PDA

View Full Version : GM Curve balls



BrianDavion
22 March 2002, 12:43 PM
what kinda Curve balls/plot twists have you guys (or your GM if you are a Player) tossed at the players?

my fav one was building up a dark jedi as a great great evil man... and then have him offer sincierly to help the PCs when they first encounter with him (sadly someone said the wrong thing and pissed him off, thus ending my great and evil trick to lure one of my PCs to the darkside:)

DarthMalaryush
22 March 2002, 12:49 PM
Running for a group of darksiders. The main Dark Lord trained them sent them on a few missions then let then do as they pleased. Mid campaign they made mistakes and all died. We'll I told them i't wasn't over, and we would meet next week. They were back, Saved by their old master, went on to do further evil for him, He got overly bossy and they turned on him. (Well after he activated their clones he installed small explosives in their heads.) The end game was a BLAST.

Fred Getce
22 March 2002, 02:01 PM
I have used these in all my games at one time or another...

Unknown twin sibling.

Secretly adopted parents alive/dead-famous/Jedi/world leaders/powerful mages/powerful warriors/dieties/unknown.

Being instructed and cared for by the master villain of the campaign (Got idea from TMNT).

Searching for an alleged bad guy who is secret undercover police.

Villain is 17 year old girl who wants someone to take her to the galactic prom????

Villain is a family pet????

Villain is a childs stuffed animal????

Information provided by spies is not only wrong but benefits the bad guys.

Characters spill their guts to who they think is on their side but is teh master villain. God I love that one.

Characters unknowningly save the villain from a premature death.

Characters framed for murder of an innocent/famous person/child/world or government leader. Another classic.

Spy in their midsts. Fun for GM.

Something happens and the whole plan they spent several game months planning to go off without a hitch and to save millions of lives and get rich quick, goes fubar in one round. Their faces were hilarious. :)

Finally, their own parent or relative is the villain.

Talonne Hauk
22 March 2002, 04:25 PM
In my current campaign, one of my players will be revealed to be a clone of the person he believed to be his father. This will be a mindbender of a revelation, as he was spawned through the efforts of his "fathers" betrayer and ultimate killer. This has set my demonic mind to work to see what I can do to my other players... Perhaps this will merit a future post.

Reverend Strone
22 March 2002, 04:46 PM
Had my players (I sure hope none of them are reading this) transport a barge-load of near worthless ore from a small frontier town to Mos Espa ostensibly for a little old crippled miner.

It turns out (and they haven't figured this out yet) that they're actually hauling a large stash of highly refined spice hidden under all that ore. The spice is being unknowingly smuggled by the PCs to their supposed ore-buying contact, a Quarren called Mussoola, who in fact works for small-time Hutt crimelord Imotta, the younger cousin of Jabba. Imotta owes Jabba big for a recent screw-up that cost the senior Hutt a lot of money. He hopes to make it up to Jabba by selling him this spice real cheap, only he doesn't know the spice was actually stolen from Jabba in the first place.

Rival Hutt crimelord Nago, a sworn enemy of Jabba, has gotten wind of something going on, so he's sending some goons to snatch whatever cargo the guys are really carrying when they go to hand it over to Imotta's guy. Imotta is sending some extra security to make sure it all goes well, and has invited Jabba to come along so as to surprise him. Imagine Jabba's mood when he discovers his witless nephew is trying to sell him back his own stolen spice, and then of course Nago's boys are going to strike.

Into the midst of all this come the unsuspecting ore-hauling PCs- no clue as to what they're really carrying, or what they're about to stroll witlessly into. There's going to be some real fast wise-upping.

Rigil Kent
22 March 2002, 05:44 PM
Quote from the player sums it up: "I'm a clone?!!!"

Boy, that was fun. :D

Reverend Strone
22 March 2002, 05:47 PM
Quote from the player sums it up: "I'm a clone?!!!"

LOL- that's fantastic. I must remember that one.

