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Jeff the Green
2013-03-31, 03:17 AM
I've been working on a campaign setting and along with it the basic plot of the first game I'll run in it. Since the fay are rather important to the world's cosmology, I was wanted to do something with them at the forefront.

Eventually, I had a wonderful idea: It's been nearly a century since the last Wild Hunt, and everyone knows it's due to happen again soon. Fay are getting restless, there are more abductions, etc. One evil fay (probably a gestalt Gloura//Binder) decides she's going to use the Hunt for her own purposes. She'll call it, and then devour the essences of all the fay, thereby becoming the most powerful creature in the world.

And then I realized, as I'm sure you have by now, that this is basically taken whole-cloth from the Dresden Files.:smallannoyed:

So, I'm curious, what plots have you realized you accidentally stole from somewhere else?

W3bDragon
2013-03-31, 04:19 AM
Was... was that a spoiler for Dresden Files? :smalleek:

Jeff the Green
2013-03-31, 04:21 AM
Uh, barely. For the one that was released eight years ago. I'll put it in a spoiler, though.

Lorsa
2013-03-31, 04:26 AM
Uh, barely. For the one that was released eight years ago. I'll put it in a spoiler, though.

Which matters little as long as W3bDragon still shows what you wrote. :smallsmile:

I am sure there are plotlines I stole without knowing about it, but I can't come up with a good example now. I am much better at stealing when I DO know about it!

Kid Jake
2013-03-31, 09:37 AM
I accidentally stole the plot to The Hangover.

Group of people wake up and find that a large portion of their memory is gone, they have no idea where they are and everybody hates them. Then they eventually find out that the enchantment focused sorcerer PC had been using them for the lulz for the past year.

Loki_42
2013-03-31, 10:07 AM
I can't think of unintentionally stolen plots, I'm always too busy intentionally stealing things.

Hyde
2013-03-31, 10:12 AM
I accidentally stole the plot to The Hangover.

Group of people wake up and find that a large portion of their memory is gone, they have no idea where they are and everybody hates them. Then they eventually find out that the enchantment focused sorcerer PC had been using them for the lulz for the past year.

because "The Hangover" did that first. --

Anyway, A lot of over-zealous English majors will tell you that there are only seven basic plots, and everything is basically remixing those.

Really, there are only two, but that's not important.

It's pretty likely that something, somewhere, is a lot like any idea that you've come up with.

Moriwen
2013-03-31, 10:38 AM
As a little kid, I came up with an elaborate story about people who lived in a virtual world, and how one of them left it, and so on and so forth. I was really excited about it, and told it to my mother, who had to break it to me gently that this had already been done. "Let's talk about the Matrix, sweetie."

Kid Jake
2013-03-31, 10:45 AM
Well, I was more referring to having a humorous mystery plot revolving around forgotten debauchery and casual betrayal. With clues such as 'You realize you know what a goat tastes like and there's nothing you can do to change that.'

So yeah, the Hangover might not have been the ur-example, but it's definitely the one that I personally was inspired by.

Ducklord
2013-03-31, 12:31 PM
I once came up with a campaign where the players would be competing with other groups in finding certain artifacts, that would be scattered across the world. They would also have some kind of magic scroll, that would indicate the direction of each artifact. Then someone on this board pointed out that I basically came up with Dragon Ball :smallbiggrin:

Minitroll
2013-03-31, 12:45 PM
So, I'm going to tell two stories.

1) The adventuring party goes into a mine, and the doors cave behind them. Their journey is uneventful until they reach a room covered with huge pillars with a large hole in the ceiling. The party then came across a huge gorge, and they knocked the pillar down. Small, crawling monsters suddenly began to chatter, crawling at them and shooting at them from everywhere. They fought them off when a huge creature started to come and the monsters split for it. The party ran away.

2) The Fellowship of the Ring goes into the Mines of Moria, and the doors cave behind them. Their journey is uneventful until they reach Balin's chamber and a room covered in pillars with a large hole in the ceiling. Suddenly, they make a huge thudding noise. Small, crawling monsters suddenly began to chatter, crawling at them and shooting at them from everywhere. They fought them off when a huge demon started to come and the monsters split for it. The party ran way.

Kudos to my DM. He didn't even realize he was doing it, and he made the Mines of Moria.

Jeff the Green
2013-03-31, 12:55 PM
As a little kid, I came up with an elaborate story about people who lived in a virtual world, and how one of them left it, and so on and so forth. I was really excited about it, and told it to my mother, who had to break it to me gently that this had already been done. "Let's talk about the Matrix, sweetie."

I tend to give kids a pass on that sort of thing. In seventh or eighth grade (so ~12 y.o.) I wrote a story that stole the plot and characters of the Belgariad, more characters form Ender's Game, and Tolkein's cosmology, as in the Silmarillion. I thought it was original and I was only borrowing their styles. :smallsigh: Kids are kind of stupid.

Hyde
2013-03-31, 01:46 PM
...I really need run a game and see how cleverly I can hide the plot to dragonball.

atomicpenguin
2013-03-31, 01:48 PM
I once wrote out an entire campaign world complete with metaplot, only to realize after that it was just a fantasy reskin of Deadlands

PersonMan
2013-03-31, 02:36 PM
I tend to give kids a pass on that sort of thing. In seventh or eighth grade (so ~12 y.o.) I wrote a story that stole the plot and characters of the Belgariad, more characters form Ender's Game, and Tolkein's cosmology, as in the Silmarillion. I thought it was original and I was only borrowing their styles. :smallsigh: Kids are kind of stupid.

By the way it was written, it seemed to imply that she made up the plot on her own, then her mother told her it had already been done.

