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Thread: Simple Plots

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Were-Sandwich's Avatar

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    Default Simple Plots

    OK, I'm going to be running an Arrowflight game for my group. I'm an experienced GM, so I don't need help in that regard, but what I do need help with, ironically, is a simple plot. Its not that I have no ideas. I do, its just they are a too big and complex, and with a LOT of Deus Ex Machinas in. I just need a nice, simple, small plot for them.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2007-03-06 at 02:18 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    I don't know what arrow flight is but if its at all like D&D a cliche standard plot is that the city sewers have suddenly become infested with (pick one or several) dire rats/goblins/undead/etc. and the PCs must clear it out. As they go deeper and deeper into the sewer, they realize that the lower levels are actually a/an (pick one) ancient city of a more advanced civilization/an ancient lich's tomb/resting place for a powerful artifact/entrance to the underdark/etc.

    It works surprisingly well and can (and most certainly has) be reused again and again.
    Ask a Ninja Ninja: "Soylent Green is Kermit"
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Were-Sandwich's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    I had an idea that could have worked. The PCs are going somewhere for some reason (this would probably make it work better as a side quest) and they have to stay a few days in a town. Now, this town has a history of tension between two religious groups. However, it has never really come to more than the odd bar brawl or alley scuffle. Recently, however, it has become more serious. A guy from the most hardline extremist faction of religion A comes to town, and the les numerable memebers of Religion B find their lives at risk from a big angry mob stirred up by this guy. So, they retreat to their side of town, and arm themselves to face the onslaught. Naturally the PCs will want to intervene.

    Of course, my Epci Fantasy Writer brain then started adding angels in disguise and giant aerial fight scenes the I knew wouldn't work because the PCs would be nothing but spectators, but I just love mental image of the scene to much to let it go. Alas, my wierd brain. Oh well, there's a Creative Writing module coming up in English soon, Ill use it in that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Chumleigh View Post
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    Cheers,
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Religious conflict in the game world can be a good theme since most PCs will have some knowledge of similar historical tensions. Also mobs and riots can be incredibly scary things if role played correctly.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Were-Sandwich's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    The problem is it gives very little PC choice in the plot (not even the illusion of choice).
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Chumleigh View Post
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    Cheers,
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tengu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Heh, apart from the military-based ones, I've experienced, either as a GM or a player, practically all of those scenarios. Now I will have to make up something really strange and twisted that does not fit into any of those categories.

    Birdman of the Church of Link's Hat

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    The Temple of Elemental Simplicity: Big temple with 4 sections. Each part represents one of the primary elements, and has corresponding traps/monsters/layout. At the end of each section is a big elemental, guarding a weapon/wand/item/whatever of Fire/Water/Earth/Air, which would be very useful against one of the other four sections of the same temple. Combining the four items of elemental power in the main alter opens a gate to - the next plot location, wherever that is.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu View Post
    Heh, apart from the military-based ones, I've experienced, either as a GM or a player, practically all of those scenarios. Now I will have to make up something really strange and twisted that does not fit into any of those categories.
    GM: You wake up after a restful night in the tavern. What do you do?
    Player: Uh... I dress, go downstairs, and have some breakfast.
    GM: Ok, roll a d20.
    Player: ... What for?
    GM: Just roll.
    Player: *nervous* Ok... I got a 14.
    GM: Congratulations, you managed not to stab yourself in the face with the fork. Breakfast quest complete! You get 100xp.
    Player: ...

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Sounds cool, but I'm trying to get my group to think beyond the dungeon crawl. I think I might nick that for another religious themed adventure
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Chumleigh View Post
    Oh.
    Oh, my.
    You just earned seventeen cool points by my reckoning. And I'm so sigging that.
    Cheers,
    --Count Chumleigh

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    goblins have kidnapped the mayors daughter. rescue her.

    except that she is actually evil and has made some kind of pact with them....
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Read 8-bit much?
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Chumleigh View Post
    Oh.
    Oh, my.
    You just earned seventeen cool points by my reckoning. And I'm so sigging that.
    Cheers,
    --Count Chumleigh

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    The President Has Been Kidnapped By Ninjas.

    Are You A Bad Enough Dude To Rescue The President?
    Do not meddle in the affairs of adventurers, for you are expendable and full of EXP.


    Overblown fantasy action/adventure/comedy/drama/spoof. Updates M/W/F

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Quote Originally Posted by Were-Sandwich View Post
    Sounds cool, but I'm trying to get my group to think beyond the dungeon crawl. I think I might nick that for another religious themed adventure
    The Pope of Heironeous calls the PC's in to investigate a crime. It turns out that someone has been targeting and assassinating Clerics of Heironeous, and it looks like it might be an inside job (thus, calling in outsiders to handle it).

