View Full Version : Need help baiting a hook...

2010-10-06, 02:09 PM
Used to be really good at this but I'm working for a pickup game and I've never run one before so no personally tailored hooks here:

I need some help liking the basic premise of a game (that the PCs are a group of investigators working for a detective company and have been sent to the last known location of a missing dilletante heir) to the ultimate goal (the investigation of a freaky cult and the rescue/termination [depending on the amount of dilly-dallying] of said heir before/after he becomes something inhuman)

I can't figure out a good skeleton of the early investigation, though handing them prop photos and asking them to tell me where they're going to interview would be a start, i suppose.

I'd also like to work in the attempted kidnapping of a medical specialist by said cult, though i can't come up with a good reason why the PCs would be present to get involved, barring wacky coincidence...

Your help would be greatly appreciated, Gentlemen and finest Ladies!

2010-10-06, 02:13 PM
They're sent there on a job? Well then, the bait is large piles of money, to be paid to them when they return with the heir. Alive.

2010-10-06, 02:17 PM
They're sent there on a job? Well then, the bait is large piles of money, to be paid to them when they return with the heir. Alive.

Not quite what i had in mind...perhaps I don't mean hook, hmmm.

They will be investigating, i just need to get them investigating the cult without it making the cult seem evil straight off and have them try kicking down the door [with hillarious police based consequences]

2010-10-06, 02:35 PM
Clues, you need clues.

People chanting in the street, strange emblems scrawled on walls, that sort of thing.

Grab Call of Cthulu.

2010-10-06, 02:55 PM
Also, you can introduce them to the cult, fleetingly, but don't call it a cult, don't even give it a name to begin. The PCs just get hired by a man to do X or maybe they meet him because he has information for them. When they arrive he's having a card game with some friends.

This is the upper tier of the cult but the PCs have no clue.

2010-10-06, 02:59 PM
Connect the medical specialist to the heir (perhaps the missing heir is a hypochondriac). Connect them both to the cult (perhaps they were associates of the cult leader in their younger days, before he *was* the cult leader). Leave clues...joint pictures on the mantle, favorite books given as gifts with written inscriptions, appointments in their appointment books on the day of the abduction. Engage the senses as a way to point out the guilty party without encouraging violence. Perhaps the scene of the kidnapping smells strongly of a rare spice, and they later run across a man who also smells of that rare spice. He could be the kidnapper, or perhaps he's merely purchased it from the one and only spice vendor in the city who sells it, a man who can count the number of customers he has on one hand. This encourages good old gumshoe detective work instead of kick-in-the-door.

2010-10-06, 03:05 PM
Try something like this:

'You notice that a majority of people in the streets behave lifeless and they are sort of stiff. Among them walk people in red cloaks with hoods on. They all have name tags saying: 'Hi! My name is NotACultist. How may I drain you?' '

Use this only if your players miss the obvious signs. Some may include: ritual sacrifice of a pastor of a good temple, decrease of local orphanage's population, blood orgies, pointless self mutilation of some people and zombies/demons/devils.

2010-10-06, 03:27 PM
The cult in this case:

[This is for a Victorian style setting with low magic] The Enlightened Whole is a small communal religious movement with about 45 members, though it's population varies a lot because of young folks coming in and going away again [a bit like a hippy commune in a way]. They are mildly evangellical but otherwise recruit primarily based on their permissive atmosphere and happy, "gorrangah" ways [they play drums a lot, chant and talk about feelings a lot].

Their stated beliefs are based around attaining an understanding of others' feelings and thinking and thus there being no need for conflict [yes, very anime, i know].

The sinister part is actually the "risen ones" who are individuals who have been cybernetically altered to remove their physical differences and appearance and to make them feel each other's emotions via a radio link.

There's no child snatching or whatever here, though in the original, much longer version of the adventure, the group-mind began to self reinforce on self-esteem and became megalomaniacal.

The physician is being snatched because he's an expert on steamborg technology and they need him to help convert a new batch of cultists into risen ones.

Hence why the obvious is mostly useless, though Jiriku's suggestions are excellent and i'm looking out my old copy of Call of Cthulhu right now. Thanks for the help and keep the suggestions coming.