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Oberoten
May 17th, 2006, 09:28
What are you people out there curently playing or planning to run? I am curious as to what scenarious other GM's are running.

For now... We are running a campaign set in England during the 800's (Viking Invasion) near Offa's Dyke. Focusing mostly on building a community and preparing for the inevitable invasion, the politics of the small squabbling baronies this is a pretty low-key campaign where things go on the realistic first hand.

Call of Cthulhu is the second running one with the players currently observing a small group of cultists near Innsmouth. So far there is only suspicion and psychology at play, but since it is slow-paced they will have plenty of time to build up tension. It will be a couple of years until the cult has strength enough to call upon father Dagon anyway.

And as always... a silly over the top campaign to offset the more serious stuff. Currenly introducing VERY disturbed children to Hogswarts in the Harry Potter universe. There is something very deeply satisfying about these tough streetsmart hoodlums meeting up with the kinda naive happy wizardling society.

DarkStar
May 17th, 2006, 09:46
I am currently running a fantasy campaign set in Forgotten Realms (Faerun), using D&D 3.5 rules. Or 3.25. ;) So far, players have been trapped in a small city surrounded with a magical sphere (acting like a force field, which allows passage only one-way, this time IN ;) ). There was a goblin army nearby, preparing to attack the town. Players had to find a way to get out of the trap and look for help in the nearest big city, asking thultyrl Rendeth (Procampur's ruler) himself, to lend them an army which would save Maerstar (the trapped city).

Right now, we are having a major battle in city streets, burning buildings, chaos, blood & death. There's much more to do and more dangers await our heroes. ;] But I can't talk about them here.

Kalan
May 17th, 2006, 13:24
Currently I'm running a d20 Modern Urban Arcana campaign. The heroes are members of the local Police Force, and its kind of a CSI/Criminal Minds type campaign. So far they've only just had minor brushes with the fantasy elements - chiefly being Lifesavers, and Mountain Dews ;)

Oh how I love modern Cure Light Wound potions :D

kalmarjan
May 17th, 2006, 13:31
I am running a straight up Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign set in Greyhawk.

The game has restarted after a TPK in the former group.

So far, all good fun. :)

Sandeman

Wraith
May 17th, 2006, 14:28
I'm running a non-standard 3.5e game in my own world. The party has just defeated an evil goblin that had been causing the local town folk to get ill. They still have yet to pursue their other objectives that only they know of and the intrigue deepens. ;)

Oberoten
May 17th, 2006, 15:12
Why not make this a thread for spill over plot? A repository of sorts where those of us whom are blessed by an overactive imagination (that would be the GM's...) could drop storyideas or NPCs for different systems?

Kalan
May 17th, 2006, 15:44
Why not make this a thread for spill over plot? A repository of sorts where those of us whom are blessed by an overactive imagination (that would be the GM's...) could drop storyideas or NPCs for different systems?

This wouldn't be a bad idea. I don't mind sharing some of my NPC's for use in other games.

The nice thing with d20 systems - is that the basics of stat blocks vary little between systems. Tho often times the difficulty comes from obtaining backgrounds and plots.

I'm also in the midst of working on "modernizing" the Sidhe for use in my d20 Modern campaign setting. I may release this in the future if there are people who wish it.

I'm also toying with the idea of taking existing cities, and "Urban Arcana"ifying them.

Can ya'll tell I likey me the d20 Modern stuff ;) That...and I've gotten over my City Of Heroes/Villains addiction and am focusing back onto my original love - RPG's ;) (due in no small part to FG :D)

Cypher
May 17th, 2006, 17:21
I'm running the 3.5e revised White Plume Mountain as a one-shot (hopefully for multiple groups).

While running this module I am developing a 3.5e campaign set in the Lankhmar setting. I hope to launch this campaign this summer.

Oberoten
May 17th, 2006, 22:48
In each town the towncrier is an important source of news and gossip as well as the one person nobody will be suspicious to see out in the middle of the night... But hat is the towncrier turns into a bad apple or always was?

His word would weigh heavily on most trials. A good man to befriend perhaps, someone that could look away or throw suspicion as he sees fit.

