Created By: Unknown Troper on January 22, 2008
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Inexplicable Captivity

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This is kind of like "You All Meet In An Inn", except instead of the P Cs beginning in a inn, they start off in some form of captivity for no apparent reason.

Examples: Video Games: To the best of my knowledge (I have yet to play the first two) every Elder Scrolls game starts off with this. Real Life: Almost all the campaigns I've played in that didn't sart out in an inn began this way.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • January 22, 2008
    BlackDragon
    I haven't played Daggerfall, but the original Elder Scrolls: Arena, did indeed start out in the palace dungeons.
  • January 22, 2008
    BobbyG
    Rayman 2: The Great Escape begins with Globox freeing Rayman from a prison cell.
  • January 22, 2008
    Wilsonator
    Perhaps we should extend this to include all works of fiction where the protagonist wakes up in a prison cell.
  • January 22, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Fire Walk: those'd be connected. The theme in RP Gs and writing is that imprisonment is instant motivation ("get out out of here"), and that they can work out the details of why later.
  • January 23, 2008
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG example: Advanced Dungeons And Dragons module A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, which starts out in, well...

    Somewhat justified in that the previous module ended with the PC party being captured by the Slave Lords.
  • January 23, 2008
    Vulpy
    D&D, huh? Odd, considering how hard it is in 3rd Edition to render someone immobile without killing them. (Subdual damage FTL.)

    Of course I have a Deadlands example. Who said I didn't? In the Devil's Canyon adventure, the posse wakes up alone in a cabin in the backcountry, with no memory of how they got there. Doesn't seem like much of an example, until most of the way through the adventure. Turns out they're all dead. Their "dark half" was in control when they were captured, explaining the amnesia...and how this example fits being held against your will.
  • January 23, 2008
    fleb
    Vulpy, by "dark half", what kind do you mean? Superpowered Evil Side? The Enemy Within?

    As for titles: Escape The Premise is quasi-punny. That or something that confuses "Gaol" and "Goal" (It's early, I need a sec).
  • January 23, 2008
    Tulling
    In Daggerfall, your character suffered a shipwreck and found him/herself washed up in a cave that connected to a dungeon. Not technically a prisoner, but it amounts to the same thing. And in the first game, there was at least a reason for the imprisonment: you had incurred the displeasure of the Big Bad.
  • January 23, 2008
    Vulpy
    Fleb: It's kind of how deaders work in Deadlands: Blessed With Suck. They far exceed the power of most Player Characters, all other things being equal...but they share their rotting corpses with demons. The premise of that adventure--ideal for people new to the Deadlands setting--is that the entire posse is dead, and none of them know it yet. It's intended as a wonderfully creepy one-off, and probably closest to Jekyll And Hyde. In fact, the adventure perfectly matches Jekyll And Hyde as described here.
  • January 23, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Some non-RPG examples: Shadow in Neil Gaiman's American Gods; Hester Prynne in the Scarlet Letter (although both of those are jusified...now that I think of it.)
  • January 23, 2008
    Vulpy
    I'd postulate that this Trope had damn well better be justified every time you use it. Otherwise, it becomes railroading at its worst. ;)
  • January 23, 2008
    fleb
    Really, Justified Trope goes without saying for tropes that aren't inherently annoying in their departure from reality.
  • January 23, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Two Words: The Prisoner
  • February 5, 2008
    Prfnoff
  • February 5, 2008
    Mith
    Well, Oblivion was almost aggressively unjustified: you're just someone who apparently nobody recognizes in a prison cell for no reason ever revealed. So it doesn't quite go without saying for everything.
  • February 6, 2008
    djkates
    The first time I played a Tabletop RPG, it used this intro. Our GM was a good storyteller, and made it make some sense. Essentially, the story was that we were prisoners of the land's evil queen, and she amused herself by sending her prisoners through "death runs", with the stipulation that if they made it out alive (a rare occurrence, the story implied), they went free. The part that didn't get explained well was why our party were all chosen to go through the run together; we had each been given the opportunity to create our own custom class/race (I ended up as an air/ice spellcaster-type winged felinoid), and unsurprisingly, our characters had little in common.
  • February 6, 2008
    Antheia
    But if it's justified, it's not "for no apparent reason". I thought this was about, well, inexplicable captivity.
  • February 6, 2008
    djkates
    Well, I said some sense. At no point was it explained how we had been taken prisoner in the first place.
  • February 6, 2008
    Native Jovian
    Mith: it's done that way because Elder Scrolls protagonists are always an AFGNCAAP (or rather Choose Your Own Age, Face, Gender, etc) whose actions and personality are entirely up to you. Your character might be a thieving murdering bastard who got caught, or they might be a paragon of righteousness who was wrongfully imprisoned, or they might not even know themselves. That's the entire point. With the Elder Scrolls games being so ridiculously open-ended, your character's origins obviously have to be open-ended too.
  • February 6, 2008
    Mith
    I agree, but that's irrelevant to whether it's justified (in the sense of Justified Trope, of course).
  • February 8, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Baldurs Gate 2 starts out this way.
  • February 9, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    In Baldurs Gate 2, finding out why you were imprisoned and experimented upon by the Big Bad is actually a major part of the plot.
  • February 9, 2008
    Medinoc
  • February 9, 2008
    Arivne

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