Executing Temptation

I talked yesterday about what makes a temptation plot interesting—but while it went into the theory and the meta-game rewards, it didn’t talk near enough about the execution. So let’s talk about what you need to think about when you’re putting together a temptation plot.
The first thing to keep in mind with temptation plots is [...]

The Joys of Temptation

We’re all familiar with the temptation plot—the offer of something important to a character in exchange for some often minor-sounding price—do something she wasn’t supposed to/didn’t want to do, don’t do something she was supposed to/did want to, stand aside for just five minutes at the right time…. yeah. Those. The ones where, regardless of [...]

Search Plotlines: Dealing with the Impossible

PCs have an absolute gift for not quite understanding what the word “impossible” means. If there’s something that can’t be done, it’s a better than even bet a PC has tried it. Sometimes, when they’re taking on impossible challenges, it’s something straightforward, like challenging an enemy who you know is far too strong for them; [...]

Rival Searchers: Alliances

One of the things I find most fascinating about having multiple rival searchers in a search plotline is the strange bedfellows it creates. If you’ve got more than three or four different parties trying to get the same thing, there are bound to be alliances, people working together—at least for now—to increase their chances. What [...]

Rival Searchers

It may not have been the first search plotline factor I mentioned, but the possibility of rival searchers, along with being a sure source of tension, is one of the most complicated potential elements of a search plotline. Each rival searcher only adds to the complexity.
How many are there? If you’re going for a straightforward [...]

Search Plotlines: Of Obstacles and Skills

When I talked about the questions we need to look into when constructing search plotlines, one of the ones I covered was what sorts of skills are required to find the object of the search. What I didn’t note is the interconnectedness between that and the obstacles to the successful completion of the search—after all, [...]

Where Are You Looking?

In a sense, “Where is it?” can be an optional question for the object of a search plotline—or at least, one that doesn’t necessarily require a very precise answer. Motile search targets, after all, have that obnoxious tendency not to stay in one place, and the answer to where they are might be “in this [...]

Why Objects Are (Often) Easier to Find Than Sentients

In yesterday’s riff on search plotlines, I mentioned that search plotlines centered around sentient, motile targets (or attended objects) are generally more complicated than ones based around simple objects. It’s rather like my Things You Might Want To Know When riff on rescue missions versus heists; the organic angle adds a lot to the difficulty [...]

Looking for Something?

Most of us—particularly those of us who spend most of our time in some variation on the fantasy genre—are used to the idea of plots based around looking for things. Granted, in most of our cases the plot is a quest: go there, where this thing is, surmounting dangers and obstacles and covering a mess [...]

Amoral Parties and Frame-Up Plots

Yesterday, I talked about plots based on someone—usually someone important to the PCs—being framed for a crime they didn’t commit. We know how these go with your standard good party: the shining heroes devoted to truth and justice will pretty much always step in for their wrongfully accused fellows. Let’s face it, though, not all [...]