Saturday, March 7, 2009

Setting the Stage: Story Synopses

Last time, we got into who! This is the Character synopsis of the story (and campaign). However, setting the stage is -- SETTING THE STAGE!

So, lets go through a brief description of what the story (and campaign) is about. This is called a Synopsis. This helps you, the GM, guide the campaign in a general direction (players, as I have found out, screw with your story's direction in weird ways).

For the Atlantis campaign, we are going to use my Graphic Novel setup as an example. (ATLANTIS Copyright © 1986, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2009 by Elton Robb. All Rights Reserved.)

Here's the Title:

ATLANTIS is a campaign/Graphic Novel about the hero(es) who teleport(s) from the Present to Atlantis. Their (his) aim is to save a good friend from slavery to a very bad man (Procrustes). She was sold into slavery by her husband, and it is up to the hero(es) to save her from a fate worse than death. On the way to saving her from slavery, the hero(es) run into many misadventures with amazons, dinosaurs, prehistoric creatures, and evil men.

There's a story Synopsis right there. That also serves as the campaign synopsis. We already did the Character Synopsis before.

The next thing to explore is the Theme Synopsis. The theme of Atlantis is friendship, trust and sacrifice vs. enslavement and domination in a relationship. Atlantis explores true friendship: what its about and how it applies.

Finally a Plot Synopsis.

So, there are key plot events that happens in your Atlantis Campaign (players will add their own subplots). The Key Plots in the Atlantis graphic novel include:
  1. Our hero meets his best friend, Celeste, in the company Lounge (trying to keep sets perfect). They have a talk about over old times, and how much they missed each other. After the talk, Celeste goes home.
  2. After going home, Celeste is seized by Atlantean slavers. Her husband explains that he sold her to them and announces that he doesn't love her. They then disappear into the Quantum Time Stream, teleporting to Atlantis.
  3. Our hero visits Celeste's husband, who says that Celeste has been kidnapped by strange men in ancient costumes. Using his power, our Hero teleports himself to the world of the slavers: Atlantis.
  4. After appearing in Atlantis, our hero meets Hiron. Hiron is an inventor and scientist in Atlantis. He lives in an old haunted laboratory where he conducts experiments on Time Travel.
  5. After learning of the situation, our Hero meets Procrustes and finds Celeste among his Harem of Courtesans. Demanding to buy her, Procrustes demands a King's Treasure for her.
  6. Forced to find the Palladium, our Hero plan an expedition to find, procure, and bring back the Palladium to Procrustes as payment for Celeste. Hiron says that the Palladium was secreted far to the West. As far as Fusang, where the evil Fusangite king -- Qin (Chine) keeps the Palladium.
  7. Leon, a new friend of our hero, says that even if they get to Fusang they will need a navigator or guide to get them to Fusang.
  8. Looking around, wondering how they can get a navigator or guide to Fusang, they find a slave auction of several Courtesans for sale. One of them, Astra, is a Amazon taken in slavery has the ability to guide them to Fusang. With the help of Leon, our hero purchases Astra.
  9. After everything is ready, they purchase their mounts: Biguanas. Horses, Leon explains, are very expensive and reserved only to the rich. The giant reptile Biguana mounts are the best way for the group to travel overland.
  10. Traveling West to find the Palladium, our heroes deal with rampaging dinosaurs, Amazons, native peoples, and other prehistoric creatures and dangers (including Yellowstone Park and the Great Salt Desert).
  11. Reaching Fusang, our heroes go to negotiate with Qin for the Palladium (which is a metal statue of a dragon). Qin decides to test our hero's resolve. He has our plow a field using tigers, and then sow the plowed field with dragon's teeth.
  12. Men in full armor spring out of the ground, using swords and shields as their weapons. Our hero is forced to fight them. He defeats them all using cunning and wits.
  13. After showing prowess and wits in battle to Qin, he doesn't just hand over the Palladium. In fact, he accuses our heroes of cheating, and has them thrown into a dungeon.

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