View Full Version : Modern fantasy plot ideas

2011-08-19, 01:22 PM
I have not DMed in a while (family drama when my little bro moved out broke up both my long running siblings 3.5 DnD and my just starting parents+lil bro WoD) but a college friend who moved to my city and his wife and friends want me to run something for them.

His wife and friends have a little 4e experience, but he is brand new to RPGs and wanted to do a mage based character with technology.

I threw together a low complexity fudge/fate/risus homebrew system that should be easy for him to learn, but I've sort of been stuck for good plot ideas to throw at them, as I wanted to have a lot of plot hooks and combat opportunities stocked up to surround them with, so they can find action whatever their tastes.

The setting is a Buffy/Dresden/WoD type thing, with the reason for secrecy and tons of action being a mysterious few thousand year old force that makes people rapidly forget and rationalize supernatural events (usually), and protects society by steering antagonistic organizations (natural or not) into each other's business.

All I know of their characters so far is a mage type guy, and a outcast ninja type girl (and at least one more).

The plot points I thought of so far are:

- If they spend time in the sewers face evolved rat swarms from a rat spirit and her nosferatu consort.

- If they spend time in a supermarket, may entangle with ghoul butchers disposing corpses for the vampire mafia

- If they get involved with spirits, churches or universities may meet an order of shapeshifting, nightmare/spirit hunting priests/students

- On the streets may be mugged by drug addicted shifters from a group under the control of a rogue spirit

- On the streets may be mugged, then possibly infiltrated and blackmailed by a paranoid homeless vamp with stealth and mind control powers

- On the streets may rescue one of the above from the other in a mugging gone wrong

- In a cemetary may run into a necrophiliac necromancer's confused lovers

- May catch the eye of a detective with the habit of framing dangerous supernaturals for SWAT TEAM "drug busts"

- A gentleman mage's efforts to re-incorporate the ghost of his dead wife may appear to be (or be) a dark and dangerous ritual

I critically fumbled my google-fu roll to find play logs or free modules of any modern fantasy games (besides the Neutral Grounds Dresden sample), can anyone lend me some more ideas that combine mystery, combat, and somewhat bad guys?

2011-08-19, 01:51 PM
A huge cult is trying to access the spirit energy of the world to sacrifice it to gain godhood.

A misguided association is secretely trying to "improve" humanity before its too late (global warming, nuclear holocauset, etc.) They do this by abducting people and implanting a parasite they've magically grown that supposedly makes people better (smarter etc. but ends up being mind controlly).

Aliens have come to cull humanity. They have some sort of future sense and have forseen that humanity will destroy everything in some way in a galactic way. But the aliens themselves aren't very warlike so they get humans to worship them and do their dirty work.

Mutants have arisen. They have decided that the human's government is too weak to continue. They subvertly assualt many governments at once.

2011-08-19, 02:08 PM

2011-08-19, 02:32 PM
@ Randomhero - I'm trying to keep plots small and local, but you gave me some good ideas:

- Gentleman mage can be trolling bad neighborhoods, to lure muggers out, and steal their souls to help bring his wife back (looks quite evil if you don't see the first part, and not exactly a fitting penalty for mugging all told)

- Love the eco-terrorist puppetmasters, stomping out corruption by stomping on free will - so morally ambiguous

- Maybe a rogue alien or two making trouble on the sly (real alien cultures with the tech to get here would be more like gods, I had them sort of earmarked for the power behind the mysterious preservation of mundane society)

- Mutant brotherhood ala Magneto is not a bad idea just as a group that discounts human value (unless humans can be converted)

@hivedragon - OMG, free modern modules to mine for plots! I have d20 modern book also, but did not want to step them back to level based 3.Xish after they played 4e.

2011-08-19, 10:21 PM
How about a cult of canabalistic phycopaths are worshiping a werewolf and the group is tasked with killing them. This can aslo be connected to the detective idea.

2011-08-21, 05:05 PM
1). Somebody finds a magic lamp with a genie inside that grants wishes. However, the genie isn't the kind that can just magic stuff out of nowhere. When the wisher asks for a million dollars then the genie goes out and robs a bank (or pilfers numerous smaller places to get the money). The players are looking into a bunch of thefts or strange events and run into the genie. Also, the magic that binds the genie to its lamp makes it so that the genie will be freed after it grants its third wish unless the third wish is for it to get back into the lamp.

