View Full Version : Need plot ideas

04-09-2009, 07:13 PM
Ok, so we have just finished playtesting a game I created, (no real title yet, but we call it Olde England). But I need help. Our playtesting was pretty much long knights of random battles and skill tests to make sure everything was balanced and in working order. If this game seems specific, it is. This is designed specifically for a group of my veteran players.

It is set back in Europe 1369. The players are from England. Charles V has just ascended to the throne of France and is about to declare war, once again resuming the Hundred Years War. Edward III is King of England and has already conquered more than a quarter of French territories.

Anyways. It is low fantasy. The faerie courts exist, but that is the realm of witches and druids and such, things generally feared and looked upon with suspicion as the Catholic Church is one of the most powerful forces in the world.

There are no orcs or goblins running around, and though fairies and elves are said to live, no one can prove their existence. Magic is a strange tool of either malign origin or divine salvation.

The characters consist of: a Scottish warrior (very strong and savage, not a big talkative person, hit with sword, ask questions later), a noble knight (though he grew up privilaged he is very grounded and prefers to find ways to avoid conflict, however he is no coward), a priest of the catholic faith (also very sympathetic and instead of condemning those of other beliefs, prefers to lead by example), and a gypsy from southern Ireland (very mysterious and headstrong, she is daring but not foolish).

(Yes the Scottish warrior and the English knight fight.... a lot)

I have never before run something so low fantasy. The priest is quite strong and knows only three spells:

Bless - +2 to attack, one temporary health box
Heal - When resting the priest can heal 1 lethal damage every half hour)
Augury - Catch a small glimpse of divine insight to see the general and immediate outcome of an action

And the gypsy only has two magical powers:

Fire Telling - Once a fire is created the gypsy can use it to get simple answers about the future)
Healing - The results of all Herbalism checks the gypsy rolls with regards to healing are x1.5

Really, I dunno what to do for adventuring. There is no more "Go slay the dragon" or "Recover the lost magical Staff of Desmora"

I don't really want to involve them to heavily in the war (we just got out of an extensive D&D war game) and I just want it to be a background element (the reason prices are so high, etc.)

So any ideas for adventures?

04-09-2009, 07:23 PM
why not have them both on way back from a war and encounter a warlord or tyrant of the lands they are passing through who charges them with a crime.

04-10-2009, 11:35 AM
If you want combat-centric adventures, you'll have to write up a BBEG with combat power - like a warlord, bandit king, or general.

Role playing encounters are probably going to have to fill some of the magic gap, so you'll have either cheesy Jane Austen stuff (OMG, I don't have anything to wear to the ball) or political maneuvering by rival factions, or maybe a guildmaster needs spies in another guild.

Personal favorite: escort the friar and his wagon full of kegs to the county fair on time. Of course, there will be a few bridges out, bandits, damsels in distress, and maze-like detours on the way.

04-10-2009, 03:13 PM
You should check out some of the Harn material from Lythia.com (http://www.lythia.com/category/downloads/adventures/) (direct link to the adventures section). Harn is a lot like what you describe, low magic, mostly human etc. I think you should be able to incorporate, easily alter or find inspiration from some of these adventures. They are generally of excellent quality.

04-10-2009, 07:23 PM
Fighting the war is avoidable. Dealing with it is not. If you live in lands torn by war the war is a part of your life. As these folks are from the Islands their base allegiances are easy to identify. Were they found in the wrong parts of France, they could suffer some serious ramifications.

Which is exactly why you should send them there! :D

Perhaps the priest and gypsy are working together to secure some religious artifacts that are known to be in France? Perhaps the church leaders in England covet them, and despite their loyalties to the church and country, the party knows that this is a bad combination? So they are securing the relics and hiding them somewhere safe before Edward's armies conquer all of France. (history be damned, the characters don't know what we do.)


05-19-2009, 04:45 PM
1369 eh? A great era historically...
Well, the gypsy and catholic priest dont really work well together historically.
spice it up, have the knight a descendant of a Templar, and the Scotsman related to some family that may have given refuge to his grand/father on the run from the church. The knight could be more secular - as in titled family Anglican or Galican, but not roman catholic. Make the priest a Cathar priest or some Bogomil.. perhaps as an alternate reality some Jesuit type order... or a sect within the Catholics working to start the reformation (so the character is not so hard lined about things).

You can always tap into any number of templar conspiracy motifs that have come out in the last 30 years...

How about a quest for some holy item in order to build a church around. I love the Von Bek series that Moorcock did with its alternate reality - check that for some cool ideas. Speaking of which, a good grail quest? How about foiling the plot of a hebrew or muslim assassin and their secret master? Returning to the holy land to get a relic? Negotiating a peace between 2 faiths and thwarting the powers who wish to see the peace destoryed?

Don't know... its a start. Hope that helps, i know its a bit late, but it sounds very cool.

05-19-2009, 10:22 PM
sounds ripe for a commando group sent to do the behind the scenes political work. sabotage, intercepting communications, planting false evidence, rescuing deep cover spies, retrieving a sunken object... start breaking out the leonardo da vinci items instead of magic items. borrow from the old wild wild west shows. mission impossible shows, too.

aurora's whole realms catalogue is a great resource for interesting and odd stuff. despite it being for a high magic game (forgotten realms), it has a lot of useful stuff for low magic games.

05-20-2009, 08:52 AM
The older characters will well remember the tail end of the plague that was the Black Death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death). Many story possibilities can spring from this. Maybe they discover a town that was purged (burned) because of the plague is being resettled and the townsfolk need help defending against a fae incursion. Every night, someone else disappears (usually innocents and children). The players either try to kill off the fae responsible or track them down and find out what's going on. The fae know what really caused the plague is a curse on the land and they're trying to rescue who they can (the young and innocent) by kidnapping them. The heroes can try to reverse the curse, or drive out the townsfolk, or whathaveyou.

05-20-2009, 09:08 AM
Also don't forget that the Mongol invasion is still within memory and the silk road is open, the Turks were expanding, the early european renaissance was starting with the knowledge of science, medicine and philosophy brought back from the crusades.

Keeping knowledge out of the wrong hands was important for the church, so the characters could be working towards collecting books and scrolls and devices of 'forbidden' types may be good for a few adventures...