By testing the new elevator pitch against the stated requirements for a successful sci-fi and horror role playing game setting, it can be declared a good or bad idea.
As determined in the last article, the elevator pitch is as follows:
One Shot RPG takes place in our solar system, but something’s not right. Venus and Mars aren’t the same planets we remember and they’re home to alien life. Pluto’s in a different location, it’s actually a gate to another world, and it’s releasing cosmic horrors. A new military alliance has been formed to stop the monster threat and to get their hands on this new warp technology. Rumors abound that there’s a new substance—scum—that twists and corrupts good people, turning them into monsters not unlike those that are being warred against. Players take the role of characters who have decided to deal with this terrestrial threat. Doing so has branded them traitors. After all, if word got out that the military’s campaign is threatening the very people they’re sworn to protect, they wouldn’t be able to justify getting their hands on the very technology they seek.
Sci-Fi and Horror Genre
The new elevator pitch incorporates elements of both sci-fi and horror genres. It features planet exploration, alien species, and space ships to cater to the sci-fi fan. It also has monsters and an infectious substance that turns people into monsters for the horror fans.
Gameplay and Experience Requirements
All of the gameplay and experience requirements are met. The new elevator pitch is more accessible, allows characters to be added, and has a hook for players. The cast of characters is able to be diverse.
No further lore is needed for a new player to get into the game, it’s all explained in the elevator pitch. By focusing on the existing solar system and planets, One Shot RPG is able to use familiarity to better onboard players to the product. There’s only three planets to explore, which means players can become invested in certain locations, that wouldn’t be possible if the setting featured many planets.
New Characters to Introduce
New characters can be introduced into the setting because there’s four alien species across three planets. The focus on small scale and personal stories means there can be more variety in the stories told.
Providing a Hook
The hook for players—what their characters will be doing during an adventure—is stated in the elevator pitch. The party has decided to do something about the problem the military is overlooking: scummed individuals.
Anyone can be affected by scum or those that were scummed, so characters can come from all backgrounds and circumstances. I’ll make sure the cast is diverse and that a variety of people are the hero or villain.
The business requirements are met with this new elevator pitch. The elevator pitch explains everything new customers need to know about the setting. There’s less jargon because it features our solar system. The setting and premise are unique and provide an avenue for expanding upon the intellectual property.
Audience and Reach
The goal states that the narrative should be explainable in an elevator pitch. I’d say that requirement has been fulfilled.
The main source of jargon comes with scum and being scummed. There’s also three new alien races to know. Other than that there’s very little jargon to learn because the narrative takes place in our solar system.
The setting is different enough that players can associate certain aspects as being uniquely One Shot RPG. Because there’s multiple planets, monsters, and characters, the setting can be expanded upon over time as new stories are created.
The new elevator pitch meets the tone requirements outlined. The narrative takes itself seriously, there’s ample opportunity for morally gray choices, and if focuses on small scale problems.
Taking Itself Seriously
Besides the Pluto meta-joke, the narrative is serious. It deals with people with good intentions gaining incredible powers and being unable to control them. They are a danger to those around them and must be stopped before they cause major damage.
Moral Gray Areas
The villains of the story are people whose motives have become twisted due to influences outside their control. They’re not necessarily good or evil, they’re acting within their circumstances. The army’s major struggle against the cosmic horrors is just, but it’s also their excuse to pursue the warp technology that they’ll certainly abuse.
Personal Small Scale Problems
The concept of scum was created to ground the story in small scale problems. Your neighbor could become scummed, their intentions twisting them into a threat to those around them. Players and characters aren’t saving the universe from ending, instead they’re dealing with problems that affect individuals.
This new elevator pitch for One Shot RPG has met all of the requirements outlined to be a successful sci-fi and horror role playing game setting.
Now that it has passed the test, it can be further fleshed out and be better defined.