    He assigns his most trusted detective, Inquisitor Javert, to go to each of the crime scenes with the PC's and gather evidence. Each night, witnesses that they have just interviewed are being attacked, and evidence that they have gathered is being stolen/destroyed.

    Possible Killers:

    1) The Pope (who is really an Ur-Priest)
    2) Javert
    3) Leader of Rival Church
    4) Assassin Guild, which was just carrying out a contract from someone else
    5) Succubus, posing as love interest to the most gullible PC
    6) Local nobles, who want to establish themselves as the real power
    7) Multiple different killers, uncoordinated with each other (hey, who doesn't want to kill Clerics of Heironeous?)
    8) Infernal disease that just makes people with few Hit Dice go violently mad and then commit suicide - the PC's are unknowingly spreading the disease by visiting the crime scene and then interviewing witnesses.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    A great blight has fallen o'er the land. Ye must first find a cure. Then ye must needs find the root of this diabolical evil, and expunge it from the land. Get thee hither unto the forest, or yonder unto the mountains, or further yonder to the great waste in search of the cure...
    "Well, as Captain Leif Meldrock says in Mars Needs Lumberjacks, I'm ready for anything."
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Evil magic user is making a 'Rocks Fall Everyone Dies' spell but needs 4 special objects for it to work. Find the objects before he does.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    The Pope of Heironeous
    Is there really such a thing? I have the image of Battle Pope stuck in my head now.

    Ideas... help transport a valuable artifact from an archaeological dig back to a city for study. You're supposed to protect it from theft, but it turns out the artifact itself creates or calls the monsters that are attacking. Find a way to deactivate this problematic feature without damaging the artifact.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    Is there really such a thing? I have the image of Battle Pope stuck in my head now.
    There is no Pope of Heironeous that I'm aware of, I was just using a title everyone would recognize. But there is a Space Pope (assuming you watch Futurama).



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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Go space pope!

    "If by 'we,' you mean 'you,' and if by 'going on vacation,' you mean 'sending us on a dangerous mission to a perilous planet to deliver a package for very little pay where one of us will surely die,' then YES! -immortal words of the professor.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    How simple are we talking about? There are lots of generic three-word plots:

    Deliver this message.

    Stop those bandits.

    Protect this cargo.

    Steal those plans.

    Scout that base.

    Rescue the hostage.

    Find this ingredient.

    Solve this crime.

    Etc.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Wasn't that the plot to Magic Candle 3 Woot?

    Perhaps something as straight forward as a hunting contest in a town they come across. Every year they have a behir hunt, as the critters oddly become very common around September, and if they are not harvested it causes issues. It is a big festival for the town, and many colorful characters from all over show up to participate.

    Things like rivalries/back stabbing to win a prize, or the behirs coming from a cave which is actually a tunnel to some alternate plane/cave of eeevil/underdark.
    Spoiler
    Show

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Quote Originally Posted by Wehrkind View Post
    Wasn't that the plot to Magic Candle 3 Woot?
    Never heard of Magic Candle, although now I'm interested. It simply seemed to me like a fairly simple, generic plot device designed to get the PC's to explore the land. Also, it gives you a simple plot without having to be a dungeon crawl.
    "Well, as Captain Leif Meldrock says in Mars Needs Lumberjacks, I'm ready for anything."
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Were-Sandwich's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Whilst I'm here: How do I handle "the PC's fin out" without going through either: A Gather Info check, which is really boring, A full on murder ystery party, which is not what we come to the table for, or A Mysterious Stranger Appears and Tells Them Who Did It, which, sucks?
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Chumleigh View Post
    Oh.
    Oh, my.
    You just earned seventeen cool points by my reckoning. And I'm so sigging that.
    Cheers,
    --Count Chumleigh

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    First, plant some suggestive evidence. Torn-off cloth, half-burnt tindertwigs, cigars/pipe tobacco, distinctive footprints, etc. Something really simple, easy to figure out but not quite condemning.

    Then, when the characters come a-questioning, the suspect freaks out and either tries to run for it or whips out a weapon. You can plant all sorts of stuff in the poor sod's pockets for the players to find after they've... "overcome the encounter".

    Trust me, it works. They do it all the time in TV.
    Last edited by Attilargh; 2007-03-08 at 03:58 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Simple Plots

    Or let them inadvertently make it up themselves. Give them some clues and when they think they've solved the mystery go with their solution. The PCs will always be right and will think that they are very clever. All with the DM not actually having to do any creative work.
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