Choose Your Own Adventure 0: Introduction
Did you ever read one of those choose-your-own-adventure books when you were younger? I loved those. (In retrospect, I suspect some of those increased by interest in RPGs.) If you’re not familiar with the sub-genre, they’re generally a short novel written in the second-person. After each section you read, you’re given some kind of choice, which you make for the character. Each choice gives you a different page number, which you flip to in order to see how your choice turned out. I always liked to read through the full decision tree, and find all the endings and all the entertaining death scenes.
I think I’ve got an entertaining idea for one of these, and would like to try it out on an audience…
The basic plan is that once a week or so, depending on time, I’ll write up a choose-your-own-adventure segment. At the end of it, there will be choices. Comment in order to vote and pick one. Write-ins are allowed, but if something is too absurd, I may veto it. (Or, if it’s absurd and still gets lots of votes, I’ll totally go for it. And it will be epic. Probably an absurd death scene, but you never know.)
Like any good CYOA, if you happen to make a choice where you die, you get to go back to the previous decision point and try again. In other words, there’ll be a vote about what you should have done. We’ll keep going until you hit one of the “real” endings, where you manage to save the day, destroy the world, or whatever your main objectives end up being.
I’ll be labeling the various choices and the sections they lead to with numbers. Hopefully that will make it easier to trace back what choice was made last time. I’ll also include appropriate links between parts, so that you can start at the beginning and just click your way through to the most recent section.
Of course, you are free to dissect the story as I go. Inconsistencies or illogical things are bad. Though, occasionally, something that seems odd may be intentional… in which case, I’ll let you know that the explanation is something you have yet to discover.
That said, let’s get started.
You stand at the edge of a precipice.
Your view of the world is limited by the thick fog. Over the edge, mist swirls in a narrow canyon. The sun has only just risen, and has not yet had enough time to burn the fog away. The sound of running water and the slight smell of the river drift upwards.
The ground beneath your feet is bare dirt, moistened by a bit of dew. A few small plants manage to eke out an existence here. A few small rocks point into the soles of your feet.
Your feet hurt, actually. As though you have been running around without any shoes on. Your ankles hurt, and your wrists are sore as well. A look at your wrists shows a few narrow lines, cuts, some partly healed, some fresh. The cool air, even in the absence of a breeze, easily pierces the thin shift which is your only garment.
You spend a moment shivering, and realize that you have no idea what you are doing here.
No. You have the roughest shape of an idea… the river. The mists. You are here to step over the edge. You need to step over the cliff. Because… you can’t remember why. But it feels like the right thing to do, and tempts you, promising something better if you only leap into the mists.
Your sense of self-preservation holds you back, for now. You can’t remember why this was important. You can’t remember why you’re here, completely unprepared for any kind of travel, and utterly alone. You can’t remember why it feels strange to run a hand through the tangles in your hair.
You feel a vague, creeping fear when you realize you don’t remember anything from before a few minutes ago. Even your own name is a question without an answer.
One instinct draws you back from the edge, to try to find out what is happening. Another draws you forward, towards something wonderful.
Option 1: Step over the edge of the cliff.
Option 2: Step back from the cliff.