You know what the worst part of coming up with a story? Itâ€™s coming up with a story.
Youâ€™re sitting there and trying to be clever, and when you are half way through a truly awesome scene, you realize that you just rewrote the Death Star escape scene from Star Wars: A New Hope. You realize that your awesome dialogue is, at best,Â cheesyÂ and at worst, Â copyright infringement. So, you end up getting angry and tossing the whole idea aside. Maybe youâ€™ll piss on it for good measure and have to explain to your roommate or lover why you went full-hobo in the middle of your own apartment. It doesnâ€™t matter though, because â€˜holy shit, fuck this storyâ€™.
So writing is fun.
I actually was two weeks into making a narrative for my game when I realized I was running into a problem. The game I had begun work on was about Byron Clayton from Unhallowed Metropolis. It was supposedly a prequel to the first play session (because prequels always work out perfectly. Right?) and I realized that a game about Byron getting high and laid is hardly funâ€¦ okay, maybe a little fun. But how do you put a battle system into a game around a man who, according to our first game of Unhallowed Metropolis, screamed like a Girl Scout at the first sign of violence? Byron is interesting in our games because they are about him growing. And this game needed someone to grow!
So, I decided a new spin! I thought about the side characters of Unhallowed Metropolis. I debated on making an entirely different cast of characters. However, at the end of the day I wanted the game to be something that would help tie the current games together. And the only side characters that have been part of them all was few. And of that list, very few were interesting. However, one did stand out.
I decided I wanted to write about Horatio prior to the unfortunate â€˜accident.’ And as I began outlining the story, I began to see some threads of hope that this was the right direction. The first â€˜threadâ€™ was Moira. In the game, I got to explore Moira as a human being and not the killing machine we all have grown to fear. I also got to see someone who was â€˜goodâ€™ within the setting.
It was a blast and because I chose the right character, it was easy. Because Horatio was such a good guy, it made it easy for him to want to charge in to save the day during the adventure. I found myself not having to question â€œWhy is he risking his lifeâ€ like I had been with Byron. I knew exactly why Horatio was doing what he was doing â€¦ because he was a “good man.”
Throughout the game play, players will get a chance to see glimpses of Horatioâ€™s relationship with his father, his mother, his opium-addled brother, his wife, and even his relationship with the “Clayton secret.” Players also are encouraged to keep an eye out for any Easter Eggs that give them more insight into the world around them.
With the right character at my side, I was able to march on with the game. No longer was I running into problems about plot and motivation. No, I got to put my full attention back to the hardest part of the gameâ€¦
Fandible.Com is now on Patreon! If you enjoy our weekly blog posts and actual play podcasts, please consider supporting us.