I’m reading Jewels of the Carnifex for DCC RPG by Harley Stroh. I’ve always been fascinated by the very beginning of campaigns and scenarios. Possibly that’s because all of us start more things than we finish! I have a sizeable collection of adventures, and I can guarantee I’ve read every introduction, even if I’ve never always gotten to the denouement. It’s in the nature of published scenarios that they have to supply either generic hooks, or no hooks at all. That’s fine, but it’s got me wondering what sort of adventure ring hook I could use to fit with All my scenarios.
Enter the heist.
I love Oceans 11. Not the old one with Frank Sinatra, the newer one with Clooney et al. It’s a salient lesson in party recruitment and hookage. Danny Ocean, the Clooney character, assembles a team of experts, with the promise of glory and loot, to pursue his own personal motivation (as above but with revenge and a love interest added in). He gathers them all and presents the overall mission. The details of how it actually might work come out of the other characters.
So in my fantasy games, this would be replicated by the idea of the patron, who could actually be represented by a PC (in fact that works better for me than a distant employer). Cut to a scene, almost certainly in a warehouse or the back room of a tavern. Lead PC lays out the overall plan, say, we’re going to rob this temple. The rest of the PCs are professional adventurers, maybe theyve worked together on previous jaunts, maybe not. They then go round the table and present their knowledge and opinions. This is where the GM has seeded the elements of a rumour table among the group in advance. There could be others in the room. A weapons master. A money man. Probably NPCs, seeded there to facilitate the scene and drop in history and background info.
And off they go.
I love the idea of the freelance professional adventurer, known by reputation, available for hire, with circles of acquaintances and contacts. You see it all the time in modern movies and its a small jump to the fantasy genre.
For other inspiration, see the movie Heat, and the Gentlemen Bastards books by Scott Lynch.