the adventurers back on track.  They are wandering off in the wrong direction? A messenger shows up with news!  Doing the wrong thing?  A booming voice from the clouds! Ok, I tend to avoid divine, or even powerful, intervention like that. I didn't even use the Protectors in B3 where they were needed.  Fire is often it's own lesson.

Right now I am planning on some minor divine intervention in my Order of the Platinum Dragon campaign.  The characters (and players) are really just about 6 hours of play time away from completing the adventure and really, the campaign.  I have a post script though I want them to do.  I might need to nudge them into the right direction.  If they don't...well I'll need a plan for what happens when a group of 18th level character land smack in the middle of my Drow civil war.

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