Lots of plot ideas :)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Squidge, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. P l o t s

    The following have been taken from: [x] I give full credit to this site!! Many of these plots can be linked to one another so throw me your ideas and we'll bounce off each other. I'd be looking to set up any of these as a small group roleplay or a private, onexone.

    Current five star cravings: Delver's Delight, Don't Eat The Purple Ones, Missing Memories, Recent Ruins, Safari, Stalag 23.

    Any Port in a Storm ♥♥♥

    The characters are seeking shelter from the elements or some other threat, and come across a place to hole up. They find that they have stumbled across something dangerous, secret, or supernatural, and must then deal with it in order to enjoy a little rest.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The shelter contains the cause of the threat the characters were trying to avoid. The shelter houses a Hidden Base (q.v.). The characters must not only struggle for shelter, they must struggle to survive. The place is a legitimate shelter of some kind, but the characters are not welcome, and must win hearts or minds to earn their bed for the night.

    Better Late Than Never ♥♥♥

    Some bad guys have arrived and done some bad guy things. The characters were none the wiser. The bad guys have now made good their escape, and the characters have caught wind of it in time to chase them down before they make it back to their lair, their home nation, behind enemy lines, etc.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The bad guys escaped by stealing a conveyance that the characters know better than they do. The bad guys duck down a metaphorical (or literal) side-road, trying to hide or blend into an environment (often one hostile to the characters). If the bad guys cross the adventure's "finish line" (cross the county line, make the warp jump, etc.) there's no way to pursue them beyond it.

    Breaking and Entering ♥♥

    Mission objective: enter the dangerous place, and retrieve the vital dingus or valuable person. Overcome the area's defenses to do so.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The goal is not to extract a thing, but to destroy a thing or interfere with a process (kill the force-screen generator, assassinate the evil king, stop the spell from being cast, wreck the invasion plans, close the portal). The goal has moved. The goal is information, which must be broadcast or otherwise released from the area as soon as it is found. The job must be done without alerting anyone. The characters don't know the place is dangerous. The characters must replace the thing with another thing.

    Delver's Delight ♥♥♥♥♥

    The characters are treasure-hunters, who have caught wind of a treasure-laden ruin. They go to explore it, and must deal with its supernatural denizens to win the treasure and get out alive.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The treasure itself is something dangerous. The treasure isn't in a ruin, but in a wilderness or even hidden somewhere "civilized." The treasure is someone else's rightful property. The treasure turns out to have a will of its own.

    Don't Eat The Purple Ones ♥♥♥♥♥

    The characters are stranded in a strange place, and must survive by finding food and shelter, and then worry about getting back home.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The characters must survive only for a short period of time, until help arrives, the ship and/or radio is repaired, or some such thing (in "repair" scenarios, sometimes the characters must discover some fact about the local environment that will make such repairs possible).

    Escort Service ♥♥♥♥

    The characters have a valuable object or person, which needs to be taken to a safe place or to its rightful owner, etc. They must undertake a dangerous journey in which one or more factions (and chance and misfortune) try to deprive them of the thing in their care.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The thing or person is troublesome, and tries to escape or sidetrack the characters. The destination has been destroyed or suborned by the enemy, and the characters must take upon themselves the job that either the destination or their charge was meant to do when it got there. The person is a person attempting a political defection. Safe arrival at the destination doesn't end the story; the characters must then bargain with their charge as their token (exchanging money for a hostage, for instance). The characters must protect the target without the target knowing about it.

    How Much For Just The Dingus? ♥♥

    Within a defined area, something important and valuable exists. The characters (or their employers) want it, but so do one or more other groups. The ones that get it will be the ones that can outthink and outrace the others, deal best with the natives of the area, and learn the most about their target. Each competing group has its own agenda and resources.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The natives require the competing factions to gather before them as pals to state their cases. The valuable thing was en route somewhere when its conveyance or courier wrecked or vanished.

    I Beg Your Pardon?

