11 November 2023

Chekovs Hooks III: Loose Ends from Written Modules

tl;dr: a 'rumours as campaign glue' treatment for an open table running published adventures (Brancalonia core book + Jinx Almanac).

I wrote previous about refreshing the hooks for a quasi west-march open table where multiple groups leave a lot of open items based on sweeping up hooks after a year of campaign play.

This time I have been running through the Brancalonia published adventures - mostly in the Core Book and Jinx's Almanac - in an open table format and I want to run a similar exercise to start setting up for when I run out of adventures and to reward those players who have done a few of them with recognition of their agency.

1. Loose Ends: same as the Chekovs adventure hooks as before
2. Allies and Rivals: NPCs and factions now aware of the PCs who may generate hooks
3. Rumours: what becomes visible of the previous two, strongly inspired by Hill Cantons "News as Campaign Glue"

For feedstock in all of these I have a slightly different set of inputs - these are not my own fevered imaginings or NPCs I came up with, I ran them out of the book and a lot fell by the wayside as we went. Going through it I realise I need to spot loose ends but filter them by gameable potential. I also need to catch the flavour of the setting correctly. For 'leading hooks' I wanted to minimise the books I am carrying around so stick just to Jinx Almanac for now.

I did a first pass of noting the loose ends and events. Second pass was running through the hooks for the further adventures in Jinx Almanac. I tried to thread those hooks back to player actions from previous adventures. I want to leave a sense of player actions impact the world so kept in some rumours as pure aftermath/consequence, included all the 'hook-tied-to-consequence' I could and left in pure hooks where I had to.

With all this mechanical part done, the next actions were 'flavourising' it to make it more true to the world and tying it back to previously met NPCs to obey Alexandrians 'law of conservation of NPCs'. The final result is below.

Brancalonia Rumour Table
1. Peach Cider, the most appreciated drink of the Golden Sun tavern, has deteriorated significantly in the past months - people aren't getting drunk anymore! Someone needs to go Tassonia and get them to sort it out. (Players actions from Rugantino, Hook for Pickled Rich - The Gangover)

2. New Duke Sarion de Savedra at Cat Castle fears horses and is setting up hunts in the forest of Batta for wild ones. (Aftermath of See Acquaviva and Die! Hook for Pesto all Lungarivese)

3. Famed bigat-slayers Alermo and Francis are said to have parted ways after killing the Bigat of the Bottacione just when we need them as a beast prowls the streets. Well, small strange creature - but you can never be too careful! (Aftermath of Bride of the Bigat, Hook for Wolpertinger, Wererat, Well)

4. Someone has been telling fools the fishing in the Avicelline swamp is worth getting killed over - and they have been (Players actions from The Good The Bad and the Marionette)

5. Preachers normally confined to their posts on the road to Penumbria have begun prowling further afield with accusations of blasphemy, complaining about peoples fun. They are especially incensed about the approaching Red Carnival with its revelry, parties and indecencies set to engulf the city of Amnasseanase (Players actions from Penumbria Jeez Festival, Hook for The Red Carnival)

6. Queens Guard have been spotted in the Ditch of Serpents, rumoured to be chasing Ghino de Fosca's band after a massacre (Aftermath of See Acquaviva and Die!, Hook for The Red Carnival)

Throw in additional module rumours

7. An old soldiers map points to a treasure buried near a farm, the current holder of the map willing to sell because of tales of a fearsomly scarred viperwolf has emerged from the mists around Penumbria and prowls the countryside. (Aftermath of Penumbria Jeez Festival, Hook for Where the Wheat Stands Tall)

8. Mighty Rum distillery has been restarted at a secret location and the Queens Excisemen are offering a bounty for the location. Someone out that way heard a big voice coming from a shed and it scared them off - they came back muttering about the root of all evil. (Players actions from Rugantino, Hook for Beets for the Beet God of What Ho, Frog Demons!)

9. A printmaker named Ultan, is said to have found a door under his stairs that was not there the previous day. He claims even more implausibly, that it leads to the sewers of Zyan, the infamous floating city of Wishery and will permit entrance for 10 gold pieces a head, no questions asked. (Hook for Through Ultans Door)

Stuff set aside for now as I could not build a hook around it or it was just news without a point.
From "The Treasure of the Bigat" - Granny remains in the woods
From "Big Trouble in Borgoratto" - We now have the forest around Borgoratto quiet and unhaunted
From "Bride of the Bigat" A family of owlings have set up a mouse soup stall, attracting rave reviews and Cheap plush bigat slayers being given away with everything

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