Board index » Across the Megaverse® » G.M.s Forum

 


Post new topic Reply to topic
Author Message
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:01 am
  

User avatar
Hero

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:24 pm
Posts: 1119
Location: Praxus
Comment: Arrrrgggghhhh!
Was watching some sci-fi crap this last week and a thought occurred. Many of the good plots involve layers of deception and manipulation. This would be especially common in a universe filled with advanced AI and undying genius creatures with omniscience and omnipotence.

I tried making an epic campaign with a deep plot but my players never jumped on it.
Started with a custom god-like alien intelligence, who manipulated a greater demon, who controlled a lesser demon, who blackmailed a Naruni boss, who extorted a king in the 3 Galaxies, who lied, cheated, and manipulated as much as he could, mostly local barons, who in turn sent fleets looking for a magic thingy that never even existed. Some of the admirals turned to mercenaries when needed.
The PC's were supposed to get caught up in the plot and gradually uncover the convoluted scheme, acquiring allies and enemies in the process. They didn't care enough to follow the trail.

Have also tried more basic conspiracies with creatures like witchlings or Shifter NPC's. Maybe they find some supernatural way to control or manipulate somebody in command of a small force, again possibly with multiple layers of deception or mind control.

_________________
http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/
Create and print dozens of different graph papers.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:57 pm
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 12:20 am
Posts: 427
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Not necessarily game related, but I like 2. Have you ever seen the 1980's movie No Way Out with Kevin Costner and Sean Young? Mind blower... and there were only really two levels there. Perfect amount of intrigue and twists so as not to be confusing and lose the audience.

_________________
Image


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:42 pm
  

User avatar
Hero

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:24 pm
Posts: 1119
Location: Praxus
Comment: Arrrrgggghhhh!
Oh yes, and Sean Young got nekkid too.
Nudity is an absolute requirement in any rifts adventure.

_________________
http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/
Create and print dozens of different graph papers.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:18 am
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:23 am
Posts: 1340
Location: Houston, TX
Comment: "I will not be silenced. I will not submit. I will find the truth and shout it to the world. "
Jack Burton wrote:
Not necessarily game related, but I like 2. Have you ever seen the 1980's movie No Way Out with Kevin Costner and Sean Young? Mind blower... and there were only really two levels there. Perfect amount of intrigue and twists so as not to be confusing and lose the audience.

First, I love this movie. It is way underrated and Gene Hackman is great.

Second, I agree that 2 or 3 is the most I like to go for a long running campaign. I do have sort of multi-part puzzles where A leads to B which leads to C which leads to D and then you get to the top.

_________________
Northern Gun Chief of Robotics
Designer of the NG-X40 Storm Hammer Power Armor & NG-HC1000 Dragonfly Hover Chopper
Ultimate Insider - World Book 32: Lemuria
Ultimate Insider - World Book 33: Northern Gun 1
Ultimate Insider - World Book 34: Northern Gun 2
Proud Showdown Level Backer - Robotech RPG Tactics


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:45 am
  

User avatar
Palladin

Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:40 pm
Posts: 9309
Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
What I have found is that in general layered plots work when I have a 'structured reveal' built into them. Thus while the party can do research and go digging if they want, and this will speed things up, if they do nothing then either 1) the plot goes away and gets ignored and I do something else or 2) I arrange for the reveal at the set up time.
An example.
In my HU game C.A.P.E.S. the heroes start off with someone calling himself the Crimson Crest and his Burgundy Bandits raiding a fusion plant. This is layer 1 (generic evil villain attack)
As they investigate there are more attacks by the bandits... and they start to piece together that the Bandits have a suspicious back story (layer 2)
Now they are intrigued so they start doing some heavy digging, and find some common threads (layer 3)....
....which lead in turn to a suggestion that the Bandits, or at least the Crest is linked to a band of super villains their Mentor fought in WWII (layer 4)
They were following up on some of the hints that had been turned up by that (some obscure magic items and alien technology) which was leading them into investigating a local cult and some para-military organizations (layer 5) which had just turned up hints of some shadowy masters of magic and/or negative chi, possibly with demonic links (layer 6...when the campaign ended.

