It’s been a long time since I had anything comprehensive (or coherent) to say on the progress of my game system, so let’s put some things out there.

The fourth part of the puzzle — after characters, dungeons, and factions — are rumors. Specifically, a method (again, similar to character creation) for the generation of plot hooks and establishment a narrative verisimilitude.

Probably more than any other part of the game — this one has required research into the storytelling methods of different media — comics, novels, plays, improvisational theater, games, film, television, radio…

What is the minimum amount of detail you need to tell a story?

If you start with a protagonist and an antagonist, you’re on the right track. But I’m going to go ahead and skip to the part you care about — where it came from and how it works. It started with the Doom track from Arkham Horror.

Digs in the Vineyard provided me with inspiration to “name” each step on the Doom track, but a separate train of thought brought me the idea of combining Unstable Locations with the Doom track, which resulted in the “Plot Line.”

Roll 2d6 and Something Happens

…Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Plot, due in part because The Plot Knows Where You Live and PCs always Travel at the Speed of Plot.

For the sake of simplicity, everything that Happens is Relevant, even the Red Herring (but you only get one) because one distraction is a part of the plot.

Like dungeons, factions, and characters, rumors will have their own classes and themes — generally falling into different types of “mystery.” In almost every case, the game is a puzzle — the PCs may have most, but never all, of the information they need to deal with the situation at hand.

To facilitate the narrative structure, plots also handle overland travel — enabling the PCs to travel “as fast as you need them to go” without leaving it at “you arrive.” There are milestones in your journey but they act as a framing device, even a transition, to the place where the plot will happen.

It’s an instance of the destination being more important than the journey.