(( To make the npc as useful as possible, I will give no real stats, only grade their abilities from -5 to +5 with 0 being the normal guy on the street and +5 a MAJOR Npc Hero. Each step being roughly twice the previous. ))

The Good
Ivahan Sanatos
Physical Attributes : +1 Hardened by years on the streets.
Mental Attributes : +1 Not a bad detective, you will have to work to deceieve
him.
Spiritual : -2 Ivahan denies the gods. He has no use for them.
Fighting Skills : +2 - A skilled fighter, veteran from some war perhaps?
Social Skills : -1 - He is quite blunt and will not shy from a truth in
any way.
Personality :
Ivahan is as mentioned quite blunt, but otherwise a cheerful person that will usually wrap blunt truths in just enough humor to not get himself into too many a duell. Nonetheless even if he denies the gods, he does believe in Justice. But justice is not a god to be worshipped, only a concept to be served. He is unflinchingly moral to a fault and will go to great lengths to expose lies and crime.

The Bad
Aron Malchai

Phsyical Attributes : 0
Mental Attributes : +2 Aron is a shrewd man, he can usually peg a man or
woman for what they are after with but a single
glance.
Spiritual Attributes : +1 A charming man, so thinks the clergy that recieves
a great deal of money from his affairs.
Fighting Skill : -1 Aron does NOT get into a fight if he can avoid it. He
prefers to have others handle such things. By setting
the townguard on his opponents.
Social Skill : +3 A social and well loved man in his community Aron
knows JUST what to tell and to who to get the
wheels rolling.

Personality :
Aron is a cruel and vengeful man who will use his influence to hurt those who slight him in any way. He finds great pleasure in seing such people hurt or pulled down by the law. He also knows almost everything that goes on in the town he works in and could sell information or make sure others get the WRONG information quite easily.

As for the Ugly

... that'd be me.

kalmarjan
May 18th, 2006, 00:16
One plot thread that I ran until the party was decimated was vile in nature; anyone who is not mature should not read the following post:

D
O

N
O
T

R
E
A
D

I
F

N
O
T

M
A
T
U
R
E
!!


I basically had the cult kidnap all of the children in the town one night. The townsfolk were besides themselves as you could imagine. To make matters worse, the authorities were tied up in red tape with the nearby city's politics.

What ended up happening was the party discovered that the cult had kidnapped the children, and were planning to "brainwash" them into killing machines. This threw an interesting curveball into the mix, as the party was strong enough to mow through the "mmoks" as it were, and gave extra motivation to fight the cult.

My advice to anyone is: When playing evil, think evil. Make the villan dispicable. Make the party REALLY want to deal with the villan. Do not be afraid to use underhanded tactics, do not play fair, and when your players defeat them, they will be much more satisfied. :)

Sandeman

Tailz Silver Paws
May 18th, 2006, 04:58
I'm working on a World War II module based on the assault of Pointe du Hoc on D-Day. I am also thinking of rebuilding the adventure I ran a while ago of SOE Agents drops into France a few months before the D-Day invasion, with order to contact the resistance, and help them prepair their attacks against the German infrastruction to disrupt communications and rail transport on & after D-Day.

I'm also trying to get my friends into a standard D&D game, but they are all lazy buggers!


I basically had the cult kidnap all of the children in the town one night. The townsfolk were besides themselves as you could imagine. To make matters worse, the authorities were tied up in red tape with the nearby city's politics.

What ended up happening was the party discovered that the cult had kidnapped the children, and were planning to "brainwash" them into killing machines. This threw an interesting curveball into the mix, as the party was strong enough to mow through the "mmoks" as it were, and gave extra motivation to fight the cult.

My advice to anyone is: When playing evil, think evil. Make the villan dispicable. Make the party REALLY want to deal with the villan. Do not be afraid to use underhanded tactics, do not play fair, and when your players defeat them, they will be much more satisfied. :)

Sandeman

If that was really evil, the kids would have been brain washed to also kill the characters - thus the characters would have to 'disarm' the kids while the poor little brain washed sprogs are trying to stick em with sharp pointy sticks...... Ooohhh nasty!

kalmarjan
May 18th, 2006, 06:17
What makes this even more nasty is that the PCs did not want to kill the kids. The kids were flanking with the BBEG. Can you say sneak attack? With a double sword +1, bulls strength and an unhallow spell? Nasty indeed.

Unfortunately, this ended up with a TPK. In retrospect, a little too evil. :)

Sandeman

Oberoten
May 18th, 2006, 06:52
For sheer Evil during WW II I have yet to encounter an adventure more horrible (and I mean this as horror-inducing and thought provoking) than
"Hard as Steel" which can be found on www.rpgarchive.com it is VERY much not for the faint of heart though and deals with some very adult themes in the violence and sheer evil department.

Kalan
May 18th, 2006, 13:38
For sheer Evil during WW II I have yet to encounter an adventure more horrible (and I mean this as horror-inducing and thought provoking) than
"Hard as Steel" which can be found on www.rpgarchive.com (http://www.rpgarchive.com) it is VERY much not for the faint of heart though and deals with some very adult themes in the violence and sheer evil department.

