Chapter 2: A Daring Escape
Remember: this is a working document. It doesn’t need to all make sense or be beautifully written. This is a place to store random ideas, thoughts, doubts and so on. It should be constantly changing.
What is the Player’s mission at this stage? It makes the game much more enjoyable if the Player knows what they are trying to achieve, rather than letting them just discover what they need to do. Then, when they achieve their goal, they get a nice feeling of satisfaction. Other, unexpected, things will happen in your chapter, and you can have other mysteries and surprises. This is just to give the Player a sense of purpose, and to have something to judge their performance against.
You need to try to resolve your concerns about Paradox being locked up with your respect for Professor Praxis and the rules of the Academy. You don’t want to make Professor Praxis any more disappointed in you. But Paradox is clearly harmless and scared. Professor Praxis is clearly just being overcautious and overprotective.
What is going to happen in your chapter? Think about the general flow of events. Remember story and character are intertwined. Think about how your characters would act. Think about general conflict and the conflict presented to the Protagonist by your characters. Think also about how you want the Player to feel when they are finding their way through these events. Include any story problems you need to solve.
Professors Praxis is unsure what this Dragon is. He decides that, for safety’s sake, they have to lock it up.
Against orders, you go to see Paradox. You are sad for him and afraid what might happen to him. He seems so small and helpless. He’s terrified and mirrors some of your emotions.
Professor Codex turns up. At first you are afraid you’re in trouble, but then she says she thinks this is wrong: she can see you have some kind of rapport with the Dragon. She tells you you should escape with him. She says she will make sure they don’t follow.
You have to face some challenges and make some difficult choices and maybe lose some Morality in order to escape. You may have to face Professor Praxis during your escape. If you do, you have to defy him and somewhat betray your realtionship (- Morality).
It ends up with a daring leap from the castle, with only a limited supply of Dragon Breath for the fall…
The key characters in your chapter with a short biography. The biography should contain details that never make it to the page, but which help you decide their actions and reactions in a coherent way. Think about what your characters want. Remember character and story are intertwined. Include any character problems you need to solve.
Information that is not overtly included in this chapter but is important to understand what’s going on or is needed for future reference in later chapters.
Inventory isn’t just physical items. It includes:
- spell ingredients
- clues obtained
- achievements / actions performed
- anything else the Player needs to record in their Arcane Almanac for future reference
- Required Inventory: What special items or information or achievements does the Player absolutely need to be able to complete this chapter?
- Optional Inventory: What special items or information or achievements might help the Player do well in this chapter, but aren’t essential for completion?
- Definite Additions: What special items or information or achievements will the Player definitely acquire by the time they complete this chapter?
- Potential Additions: What special items or information or achievements are available for the Player to acquire by the time they complete this chapter, but which they might not get?
Some spell ingredients
Spell ingredients should be recorded under Inventory.
- Required Spells: What spells and at what level does the Player absolutely need to be able to complete this chapter?
- Optional Spells: What spells and at what level might help the Player do well in this chapter, but aren’t essential for completion?
- Definite Level-ups: What spells will the Player definitely have levelled-up by the time they complete this chapter?
- Potential Level-ups: What spells may the Player have levelled-up by the time they complete this chapter, but which they might not get?
Problems / Issues / Big Questions
Are there any things we need answers to or problems we need solving before we can complete this chapter outline? Things about game rules? Things about world lore or magic? Things about other characters or the big backstory? Things about inventory from earlier or later chapters?
How did Paradox get to the Arcane Academy? It seems unbelievable that he was washed down all the way from Infernia. How about if he was a frozen egg in the cliff on the edge of the Tundra which was washed down with the floods. But then wouldn’t Clover have seen him? So maybe he came a slightly different route not actually through Arboria? Maybe somewhere near the border of Arboria? But then do we give the Player the option to investigate that route?
Should he then be even more of a baby at the start?