Impractical Applications (Weaseling Out the Plan)

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been talking about antagonists with Grand Plans, how to keep these plans from seeming too dependent on creating victory conditions at the last minute, and moreso how to come up with their plans. I’d talk about my current efforts—Solace is a grandmaster of the Master Plan, even if trying [...]

Five Sources of Plan-Fodder

While I talked yesterday about stringing together details and questions to come up with an antagonist’s plan on the fly, space constraints left me rather vague about what sorts of details and questions might actually qualify. Here are a few I’ve either used or seen used to pretty good effect.

This will be dramatic now, what [...]

Reaching the Plan From the Beginning

Yesterday, I talked about figuring out the antagonist’s long-running overarching plan when you know the end but aren’t quite so sure about the middle. Today, I’m going to talk about it from the other direction: you’ve got the beginning, you’ve got a very vague idea what the antagonist wants (probably something vague like “Take over [...]

Reaching the Plan from the Ending

Last week, I talked about situations a writer or GM trying to run an antagonist with a Plan might be trying to run that opponent from (with regards to knowledge/lack of knowledge of the plan itself). Today, I’m going to look at how to get to that plan from one of those scenarios in a [...]

Getting to the Plan

Yesterday, I talked about the problems with having antagonists who Have a Plan that nobody in the audience can figure out. For the writer without an outline, though, or the GM improvising around the PCs, it can be difficult to make absolutely sure that the plan gets across. Here are some strategies to keep it [...]

What Plan, Dangit?

Readers, it has often been said that I like antagonists with Plans. I like antagonists with Plans. I love antagonists with Plans. I love the ones who can tell you every little detail, particularly the parts that you’re going to have to fit right into, but they’ve got it so thoroughly figured out that you [...]

Impractical Applications (So That’s the Plan)

I love chessmasters as characters. It’s that simple. I play them, when I can get an amenable GM. I use them as my antagonists, and sometimes as allied NPCs, and watch them when they start opposing each other.
And having these chessmasters around means that they have plans. They’re very good at it; my old favorite [...]

Planning: Unexpected Windfalls

I spent most of this week talking about situations in which somebody manages to plan, but not quite completely, around the behaviors of another group of characters. Most of my examples worked under the assumption that whatever happened that didn’t go according to plan was an inconvenience. After all, that’s the main sort of thing [...]

An Alternative To All According To Plan

Yesterday, I talked about working in situations in which one set of characters does something according to another character’s plan, and why the latter character shouldn’t have perfectly anticipated her opponents’ maneuvers. And since one should never say “don’t” without a “try this instead”, here’s one of my favorite alternatives and why it’s so awesome.
The [...]

The Generic Villain Meddles

You hear a lot about people like us having to deal with meddlers. Prophesied children of destiny, people who somehow get the right thing out of a whole mess of panicked reactions, deceptive protagonists who consider us too much fun not to mess with, and of course the occasional pack of teenagers who may or [...]