You mean they tied everyone down and made them watch Barney 24/7? ;)

Seriously tho - evil is always a matter of perspective. After all, if the person truly believes what they are doing is for the better of society, could that truly be called evil? Or is it just being misguided?

Ahh crap...me gone done gotten all philosophical now...sorry gang ;)

I can't say as I've done anything truly this evil - well...unless you count in my one d20 Modern chronicle where the main PC ended up bein lied to by everyone she loved (including her father), who all ended up being Shadowkind. And she found this out after her classroom was blown to bit by battling mages.

The police ended up ruling it was a gas leak ;)

Oberoten
May 18th, 2006, 16:34
You mean they tied everyone down and made them watch Barney 24/7? ;)

Seriously tho - evil is always a matter of perspective. After all, if the person truly believes what they are doing is for the better of society, could that truly be called evil? Or is it just being misguided?

Ahh crap...me gone done gotten all philosophical now...sorry gang ;)

I can't say as I've done anything truly this evil - well...unless you count in my one d20 Modern chronicle where the main PC ended up bein lied to by everyone she loved (including her father), who all ended up being Shadowkind. And she found this out after her classroom was blown to bit by battling mages.

The police ended up ruling it was a gas leak ;)

*grins* I'll not reveal too much but the adventure is indeed QUITE evil by your definition too.

Kalan
May 18th, 2006, 17:41
I feel evil also tends to be better served when its personal to the PC's. Sure, Doc So an So could be taking over the world - but human nature tends to ignore those evils until it has become very very personal (9/11 comes to mind).

That's also why I tend to get as much background from my PC's before play begins - all the better to twist my pretties....

mr_h
May 18th, 2006, 19:45
I'm running a D20 (3.5) campaign that's pretty basic. Dungeon crawling and the like, we haven't done much character development, but that'll come.

So far the PC's have been sent out by a benefactor to recover some artifacts, the goal being that they get to a 'high enough' level. After that the plot really begins (One of the PC's reads these boards so I won't tell to much).


After this campaign (it should get them to about 10th level or so), I'm thinking of moving us over to a modern espionage using Top Secret SI rules (just need to make the ruleset).

kalmarjan
May 18th, 2006, 20:12
Evil... Evil...

The best way to go about playing the villans as evil is to stay away from cliches. Just think, "If I was this evil bastard, what would be the most diabolical, selfish thing that I would do?"

You would be surprised at what you come up with. Your players will be surprised as well.

I'll give you an example:

In the shackled city adventure path that I was playing, Kazmojen had one of the boys as a hostage from the party. (This was after Lord Orbius had spirited away Terrem.) The party was trying to negotiate with Kazmojen for the release of the boy. Things went a little sour after one of the party members blasted him with a magic missile.

Check. Chaotic Evil. Check. What would I do in that situation? Looks like my leverage is not working, it is just hindering me. How can I make these guys understand I mean business? One knife accross the throat of the boy got the message across. (Please note: I do not think like this, but I am playing up the villain.)

You should have seen the look on the players' faces. They killed Kaz and were pretty distraught over the loss of the boy. They were happy about killing Kaz though. So that is what I was talking about there.

Sandeman

Tailz Silver Paws
May 19th, 2006, 03:25
The best evil NPC's are the ones that think that they are doing good.

the "true beliver" syndrome

acmer
May 19th, 2006, 07:57
The evil guy / good guys plot gets a little repetitive after a while. How about making an overly "good" scenario. A very strict police state that has plenty of rules and laws to protect its inhabitants from harm and to prevent criminal actions. Common people might get a little frustrated with that after a while, but how would YOU start solving this problem? Certainly there is no single evil guy to slay. Lawful Good against Lawful Good :D

Stuart
May 19th, 2006, 08:57
The "Lens-men" SciFi books being a case in point or the Chaos v Law system behind the Moor**** books; Law seen as "Good" but prohibitive of change (Chaos being seen as its antithesis : anarchic, unrestrained, unpredictable and amoral).

Griogre
May 19th, 2006, 10:41
As a twist, have your "evil" guys do something that is of real benefit for "downtrodden little guys" - for all the wrong reasons. Make sure the evil guys benefit from it, too. It will drive your heroes crazy.

As an example, I was running a Super Hero game. A clever gang of powerful villians went in and took over a small country run by a corrupt dictatorship. They liquidated the dictator, and the landowning and corrupt classes, pocketing all their wealth. They turned around and did true land reform and stopped corruption dead (literally). They maintained control of the country and took a massive skim of the money being generated by the sale of the country's natural resources. What they also did was take a small but signifigant percent from the resource sales and spend it on improving infrasturcture which helped the poor - far more than the old corrupt regime had ever done. The average citizen was *much* better off.