Jeff the Green
2013-03-31, 02:39 PM
Oh, I gathered that. But the Matrix isn't exactly the Ur-example either. It's sort of a theme that's been swirling around Western (at least) culture for the last few centuries. The point is that no one is very good at figuring out what's an original idea and what isn't, and kids are especially bad at it.

SimonMoon6
2013-03-31, 03:50 PM
Back in the 80's, I thought I'd make goblins more interesting by having them all ride giant bats into combat.

And then I remembered what must have been the inspiration: Spider-Man's foe the Green Goblin who rides a glider in the shape of a bat.

ngilop
2013-03-31, 07:24 PM
i stole the plot of the original diablo game in one campaign.

I created my whole story and was running my 'practice group' through the final dungeon whne i realized "oh shi... this is really familiar to me.. where do I recognize it from" cue a couple hours later and im go " F(*^%# DIABLO!!!!"

From the great wise but corrupted king to the demon lord who is unleashing all the bad in the world, its crazy I honestly didsn't pick up on it during my creation phase which took most of the spring but only on the playtest through the final dugeon.

Trinoya
2013-03-31, 11:48 PM
Having only read the first chapter of the wheel of time books I had no clue I had essentially stolen a third of its plot.

I was quite unhappy when players began talking about it constantly, especially when they began presuming that I had READ the books and began spoiling them...

Man on Fire
2013-04-01, 11:36 AM
because "The Hangover" did that first. --

Anyway, A lot of over-zealous English majors will tell you that there are only seven basic plots, and everything is basically remixing those.

Really, there are only two, but that's not important.


Please, there's only one plot:
Person A takes goal B and, on their way to acheive it, ecounters obstacles C.

For me, so far I had stolen many plots intentionally, purporsely taking elements from whatever got in my hand for world-building, and individual adventures. I don't think I managed to steal something by accident yet.

Fiery Diamond
2013-04-01, 12:04 PM
Please, there's only one plot:
Person A takes goal B and, on their way to acheive it, ecounters obstacles C.

You win the thread. It's really annoying when people try to claim "there are only X many plots, everything just rehashes them."

Frozen_Feet
2013-04-01, 12:11 PM
Not a plot, but a character. I once fashioned a shape-shifting character who looked like Gaara, acted like Gaara and had similar powers as Gaara. The kicker? I did this before ever watching Naruto. When I first saw Gaara, I felt my character had been stolen from me. :smalltongue:

Ironically, the anime that inspired my character was Sailor Moon.

Beyond that, can't think of anything. My plot stealing is not unrealized, it is perfectly intentional and my hands are still red with the original creator's blood when I bring such plots to my table. :smallbiggrin:

Man on Fire
2013-04-01, 12:57 PM
You win the thread. It's really annoying when people try to claim "there are only X many plots, everything just rehashes them."

Actually, I stolen that from Robert Silverberg.

Lapak
2013-04-01, 02:50 PM
Actually, I stolen that from Robert Silverberg.Or, to quote someone a little more hostile about it:
"He talks about stories, my brother. Let me tell you the plot of every one of his damned stories. Somebody wanted something. That's the story. Mostly they get it, too."

Cerlis
2013-04-01, 04:25 PM
You win the thread. It's really annoying when people try to claim "there are only X many plots, everything just rehashes them."

Not rehashes. that implies disrespect. Its a fact there are only so many stories, the what doesnt matter, its the who, why and how that does.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2013-04-01, 06:34 PM
Really, there are only two, but that's not important.

It's pretty likely that something, somewhere, is a lot like any idea that you've come up with.


Please, there's only one plot:
Person A takes goal B and, on their way to acheive it, ecounters obstacles C.

People who say these sorts of things just haven't read enough really weird books. :smalltongue:

Doorhandle
2013-04-01, 06:58 PM
People who say these sorts of things just haven't read enough really weird books. :smalltongue:

Although I think even those books could be explained if you accept that A, B, and C, can be switched around or changed very easily.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2013-04-01, 07:22 PM
I'm not sure I really understand what you mean. I was saying that there are books that are not about people encountering obstacles while trying to achieve goals. I don't see how changing A, B, and C would change that.

Kane0
2013-04-01, 09:03 PM
I can't think of unintentionally stolen plots, I'm always too busy intentionally stealing things.
I second this.

Except for the current campaign I'm running. I was halfway through describing the ancient bad-egg god that was locked up and forgotten about when one of the PF players of the group piped up with "You mean like Rovagug?". I'm not one for PF lore but when I looked it up after the end of session I pretty much just threw away half my planned plot cause it would be too familiar to those PF players.

Matticussama
2013-04-01, 09:09 PM
Two of my players are huge fans of the Dark Souls and Demon Souls games, which I have never played. However, any time I build a horror/suspense situation in my game they always invariably say how it reminds them of one of the stages or bad guys in the games. At first I got kind of frustrated since I thought I was being super original, but eventually I learned to just shrug it off since the two players were actually more impressed with me since I was able to come up with that style of suspense on my own.

Logic
2013-04-01, 09:16 PM
The players are an elite team of operatives loosely affiliated with the military and engaging a paradoxically-supplied secret terrorist organization. The heroes all have unique code names and are wicked good at almost every situation they try.
For those that haven't figured it out:
It's G.I. Joe
I have been running this game for FIVE years. And I figured it out today...

Zelphas
2013-04-01, 09:22 PM
I've been told that my homebrewed setting is extremely similar to the island on LOST. I've never seen an episode of that show.