Through out all of this there was woven the rest of the plot. Assaults, robberies, social activism for mutant animals, a lawsuit... all sorts of interesting things to fill in while the "deep plot" was exposed a bit at a time.
The best part is that by setting it up so that each layer works on its own, if the party gets sick of the plot at some point I can ditch the rest of the layers and simply let the last layer discovered be the end. With or with out leaving "hanging plot threads".

_________________
The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:34 am
  

Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:08 am
Posts: 239
I've found adopting some of the mindset behind games like Gumshoe or FATE to be best in conspiracy-based campaigns. Forcing players to try and perhaps fail to pick up clues to a web that barely gets used is usually some combination of an unsatisfying railroad, waste of prep time, and GM egotrip. When players also hold narrative controls then discovering a conspiracy is at least in part creating one, which is far more engaging. The GM's role in a game like that is to set the scene and help the players establish what their characters uncover, while throwing the occasional curveball. In a situation like that the depths of a conspiracy are largely agreed upon.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:01 pm
  

User avatar
Palladin

Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:40 pm
Posts: 9309
Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
I find that the best way to work it is to have each layer of the conspiracy be able to stand on its own (yes, even level 1)
This way the PCs only need to dig as deep as they wish to dig to come to a satisfying conclusion to the particular plot line. This way the depth becomes organic in that the PCs will keep digging as long as they are having fun doing so and stop when it stops being fun. 99% of the time this is the perfect set up I have found. The rare 1% of the time that it is different is when the game itself is set up on the premise that some specific layer of the conspiracy will be driving the actual 'metaplot'. In such games you need three things.
1) you need player buy in on the premise of a conspiracy or multilevel game that contains metaplot.
2) you need to provide ways to find the information needed that work with the players and
3) you need to be willing and able to add new clues on the fly if old ones are missed.


ALL of this of course presumes that your players even want multilayer plots and such. Sometimes people don't want to play Mulder. Sometimes people just want a nice simple game of super heroics, or mercenary fighting, or dungeon crawling... and there is nothing wrong with that, people play to have fun and as long as everyone is having fun then your playing the 'right way'.

_________________
The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:20 pm
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 1:01 am
Posts: 5742
Location: Clone Lab 27
Giving the way I build the story around the choices players make, they have as many as it takes to keep the party interested.

_________________
The Clones are coming you shall all be replaced, but who is to say you have not been replaced already.

Master of Type-O and the obvios.

Soon my army oc clones and winged-monkies will rule the world but first, must .......

I may debate canon and RAW, but the games I run are highly house ruled. So I am not debating for how I play but about how the system works as written.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:46 pm
  

User avatar
Champion

Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 8:58 pm
Posts: 3190
Location: A snow-covered forest, littered with the bones of my slain enemies...
It depends, but 5 was the most I ever did.
And three of them actually were caused by a character's actions... one of them before the game actually got started, due to a grammatical error in the character's background.
Man was the player shocked/ sad/ angered when she found out that a LOT of the stuff that the party had to deal with was all on her... and she was doing the most to stop it, or so she thought.

_________________
Eyes without life, maggot-ridden corpses, mountains of skulls... these are a few of my favourite things.

I am the first angel, loved once above all others...

Light a man a fire, and he's warm for a day; light a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Turning the other cheek just gets you slapped harder.

The Smiling Bandit (Strikes Again!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!)


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:15 pm
  

User avatar
Supreme Being

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 8545
Location: Unreality
Comment: Being a moderator doesn't mean I speak for Palladium Books. It just makes me the lifeguard at their pool.
My thought is always room for 1 more.

_________________
Official Hero of the Megaverse

Dead Boy wrote:
All hail Jefffar... King of the Mods

Co-Holder with Ice Dragon of the "Lando Calrissian" award for Smooth. - Novastar

Palladium Forums of the Megaverse Rules

If you need to contact Palladium Books for any reason, click here.


          Top  
 
 
Post new topic Reply to topic



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group