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.