One-shot adventures are an effective way to introduce new gamers to tabletop RPGs, or to run a fast, enjoyable sport for skilled gamers. However one-shots may also be a bit predictable. In spite of everything, they’re normally only some hours lengthy, so there’s not quite a lot of time to develop a fancy plot.
And that’s the place plot twists are available! A well-placed plot twist can add a bit shock and awe to your one-shot, and it could actually additionally hold your gamers engaged.
Listed below are a number of suggestions for including plot twists to your one-shots:
Begin with a lie.
One of many best methods so as to add a plot twist is to start out with a lie. Perhaps the villain isn’t actually the villain, or possibly the search isn’t actually what it appears. This may actually throw your gamers for a loop, and it could actually additionally assist to set the tone for the remainder of the journey. This must be one thing large, although, one thing core to your story. Make certain it’s one thing your gamers will care about and, extra importantly, will throw the established situation on its head!
Introduce an “ally” who betrays the get together.
This can be a basic plot twist, and it may be a really efficient one. You probably have an NPC the gamers belief, you’ll be able to actually shock them after they betray the get together. This may add quite a lot of drama to the journey, and it could actually additionally make the gamers query their judgment – and make them slower to belief new NPCs. With a participant’s permission, you’ll be able to even make certainly one of them the key agent – or have them convert half manner by means of the mission. Once more, do not forget that gamers might have magical aids like Divine and Commune. In the event that they ask the precise questions, this may be revealed sooner than you count on!
Reveal an “enemy” who is definitely a double-agent.
That is one other basic plot twist, and it may be simply as efficient because the earlier one. You probably have an “enemy” the gamers assume is working towards them, you’ll be able to actually shock them after they reveal that they’re really a double-agent. This may create attention-grabbing battle because the gamers debate whether or not they need to have seen the NPC’s actual motives.
Increase the stakes.
Among the best methods so as to add a plot twist is to boost the stakes. Perhaps the villain isn’t simply making an attempt to summon one demon, they’re making an attempt to destroy the world with a demon military invasion. Or possibly the search isn’t nearly discovering a magic merchandise, it’s about saving the village. This may actually up the ante on your gamers, and it could actually additionally make the villain appear much more harmful. However…
That evil man who’s been elevating zombies? Everybody assumed he was constructing a military of the damned, however he’s simply making an attempt to resurrect his spouse! This doesn’t up-end the whole lot, however does deliver recent info. And it could actually arrange an important “we’re not so totally different you and I” villain monologue, and even create sympathy with some gamers that causes battle within the get together. In spite of everything, is the BBEG such a foul man?
It’s a lure!
The villain has recognized in regards to the get together all alongside! This may go a number of methods: the villain may want one thing the gamers have introduced (“you’ve performed proper into my palms”) – assume a totem, blood of the righteous, a magical merchandise or what have you ever. However, the villain might merely have set an ambush for the gamers – that’s yet another impediment they’ll must get by means of whereas the villain completes his plan, or makes an attempt to flee.
The second physique.
That is one utilized in homicide mysteries and whodunnits on a regular basis – the individual you assume is the assassin finally ends up useless! It’s an important plot twist as a result of the gamers go from being assured, to having the rug pulled from beneath them and having to reassess their info. For a one-shot, as soon as the get together discovers the physique of the “villain”, this could normally (however not all the time) be shortly adopted up by the reveal of the true villain and their motivations. In spite of everything, there isn’t a lot time and it is advisable to get to that juicy journey climax.
Current the gamers with a tough, morally gray alternative.
This can be a plot twist thought that may actually make your gamers assume. Perhaps the gamers have to decide on between saving one individual or saving 100 folks. Or possibly they’ve to decide on between killing the villain or letting them go. This may actually check the gamers’ morality, and it could actually additionally make the journey extra memorable.
These are only a few concepts for plot twists that you may add to your one-shot adventures. The chances are limitless, and you’ll tailor the twists to your individual particular marketing campaign. So get artistic and add some plot twists to your subsequent one-shot!
💡Able to get began? Obtain this nice printable one-shot worksheet from our founder, sport designer Janet Forbes.
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co-written by Janet Forbes & Kat French