Ghost In The Holocron
22 March 2002, 07:03 PM
...more a scene twist (--and some of the veteran RPGers may be familiar with it). I've used it before in other campaigns and am definitely planning to use it again in the near future. It goes like this:


1. Our heroes bed down for the night (in their starship, local planetary lodgings, camping on some backwater wilderness planet, etc.).

2. They are woken up by strange unearthly sounds, a mental pinprick from the Force, or something small but slightly unnerving.

3. They check out their surroundings, etc. The sounds/feel comes from some dark portion of the ship, camp, etc. When they investigate it further...

4. ...it reveals a ghostly bad guy, their worst enemy, a strange creature, or something equally powerful and unnerving.

5. They fight it desperately... one or two of them fall... (perhaps one may even be consumed by the Dark Side and turned against his friends)...

6. They wake up screaming...

It's worked on my players more often than I can count. Even when they know at some point in the campaign that they're going to encounter The Dream. Endless variants can keep them on their toes. I've actually done one that took 3/4 of the session (including traveling, the passage of many days, etc.).

The twist really needs to be timed well, though, and pulls through rather well if the players are deep into their characters. Also helps if one of them are willing to connive with the GM.

The bit is good for foreshadowing and the like. Has anyone else used anything similar?

lordbynight
22 March 2002, 07:18 PM
My character was a imperial soldier with me haveing plans of takeing him to the dark side since he was forcesensative. Luzon was totaly imperial his studies everything. Anyway he met this girl th gm knows exactly how my character likes them. The ISB came and took her one day she was questioned and so on then accused of being a rebel spy. Me being the good imperial agrreed and agreed if she was a spy she should be punished. But I was able to find out she wasent a spy then traced down the rebels to clear her name. I was arrested by the ISB and accused of being a spy as well. Then I found out she was raped and alot of other crap they did to her we were able to escape and then went and joined the rebles i ripped my character that session as all plans were ruined he will never be forgiven....NEVER! :(

LUZON! NO WHY THE REBELS......

Reverend Strone
22 March 2002, 08:46 PM
Ghost In The Holocron , I've never used a dream per-se, but once in a Star Trek game I ran (yes I said Star Trek- bite me), when the characters were on a old station and expecting a reprisal attack from the bad guys, I started a gaming session off with a full scale assault on the station by a Romulan Warbird.

The station took serious damage, shields were out and the Romulans sent in boarding marines. There was a whole lot of fire-fights al over the station as the characters tried to repel the boarders until the station was finally taken by the bad guys. Loads of PC casualties. It was a desperate fight and they just weren't prepared for such intensity on the part of the villains.

At that point, cue the "computer, end program" order, and the guys switch off their holodeck simulation.

Needless to say, when the bad guys really did turn up, they were much better prepared.

Jedi Master Antilles
22 March 2002, 09:38 PM
Quote:
more a scene twist (--and some of the veteran RPGers may be familiar with it). I've used it before in other campaigns and am definitely planning to use it again in the near future. It goes like this:

1. Our heroes bed down for the night (in their starship, local planetary lodgings, camping on some backwater wilderness planet, etc.).

2. They are woken up by strange unearthly sounds, a mental pinprick from the Force, or something small but slightly unnerving.

3. They check out their surroundings, etc. The sounds/feel comes from some dark portion of the ship, camp, etc. When they investigate it further...

4. ...it reveals a ghostly bad guy, their worst enemy, a strange creature, or something equally powerful and unnerving.

5. They fight it desperately... one or two of them fall... (perhaps one may even be consumed by the Dark Side and turned against his friends)...

6. They wake up screaming...



It's worked on my players more often than I can count. Even when they know at some point in the campaign that they're going to encounter The Dream. Endless variants can keep them on their toes. I've actually done one that took 3/4 of the session (including traveling, the passage of many days, etc.).

The twist really needs to be timed well, though, and pulls through rather well if the players are deep into their characters. Also helps if one of them are willing to connive with the GM.

