Saturday, 29 January 2022

An alternative to adventure hooks

When it comes to designing trad RPG adventures, one of the first things you need is a hook to get the players involved in that adventure. If the hook isn't good enough then no adventure.

Really, this isn't good design. As a group you already know you're under the social contact of the game when you enter that magic circle. When the GM asks you to roll a die for a check, you roll the die, or perhaps suggest an alternative. You don't just say 'nah, don't feel like it'. But that's kind of how plot/story hooks are used in a game. 

The alternative is the GM asking the players "Here's the situation. How would your character get involved in this adventure?" Revolve the adventure around the characters rather than the other way around. How do their motivations or fears play into this adventure? This is a great opportunity to create emergent backgrounds for characters. "Well, my father went out to the Borderlands but never returned. I would want to see if I can find his remains."