Trawling for Plot Idea (Again)

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Lord Karick
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Trawling for Plot Idea (Again)

#1 Postby Lord Karick » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:21 am

If you didn't keep coming up with excellent ideas, I'd stop doing this :)
I'm trying to come up with a cool quest to put a restless spirit to peace from whom they want something. Any clever ideas? I've got as far as putting to rights some evil that the spirit did whilst he was alive, but my sheet is empty after that. I can half remember a couple of quests like this from computer RPGs, but scratching my head wrt the details.

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#2 Postby VonDan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:32 am

I just read a kids book abut zombies and one of the things holding the Victorian zombie from "passing Over" was she had stolen a doll from her little sister. Take that and run with it, with scissors

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Re: Trawling for Plot Idea (Again)

#3 Postby raikenclw » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:11 pm

Lord Karick wrote:If you didn't keep coming up with excellent ideas, I'd stop doing this :)
I'm trying to come up with a cool quest to put a restless spirit to peace from whom they want something. Any clever ideas?


The TV show "Supernatural" - especially the first couple of seasons (on WB rather than the current CW) - had a lot of episodes where the Winchester boys needed to put a ghost to rest.

The show's mythology quickly established a routine for this: find the ghost's mortal remains (usually the buried bones), salt them down, then burn them.

Of course, the real fun comes when for some reason - such as someone retaining a keepsake lock of hair or a handed-down favorite possession of the ghost - this does not work. Or does not work because the boys' conclusion that a ghost is involved is wrong . . . :wink:

I recommend watching a few ghost-related episodes (the pilot, The Usual Suspects, Hookman, Asylum, Playthings . . . I could go on and on . . .) for inspiration then change it up a bit (in case one of your players is also a fan).
Han Solo, Wild Card: "Uh . . ." <BLAMM! Comm fizzles and dies> "Boring conversation, anyway. LUKE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY!"

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#4 Postby Lord Karick » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:24 pm

Thanks gents. I think a gaming colleague has come up with a gem though. Not original, but one with a lot of mileage: The bones have been buried in separate places and need to be reunited.
Has huge comic potential as well; talking skull directing the players all over the place. "What's that bloody minstrel doing using my thigh bone as a flute?"

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#5 Postby raikenclw » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:58 pm

Lord Karick wrote:The bones have been buried in separate places and need to be reunited.
Has huge comic potential as well; talking skull directing the players all over the place.


"What?! Some ruddy IDIOT built a CASTLE on my GRAVE?!"
Han Solo, Wild Card: "Uh . . ." <BLAMM! Comm fizzles and dies> "Boring conversation, anyway. LUKE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY!"

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#6 Postby Snate56 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:20 pm

Wait 'till he tries to track down all his knuckle bones!




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#7 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:34 pm

For a real spin on the genre - the ghost won't rest until a mortal willing does some very evil task. Which will put the ghost to rest, but also brings the hero to the attention of various supernatural evils.
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#8 Postby raikenclw » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:44 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:the ghost won't rest until a mortal willing does some very evil task. Which will put the ghost to rest, but also brings the hero to the attention of various supernatural evils.


Sorry if I seem to have hit a rut with the "Supernatural" references, but . . .

When the Winchester boys first came into possession of their demon-slaying Bowie knife, there was all sorts of angst on the part of the brothers about actually using it. Because in order to do so, you had to kill the (presumably innocent) host at the same time.

A couple of seasons later, it's basically:

<viscious stab through the back without a blink> "Next?"

Yep. They're both pretty much evil, these days.
Han Solo, Wild Card: "Uh . . ." <BLAMM! Comm fizzles and dies> "Boring conversation, anyway. LUKE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY!"

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#9 Postby Lord Karick » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:03 pm

Presently contemplating the body of a reluctant saint; the thigh bone has been hollowed out and is being used by a famous minstrel as a flute. A knuckle in a nobleman's sword pommel, shoulder blade carved into a cross worn by a priest who will only trade it for a relic from a rival churh. I'm going to have fun with this! Just try not to get too carried away with it.

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#10 Postby VonDan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:06 pm

Lord Karick wrote:Presently contemplating the body of a reluctant saint; the thigh bone has been hollowed out and is being used by a famous minstrel as a flute. A knuckle in a nobleman's sword pommel, shoulder blade carved into a cross worn by a priest who will only trade it for a relic from a rival churh. I'm going to have fun with this! Just try not to get too carried away with it.