    The characters are minding their own business when they are attacked or threatened. They don't know why. They must solve the mystery of their attacker's motives, and in the meantime fend off more attacks. They must put two and two together to deal with the problem.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The characters have something that the bad guys want - but they don't necessarily realize it. The bad guys are out for revenge for a dead compatriot from a previous adventure. The bad guys have mistaken the characters for somebody else.

    Look, Don't Touch ♥♥♥♥

    The characters are working surveillance - spying on a person, gathering information on a beast in the wild, scouting a new sector. Regardless of the scale, the primary conflict (at least at the start) is the rule that they are only to watch, listen and learn. They are not to make contact or let themselves be known.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The target gets itself in trouble and the characters must decide whether to break the no-contact rule in order to mount a rescue.

    Manhunt ♥♥♥♥

    Someone is gone: they've run away, gotten lost, or simply haven't called home in a while. Somebody misses them or needs them returned. The characters are called in to find them and bring them back.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The target has been kidnapped (possibly to specifically lure the characters). The target is dangerous and escaped from a facility designed to protect the public. The target is valuable and escaped from a place designed to keep him safe, cozy, and conveniently handy. The target has a reason for leaving that the characters will sympathize with. The target has stumbled across another adventure (either as protagonist or victim), which the characters must then undertake themselves. The missing "person" is an entire expedition or pilgrimage of some kind. The target isn't a runaway or missing/lost - they're just someone that the characters have been hired to track down (possibly under false pretenses).

    Missing Memories ♥♥♥

    One or more of the characters wakes up with no memory of the recent past, and now they find themselves in some kind of trouble they don't understand. The characters must find the reason for the memory lapse, and solve any problems they uncover in the meantime.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The forgetful charactrers voluntarily suppressed or erased the memories, and they find themselves undoing their own work.

    Most Peculiar, Mamma

    Something both bad and inexplicable is happening (racial tension is being fired up in town, all the power is out, the beer supply is drained, it's snowing in July, Voyager still has fans, hordes of aliens are eating all the cheese), and a lot of people are very troubled by it. The characters must track the phenomenon to its source, and stop it.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The characters are somehow unwittingly responsible for the whole thing. What seems to be a problem of one nature (technological, personal, biological, chemical, magical, political, etc) is actually a problem of an alternate one.

    Not In Kansas ♥♥

    The characters are minding their own business and find themselves transported to a strange place. They must figure out where they are, why they are there and how to escape.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    They were brought there specifically to help someone in trouble. They were brought there by accident, as a by-product of something strange and secret. Some of the characters' enemies were transported along with them (or separately), and now they have a new battleground, and innocents to convince which guys are the good guys.

    Pandora's Box ♥♥

    Somebody has tinkered with Things Man Ought Not, or opened a portal to the Mean People Dimension, cracked a wall at the state prison, or summoned an ancient Babylonian god into a penthouse. Before the characters can even think of confronting the source of the trouble, they must deal with the waves of trouble already released by it: monsters, old foes out for vengeance, curious aliens who think cars/citizens/McDonald's hamburgers resemble food, and so forth.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The characters can't simply take the released badness to the mat; they have to collect it and shove it back into the source before it the adventure can really end. The characters are drawn in to the source and must solve problems on the other side before returning to this one. A secret book, code, or other rare element is necessary to plug the breach (maybe just the fellow who opened it). A close cousin to this plot is the basic "somebody has traveled into the past and messed with our reality" story.

    Quest For the Sparkly Hoozits ♥♥♥♥

    Somebody needs a dingus (to fulfill a prophecy, heal the monarch, prevent a war, cure a disease, or what have you). The characters must find a dingus. Often an old dingus, a mysterious dingus, and a powerful dingus. The characters must learn more about it to track it down, and then deal with taking it from wherever it is.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The dingus is incomplete when found (one of the most irritating and un-fun plot twists in the universe). Somebody already owns it (or recently stole it, sometimes with legitimate claim or cause). The dingus is information, or an idea, or a substance, not a specific dingus. The characters must "go undercover" or otherwise infiltrate a group or society, gaining the dingus by guile or stealth.