The bit is good for foreshadowing and the like. Has anyone else used anything similar?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! not the dream scenarios...arghhhhhh i've experienced that one so many times ..its even worse than the "I'm a clone".....lol

Mathis Kharr
22 March 2002, 09:38 PM
I once based an adventure in the episode one era which met an untimly end when i let another run it. well to fix it I had one of the premiere characters captured in that time an subject to a 50 year or so cloning experiment to make perfect jedi weapons. So un beknownst to the player the campaign continued then one day i had them wake up in a tube matrix style. they found out thier whole life up to that point had been a fabricated fantasy and that they were being used as guinie pigs.. lol.

Other times i had a darkside who was in the very council. he had manipulated a student to inadvertantly kill his master. well it worked to a tea. he was able to take over this jedis training and corupt him.. would have gone great if an really crappy gm i let take over for a few setions hadn't screwed everything all up for his own ammusment



Korath. is that a lightsaber in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Ghost In The Holocron
22 March 2002, 10:34 PM
from Jedi Master Antilles:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! not the dream scenarios...arghhhhhh i've experienced that one so many times ..its even worse than the "I'm a clone".....

How about "you're dreaming you're a clone"?... ;) :D lol!

Bombaatu
22 March 2002, 10:50 PM
Well, a couple of scenarios...

1. The PCs had to leave a planet in a hurry, being persued by P.O'd fighers. They just about hit the hyper-limit when an Imperial Interdiction Cruiser shows up and dispatches 12 TIE Interceptors. Just after they finish soiling themselves, they receive a comm transmission - the Imps are helping them by driving off the fighters that "illegally attacked a legitimate merchant vessel."

2. One of my PCs is a Jedi who will need training. A search will lead her to a Master. Two twists: the Master is the PCs grandmother, who was thought to be killed, and she is insane - deep in the dark side and not even aware of it. This will become apparent towards the end of the training and will be used as the PCs trial.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
23 March 2002, 01:37 AM
The dreaming and the "Im a clone" thing - fun, but I think I've got you guys beat. Our smugglers owned a bar on a little backwater rim world - think Ricks from Casablanca and you wouldnt be too far off.

One day while we were out doing tramp freighter-ish things, the Mob sets up shop in town. They start shaking everyone down for protection money and doing mafia type stuff.

Enter - my and the rest of the team. Now, the GM is thinking that we'll bust into the Mob's HQ, start shooting, and the game will unfold in typical Chaos Crew manner. The map of the Mob's house was all done up in advance, he did a whole lot of planning for background - everything was set for our frontal assault.

"Hey, I've got an idea!" I piped up. "Are there local governmental elections coming up?"

"Yeah. . . ." the GM said with hesitation in his voice.

"Great! Lets run for office and throw the mob out the legal way. We'll pull an Elliot Ness on them!"

Suddenly the GM saw his careful, detailed plans fly out the window. His game fell apart that people across the street were hit by the shrapnel.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Since everyone has an "Dream Sequance"story to share - here's mine. I picked on player to throw into the VR computer simulation. To round out the game, I had *ALL* the other players in on the secret, but the one. As such, they played their self destructive parts to the hilt - turning to the dark side, going down in a blaze of glory, selling out each other - oh it was grand.

The one picked on player was fit to kill me at the end of the game. The look on her face was worth a million bucks to me.

Sithspawn
23 March 2002, 02:18 AM
GM cureve ball, hmmm... lets's see.
Ivan Darkhammer DO NOT READ! I know you lurk.

1. A short lived pirate campaign. The Crystals the pirates were stealing had force-restricting properties and were holding back the powers of a clone of Emperor. They stole the cyrstals and released the clone (with DE stats).

2. The clone resurfaces years later and manipulates events so one player from House Pelagia ends up ruling the Tapani Sector.

3. The PC in question turns out to be the niece of the Emperor!

and from other campaigns...
4. PC's Grandfather is a Grand Moff!

