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MoN player hook (SPOILERS)


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Just thinking about a suggestion I saw in a Youtube video by dungeon craft, regarding the PCs motivation for chasing the Carlyle expedition in MoN.

Instead of the PCs being friends of Jackson, each PC has a significant relation with one of the expedition members. At the start, each player has to define a relationship with the playboy, the socialite, the archaeologist, the psychiatrist or the soldier-of-fortune.
The relationship should be close enough that the character has reason to pursue the possibility that their friend/colleague/school chum is still alive. The characters start the game knowing most of the details about the expedition, as they would have followed the matter when it occurred. If the relationship was particularly close they may begin already familiar with some of the NPCs, like Erica Carlyle.
Jackson is still the catalyst that kicks off the campaign. He contacts as many of the former associates of the expedition members as he can, hoping to drum up allies amongst people who would be very interested that the members of the expedition may still be alive.
The characters now have more reason to keep pursuing the investigation, rather than bringing Jackson's murderers to justice - which is pretty much achieved in the New York chapter. It also creates more role playing and character development opportunities throughout the campaign in dealing with some of the significant NPCs.
In the game I'm running currently, Penhew was just another opponent to be defeated. None of the characters had any personal stake in the meeting, and nothing would have changed if it had been anyone other than Penhew.
The expedition members would need to be a bit more fleshed out. Particularly Masters, about whom the campaign says very little.
Anyway, If I ever run MoN again, I might give it a go.
Edited by tendentious
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That's a great idea!  It also potentially offers insights or leverage to Investigators.  If one of them knows Jack Brady, it will be easier to get his trust - if one of them knows Penhew he might be reluctant to kill a former friend - the same probably isn't true of Huston, but someone who knew him could convince him they're willing to join him.

Do you plan to have Masters serve the same role in the campaign?  To some extent, she and Carlyle might be a shortchange compared to the other three - neither of them are in a condition to be interacted with much.  An idea I've had in the past is replacing Masters's motive for going on the expedition - rather than guilt over an abortion, having a terminal illness, and signing on with Nyarlathotep over the prospect of being healed - a close friend of hers might know of that illness, leading to an additional note of mystery if Elias has indications that she might still be alive.

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On 9/13/2020 at 5:56 AM, SunlessNick said:

Do you plan to have Masters serve the same role in the campaign?  To some extent, she and Carlyle might be a shortchange compared to the other three - neither of them are in a condition to be interacted with much. 

I hadn't really considered it. At this stage it's just speculation about what I might do if I were to run MoN again.

One dark possibility; what if Masters learned the Mind Exchange spell? Perhaps learned from Nyarlathotep. Once Masters realised what was happening to her, and what was growing within her, she began using the spell to exchange her mind with a family member, such as a sibling, in order to escape her fate. So perhaps at the start of the campaign, Masters is actually back in New York in the body of her brother or sister.

Maybe the PC with the relation with Masters was aware of the "breakdown" of Master's sibling, who was confined to an institution but was eventually released when they "recovered" from their breakdown. Perhaps "she" was invited to the meeting with Jackson. Perhaps she is one of the PCs - with the players consent of course. What does she want? What is her state of mind? Does she want to further the Great Endeavour? Does she want to stop it?

As for Carlyle, while he's totally insane he doesn't need to be quite so insensible. Perhaps certain things can move him to action, such as the possibility of revenge against M'Weru. The idea of Carlyle destroying himself and the Mountain of the Black Winds with a radium bomb taken from Grey Dragon Island would be a cool send-off.

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