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Trying to find an appropriate side-task for the hero

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Marscaleb, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Marscaleb

    Marscaleb New Member

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    What I'm working on is actually a game, but the issue I'm having has more to do with world-building than it does game mechanics, so I thought maybe someone here might have a good suggestion.

    My main character is trying to reach a floating castle. I'm trying to work out some objectives she needs to accomplish to be able to reach said floating castle.
    My current plan is that first the player meets with a caretaker in the area and gets some info and some keys to access the rest of the facilities. Then the player goes to a place to restore a connection to the bluestream mana that is used to give power to all the equipment in the area. Finally, the player goes to three towers and restores some crystals or something which is used to send a signal to the floating castle, activating a manual override that forces it to moor at a docking station.
    But mechanically, i want one more objective. Something between restoring the magic power and activating the towers. I don't want the player to go straight from restoring power to activating the towers; I want them to make one other stop first.

    But I'm at a loss for something reasonable to do. I'd like the player to go back to the caretaker and get some more info or tools, but if that's all they were getting, then why were they not given that when they were first there?
    The real reason they were not is because I wanted to pace out the info dump; rather than explaining all the details about getting the castle to moor when their focus is just on restoring power. But it doesn't make sense in-world that the caretaker didn't just tell her everything then and give her any keys he had then.
    So I need some other objective to give the player between those two, so I can give the rest of the info dump at that time.

    So what's something the hero could be tasked to do after restoring power to the facility, but before they can signal the floating castle to moor?
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    Not really world-building- world building is about designing the details of the world. What you're dealing with would probably be better suited in another section.
    But, to answer your question, I think maybe he could send her to an area where she needs her magic to open a door where there are more supplies, or something similar so that there is a reason she has to make multiple stops.
     
  3. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    Seems like the general sort of side quest for this is that the key/tools generally get lost and/or stolen. Which turns it into a fetch quest, but it's not like that's not uncommon.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  4. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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  5. Marscaleb

    Marscaleb New Member

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    Yeah I know, but this was the closest I could find. It's not really plot-related because it isn't about character motives or something like that, it's more tangential to world-building because I'm trying to establish what would be reasonable within this world. Like the idea that they would have devices powered by a kind of magic that has to be restored, that's a world-building sort of thing. How they have to go about getting the castle to moor; that kind of magic/technology is an aspect of world-building.
    At least, it seemed more relevant than posting this under writing. This isn't about word choice or character motivation.

    Unfortunately new members are not allowed to use that forum.

    I was thinking about having some of the caretaker's keys stolen and the player has to find them to get access to certain areas, but for this point I want it to be something the player can be specifically directed to go to. And if the caretaker knew where some of his stolen keys were, then he would have retrieved them himself.

    A little more of the backstory to see if this inspires anything:
    The whole area is a defunct mining community. It was run by a dragon (posing as a human) who was trying to build it into a thriving center for commerce. But he was compelled to leave because of a war among Elder Dragons that he was obligated to participate in, and never heard of again. The woman who was left to run the operation (his wife) got sick and the operation fell apart with no one running it. After she dies, her daughter (the main character) returns to claim her inheritance and restore the operation and fulfill her father's dream.
    But the whole facility/community has been largely abandoned and fallen into disrepair. The old caretaker has been locking gates and erecting barriers because people have been sneaking in to steal equipment, resources, even the bricks from the buildings. That's why the power is shut off and things have been made inaccessible.
    Also the guy who was supposed to be keeping the floating castle in good shape has decided to keep it for himself.

    None of this is written is stone and I could change various aspects in service of the final product, but this is what I have planned right now.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  6. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    Here's an easy answer for the care taker not being able to take care. Accident, got beat up, got thrown out of reach, older and getting infirm, currently stuck in a hole because of trying to get some honey...
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  7. Toby Johnson

    Toby Johnson Minstrel

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    just send them on a mission like, find the damsels shoes, or take down a bandit/ find treasure in a ruins
     
  8. Alexander Knight

    Alexander Knight Scribe

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    Perhaps the act of restoring the power could require a couple of steps in and of itself. Maybe 3 switches need to get turned on, or after the power is turned on there is another safety switch located someplace else that needs to be turned on. What is restoring power required the player to get a crystal (power source) and then place it in the engine(power suppling equipment).
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  9. SinghSong

    SinghSong Minstrel

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    How about if some of those people who "have been sneaking in to steal equipment, resources, even the bricks from the buildings", who were responsible for power having been shut off in the first place, and are the reason why the old caretaker's been locking gates and erecting barriers to make things inaccessible, try to interfere and thwart the main character in her quest? Having been largely complacent until the MC managed to restore the magical power, and themselves seeking to (and/or tasked with, by the original guy who was supposed to be keeping the floating castle in good shape but decided to keep it for himself, as one of his primary henchmen/women, or a mercenary) stop the MC in her tracks by shutting off the power again, before she can succeed in activating the magical towers and force the floating castle to moor at its docking station?

    In so doing, you provide a clear reason for the player to go back to the caretaker and get some more info and/or tools, as well as a reason in-world why the caretaker didn't just tell her everything in the first place, neglected to explain all the details about getting the castle to moor when her original focus was just upon restoring power, and her original belief was that it would be as simple and straightforward as that. The old caretaker himself's tried to do so himself, in the past, more than once, giving it his best shot, only to be thwarted by the saboteur who's been employed to stop anyone's efforts to do so by the original guy who commandeered the floating castle as his base of operations. and got critically weakened after his last attempt.

    With his last hopes of defeating the saboteur and completing the quest himself expunged, the crippled caretaker got forced onto the back foot, reduced to locking gates and erecting magical barriers to try and keep the saboteur/s out, and keep the facility operational for as long as he humanly can, in the hopes that someone else capable of defeating the saboteur'll come and complete his mission before his defensive efforts are ground down, and the site/facility gets disassembled by the main boss's forces beyond the point of no repair. And after the MC successfully manages to either escape from or defeat the saboteur, having vaguely warned her about the dangers beforehand, he's willing to put his trust in the MC, and tell her his own backstory (providing an info-dump which can not only increase the depth of your world, but build up and provide impetus for the plot, start hyping the players up for the primary antagonist's introduction, and flesh our your main and side characters into complex multi-faceted individuals).
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
    Nighty_Knight and S.T. Ockenner like this.
  10. Marscaleb

    Marscaleb New Member

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    Ha ha ha, that's an awesome idea!
    There's some bits that don't work with what I was planning, but man, I never thought of having someone actively undo things the MC already did! I'm definitely going to save that idea.
     
    S.T. Ockenner and SinghSong like this.
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