Event-Based Storytelling

For the Horizon Event, an alternate approach will be taken to developing the story. Instead of telling the characters that something is going on and having them investigate that, specific, event, a series of events will present themselves and the player group will be allowed to determine with what events they choose to involve themselves.

Events are broken down into four categories, three of which are defined by the approximate length of game time it will take to complete the investigation of the event. These designations are, simply, Short, Medium, and Long. These events are called Cases. The fourth kind of event is called a Subplot.

Each Case event revolves around some aspect of the campaign world that the players have the ability to affect. Cases will always receive an entry on this site prior to unfolding. A Subcase revolves around a specific character or characters and their life. Subplots may or may not appear, publicly, on this site.

Cases are reported to the player characters through various means. There is a team of people, employed by Paragon Security, Inc., who’s job is to gather information on events that could, potentially, be dealt with by the players. In addition, some Cases are reported via television of newspapers. Each of these designations (Investigator, TV, or Newspaper), will be noted in the short-hand description of the event on this site.

Finally, Cases will have a designation that determines the importance of that event to the overall campaign. The four starting importance designations are, Minor, Major, Critical, and Unknown. Most events, initially, will get the designation of Unknown, as the full impact will be unknown. However, once the event has begun to unfold, the impact will be clearer. The players are encouraged to discuss their view on the impact and indicate their opinion on this site, once the event has begun to unfold.

Should the players determine better designations, I am more than open to changing these, as long as they are consistent and not overly complex.

Subplots do not have these additional designations as they would be considered personal. Engaging in a subplot delivers an XP bonus to participating characters, or can deliver some additional form of perk, such as an alteration to powers or a change in a Complication.

So, lets put all this into play with some examples:

Example 1

Through some research, Tamara Burke has discovered that children are eating from an ice cream truck and exploding. The investigation of this will involve the PCs locating the specific ice cream truck selling children this explosive ice cream and determining the source, from there.

This Case would be considered to be Medium, as it might take some time to complete, was delivered by an Investigator, and has an initial impact of unknown. The event would appear on this site as follows:

Children have been reported to be exploding after eating ice cream. (Medium, Investigator, Unknown)

Upon deliberation, the players determine that the resolution of this would probably be pretty important and stopping the brutal murder of children is vital, so they designate this case as ‘Critical.’ Thus, the updated case will read:

Children reported to explode after eating ice cream. (Medium, Investigator, Critical)

Example 2

News Channel 10 cuts into a live report saying that animals at the Seneca Park Zoo have started breaking out of this habitats and attacking zoo-goers while hurling expletive-laced insults at them. This seems like a big emergency, so the players have their characters hurry to that scene, which would be when that session would begin. The entry would look like this:

Zoo animals go berserk, swear (Short, TV, Unknown)

After discovering that someone has been affected by the HE to cause animals to temporarily become super-intelligent, the players alter the event to this:

Zoo animals go berserk, swear (Short, TV, Minor)

It only seemed to be a simple issue that, once resolved, would not have a lasting effect on the campaign.

Example 3

The newspaper reports that Mr. Fade had begun kidnapping wealthy people who are over 60, which appears as this:

Mr. Fade kidnaps rich retirees (Long, Newspaper, Unknown)

After a lengthy investigation, which may run across multiple game sessions, the PCs discover that Fade wants to force his victims to sign their estates over to him before then scaring them to death. When the case is complete, the event is updated:

Mr. Fade kidnaps rich retirees (Long, Newspaper, Major)

While it was important, the lasting campaign effect was somewhat limited.

Players can designate cases at any level they so choose. Each case receives a hidden designation by the GM.

Example 4

Cuatroman decides that he wants a subplot where two of his four duplicates have fallen in love with one another. However, Custroman’s player decides that the other players don’t need to know about this, right away. This is denoted, thusly:

Cuatroman story (Subplot)

This description may or may not change as the subplot unfolds, depending on the player. If it is decided that this is actually an issue with Cuatroman’s powers, it may be edited to this:

Cuatroman powers story (Subplot)

If one of the other characters, called the Vanity Ranger, somehow gets involved with the subplot (at the agreement of Cuatroman and the Vanity Ranger’s players), then the event may be edited to appear as follows:

Cuatroman and Vanity Ranger story (Subplot)

Once a Case or Subplot has been resolved, it will be removed from the Events page and placed into the Resolved page. It may, depending on the event, receive its own page, as well, but this will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Event-Based Storytelling

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