I haven't really DMed much, so that's about it for me.

tommhans
2013-04-02, 03:22 AM
so far in the campaign we've had a bit of hangover, lord of the rings, jack the ripper, Gladiator, harry potter, dishonored(my backstory was very similar, allthough not on purpose it just fit my character and gave the DM a really great story to rely on) and i hope we get some breaking bad plot in it soon aswell(im urging the wizard in the group to make some meth so we can sell it and earn money :D )

I think its fun to take bits from everything,and so far the DM has done a great job! ^^

Jay R
2013-04-02, 08:53 AM
Aristotle said that a poet should take a known plot (mythos), and then decide how to adorn it.

Shakespeare stole Romeo and Juliet. Malory stole Morte D'Arthur. Homer stole the Iliad. Dumas stole The Three Musketeers.

We're in good company.

Wardog
2013-04-02, 12:56 PM
Inverse example:

George Lucas stole midichlorians from me.

(Or to be more precise, several years before TPM came out, I came up with a similar* concept for a story/setting I was devising specifically to stop the "magic" powers of various characters from being too much of a rip-off of Jedi/The Force).

* They were bioengineered/nano-tech, rather than pure natural, and served various functions such as repairing injury, generating anti-grav/force fields, micro-fusion generation, etc. Essentially, a way to justify Jedi-like powers through Science! rather than mysticism.

JustSomeGuy
2013-04-02, 01:50 PM
Please, there's only one plot:
Person A takes goal B and, on their way to acheive it, ecounters obstacles C.

Mate, you just described the plot of 'Where Eagles Dare' better than Richard Burton, and it'd even fit on the box now too! I'm not sure if it fits 'Inception' though...

Shyftir
2013-04-02, 02:03 PM
Oh, it fits Inception fine. The dream searching guys (A) are given the goal to have the target come up with an idea not from himself. (B) The obstacle (C) is that it's nearly impossible to do that and a few other things. The uniqueness of Inception was the method of overcoming the obstacle not the actual plot itself.

The New Bruceski
2013-04-02, 02:10 PM
little kid [...] Matrix

Man I feel old.

Gnoman
2013-04-02, 02:52 PM
As I developed the mythology behind my main campaign world (which I started doing when I was 10 as a near-ripoff of Middle-Earth), I began moving away from Tolkeinian style toward what I thought was my own take on things. Turns out I had essentially invented the Norse pantheon and mythology, so I simply read up on Norse legends and directly incorporated their gods as mid-tier dieties.

Driderman
2013-04-02, 03:01 PM
Well, more like the other way around I guess but I swear both Morrowind and Skyrim were inspired by my setting ideas.

Morrowind:
Years ago, I was working on this fantasy setting where the entire land was covered with ash, with elvish-like darkskinned "Ashlanders" with inherent magical abilities living as nomads on the ash-plains and a few godlike beings ruling indirectly over the land through powers absorbed from the land itself, and the magical power of a few active volcanoes.
Maybe 2-3 years later, Morrowind was released and I was pretty surprised at the similiarities.

Skyrim:
A couple of years ago I started working on another fantasy setting, in which a norse-like kingdom is in a state of war/being occupied by a southern feudal power with intents on Empire-dom. Also, dragons are actually gods and the Thanes of the said norse-land are divided in their loyalties and the rule of the High King, young and untested, is contested.
A couple of years later, Skyrim is released... o.0

Dr paradox
2013-04-02, 03:50 PM
Oh, I gathered that. But the Matrix isn't exactly the Ur-example either. It's sort of a theme that's been swirling around Western (at least) culture for the last few centuries. The point is that no one is very good at figuring out what's an original idea and what isn't, and kids are especially bad at it.

Western, not so much, really. the matrix has more in common with buddhist philosophy, really.

Dr paradox
2013-04-02, 03:55 PM
the first stretch of adventures of my campaign had a villain with basically the same plot as The Incredibles + Watchmen. Yeah, they're already similar, but it was a respected member of town building a monster so that he could beat it and become massively popular for saving the town, in order to better defend it against what he percieved as far more dangerous threats that the town was ignoring.

And ditto on the Skyrim thing. I has designed a continent that was populated primarily by Dragonborn (4e's dragon-men) that was heavily inspired by Viking culture, being settled and diplomized by the larger empire, which caused a good deal of friction and gave rise to an extremist resistance led by a clan leader who just about had status as a cult leader.

two years later, Skyrim.

urgh.

Krazzman
2013-04-03, 04:01 AM
I don't know... yet. In my currently "on ice" (yeah :smallcool:) campaign... set in a frozen Rashemen, strong climate differences made it pretty snowy, I made a "recurring" villain as in get's raised if slain or flees that is Subzero. But that was Intentional. I'm thinking about the Main Villain, supreme BBEG to be similar to Madara from Naruto. Maybe incorporating a bit of Legend of Dragoon.

My main problem in this campaign is adjusting and building encounters and how to incorporate the story properly. As they are a mixed bunch. A well built Barbarian[PF]/Oracle[PF, Lame curse], an "optimized" Elven Swift Hunter (Scout[PF adjustment of 3.5 class] and Ranger[PF], a Blasting focused Witch and a Half Elven Domain Druid that is new to the class and just casted a little bit. Maybe another member. Everything on PFSRD is allowed, 3rd Party approved by me, 3.5 stuff approved by me/worked something out.

Man on Fire
2013-04-03, 05:31 AM
I'm not sure I really understand what you mean. I was saying that there are books that are not about people encountering obstacles while trying to achieve goals. I don't see how changing A, B, and C would change that.

I think that even in wierd books you could apply it somehow. Sometimes you just need to be a bit more flexible, say consider the bad guy to be A and hero to be C. Or even hero to be B, that also could happen.