And the skull is at the globe theater being used in Hamlet

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#11 Postby raikenclw » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:15 pm

Lord Karick wrote:I'm going to have fun with this! Just try not to get too carried away with it.


Two suggestions, born of (frustrating) personal experience, on both sides of such quests:

1) No more than four or five locations; more than this and the players get bored or - worse - frustrated.

2) Put the most complex location (the one where they'll have to do the most thinking) in the middle. If you put it first, you can intimidate them ("Yikes! Are they ALL going to be like this?"), but if you save it for last, they're liable to get really frustrated.

Personally, I'd find some reason to have a big mass battle - such as SW is justly famous for supporting - at the final location, as a stress relief valve. :)
Han Solo, Wild Card: "Uh . . ." <BLAMM! Comm fizzles and dies> "Boring conversation, anyway. LUKE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY!"

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#12 Postby sablemage » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:39 pm

The Basilica in Venice was built to house the bones of St. Mark the Evangelist, whose remains were stolen from Alexandria by two merchants (one simply couldn't be a proper city without having a saint's bones in those days).

Perhaps something similar happened to your ghost. Riffing off the other suggestions, your party might need to:

(a) Recover the bones from their various resting places (a collect-the-set plot) and reunite them. Of course, the owners paid good money/killed innocent peasants for their relics and want them back.

(b) Return the complete set to its original home - perhaps breaking in and swapping them for counterfeit bones left by the thieves to conceal the original theft. Don't get caught.

(c) Track down the thieves and/or their descendants and enact some kind of vengeance upon them, possibly violent, possibly just getting them to confess to the crime.

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#13 Postby VonDan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:10 pm

oh one of the graves or body parts is now UNDER a famous amusement park

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#14 Postby raikenclw » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:02 pm

sablemage wrote:(one simply couldn't be a proper city without having a saint's bones in those days).


Oh, yes! If your ghost was someone reputed to be especially powerful in life, your players should count themselves very lucky to have his talking skull along with them . . . to sort out his real bones from all the fakes sold to gullible people by various charlatans, over the years.

I remember reading somewhere that there were enough documented Finger Bones of St Peter floating about Europe and the Near East during the High Middle Ages that - if all of them had ever been assembled - you'd have had enough for at least two dozen digits . . . :cool:
Han Solo, Wild Card: "Uh . . ." <BLAMM! Comm fizzles and dies> "Boring conversation, anyway. LUKE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY!"

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#15 Postby Lord Karick » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:07 am

And each of the tasks should focus on one of the players' skills...

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#16 Postby Prest0 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:28 am

...And when all the bones are brought back together, the kindly spirit suddenly resurrects as a Lich. Fight!
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#17 Postby Snate56 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:57 am

Prest0 wrote:...And when all the bones are brought back together, the kindly spirit suddenly resurrects as a Lich. Fight!

Now that would be just not nice.

Oh, and it may have been a bit obscure, but I was referring to knucklebones being used as dice. That's five sets of dice out there...




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#18 Postby Lord Karick » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:58 am

Snate56 wrote:Oh, and it may have been a bit obscure, but I was referring to knucklebones being used as dice. That's five sets of dice out there...
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#19 Postby raikenclw » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:36 pm

raikenclw wrote:Personally, I'd find some reason to have a big mass battle - such as SW is justly famous for supporting - at the final location, as a stress relief valve. :)


Prest0 wrote:...And when all the bones are brought back together, the kindly spirit suddenly resurrects as a Lich. Fight!


Not exactly what I had in mind . . . better, actually! :)
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#20 Postby VonDan » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:01 pm

raikenclw wrote:
Prest0 wrote:...And when all the bones are brought back together, the kindly spirit suddenly resurrects as a Lich. Fight!


Not exactly what I had in mind . . . better, actually! :)


Exactly the idea I had, the "good" spirit who wanted you to find his stolen bones was lying to them all the time and when his bones are re assembled he is evil un dead of some sort ready for world domination and the scared local villagers who hired the party to look into the ghost rip off there modest Victorian clothes to reveal black leather S&M costumes and are really his cult followers. Play it like WTF the cast of my fair lady turned into Pinhead and pals


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