View Full Version : Plot Idea, looking for tips?

Titanium Fox
2011-05-06, 02:25 PM
I have an idea for a campaign. Basically, the players are kidnapped from their homes in the night, as is standard for the society they live in, and are transplanted into another city they have never been to, in the local 'fight to the death' arena, which is testing the popularity of a new team based fight system on Friday nights. Basically the party will be physically branded (DM Created Spell) and given starter equipment by the area, and the brand will prevent them from leaving the city limits until it is removed by its caster, and only its caster. They will have access to the entire city however, and underneath the arena is the combatant's barracks (the brand prevents them from owning any property in the city as well).

But the main issue I forsee with this is that since there's one fight every Friday in world in this campaign, how do I encourage my players to actually role play and interact with the world (city) inbetween fights? I'm planning to basically after each fight let them free, and have them tell me when they're ready for the next fight. I'm just worried that they will complete the fight, prepare their spells, go buy and sell and all immediately say "next fight please". I am planning on having plot hooks outside of the Arena, they just need to actually find them. :P

2011-05-06, 02:33 PM
Is part of the plot having them escape?

Titanium Fox
2011-05-06, 02:39 PM
That's a large part the meta-plot, since it's going to most likely be the driving force for a lot of their characters. Either through legitimate means (fighting their way out of the arena), or "non-legitimate" (coercing the caster of the spell to remove it, etc).

2011-05-06, 02:43 PM
Have what happens in between the fights give them stuff that will help them in the fights. Maybe they have sponsers or something, or shady characters interested in seeing them win for reasons of their own... You could have people gambling over them, and one might sabotage a player so they won't win. If one of the players doesn't want to fight or kill because of alignment issues, someone kidnaps a loved one, threatening to kill him/her. Maybe some peeps want to get rid of the games, because they think they're cruel, and contact the characters to help.

2011-05-06, 02:59 PM
Like others have posted before, bring the world to them. The people who are fans of this gladiatorial combat get excited to see them on the streets. As they get higher in level, they see things they've autographed appearing as "collectors items," or worse, someone selling fake-autographed rookie cards! As they start to get say in their own gear, sponsors want to provide them with equipment.

Lots of chances for people to admire them, or scorn them (especially if they lost a fight and people lost money...)

2011-05-06, 07:10 PM
I guess give them samples of a better world outside this city. Just have certain things not readily available, like "Gladiators are prevented from consuming X or allowed to have Y." But show visitors enjoying all the things the PCs can't. Give them a grass is always greener feel. Then you can set plot hooks of getting out legally or busting out.

2011-05-06, 08:45 PM
come up with miniquests from other prisoners in the area
that might move things along

2011-05-06, 09:05 PM
One possible option is for your characters to rent out their 'alternative services.' Rich local women (or men) may pay a good sum to spend the night with a virile gladiator. This can provide a couple interesting plot options:

1. The PC can woo the client and convince her to help them escape somehow.

2. The PC can rob the client or otherwise convince her to provide him with contraband or other items that would make the group more competitive in the ring.

3. The client's husband or significant other might find out and cause trouble for the PC's. He might help their opponents, sabotage the party's efforts, or arrange for more difficult enemies.

Crafty Cultist
2011-05-06, 09:27 PM
How about having a few factions of arena slaves, with the party forced to chose which gang to join before they become prey for their fellow slaves. Not getting shivved could provide a great incentive to make friends among the other slaves.

2011-05-06, 10:22 PM
And, if all else fails and they're just fighty-minded, have them be subject to attacks in between the scheduled attacks. Or maybe have them learn about the MacGuffin that lies outside of town to motivate them to figure out the escape bit more quickly.