Hopeless
2013-04-03, 06:44 AM
So... if I said I came up with an idea where the background was that someone in the present found an ancient artefact stuck underground in roughly Sweden, adorned by a rune symbol that allowed travel to what they assumed was another world sparsely populated by what seemed to be scandinavians of the Norse variety.

However just as they managed to send a satellite up to do a scan of the planet back on Earth news of their discovery is filtered through to the us and seeing it as an important discovery they secretly infiltrate the facility and steal the artefact and takje it back to the US stranding the team thats still on the other side.

That team realise they're still on Earth but about a millennia later and an unknown cataclysm has effectively shattered the north american continent.

Discovering evidence of another artefact they manage to trek to the sundered remains of the United Kingdom and use the second artefact to get back home trying desperately to warn them back in the present of the calamity about to unfold.

But they don't listen and as the second artefact is excavated and moved south to London as the two respective governments deliberately keep the surviving discovery team members out of their operation the US team activate their artefact causing the cataclysm that destroys the US and unaware of whats happened the second artefact is used causing the collapse of the portion of land surrounding the Thames which immediately floods devastating the lower half of the United Kingdom...

And thats just the opening scene...

So other than possibly Stargate and the Billy Connolly science fiction movie did I miss any obvious copied ideas?

scurv
2013-04-03, 07:02 AM
Considering hollywierd (And other media producers) systematically and professionally pillages history, classic literature and any and all setting concepts Anything you come up with will be a remake of something in popular media.

<edit> @ hopeless
Some basic time travel paradox plots. so back to the future comes to mind.

DigoDragon
2013-04-03, 07:43 AM
I once ran a wild west campaign based loosely on the US Civil War. The difference was that I added a fantasy element in the form of small gems that people can bond with and gain small magical powers. The PCs traveled around to build up an army and fight a corrupt Confederate general that was marching upon their little base of operations.

After a while I facepalmed when I realized I was ripping off Suikoden. :smallbiggrin:

OverdrivePrime
2013-04-03, 10:03 AM
TL;DR - I basically wrote a fantasy world version of the movie Avatar a few years before avatar came out, but was only about halfway done with the campaign setting when Avatar hit the theaters.

I had been working on a side project game world that I had begun in 2005, hadn't really exposed my players to it, but the idea was that there was a major continent where humans had evolved through the usual methods and grown into normal humans who are good at exploration, invasion and subjugation, similar to the various human empires of the past 600 years.

And then on the other side of the world, there was a continent that had been separated from the 'human' continent for tens of millions of years where human-like creatures had evolved in symbiosis with the plants and animals around them. They would be a shamanic culture that revered the land and treated the creatures around them as wards and kin, and would be able to 'connect' with these animals and via a special relationship that they had evolved.

The main theme of the setting would be about the (human) player characters having to pick sides and live through the repercussions of those choices when the human explorers eventually discovered (and coveted) the tremendous untapped resources of the nature-oriented continent.

And then Avatar came out.
I may as well have named the nature continent Pandora and made its inhabitants 12 feet tall and blue. :smallsigh:

Curse you, James Cameron! Curse you and your black heart for beating me to the punch! :smallmad:

Lesson learned: when you love an idea, work on it furiously and get it out into the public domain before some big shot director beats you to it.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2013-04-03, 10:16 PM
I think that even in wierd books you could apply it somehow. Sometimes you just need to be a bit more flexible, say consider the bad guy to be A and hero to be C. Or even hero to be B, that also could happen.

I still don't understand how moving A, B, and C around in the same sentence would account for the fact that there are books which are not about people encountering obstacles while trying to achieve goals.

ScubaGoomba
2013-04-03, 11:11 PM
I can't think of unintentionally stolen plots, I'm always too busy intentionally stealing things.

All of this. I am very up-front with my players about what I steal, which then gets them to throw ideas into the mix. It's all good fun.

TuggyNE
2013-04-03, 11:16 PM
I still don't understand how moving A, B, and C around in the same sentence would account for the fact that there are books which are not about people encountering obstacles while trying to achieve goals.

You just don't understand literary criticism.


:smallsigh:

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2013-04-04, 12:54 AM
Understand? Psh, according to Roland Barthes I wrote the canon of literary criticism.

Well, I mean, sort of.

TheThan
2013-04-04, 02:21 AM
I wrote out a campaign setting that basically used the plot from Terminator. I didnít realize it till I told it to a friend and he said ďlike terminatorĒ. I facepalmed.

I also introduced an NPC the players are dealing with in the Iron Kingdoms game Iím running. I didnít realize I had recreated Jabba the Hutt. Oh well.

Malrone
2013-04-04, 03:05 AM
It really is unfortunate, considering the general culture of Originality First these days (looking at you, DeviantArt/Chatroom-RPs), that the number of pages on TvTropes is ultimately finite. At the end of the day, there are only so many tools in the toolbox. :smallsigh:
I'm not trying to be that guy who waxes pedantic, but rather explain why I stopped caring if plots were similar up to the point of outright plagiarism. Execution matters so much more in a tabletop game for me, for all that Orcs are responsible for more orphans than all other forms of violence and calamity combined.

And plots I've stolen? Do Modules count? :smalltongue:

Man on Fire
2013-04-04, 05:41 AM
I realized that I did unitentionally stolen something in my campaign

I hate Tippyverse, so in order to be able to point out why the world in my setting isn't like tippyverse, I decided that teleportation is really moving really fath through other dimension - the futher you teleport and the bigger load is teleported, the higher chance it's going to get alerted and mutated by some horrible forces. You don't teleport army into enemy castle, because your army will be turned into demons and eat everybody inside the castle and take it for themselves.