    Recent Ruins ♥♥♥♥♥

    A town, castle, starship, outpost, or other civilized construct is lying in ruins. Very recently, it was just dandy. The characters must enter the ruins, explore them, and find out what happened.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    Whatever ruined the ruins (including mean people, weird radiation, monsters, a new race, ghosts) is still a threat; the characters must save the day. The inhabitants destroyed themselves. The "ruins" are a derelict ship or spaceship, recently discovered. The "ruin" is a ghost town, stumbled across as the characters travel - but the map says the town is alive and well.

    Safari ♥♥♥♥♥

    The characters are on a hunting expedition, to capture or kill and elusive and prized creature. They must deal with its environment, its own ability to evade them, and possibly its ability to fight them.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The creature is immune to their devices and weapons. There are other people actively protecting the creature. The creature's lair allows the characters to stumble onto another adventure.

    Score One for the Home Team ♥♥

    The characters are participants in a race, contest, tournament, scavenger hunt or other voluntary bit of sport. They must win.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The other contestants are less honest, and the characters must overcome their attempts to win dishonestly. The characters are competing for a deeper purpose than victory, such as to keep another contestant safe, or spy on one, or just to get into the place where the event goes down. The characters don't wish to win; they just wish to prevent the villain from winning. The event is a deliberate test of the characters abilities (for entry into an organization, for example). The event becomes more deadly than it's supposed to.

    Stalag 23 ♥♥♥♥♥

    The characters are imprisoned, and must engineer an escape, overcoming any guards, automatic measures, and geographic isolation their prison imposes on them.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    Something has happened in the outside world and the prison security has fallen lax because of it. The characters have been hired to "test" the prison - they aren't normal inmates. Other prisoners decide to blow the whistle for spite or revenge. The characters are undercover to spy on a prisoner, but are then mistaken for real inmates and kept incarcerated. The characters must escape on a tight schedule to get to another adventure outside the walls.

    Take Us To Memphis And Don't Slow Down ♥♥♥

    The characters are on board a populated conveyance (East Indiaman, Cruise Ship, Ferry, Sleeper Starship), when it is hijacked. The characters must take action while the normals sit and twiddle.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The "hijackers" are government agents pulling a complicated caper, forcing the characters to choose sides. The hijackers don't realize there is a secondary danger that must be dealt with, and any attempt to convince them is viewed as a trick. The normals are unhelpful or even hostile to the characters because they think the character are just making matters worse.

    Troublemakers ♥♥

    A bad guy (or a group of them, or multiple parties) is kicking up a ruckus, upsetting the neighbors, poisoning the reservoirs, or otherwise causing trouble. The characters have to go where the trouble is, locate the bad guys, and stop the party.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    The characters must not harm the perpetrator(s); they must be bagged alive and well. The bad guys have prepared something dangerous and hidden as "insurance" if they are captured. The "bad guy" is a monster or dangerous animal (or an intelligent creature that everybody thinks is a monster or animal). The "bad guy" is a respected public figure, superior officer, or someone else abusing their authority, and the characters might meet hostility from normally-helpful quarters who don't accept that the bad guy is bad. A balance of power perpetuates the trouble, and the characters must choose sides to tip the balance and fix things. The "trouble" is diplomatic or political, and the characters must make peace, not war.

    Uncharted Waters ♥♥♥♥

    The characters are explorers, and their goal is to enter an unknown territory and scope it out. Naturally, the job isn't just going to be surveying and drawing sketches of local fauna; something is there, something fascinating and threatening.
    Common Twists & Themes:
    Either the place itself is threatening (in which case the characters must both play National Geographic and simultaneously try to escape with their skin, sanity, and credit rating) or the place itself is very valuable and wonderful, and something else there is keen on making sure the characters don't let anyone else know. Other potential conflicts involve damage to the characters' conveyance or communication equipment, in which case this becomes Don't Eat the Purple Ones.