Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Interlude--The Letter

While I'm putting the finishing touches on "The Eye of the Storm," including cleaning up some mistakes from the past couple of adventures, here's an interlude with some ideas for using letters in a campaign.


Interlude: The Letter
In the Age of Sail, communication can be slow business. After all, unless someone can afford to send a ship just to deliver a message, the best option is to write a letter and entrust it to a captain who's headed in the right direction. The journey isn't always straightforward, either; sometimes letters are passed from one ship to another until they finally reach their intended destination. This makes for a process that is not only time-consuming, but also not very secure. While letters can be closed up with wax and a seal, making it apparent if someone has read them, this is by no means foolproof.
Because of this, a bundle of mail can make for interesting booty if claimed as part of a treasure hoard. In addition to providing insight into other people's business—perhaps including any manner of conspiracy or betrayal—they can be an opportunity for interesting puzzles. Detailed below is one such letter; it uses an acrostic to arrange a secretive meeting.

My dearest Sir,

Our opportunity has arrived!
Now is the beginning of great
times for us, important times.
I believe that we all stand to
gain a tremendous amount
of wealth and influence.
Everyone will be able to benefit.
All that we have now will
seem like nothing compared
to what we will all—each and
every one of us—acquire.

Recall, though, that we have
numerous enemies who want
our gains for themselves. All
of us must be wary, and can
never let down our guards.
Never forget what is at stake,
easily lost if we fail to be

At the GM's discretion, the letter could be signed, or could be left anonymous. Depending upon the preferences of the players and needs of the campaign, the GM could work in details relevant to specific NPC's or places, and perhaps even more complex codes.

1 comment:

  1. I like it. I think I know where it's sending me too, but I would hate to spoil it for anyone else. Either that or I'm a crazy man, seeing patterns where there are none.