The original wielder of the lamp might be smart enough to keep wishing it back into the lamp to get essentially infinite wishes, but if anyone else gets it then the genie won't be mentioning that little tidbit. If the genie ever gets free then its going to have a little 'discussion' with anyone who treated it poorly during its time of servitude.

2). A young and lonely wizard created a magical TV that can scry on attractive women. Seriously. He origionally had it hooked up to a VCR or DVD recorder so he could make some tapes for personal use until he had a run in with somebody a little more ruthless. Now the device is in the hands of the mob or some vampires or something and they use it either to kidnap or attack women or to spy on certain important people.

3). Another wizard creates a magical Shmoo-like creature that eats garbage and converts it into a specific type of good. It might make bandages, blank DVDs, eggs, canned soup, ramen noodles, gasoline, pure water in bottles, or towels (the specific item being made never changes unless a talented wizard magically edits the Shmoos 'code' to make something else). The Shmoo creature basically eats garbage, makes more of the specific item, and occasionally divides itself into two creatures so that it exponentially reproduces.

The original intention was to end world poverty by having the Shmoo just make an expenentially increasing supply of some useful thing like medicine or food while simultaniously getting rid of the garbage. However, after he freely distributed it to his friends (and they gave some to their friends) then eventually somebody started tampering with it and it went wrong.

Now there might be a swarm of the things eating things other than garbage, or they are making something like bullets, poison, or drugs. Or their constant production of goods is messing up the economy, or it just mutated into an unstoppable glob of ooze (the Shmooze?).

No matter what, a shmoo cannot transmute elements or change what it makes without a wizard programming it so it can't make gold or print money (well, it can but the bills would have the same numbers on them and you would need to feed it the right metals to make coins). Expect alot of problems both from the things themselves and the ability of a wide variety of people to suddenly get near-infinite amounts of whatever the things have been programmed to make.

2011-08-22, 07:53 AM
An idea out of OWoD Mage book: a mage laser-printing runes on a sticky-note paper for convenient and quick use. Somehow the file with the runes leaks to the Internet - now quite a lot of people can mass-produce magical runes. It is bound to go wrong.

Local corporation/fast-food chain/something drains souls of it's employees for whatever nefarious reason.

Bunch of young spirit shamans (or how you call them) during a wild party summoned and accidentially released some magical creatures (most likely various types of nymphs, maybe satyrs or other creatures know for their inclination for partying). Now they try to find them and send them back without alerting their superiors.

2011-08-22, 02:47 PM
There is a scientist in a nearby university that is trying to make a breakthrough in robotics.... by killing students & tethering their souls to automatons

The local dentist is indebted to a fae (tooth fairy), he's got a new charming personality that makes people want to come to his business. But now he's up to his teeth in debt & has to pay it off tooth by tooth

A stray dog is taken in by a boy that has recently lost his father (a cop) to gangs. Little does he know that his dad is a were-dog & is still trying to protect his family.

A doppleganger has stolen the identity of the police chief. Now crime is at an all time low... but why?

2011-08-22, 02:53 PM
A fast food restaurant ran by zombies, kept in the walk-in freezer at night

2011-08-22, 07:21 PM
A fast food restaurant ran by zombies, kept in the walk-in freezer at night

Give Me The Brain: The RPG?

A urban-fantasy video-game that's making the rounds. It's amateurish and old-fashioned, but all the data in it about various demons, spirits, and wizards is _completely true_. A lot of people (so to speak) are VERY unhappy with whoever wrote it.

2011-08-23, 09:27 PM
No clue what it is but now I'm interested

2011-08-24, 01:36 AM
Give Me The Brain (http://www.sjgames.com/givemethebrain/), the card game.

2011-08-24, 04:15 AM
A company/group is combining magic and technology for new and revolutionary trans/post-human augmentations and various convenient magi-technologies. Naturally, a bunch of overblown magical neo-luddites aim to destroy the company/technology in the name of mother nature.

2011-08-24, 11:24 AM
I would highly suggest reading Mirrorfall, an online novel, that has a very similar set of plots.


as for the fast food zombies, call it, Would you like Brains with that?

2011-08-25, 08:13 AM
I would highly suggest reading Mirrorfall, an online novel, that has a very similar set of plots.


as for the fast food zombies, call it, Would you like Brains with that?

I'm not sure how much of Mirrorfall I could use without lifting the setting and mythology wholescale (and I'm very happy with my own) but it is amazing, thanks for sharing it.

"...wanting to beat people with pipes is being a hero now? Order my cape!"