5. I've done the whole clone thing.

6. Revealed a PCs real and embarassing name :D

7. I was using a 'Q' like entity. I managed to trick the players into reincarnating Gran Moff Tarkin.

8. In my Dark Side campaign I used a munchkin-gun that could strip a Jedi of their powers. I then built up this Jedi Knight on the trail of the gun. The PC's were Sith Lords & Warriors who were running scared until they got the gun and were really chuffed with themselves when they blasted this powerful Jedi with it. Only to find the Jedi had already lost his powers, that's why he was after the gun, and they had just given him his powers back. :)

dgswensen
23 March 2002, 08:54 AM
For my latest campaign, I made entirely pregenerated characters for everyone. To make things more interesting, I gave each of them a secret history and some important events in their past, and didn't tell any of the other players. So, most of the campaign has been one surprise after another.

"You know that little brat we've been ferrying around?" "
"Yeah?"
She's actually a Princess."
"Oh."
"And the Empire's after her. And a whole lot of bounty hunters. And us too, incidentally."
"Urk..."

I also have a mercenary / soldier who is secretly a Rebel leader... only his PARTNER is the one who keeps getting mistaken for the Rebel leader... he can't understand why everyone keeps saying, "Hey, weren't you one of those Rebels who participated in the attack on the Death Star?" Meanwhile, the mercenary is sitting right next to him smirking quietly to himself... but one day he's secret's going to be revealed when it's most inconvenient for him!

My favorite curve ball, however, was I had one character who was basically a useless, drunken old man -- a constant annoyance to others. He schlepped around for a few adventures, when suddenly his nemesis (who HIMSELF was a curve ball; he pretended to be the party's best friend but was actually double-crossing them) suddenly draws a lightsaber on him -- and lo and behold, the old drunk pulls a lightsaber too -- he was secretly a Jedi! That knocked everyone on the floor -- no one saw it coming!

I love it when a plan comes together :)

Oh, another thing I've done... I have some players, old friends who have unfortunately had to move to other towns... one of my favorite gaming moments was when a friend and I conspired to "smuggle" him into town, unbeknownst to anyone but he and I... we kept him shut in another room while we played for about an hour, and then, on cue, he comes bursting into the room, in character, and surprised the living daylights out of everyone. That was a blast.

To get "revenge" for that, a GM who was running a game I was in secretly made an <I>entire game session</I> basically a dream sequence for my character, of sorts -- actually a "vision" sent by demons to taunt and test my character. He changed the entire story and didn't tell me. I was the only one not in on the joke. Basically, my character couldn't understand why everything was going horribly, horribly wrong -- and I didn't have a clue until all of a sudden every other player gets up, they all stand together, looking at me, and intone -- "he has failed the test!"

Fun stuff.

Dark Lord Drax
23 March 2002, 05:09 PM
Well, I had two Jedi searching for parts for their new lightsabers. They were bargaining with this Toydarien (who was the only dealer they found that had what they needed). The Toydarien was somewhat friendly and gave them a good deal. He then asked as a favor that they help him with some thugs that have been bullying him. They agree to it. When they show up to deal with the thugs, the consular tries to talk through the confrontation, but they draw weapons and the guardian attacks them, killed one, injured a second and scared the bejesus out of the third. They found out a month later that the Toydarien was a black market merchant selling goods and info to the Empire, and the 'thugs' were really NR agents.

Ghost In The Holocron
23 March 2002, 05:38 PM
from Tony J Case:

..."Hey, I've got an idea!" I piped up. "Are there local governmental elections coming up?"...

Dude, that killed me! Absolutely hilarious! If my players ask, Elections coming up? -- I have got to remember to tell them NO! Not on your life monkey-boy!


from dgswensen:

-- and I didn't have a clue until all of a sudden every other player gets up, they all stand together, looking at me, and intone -- "he has failed the test!"

Hmmm. That's good, too! I'm making a note of it -- some of my players Jedi will be going through "the test" soon.

Mathis Kharr
23 March 2002, 08:30 PM
One I did was based in an Infinities where the Emperor had managed to thwart the rebels and destroy them.. well it's now new jedi order time period and luke is with the emperor as well. darth is long dead. Well the players take it upon themselves to try and take out the emperor who has gotten ahold of a very powerful artifact. The stage this at a grand moment when the royal guard are switching posts , etc and luke is away. they have anikin and several other jedi with them.
One of the players is playing a darksider not with the group but conspiring to find thier location and destroy thier base by the way.
Anyhow they storm the Emperors home and confront him.. they manage to destroy him and wrest the artifact away from him. Luke on cue steps in. Anikin see him and hands him the artifact.(the players bugged: Anikin was the secret apretice to luke all along. Luke having what he wants promises to let them go seeing as how now they are surrounded and no threat. The pcs are farried to Dagobah which is thier secret base. where coincidently the darksider looking for them has headed. The Pilot of the craft they are in drops them off and leaves.. (Luke seemed to keep his end.)
The Darksider on lukes orders comes out of hyperspace to confront the Pcs with a contingent of other darksiders. Just as they leave hyperspace the death Star comes around a planet in the system and blows thier ship to a billion pieces. much to the shock of the one playing the darksider and the pcs in general. Luke basicly destroyed any rivals . The death star then turns it's weapons on Dagobah rendering it to ash. ending the campaiggn Badguys win luke suckered them all and the pcs shocked as all hell loved it even though they lost all thier characters. grand scheme..=P

In a nut shell not only did the pcs eliminate all lukes rivals and hand him the galaxy but they nobley sacrificed themselves to lukes greater plan..=P nice huh?

Dan Kyrinov
25 March 2002, 06:37 PM
In a medieval fantasy campaign, I did something similar to Rigil's "I'm a clone!?" maneuver. The PC was actually a Doppelganger, albeit one wounded very badly alongside a wounded child. That child's memories were taken into the Doppler prior the child's death. The Doppler believed he was the same as the child and lived out years in that form, but later, as the topic of a lengthy adventure, it all came out, nearly destroying the player and everyone around him. If you've read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, the chapter on the Martian set loose in the town is a good illustration of what I did to the player.

The point is, if you have them be a clone, or a mind controlled person, or someone with memory trouble, don't just leave their character unchanged. Give them new abilities. They may regain memory and find they have skills or HP or abilites they didn't know. Powers, heritages, and secret info can be used for their own good. In the case of the Doppler, he survived the shocks of learning the truth, and makes quite the master of disguise now. :-)

Rigil Kent
25 March 2002, 06:54 PM
To be totally honest, the character in question actually wasn't a clone. See, this NPC was total scum and was frelling with his head. He point-blanked lied, but man, it was fun watching the player react to it. :D

reliant
26 March 2002, 06:52 AM
Hmmm... It seems to me that all my modules are just really BIG curve balls...

The PC's get tractored into this asteroid base and find it's actually a mining center that also manufactures droids. They meet with the administrator (via holoprojector) and eventually start to figure out that there are no people on the place (everyone is DEAD). SO they check the computers and find out that the place is being run by droids that have a secret plan to kill loads of sentient beings by shipping out droids with programming to allow them to kill when given a special command. At this point the PC's freak out and run away...

My PC's go to investigate a seemingly abandoned VSD, only to find it's full of Aliens (like from the movie Aliens) and Alien hybrids that are forc senstive and created by the empire to hunt jedi... Lots of dropped jaws when the first face hugger made it's appearance. Also, the group has a standing order now NOT to look into strange cannisters without first checking their contents some other way...

The PC's go to Naboo to find the remnants of the jedi council. They talk to the senator from Naboo and he tells them that HE is a jedi. They of course don't believe him, so he wips out a lightsaber. At this point they STILL don't believe him (he was crazy after all), so he starts throwing things around the room with the force and crackling with force lightning... THAT sure got their attention.

There were loads more, but that's just a few of my favorites...