The PC's *hated* these villians. They went around and around on what to do about them.

In this type of scenario the PCs will have to figure out: 1) How to get rid of the evil guy(s) with out everyone thinking they are not evil themselves. Or course the PCs may not care about their reputation. 2) But even if they don't care about rep - if they are good - they are going to have to figure out a way to replace replace the benefit the evil guy(s) was giving to the downtrodden or force the population to be worse than off than under the evil guy(s) rule. 3) Prevent chaos when they topple the bad guy(s).

Griogre
May 19th, 2006, 10:57
The "Lens-men" SciFi books being a case in point or the Chaos v Law system behind the Moor**** books; Law seen as "Good" but prohibitive of change (Chaos being seen as its antithesis : anarchic, unrestrained, unpredictable and amoral).
I haven't thought about the "Lens-men" in years - read them when I was a kid. Originally D&D was like this, or pre D&D the First Fantasy Campaign anyway, there was Law, Chaos and Neutral. Chaos was evil. Under some interpretations Law was good, but under some - Neutral was the good - with both the extreme positions of Law and Chaos being evil.

Oberoten
May 19th, 2006, 14:12
As a twist, have your "evil" guys do something that is of real benefit for "downtrodden little guys" - for all the wrong reasons. Make sure the evil guys benefit from it, too. It will drive your heroes crazy.

As an example, I was running a Super Hero game. A clever gang of powerful villians went in and took over a small country run by a corrupt dictatorship. They liquidated the dictator, and the landowning and corrupt classes, pocketing all their wealth. They turned around and did true land reform and stopped corruption dead (literally). They maintained control of the country and took a massive skim of the money being generated by the sale of the country's natural resources. What they also did was take a small but signifigant percent from the resource sales and spend it on improving infrasturcture which helped the poor - far more than the old corrupt regime had ever done. The average citizen was *much* better off.

The PC's *hated* these villians. They went around and around on what to do about them.

In this type of scenario the PCs will have to figure out: 1) How to get rid of the evil guy(s) with out everyone thinking they are not evil themselves. Or course the PCs may not care about their reputation. 2) But even if they don't care about rep - if they are good - they are going to have to figure out a way to replace replace the benefit the evil guy(s) was giving to the downtrodden or force the population to be worse than off than under the evil guy(s) rule. 3) Prevent chaos when they topple the bad guy(s).


Now this is a lovely take on "villains". I'd even go as far as to say that the best opponents are the ones that just don't share the same goals or in fact have oposing goals as the PCs. This means that it can come down to a political solution in the end. Make the other solution seem BAD or useless.

Or even better, if you REALLY want them to hate the other... "team" have THEM suceed when the players do not.

Craw
May 19th, 2006, 14:53
The game has restarted after a TPK in the former group.
Sandeman

TPK! YES!

kalmarjan
May 19th, 2006, 18:41
O.o

YES? It was the first TPK I have had after 20 years of playing, and it kind of sucked...

OTOH, the new start is going very well. :)

Sandeman

Griogre
May 21st, 2006, 02:28
YES? It was the first TPK I have had after 20 years of playing, and it kind of sucked...

I'm like you I can't even remember the last TPK I had before 3.x. Since the latest edition I've had a couple of times where it could have easily happened. There's no doubt the risk of TPK is much higher now especially with a small or badly rounded party. I insist on a minumum party size of five now.

Oberoten
May 21st, 2006, 09:49
I'm like you I can't even remember the last TPK I had before 3.x. Since the latest edition I've had a couple of times where it could have easily happened. There's no doubt the risk of TPK is much higher now especially with a small or badly rounded party. I insist on a minumum party size of five now.

One thing almost always seem to end up as a TPK wether I want it to or not though.

IF someone takes skills in explosives in Sci-Fi or modern day eras it usually ends up with a catastrophic misshap. If nothing else they will usually play around with the stuff while carrying more in their backpack.

<Me> "The explosion is too close, you will need a better safetydistance..." <Player1> "I can take a few HP of damage." <Me> "And the nitroglycerine in your backpack?"

Griogre
May 21st, 2006, 21:28
Love your tagline:

So... let me see if I get this straight. You are a frecking superhero with strength to rival that of a russian collectives tractor-armada... And you TACKLE the little girl that has been shoplifting?

