Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The Magic of Doors
by Tobie Abad
Doors. The mysteries that they hide. The stories that they birth. Doors are portals to more than just the next room, they are gateways to adventure and secrets. Here are some ideas on how to make a door curiously interesting in your games.
1. The Door is Locked
No one knows how to open it. Or the key was something you have to find. Maybe the key isn't even a typical key. Consider Pier's Anthony's The Skeleton Key and how that story explored the many ways "key" can mean. Or perhaps the key unlocks more than just the door itself like in the graphic novel series Locke and Key.
2. The Door cannot be Closed
This usually entails the need for a reason you'd want to close it. Or a desire to never have it closed. The door can be an actual portal, wooden frame and all. Or it can be figurative - like access to creativity or dreams. Or money.
3. The Door Was Not There Before
You wake up to notice a second door in your room which you never saw before. Or you wake up one late night and realize down the alleyway visible from your window, the dead end now has an open door with light streaming out and pounding music coming from within. Maybe the door isn't even where a door should be. You catch your lover mumbling in her sleep, and a small doorway has popped open from her temple. Sometimes, it can even be something as simple as a door opening the impossible way, separating from the wall hinges side, and yet not falling off the frame as it swings open to reveal a path that could not exist before.
4. The Door has Changed
Sometimes it might be just something subtle, like the white door now appearing gray. Or its simple handle suddenly replaced with an ornate iron one. Maybe it suggests something having visited, like the door now having claw marks at the outside. Or worse, a bloody hand print on the inside. Maybe your key stops working with it. Or maybe the noises through it sound different from what you can see outside the peephole.
5. The Door Isn't.
Maybe it was a maw hungry for more meat. Or a throat swallowing new souls into hell. Or a closed eyelid and now the massive orb stares at you and judges you silently. Maybe the door turned out to just be a drawing on the wall - and now you wonder how you got in the room in the first place. Maybe it is alive and talks back. And offers secrets, if you figure out the riddle it asks.
Who said they had to be boring and simple?