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D&D 5E "Partly True" Rumors

Fauchard1520

Explorer
I love me some rabdom rumor tables. And even though the “true” and “false” quest hooks can be interesting in their own right, I have a special soft spot for those oh-so-interesting “partly true” rumors. They’re some of my favorites for RP purposes.

I’m talking about those in-game urban legends that seem far-fetched even by fantasy standards. Sure there’s a devil haunting the local well, but it’s probably not causing Farmer Brown’s cows to disappear. Sister Margarette is indeed going out in the middle of the night, but it’s not because she’s possessed by the spirit of some long-dead witch. She’s just having a run of the mill affair with a randy priest. And if you really believe that wererats are spreading plague about town, I’ve got some swamp property to sell you. Those poor lycanthropes are just being scapegoated by the local Nurgle cult.

The reason I like these silly hooks so much is that they force players to consider the boundaries of fantasy. In the examples above, cow-eating devils and possessed nuns and plague-bringing skaven are all possible, but they aren’t a given. Same deal with “invisible friends” who are more likely an eccentric sorcerer’s unseen servants. Because we don’t know the extent of the fantasy, we can’t tell out of hand whether a far-fetched explanation is actually plausible. Suddenly, our rational minds are thrust back into a time of superstition and best-guess rationale. We’re forced to accept that there may be more things in heaven and earth, Horatio. And for me, that’s the very essence of fantasy.

Question for the board: Have you ever fallen for one of those “partly true” rumors? Was your genre knowledge used against you to make you gullible? Or was the weird explanation unexpectedly the right one?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
 

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Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
I enjoy rumors in games, but I think the thing to consider is making sure there's enough evidence to back it up. By that, I mean, no gratuitous M Night 'what a twist!'. In the same vein, I love the movie Knives Out for the fact the twist isn't in what you're shown - what you're shown at the beginning of the locked room murder is completely true. It's the evidence that fills in later that supports it that I love
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
I love the movie Knives Out for the fact the twist isn't in what you're shown - what you're shown at the beginning of the locked room murder is completely true. It's the evidence that fills in later that supports it that I love
Not familiar with the example. I don't mind spoilers, so please do tell: how exactly does this relate to the idea of "partially true rumors?"
 

I love me some rabdom rumor tables. And even though the “true” and “false” quest hooks can be interesting in their own right, I have a special soft spot for those oh-so-interesting “partly true” rumors. They’re some of my favorites for RP purposes.

I’m talking about those in-game urban legends that seem far-fetched even by fantasy standards. Sure there’s a devil haunting the local well, but it’s probably not causing Farmer Brown’s cows to disappear. Sister Margarette is indeed going out in the middle of the night, but it’s not because she’s possessed by the spirit of some long-dead witch. She’s just having a run of the mill affair with a randy priest. And if you really believe that wererats are spreading plague about town, I’ve got some swamp property to sell you. Those poor lycanthropes are just being scapegoated by the local Nurgle cult.

The reason I like these silly hooks so much is that they force players to consider the boundaries of fantasy. In the examples above, cow-eating devils and possessed nuns and plague-bringing skaven are all possible, but they aren’t a given. Same deal with “invisible friends” who are more likely an eccentric sorcerer’s unseen servants. Because we don’t know the extent of the fantasy, we can’t tell out of hand whether a far-fetched explanation is actually plausible. Suddenly, our rational minds are thrust back into a time of superstition and best-guess rationale. We’re forced to accept that there may be more things in heaven and earth, Horatio. And for me, that’s the very essence of fantasy.

Question for the board: Have you ever fallen for one of those “partly true” rumors? Was your genre knowledge used against you to make you gullible? Or was the weird explanation unexpectedly the right one?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
I remember, but I can’t tell what it was about. That is often the case with idea that appear without any expectation. The brain just throw it out.
 

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