Reminds me of a conversation I had with a player one time:
<Me> So let me get this straight... You want to disbelieve the alleged invisible Mind Flayer you can't see?
<Player> Yes!
<Me> Well... (roll dice behind the screen) You still don't see a Mind Flayer or anything else.

Oberoten
May 21st, 2006, 22:39
Love your tagline:


Reminds me of a conversation I had with a player one time:
<Me> So let me get this straight... You want to disbelieve the alleged invisible Mind Flayer you can't see?
<Player> Yes!
<Me> Well... (roll dice behind the screen) You still don't see a Mind Flayer or anything else.

The original quote comes from a MSHRPG session we ran back in the days. Mutant players all the way through, each with a boost to physical stats... and a SEVERE penalty on intelligence.

We pretty much went for a "Great lake avengers" style campaign. Very humorous with the players really TRYING to take on supervillains and getting trounced by the likes of Kaptain Kangaroo. ;) Not to mention that the team was handpicked by a anti-mutant organization to make mutants look bad. Heck, they even had their own cameraman that followed them around.

Think "Mutants - Big Brother Sees You" a reality show...

Some memorable moments aside from the poor shoplifter were them accidentially breaking into a high-tech weapons lab. Yes, it WAS an accident, wrong adress. Hillarity ensued when the security guards arrive and one of the players decides to hightail it by "borrowing" a high-tech glider. (Think Green Goblin) "What do you mean 'pilot skill'?"

Or another PC singing the "I am a little teapot" song in the shower... while on camera. WITH all the gestures.

Or the plasma generating mutant that can obliterate mountains... and has a TERRIBLE phobia for spiders. Terrible for the others mostly since he INSISTED to use full power against them with his mutation.

Lets just say that the Antimutant organization got their money's worth.

Oberoten
May 23rd, 2006, 08:34
Some leftover minor hooks:

Just to make the characters happy, let them have it. The dragon's hoard... Someone else has slain the dragon and now they can loot to their heart's content.

Of course, the SOMEONE will be very upset and as shown by the dragon they are not above killing to reach their ends.

This can go in several interesting directions really depending on the moral vein of your players/characters. Sprung this on my players once and they ended up getting a share by "the Man" for making sure nobody else dragged the treasure away.

It can be a fun way to introduce a rival gang of mercenaries as well. Not the real good or bad guys, just some people that could be used as a fun mirror for the players. Some people to beat to the goal every now and then. My experience is that characters such as these are the ones the players LOVE to hate.

.................................................. ........

The Faithless servant

Another way to hook the players deeply is betrayal... Someone they trusted proves to be a spy or even worse an enemy that has followed them to get a "feel" for them and learn of their strengths and weaknesses first hand.

.................................................. ........

The... Evil?

Someone or some-THING traditionally evil has started protecting a small village for some reason. Is this a change of heart? A new philosophy/religion (can we help it spread?) ? Or is it part of something darker?

For real fun mix this with the official power of the region wanting to get rid of the obviously evil creature and the villagers/townspeople wanting to protect their new friend/benefactor.

"Odd... For the last fourty years we have NO deaths registered for this village... "

.................................................. .........

Oberoten
May 30th, 2006, 02:47
Nothing gets the players tails up as having them play dupes for someone else.

Curent campaign in StarWars has them doing exactly that. We are playing in the pre-EpIV days and the characters are basically emisaries of the republic... Oh, wait I mean Empire. *wickedgrins*

So they are sent out to Alderaan to negotiate a supposed Secession from the republic. Now this is a HARSH task really, there isn't much that CAN be done to make them want to stay except threatening violence which they have been UTTERLY forbidden to do.

In other words, negotiations go into a complete spin with one of the characters trying to court the young princess instead of taking care of his tasks, the other two are having their own problems ... most of them with eachother.

Out in space at the same time though something new appears... a HUGE pirate fleet jamming all communications and obviously preparing to take the planet since it will no longer be protected by the Imperial Navy.

Coincidentially the ship the players have been given is a stealthy bird, or so they have been told. All VERY high-tech all very secret, but enough for them to slip through the blockade and call in the navy.

(Nevermind that most of the Pirate fleet was just gravatic projections with a few real ships spread out thin in between.)

Soon enough an IMPRESSIVE battlefleet of the Empire turns up and eradicates the pirates (well the projections anyway) and the Heroes get to return to Alderaan with the good news to recieve commendations for their great deed in slipping past the "pirates" of course they are now aware that their ship has in fact VERY limited stealth capabilities.... They last for about 5 minutes before emptying all capacitors and needing about two hours of recharge time.

But the goal has been reached, they are now set up as a politicaly influent group on Alderaan. And somehow they STILL aren't very happy about it.