Yesterday I realized it's similiar to warp travel in Warhammer 40k.

nedz
2013-04-04, 10:57 AM
So... if I said I came up with an idea where the background was that someone in the present found an ancient artefact stuck underground in roughly Sweden, adorned by a rune symbol that allowed travel to what they assumed was another world sparsely populated by what seemed to be scandinavians of the Norse variety.

However just as they managed to send a satellite up to do a scan of the planet back on Earth news of their discovery is filtered through to the us and seeing it as an important discovery they secretly infiltrate the facility and steal the artefact and takje it back to the US stranding the team thats still on the other side.

That team realise they're still on Earth but about a millennia later and an unknown cataclysm has effectively shattered the north american continent.

Discovering evidence of another artefact they manage to trek to the sundered remains of the United Kingdom and use the second artefact to get back home trying desperately to warn them back in the present of the calamity about to unfold.

But they don't listen and as the second artefact is excavated and moved south to London as the two respective governments deliberately keep the surviving discovery team members out of their operation the US team activate their artefact causing the cataclysm that destroys the US and unaware of whats happened the second artefact is used causing the collapse of the portion of land surrounding the Thames which immediately floods devastating the lower half of the United Kingdom...

And thats just the opening scene...

So other than possibly Stargate and the Billy Connolly science fiction movie did I miss any obvious copied ideas?

Planet of the Apes.

Prime32
2013-04-05, 07:14 PM
Western, not so much, really. the matrix has more in common with buddhist philosophy, really.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato's_Cave

TheDarkSaint
2013-04-06, 02:13 AM
I did it intentionaly once, to see if my players would notice.

A terrorist group was disrupting the kingdom, stealing magical secrets and making irritants of themselves. The party were loyal vassals of the Black Baron, an intimidating but fair master who had the group try to track them down.

The party managed to capture one of the terrorists, who they discovered was the daughter of the Baron. She had grand ideas of a democracy in a feudal kingdom, which made my history conscious player scoff. She was rescued by her friends on a daring raid on the castle, with one member of the terrorist group staying behind to buy the terrorists time again the PC's.

The PC's launched a full scale raid on the terrorist hide out but were unable to stop the group from casting Imprison on the Baron's powerful archmage. Without the mage, politics in the region were going to be far more difficult as he kept the local duchies in line.

It took them the longest time to realize they were Imperial Star Wars agents fighting off the Rebellion in my Star Wars Bizarro clone. We actually made it to about half way through Empire before they caught on to what was going on.

Matticussama
2013-04-06, 06:55 AM
I did it intentionaly once, to see if my players would notice.

A terrorist group was disrupting the kingdom, stealing magical secrets and making irritants of themselves. The party were loyal vassals of the Black Baron, an intimidating but fair master who had the group try to track them down.

The party managed to capture one of the terrorists, who they discovered was the daughter of the Baron. She had grand ideas of a democracy in a feudal kingdom, which made my history conscious player scoff. She was rescued by her friends on a daring raid on the castle, with one member of the terrorist group staying behind to buy the terrorists time again the PC's.

The PC's launched a full scale raid on the terrorist hide out but were unable to stop the group from casting Imprison on the Baron's powerful archmage. Without the mage, politics in the region were going to be far more difficult as he kept the local duchies in line.

It took them the longest time to realize they were Imperial Star Wars agents fighting off the Rebellion in my Star Wars Bizarro clone. We actually made it to about half way through Empire before they caught on to what was going on.

That is absolutely amazing. Just out of curiosity, were your players big Star Wars fans? I can't imagine getting very far into such a concept without my players catching on.

Hopeless
2013-04-06, 07:05 AM
That is absolutely amazing. Just out of curiosity, were your players big Star Wars fans? I can't imagine getting very far into such a concept without my players catching on.

Ditto on this was wondering if anyone was asked by their players why they were using the star wars prequels for inspiration!:smallwink:

Hopeless
2013-04-06, 07:08 AM
Planet of the Apes.

Ooh of course the apes I was planning on evolving into intelligent creatures was based on historia rodentia and a certain series of adverts involving meercats...

Not so much stealing as couldn't help but see them in the role!:smallbiggrin:

Narren
2013-04-07, 08:47 PM
I had a world once where magic wasn't free. There were two types of magic users. The first had a lot of rules to go with them, but essentially the magic was powered by their life force, and it aged them just a little bit every time they used it. You had to be born with this, and using the magic was addicting and extremely pleasurable.

The second type of magic user was what the plot of based around. It was learned through study, and technically anyone could do it (most governments regulated it's study and use, however). But this magic wasn't free, either. It actually drained energy from the planet itself. It was only small bits, but doing it long enough would cause the planet to wither and die. The plot was focused on a small group that understood this, fighting against a government that denied it. The final act was going to be a massive magical ritual designed to destroy some invading hordes of monsters. The group wasn't fighting the horde, they were trying to stop the ritual that would save the kingdom because it would also destroy the planet. The kingdom didn't think anything bad would happen, they just wanted to protect their people.

It wasn't an EXACT ripoff, but I realized later that the world-draining-magic was extremely similar to the plot of Final Fantasy VII.

Lapak
2013-04-07, 10:10 PM
I had a world once where magic wasn't free. There were two types of magic users. The first had a lot of rules to go with them, but essentially the magic was powered by their life force, and it aged them just a little bit every time they used it. You had to be born with this, and using the magic was addicting and extremely pleasurable.

