View Full Version : Ideas for find-the-true-murderer story

2012-11-09, 07:56 AM
I'm a DM who's just started a D&D 3.5 campaign with 5 players who've never played roleplaying games before, and for purposes of showing them every facet of D&D as well as the overall story, I am planning on having them become suspects for the murder of a town guard they were seen arguing against. I am pretty stumped for ideas to make it memorable, though, and would like to hear if any kind soul in the forum has any good ideas to help flesh a compelling short story out with a lot of roleplay.

The facts are as follows : The party was looking for someone in a large city, and while searching they questioned the guard of the city's front gate if he had seen him. He replied that he hadn't, but upon hearing so, the party dwarf proceeded to intimidate and threaten him (he was fortunate not to have this incident escalate). The guard insisted he hadn't seen him, but it was clear he was hiding something. The party left the city on a quest for a high-authority figure of the city, and upon returning 4 days later, they reported the guard's behaviour to this figure. He sent an order to summon the guard for questioning and the party left content that they'd done what they could... little did they know that the guard was hiding a secret which they hadn't even imagined, and whoever this secret concerned became scared when they heard this guard was about to be questioned regarding that night, so they proceed to kill him before that happened and suspicion falls on the party (which may either be on purpose - for example by the killer stealing the dwarf's weapon and placing it on the guard's body - or the police are just suspicious of the dwarf because of the aforementioned squabble between them).

I have already thought up of several reasons as to why the police can't use divine magic to ascertain who the true culprits are, so the only way the PCs can get out of this is by finding him/her/them themselves, in which time they are not allowed to leave the city, eventhough they have to leave for a new quest in the next 1-2 days or Something Bad will happen.

The party is level 2 and consists of two Fighters, a Rogue, a Cleric and a Wizard. Any help will be appreciated:smallsmile:

2012-11-09, 08:21 AM
Thieve's Guild.

Usually a rumor or two to be had there, if the price is right. Otherwise, the standard 'a group of toughs ambushes you in the alley, and you find a clue on them' is always a good way to go, if you don't want a long twisted story.

2012-11-09, 08:26 AM
I wouldn't remove magic out of the picture altogether. That is an important part of D&D, after all. Just make finding/convincing whoever can cast the spell part of the adventure.

2012-11-09, 08:29 AM
@ThiagoMartell, I didn't say magic is completely out of the picture, I said that the police won't be able to use divine magic, so there's no problem there.

@Lentrax, yes, a Thieves' Guild is always useful in scenarios like this. However, what I am asking for here is the story, like what was the secret, who wanted the guard killed etc.

2012-11-09, 08:37 AM
The secret could probably have been anything. Making deals with lesser demons, or orc tribes to leave the city out of interplanar affairs. Or even knoweldge of the murderers true ancestry.

You could even make it the heroes high ranking quest giver's political rival, so even if they do anything, they still come out looking like pawns in a larger political game.

2012-11-09, 10:10 AM
Or even knoweldge of the murderers true ancestry.

This seems a decent one to me. The murderer is the heir of the deposed ex-ruler of the city/little-known cousin of the current ruler who is in the city using a false identity as he prepares a coup against the current ruler. The guard happened to be an old retainer of the murderer, so recognised him. The murderer bribed the guard to keep his mouth shut, but decided he was too high a risk.

The guard may have confided in someone else who is too scared to come forward, or dropped some hints to other guards that could start the group off on the right track.

2012-11-10, 05:18 AM
^That sounds like such a great idea and ties up so well with the backstory of one of the PCs that I'm practically jumping for joy right now!!! It also allows for a multi-layered story with several surprises in store and, most importantly, it will be an excellent precursor for some good roleplaying! Thank you very much, Lentrax and Caden! :biggrin:

2012-11-10, 12:19 PM
Not a problem at all. Just glad I could help.

2012-11-12, 07:24 AM
Yay! I'm useful! :smallbiggrin: