Created By: DomaDoma on August 18, 2011 Last Edited By: DomaDoma on August 19, 2011

Come To My Aid Letter

Viewpoint character receives a letter asking for their help. They'll wish they hadn't listened.

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Every adventure has its Call To Action, and as Calls go, the Come To My Aid Message is one of the better options for showing that the viewpoint character is a real mensch.

Generally speaking, the formula runs like this:
  • The character is living an ordinary life.
  • Suddenly, a message arrives from an estranged acquaintance begging for their help. (The less the viewpoint character knows this person, the stronger the Pet the Dog value.)
  • The character is either being led dumbly into a trap, or they at least know that there's some serious shit ahead, but by gum they're going to buckle down and wade through it to help that person.

Chances are excellent that the letter writer was never in any real danger and it's all part of some plot against the viewpoint character - unless the message is somehow encoded, which is a good sign in that it indicates that there were serious measures taken against interceptors.

Oddly, it's nearly always a written letter, even in modern or future settings.
Community Feedback Replies: 4
  • August 19, 2011
    • Inverted in the Penumbra series; it begins when the protagonist recieves a posthumous letter from his father which asks him not to get involved with and simply destroy all the data he's left him.
  • August 19, 2011
  • August 19, 2011
    Compare Distress Call, which is the more high-tech version usually found in sci-fi or space horror.
  • August 19, 2011
    • This kicks off the events of Romancing The Stone, when Joan Wilder gets a letter from her sister to bring a map to the bad guys for her release.