The second type of magic user was what the plot of based around. It was learned through study, and technically anyone could do it (most governments regulated it's study and use, however). But this magic wasn't free, either. It actually drained energy from the planet itself. It was only small bits, but doing it long enough would cause the planet to wither and die. The plot was focused on a small group that understood this, fighting against a government that denied it. The final act was going to be a massive magical ritual designed to destroy some invading hordes of monsters. The group wasn't fighting the horde, they were trying to stop the ritual that would save the kingdom because it would also destroy the planet. The kingdom didn't think anything bad would happen, they just wanted to protect their people.

It wasn't an EXACT ripoff, but I realized later that the world-draining-magic was extremely similar to the plot of Final Fantasy VII.For what it's worth in the 'nothing new under the sun' category, the other magic types could be seen as an adapation / spinoff as well; they are very similar to how witches operate in C. S. Friedman's Magister trilogy. Witches can do magic, but doing so drains their life - so they don't do it except in dire circumstances (or for truly impressive payments) unless they really believe in the cause they're doing it for.

Then there are the Magisters. Who can do everything that a witch can do, as much as they like, with no apparent ill effects. Their services are highly-sought after and they tend to be employed by emperors, kings, and the obscenely wealthy.

Of course, the secret to their magic is that they connect themselves to someone else's life force - mystically chosen at random from anywhere in the world - and drain that instead until the unfortunate donor dies, at which point they form a new connection and repeat. From the perspective of the rest of the world, there's a bizarre and universally deadly wasting disease that strikes down people with no pattern, no cure, and no known vector.

tbok1992
2013-04-07, 10:16 PM
I had a world once where magic wasn't free. There were two types of magic users. The first had a lot of rules to go with them, but essentially the magic was powered by their life force, and it aged them just a little bit every time they used it. You had to be born with this, and using the magic was addicting and extremely pleasurable.

The second type of magic user was what the plot of based around. It was learned through study, and technically anyone could do it (most governments regulated it's study and use, however). But this magic wasn't free, either. It actually drained energy from the planet itself. It was only small bits, but doing it long enough would cause the planet to wither and die. The plot was focused on a small group that understood this, fighting against a government that denied it. The final act was going to be a massive magical ritual designed to destroy some invading hordes of monsters. The group wasn't fighting the horde, they were trying to stop the ritual that would save the kingdom because it would also destroy the planet. The kingdom didn't think anything bad would happen, they just wanted to protect their people.

It wasn't an EXACT ripoff, but I realized later that the world-draining-magic was extremely similar to the plot of Final Fantasy VII.

It's weird, because before you brought up FFVII, I was thinking you were gonna say you were ripping off defiling from Dark Sun.

Narren
2013-04-07, 10:29 PM
It's weird, because before you brought up FFVII, I was thinking you were gonna say you were ripping off defiling from Dark Sun.

I'm not familiar with Dark Sun. But hey, maybe I was?

Cealocanth
2013-04-07, 11:09 PM
Brief history of my campaign:

Magic is a new phenomenon gained recently in a biological perspective after the end of a technologically advanced civilization known as The Ancients. The entire world exists in the post apocalyptic wasteland that was once the mighty empire of The Ancients, and humanity has lost their knowledge, reverted back to medieval era technology, and are aided by the chaotic forms of magic that are now available.

Little did I know this is basically the entire plot to Empire of the East by Fred Saberhagen. Not only that, but it's cliche enough that there are several pages on tvtropes describing it, even to the point of using the term "The Ancients".

EccentricOwl
2013-04-08, 12:42 AM
There's a trilogy starring an evil detective named "Victor St-Demain" in "Dungeon Magazine."

It invovles a series of tough encounters, lots of investigative roleplaying, and some fun puzzles.

Then, the last one involves you trapped in a gigantic insane asylum. All the criminals you killed or captured from throughout the series are also there.


So... yeah.

Batman: Arkham Asylum.

DigoDragon
2013-04-08, 07:08 AM
Our current GM running a Shadowrun game has been weaving a plot that feels VERY similar to the plotline of the movie "They Live", only with alienish cyborgs as the monsters.
They look perfectly human and scanners don't notice anything odd about them. However if you rip one open you'll find that they are machines with unusually advanced cybernetics and an organic brain-computer AI.

He even gave our team an encrypted disc that helps us figure out which people are alien-borgs and who's an Earthling.

Codyage
2013-04-08, 07:38 AM
I have been trying to figure out if I have heard my friend's villain from his plot somewhere else before.

Are their any works in which the big villain, or the problem is a near mindless creature that destroys other planes/worlds?

My friend has read OOTS, and he claims he made the villain before learning about the Snarl. So it isn't that.


As for me, I was in the middle of making a campaign where this magical land was slowly being corrupted by a person from a more modernized world. He combined his science and nature together to start taking over the land. Eventually he began to enslave the people their and with small collars they were linked to small radio towers so he could control them over a much wider space. Sort of a mind controlling affect. He used his technologies to help make more vicious plans and fuel his own schemes.

I realized I was making the Digimon Emperor, I thought about continuing it, but then stopped.

Driderman
2013-04-08, 09:48 AM
I have been trying to figure out if I have heard my friend's villain from his plot somewhere else before.

Are their any works in which the big villain, or the problem is a near mindless creature that destroys other planes/worlds?

My friend has read OOTS, and he claims he made the villain before learning about the Snarl. So it isn't that.


As for me, I was in the middle of making a campaign where this magical land was slowly being corrupted by a person from a more modernized world. He combined his science and nature together to start taking over the land. Eventually he began to enslave the people their and with small collars they were linked to small radio towers so he could control them over a much wider space. Sort of a mind controlling affect. He used his technologies to help make more vicious plans and fuel his own schemes.

I realized I was making the Digimon Emperor, I thought about continuing it, but then stopped.

