Cutscene 2 – Rustic

An unlikely duo sets off on adventure.

Another in a series of simple scenes, written in screenplay format, to provide a creative prod to readers who might want a spark to influence their game’s scenario or encounter creation efforts.


A TALL MAN, 40's wearing a wool jacket and jeans, leans
against the porch railing, outlined in shadow by the light
spilling out of the open door behind him.

His hand makes a sudden upward motion and a match HISSES
with yellow light, briefly illuminating his face. He lights
the cigarette in his mouth and shakes the flame out,
tossing the match away.

He turns towards the open front door of the cabin.

We don't have all night dammit!
They ain't waiting for us a second

The tall man returns his eyes towards the front yard as
another man scurries into the open doorway. ANDY, a man in
his 30's with unkempt hair, is fumbling with his handgun,
trying to insert it into a shoulder holster but failing.

I couldn't find my new one so I
had to dig out this old one. I
don't think it fits any more.

The tall man, facing away from Andy, exhales a lungful of
smoke off the front porch.


Andy continues to struggle with the holster and grunts in
frustration. The tall man turns around and looks surprised
at seeing Andy's gun and holster, letting the cigarette in
his mouth droop on his lip then squeezing it with his lips
as he begins to talk.

What the fuck 're you doing?

Andy finally gets the handgun into the holster with the
clasp closed over the handle. He looks up innocently with
raised brows.


The tall man slowly takes the cigarette out of his mouth
with his thumb and index finger, eyes locked on Andy, he
puffs a quick burst of smoke out. He points the unlit end
of the cigarette at Andy.

What's with the iron Dirty Harry,
plan on making somebody's day?

Andy looks down at his holster as he realizes what JAMES is
pointing at. He quickly looks up with outstretched,
upturned palms.

We have to be able to protect
ourselves this time.

This time? Who're you saying we
need protection from exactly?

Well the cops of course!

Andy shoots James an open mouthed look of disbelief.

We nearly got caught on the last
run and I don't want to risk that

James flicks the spent cigarette down against the wooden
porch. Andy reaches behind and shuts the cabin door.

The deputy drove past us going the
other way and waved fercrissakes.
I don't think he aims to set up a
roadblock next time we meet. Plus
it's night out.

Andy inhales and puffs his chest out, defiantly pushing
past James and stepping sharply down the porch steps.

Everybody knows night brings out
the bad elements in this town. You
never know who we might run into.

James descends the steps following Andy, fishing for the
keys in his pocket and gently shaking his head in disgust.

We are the bad elements in this
town ya moron.

Andy ignores the remark, enters the passenger side of a
well worn Ford pickup and SLAMS the door.

I'm glad paps ain't alive to see

James looks up at the stars overhead and pauses for a a few

He opens the truck door, climbs into the driver's seat and
shuts the door. It doesn't latch properly and he must 
re-open it and pull it hard to SLAM it closed.

The taillights flash red and the exhaust belches to life as
the truck bounces down a dirt driveway and disappears
behind a row of tall pines.

Cutscene 1 – York

Something prowls the frontier in Roman Britain.

A new feature where I share short scenes that can be used to prod the imagination, all written in the standard screenplay format to aid visualization. I’m not sure if it is just me or not, but I find the screenplay format an easy style to use that doesn’t seem so hung up on grammar as with short stories. They tend to be very efficient story devices where a page is assumed to be about a minute of filming time and so lacks a ton of exposition that would be filled in by visual elements on the screen.

These snippets can be used by readers to influence elements for their games because often all it takes is a slight spark from a 3rd party to trigger the creative process in scenarios and encounters. The indent structure of screenplays is pretty specific but I haven’t been able to get the blog to match it quite correctly yet so you’ll have to bear with me.


CASSIUS kneels beside a tall pile of dried tree limbs a few
hundred feet away from a Roman frontier fort. His weathered
hand lowers a torch, dull red and nearly extinguished, into
the pile. Flames rise to life as a crackling hiss turns
into a low roar. He raises his head and directs his
attention to the shadowy tree line nearby.

Do you hear that?

MARIUS, pacing on the cleared dirt around the fire near
CASSIUS, furrows his brow and angles his gaze into the
setting sun.

I hear nothing, save the fire.

Even the insects are in quiet
hiding from them tonight. I can
feel their eyes on us from the

Rising to his full height, CASSIUS rubs the stubble of his
rough beard and scans left and right across the meadow
clearing. His gaze lingering on the nearby wooden palisades
surrounding the legion's camp.

Tell them to send out the hounds.
Full compliment.

The handlers will curse your name.

If they can curse me it means they
are still among the living.

You know they won't see it that

MARIUS extends his arms over his head, each brandishing a
flaming branch in an X.

Shouts can be heard from the camp and in the following
moments the unmistakeable baying of dogs reaches CASSIUS.

He exhales slowly, watching the last of the sunset's orange glow
fade to black. He reaches down and pulls a hatchet
from the ground and puts into a holster on his belt.

So you believe the report from
Angicet? About the demon spawned
wolves that can scale walls and
set fires?

The pair of men walk back towards the fort as other flames
erupt in the meadow, watch pyres being set like their own.

I wasn't there but the runner was
certainly covered in gore and
shaken badly. Something happened.

A dog handler with a pair of wolf hounds on a lead walks
past them towards the watch pyres.

We wont know for sure until the scouting 
party gets back in the morning.

You mean if they come back.

CASSIUS slaps MARIUS on the shoulder like old friends.

When, or if, still gives us an
answer of some sort, which is more
then we have right now.

Marius smiles warmly at Cassius and shakes his head.

Well I've kept you alive so far,
one more night isn't going to kill

Marius turns his head in reaction to some of the wolf
hounds barking excitedly in the distance.

At least I hope so