Home RPG Games Weaponize Your Villain’s Secret – Roleplaying Suggestions

Weaponize Your Villain’s Secret – Roleplaying Suggestions


Roleplaying Suggestions E-newsletter #1152

RPT GM Dale S requested me for assist along with his journey’s unhealthy man and plot:

Hello Johnn,

Would you thoughts wading in with any ideas on my villain’s goal?

The native gnoll clan and their uncommon allies are attacking a small walled human frontier settlement.

It is a nighttime ‘storming the barricades’ type of assault and the opening scene of my new VTT run D&D story.

A hill large is hurling rocks, the gnoll shaman is bringing spell assist, and an ogre is main the principle gate assault. (The gnolls are divided in loyalty because the shaman is corrupting the clan from inside to the unwitting service of Baphomet).

A scrawny thief has stolen one thing from the gnoll shaman and the assault is to get his loyal trackers contained in the palisade to recuperate it.

What did the thief steal that was so necessary to the gnoll shaman to steer his clan in opposition to the people in a full on assault?

I’m leaning towards an merchandise that will clearly determine the shaman as serving Baphomet, fairly than Yeenoghu, however it will have to be one thing extra concerned and evocative than merely an unholy amulet.

The shaman is opposed for dominion within the clan and the vast majority of the gnolls are true to their demonic father. Being outed as a heretic would damage his day.

I might like to learn what you assume.


The Secret is to Leverage the Secret

Hello Dale!

Nice query. Listed below are some rambles, take ’em or go away ’em.

The shaman has a secret.

Right here’s a cool factor about secrets and techniques: nobody can learn about them.

Surprising! Heh.

However the extra folks within the circle of These Who Know, the better the chance to the secret-holder.

In order that turns into a Faction in your sport, even when it begins with only one member.

Get Readability on the State of affairs

You’ve arrange an superior State of affairs right here.

We get inquisitive about it and pull out attention-grabbing bits for our plotline and potential GM Strikes.

The sport afoot now for our shaman conspiracy turns into gameplay moments that allow you to widen the circle.

We’re not the shaman’s pal right here. We wish his life to turn out to be terribly attention-grabbing now that he’s been cursed with the GM’s highlight.

So now we have an impulse or GM Transfer for the Faction: unfold the key.

You develop this Faction like a treasured seed. You give it soil and water it till gameplay destroys it, provides it an arc of energy, or shoves it into the nook to photosynthesize.

The Faction may have self-interests.

For instance, any potential defections from the circle of These Who Know must be handled.

And current members may have completely different ranges of belief for one another. They most likely plot in opposition to one another to make sure their very own security and objectives.

The Faction turns into a Plot Manufacturing unit for you, which is what we would like from a State of affairs.

We will now perceive the shaman’s predicament.

He can’t inform his complete tribe the key. It places him at nice threat – from his tribe and his fellow conspirators.

Subsequently, he should give his tribe an alternate purpose for the assault, apart from the thief stealing one thing, to guard The Secret.

You now have the right Plot Seed: Gnoll Shaman (Villain) + Assault on Enemy (Battle) + A Secret (Reward).

The Cowl Story

Let’s take into consideration an alternate purpose for the assault.

Maybe the shaman bribes his tribe. He says there will likely be nice reward if the assault is profitable. One thing apart from meals.

You talked about the key represents a non secular battle. Baphomet versus Yeenoghu.

Villains venture their evil onto others. So let’s imagine the shaman calls a campaign in opposition to the Baphomet heathens over yonder hill.

The shaman is perhaps feeling insecure with out his amulet. A campaign will get him brownie factors with Yeenoghu. And he can dedicate it to Baphomet in secret.
You talked about the amulet won’t be enough in your wants, however I feel the MacGuffin may turn out to be central to your plotline.

Our Logic Bomb right here is tying the amulet to the shaman. The plotline wants proof of the shaman’s divine betrayal.

So we are saying the Amulet of Baphomet should comprise proof it belongs to the shaman. That’s a part of our Story Crucible.

What may that proof be?

Now now we have readability.

If we will tie the amulet to the shaman, as you prompt, our plot crystalizes.

We perceive the social gathering’s Mission now.

And it’s a secret, so our Room V: Reward & Twist has simply been solved.

Maybe it’s odor. Gnolls may have a bonus to odor the amulet, that’s usually worn below layers of shaman garb, and unmistakably know who usually wears it.

Nice. Now now we have the seed for our clue path we drop into our story.

Potential Discoveries are:

  • The thief
  • The amulet itself
  • The gnolls have eager sense of odor
  • The gnolls determine one another by odor
  • The shaman is so smelly some PCs would possibly even be capable of determine him by odor alone

(Discoveries are a part of the 5 Room Dungeon Canvas I unveil within the Journey Constructing Grasp Sport Plan.)

From our brainstorm checklist above, now we have some implausible steering on encounter seeds and roleplay.

Our Journey Plotline

I prefer to fill my journey plotline out like a 5 Room Dungeon.

5RDs have mythic story construction baked into them.

Run your sport like 5RDs, and also you immediately inject story construction.

For our gnoll shaman of Baphomet determined to recuperate his stolen amulet and chunk the thief who is aware of his secret, we may have:

Room I: [Entrance, Guardian] => Predominant gate assault

Room II: [Roleplay, Puzzle] =>Breakthrough, the place is the amulet?

Room III: [Trick, Setback] => Quest for the amulet

Room IV: [Big Conflict or Story Climax] => Shaman & Thief

Room V: Treasure & Twist => Amulet is Shaman’s

We’ve obtained a great plotline now.

It’s Your Flip

Primarily based on the define you gave me, Dale, that is the design strategy I’d take.

Flip your plot right into a 5 Room Dungeon to make it simpler and offer you readability.

We’ve obtained a reverse heist happening now, which ought to be enjoyable to GM and play.

Your amulet now capabilities nicely because the MacGuffin as a result of it’s a GM weapon — it’s a supply of energy for the villain but in addition their weak spot.

We see there’s potential nice Faction gameplay.

And there’s a conspiracy for the bigger image.

Say the shaman efficiently will get the amulet and retains it away from his tribe, however the gamers save the city from the assault.

Out of your gamers’ perspective, they gained the Mission. Excessive fives!

However there’s a bigger plot afoot with the Baphomet crowd.

What’s going to Baphomet do to those that slay or seize his promising new chief?

What’s going to the shaman do if profitable and he can return to his diabolical ambitions?

What’s going to the gamers do in the event that they whack the shaman and be taught there’s a bigger tribe or clan on the market positive to need revenge?

I hope these ideas assist, Dale!


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