Well, HP Lovecrafts Azathoth is a mindless "Demon Sultan" of the Great Old Ones (I think) and it is kept sleeping because if it awakens it will destroy everything. Also, see Hellboy for what is a pretty obvious interpretation of Azathoth.

DrBurr
2013-04-08, 03:21 PM
I've slowly been weaving a succession crisis to kick in at the worst possible time for the party since the start of the campaign back in 2011. And it just struck now while the party is away in foreign lands looking for the macguffin. Of course the moment I bring this up every says oh like game of thrones. I then go into to explaining the details to them and their response, sounds like game of thrones. Apparently I've been writing the song of ice and fire.

Flame of Anor
2013-04-11, 03:30 AM
I've slowly been weaving a succession crisis to kick in at the worst possible time for the party since the start of the campaign back in 2011. And it just struck now while the party is away in foreign lands looking for the macguffin. Of course the moment I bring this up every says oh like game of thrones. I then go into to explaining the details to them and their response, sounds like game of thrones. Apparently I've been writing the song of ice and fire.

Come on, man, hurry up with The Winds of Winter already!

Barsoom
2013-04-11, 03:54 PM
I accidentally stole the plot to The Hangover.

Group of people wake up and find that a large portion of their memory is gone, they have no idea where they are and everybody hates them. Then they eventually find out that the enchantment focused sorcerer PC had been using them for the lulz for the past year.

Would it make you feel better to know that The Hangover itself was basically stolen from Dude, where's my car?

magwaaf
2013-04-30, 11:27 PM
Having only read the first chapter of the wheel of time books I had no clue I had essentially stolen a third of its plot.

I was quite unhappy when players began talking about it constantly, especially when they began presuming that I had READ the books and began spoiling them...

to be fair, if you did any plot past book 2 ofthe seriesanything you made up has to be better than how bad jordan wiped his swampass with the series from that point on

Doorhandle
2013-04-30, 11:38 PM
Sort of on-topic question: Have any of you cocndiered looking at the original plots that you somehow stole?

And have you considered radically altering the plot until it was unrecognizable form the old version?

Kane0
2013-05-01, 12:46 AM
A mate that was DMing us stole about 80% of a refluffed Jade Empire.

That was a good campaign.

Jay R
2013-05-01, 11:36 AM
Sort of on-topic question: Have any of you cocndiered looking at the original plots that you somehow stole?

And have you considered radically altering the plot until it was unrecognizable form the old version?

Of course. That's where most of my plots come from. First get the idea. Second, file the serial numbers off.

Also, the plot I use from a book or movie may not be the actual plot.

I ran a Flashing Blades adventure about the Queen's suspicions of the King's infidelity. The PCs eventually discovered him slipping away and meeting a woman at night.

The kicker was that there was no infidelity. The king was so embarrassed by his awkwardness at dancing compared to the graceful queen that he was sneaking out to take dancing lessons.

The entire plot grew out of the final dance scene in the 1973 Michael York Three Musketeers, in which the king messes up the dance because he's trying to count the queen's diamond studs.

Man on Fire
2013-05-01, 12:50 PM
Sort of on-topic question: Have any of you cocndiered looking at the original plots that you somehow stole?

Well, I have stolen from Berserk, Earthdawn and Deadlands for setting, I have stolen atagonsit from berserk, big plot point in BBEG's backstory from Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Order of the Stick for another antagonist, Orphan's Tales for plot hook and now I'm thinking of stealing parts of the Sarantine Mosaic for plot points. I also have stolen elements from numerous published adventures here and there.

[qiote]And have you considered radically altering the plot until it was unrecognizable form the old version?[/QUOTE]

Sometimes, when it benefits what I want to do with it. If it doesn't, then I don't.

Threadnaught
2013-05-01, 04:27 PM
I can't think of unintentionally stolen plots, I'm always too busy intentionally stealing things.

Pretty much the same here, though a few things have been compared with some anime I haven't seen.

Though I have blatantly stolen borrowed from The Giant.

shadow_archmagi
2013-05-03, 01:00 PM
Generally what happens to me is that I deliberately steal a plot from one thing, heavily disguise it, and then my players call me out on it being a reference to something I haven't consumed.

For instance, in 40k, there's a story in the Eisenhorn books about an asteroid where all the workers go crazy because they found a monolith, and they end up sacrificing themselves to it and it uses all their meat to make a terrifying giant monster.

I decided I'd change things up a bit by making the demon a little more subtle, and posing as an Eldar. I drew heavily on myths about the Fae and eventually wrote a character I called the White Lady.

Players were like "Spooky ghost girl? Mutation-cults? A monolith? Are we just playing Dead Space?"

Sylthia
2013-05-09, 12:03 AM
I've actually had a few plots where I had something planned, then not done it because it sounded too similar to something I saw or read later.

I had a plot where I had a girl taking the rap for a murder that her recently deceased sister had committed in order to keep her reputation intact, but then Dark Knight came out, so I decided to scrap the idea for then.

EccentricCircle
2013-05-09, 11:53 AM
I ran a psionics game set in a world where magic didn't work because the world's magical energy fields had all been burnt away by the use of magitech.
Because Psionic powers drew on a different sort of energy they were still useable. The players said it was similar to something, Final fantasy I think, although I'm not sure which one, or whether the stuff about psionics still working once magic had been used up was also true in that story.
It didn't negatively affect anyones enjoyment of the game though.

While running the same game I had yet to read any HP Lovecraft, it was interesting how many of the players were suprised by this, but there's such a large lovecraftian influence on 3.5 psionics stuff that its not hard to generate that mileau without really intending to, just by riffing around the lore they give you in the sourcebooks.

