The Revelation List – an aid to memory

The text of this blog is copyright 2012. Have fun with the content but don’t pass it off as your own or try to sell it, Okay.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself more and more in need of assistance when it comes to keeping track of all the important points that the players need to learn during a game.  A list of key revelations that need to occur during the game is therefore an invaluable tool.

This was brought home to me very strongly at the end of one game I ran just a few years ago.  I knew my story well, but the players got themselves killed out at the end because they hadn’t retrieved a particular artefact from the grave of one Walther Bigglesworth that would have let them save the day.  I asked them afterwards why they hadn’t visited the grave.  They all looked at me blankly… “but why should we have, you never mentioned it”.  I was astonished. I had set up three points where the grave should have been mentioned but somehow managed, in the heat of the action, to omit mention of the grave each time.

Now I make sure I keep a list of key revelations on hand that MUST be made during play in order for the game to reach its conclusion.

This was an idea I got from Ben Robbins’ discussion of revelations on the Ars Ludi website.’

I list them by Act (just to give myself some key milestones against which to check that all has been revealed).

For the Alligator Menace scenario, the revelations would be as follows…

Act 1
Players need to learn…
A new threat has arisen in Star City that may endanger the world.
Albino Sewer Alligator’s are being remotely controlled somehow.
The son of one mobster and the daughter of another have been kidnapped.
The player’s good freinds Martin and Tegan Rodriguez have dissappeared (one of whom will die when they are rescued if the players don’t notice the trap).
Act 2
Players need to learn…
The villain is sadistic and cruel and enjoys playing with people.
Major Plot point – instructed by Jerry Falcone to deliver a ransom for Jocelyn Falcone (his daughter).  The players can be approached anywhere (but most likely on leaving the Pendleton Gallery).
The two mob children are dead (due to Cinqo Tavoli betraying his instructions).  This is either witnessed by the players or learned of shortly thereafter (perhaps through Tony Wells).
Before the gang war can really fire up, Jerry Falcone and Eadie Tremere are killed (by alligator bombs).  Their bodies have been taken to the Coroner’s (learned at the train station or from Claire Templeton).
Major Plot point – A villain called the technomaster made a deal with Tommy Boscone and Dillon Tremere to kill the gang bosses.  The players can be approached anywhere by Claire Templeton (but most likely at the train station).
The Technomaster is the inventor of the electronic disruptor guns – one of which can be obtained from defeating Cinqo Tavoli’s attempt on Claire’s life.
Homeless people have been dissappearing and alligators have been sighted near the abandoned Pevensee Street Mission.
Act 3
Players need to learn…
The Technomaster has been using a machine to listen into people’s homes for blackmail information using vibrations in the sewer pipes.
The Technomaster has been building and supplying Electronic disrupter guns to the underworld.
The Technomaster has orchestrated the deaths of two of the city’s mob bosses in exchange for 20% of the gangs’ takes.

Categories: Game Mastering, Scenario Design | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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