Man on Fire
2013-05-09, 05:11 PM
Today I've been informed that I stolen idea of dwarven city inside a mountain from Eragorn. Funny, because I had stolen both story and entire campaign from Earthdawn, from magazine much older than Eragorn.

Threadnaught
2013-05-09, 06:21 PM
Today I've been informed that I stolen idea of dwarven city inside a mountain from Eragorn. Funny, because I had stolen both story and entire campaign from Earthdawn, from magazine much older than Eragorn.

Dwarf city inside a mountain? Like Moria?

I think Tolkien got there first... No wait, Norse Mythology.
Hey, that has a god named Thor, they totally ripped off Marvel. :smallbiggrin:

Larkas
2013-05-10, 12:33 AM
I have been trying to figure out if I have heard my friend's villain from his plot somewhere else before.

Are their any works in which the big villain, or the problem is a near mindless creature that destroys other planes/worlds?

My friend has read OOTS, and he claims he made the villain before learning about the Snarl. So it isn't that.

You mean, like the Tarrasque? :smallbiggrin:

I ran into something like this in a long campaign I ran some ten years ago. I was running the party through several themed temples to retrieve a McGuffin in each of them, something that would be used later while making them more powerful meanwhile.

There were 6 vaguely elementally themed temples.

I had recreated a Zelda game without intending to do so. *sigh*

Since then, I just try to consciously steal plot devices and disguise them. It is better to know that you're copying something than have a player remark that something in the adventure sounds oddly familiar...

TheBajaBojo
2013-05-10, 08:54 AM
You mean, like the Tarrasque? :smallbiggrin:
It is better to know that you're copying something than have a player remark that something in the adventure sounds oddly familiar...

if there was a "like" feature on this site, I'd use it on your comment.
If there is, sorry for being a n00b.

DiscipleofBob
2013-05-10, 02:09 PM
I created as one of the big bads of an Eberron game to be a particularly buff mind flayer who commanded a ship of Dolgaunts and other such aberrations christened the Aboleth.

This was before any trailers had been released for the second Pirates of the Carribean movie.

Larkas
2013-05-10, 02:27 PM
if there was a "like" feature on this site, I'd use it on your comment.
If there is, sorry for being a n00b.

Nah, no worries, there isn't! :smallsmile:

Now, something I have trouble imagining is mixing magic and technology. It always comes up as something at least vaguely magitek, a la Final Fantasy VI. Which isn't a bad thing per se, but can get old sometimes.

EDIT: And then I notice this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15209623#post15209623) in this very same board. Derp, I'm late! :smallbiggrin:

Malimar
2013-05-10, 05:55 PM
People who say these sorts of things just haven't read enough really weird books. :smalltongue:

I'm not sure I really understand what you mean. I was saying that there are books that are not about people encountering obstacles while trying to achieve goals. I don't see how changing A, B, and C would change that.

I still don't understand how moving A, B, and C around in the same sentence would account for the fact that there are books which are not about people encountering obstacles while trying to achieve goals.

Could you give an example of a story that doesn't fit this basic structure? (I, for one, am entertaining the possibility that you're correct, but I'm having trouble coming up with any examples.)

Man on Fire
2013-05-13, 04:50 AM
I had a character, mutated "lich in all but name" wizard guy, who was bap**** crazy and seline, still longing for his lost love. A long time later I realized that I combined two characters from Adventure Time into him - he was basically Ice King in Lich's body with all of former's grotesque and tragedy and all of latter's creepiness.

Same game players meet taal creature that was dressed in a suit, had six arms, each with six elbows and disturbingly long nails. When looking at his face you didn't seen any features, but instead experienced strong sensation related to what death meant to you. He was also wearing a bowler hat.
despite beign quite friendly in his own, bizarre way, my players still reffer to him as Slender Man.

genderlich
2013-05-13, 09:38 PM
I came up with a character concept that I was really excited about. He was a middle-aged man and retired adventurer, who just wants to live a quiet life as a bartender in some village. The next week, I started reading The Name of the Wind...

Flame of Anor
2013-05-14, 02:43 AM
I came up with a character concept that I was really excited about. He was a middle-aged man and retired adventurer, who just wants to live a quiet life as a bartender in some village. The next week, I started reading The Name of the Wind...

You're a future psychic!

Man on Fire
2013-05-19, 03:07 AM
I had just introduced in my game organisation of six immensly powerful, dark beings who appears in scenery that wouldn't be out of place in M.C. Escher's paintings. They can be summoned by using dark artifact, a statue of monster, that starts moving when activated. They can grant you wishes for a terrible price and want to enter this world permamently.

What I thought I'm stealing: Godhand from Berserk.

What my players said I'm stealing: Obscure short story by our native writer (that I did actually read, years ago and years before reading Berserk) that was about guy creating figures of Elder Gods to allow them enter this realm.

Razanir
2013-05-19, 10:17 AM
ASOIAF, or at least the gimmick about magic being gone from the world and is now beginning to reenter

3SecondCultist
2013-05-19, 01:37 PM
ASOIAF, or at least the gimmick about magic being gone from the world and is now beginning to reenter

Again to be fair, that's such a broad trope that it can hardly be original. Shadowrun's meta plot is almost exactly the same, for instance: magic was gone from the world and began to resurface within it.

As for me, I designed an entire plot in my game where one of my recurring villains (female) stole a magical bomb with nigh-unstoppable fuel and hid it somewhere in a crowded metropolis. She then (through various agents) had her troops announce to the people that they were holding the city hostage. The Players would have to find and dismantle or detonate the device before it obliterated everything. Oh, and the city was basically my setting's version of Rome/Vatican.

Yes, I had just ripped off Angels and Demons as well as The Dark Knight Rises.