Advice on a Plothook

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Advice on a Plothook

Postby Coolman » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:33 pm

I thought up this plothook set either in Aysle or Living Land. The basic plot is that when America or Britain was invaded, the fallout caused a mass security breach in a maximum security penitentiary, causing the inmates to take over. The inmates, of course being freaked out by their world changing before their eyes, refuse to partake in their new-found freedom and stay inside the walls of the prison. Eventually, they end up being critically low on food. The inmates decided the only way to get new supplies without leaving the prison was to take the first person that wandered into the prison hostage. That person ends up being a friend of the PCs. The inmates refuse to release the hostage without food and water. The plot would be the PCs and their struggle to get the hostage free from a group of desperate criminals.

I want advice on how to make this plothook work in either Aysle or The Living Land and how to involve minions of the High Lord of that region.

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Re: Advice on a Plothook

Postby Arkat » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:14 am

I think you have the basis for a great scenario that could work in both Aysle or Living land. One way to involve the High Lords is to make the prison the location of a stela. Perhaps the prison director was a cultist that agreed to hide a stela in the prison basement. Being killed in the riots that followed the invasion was never part of the plan, and now the high lord needs to reassert control without drawing too much attention (the prison is houses one of the outlying stelae).

So now you have a group of frightened criminals in walled stronghold, probably transformed to the new reality, and a high lord that wants to gain control quietly. In Aysle this could mean that the prison has turned into a bandit keep or perhaps even better: a real Dungeon. In Living Land the buildings could be relatively intact (Law of Wonders) but the inmates having gone full Lord of The Flies with warring gangs/tribes.

Enter the players that arrive at the same time as the emissary of the high lord.

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Re: Advice on a Plothook

Postby Gargoyle » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:17 am

Reminds me of season 3 of the Walking Dead. I could see a lot of different scenarios; what happens to all the prisoners that are caught up in the invasion?

Just riffing on the ideas above:

- About half of ords transform within 3 months (in a pure zone, only 11% in a dominant), so at Day 90 a prison would be a very interesting place in any realm. Food and other resources would be running low (although Lanala may not be a problem in the LL, biggest issue would be surviving other prisoners and possibly creatures that appear), and various new cliques (gangs) would form.
- Maybe instead of a hostage situation, one of the prisoners is a relative or friend of a PC, and prison life as well as a new reality may have changed that person, at least on the surface.
- Rescuing prisoners is a pretty noble cause, but it would generate some controversy; it's noble because they don't deserve to starve or be executed by invaders, but controversial because there may be non-criminals that still need saving still. The Delphi Council might send them to free prisoners trapped behind the lines and lead them to a hardpoint simply because it's the right thing to do, or they might have some ulterior motives - there could be Storm Knights among the inmates (it could be a PC!). This might cause some consternation with the current residents of the hardpoint, and there may be some problem prisoners or some serious felons that the Storm Knights may have to keep cuffed and supervise until they are transferred to a Core Earth facility. Of course some of them have transformed so they can't be transferred and they have to figure out what to do with them.
- Law of Wonders could cause a prison to take on a different reality. So you're really not limited to LL axioms and world laws, you could create a new cosm that is a prison realm with new rules to explore; something like Tharkold but perhaps they couldn't freely exit and have to defeat whoever is in charge to escape the realm.
- Non-living objects transform too; in Aysle a prison might still be a prison, but a medieval fantasy one. Or perhaps it becomes a fortress and the prisoners become soldiers swearing loyalty to the biggest bully who leads them in bandit raids across the countryside; their personalities wouldn't completely change, most of them would be criminals still. Again, not everyone would transform immediately, so there would be some interesting politics with the Core Earth ords and reality rated characters that are left.
- All sorts of prison stories are possible if the SK's spend some time there, with gangs, cliques, escape attempts, riots, and moral choices galore, but of course with a Torg twist.

Good post, generates a lot of ideas.
Last edited by Gargoyle on Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice on a Plothook

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:24 am

Gargoyle wrote:Law of Wonders could cause a prison to take on a different reality. So you're really not limited to LL axioms and world laws, you could create a new cosm that is a prison realm with new rules to explore; something like Tharkold but perhaps they couldn't freely exit and have to defeat whoever is in charge to escape the realm.

My first thought in reading the plot overview is that LL would make it difficult to run out of food. I also thought that the Law of Wonders could place them in a new reality where the Law of Life doesn't hold much sway.

Now I have images of a psychic prison. No guards. Prisoners are kept in check by a ubiquitous warden that pervades the walls and ceiling and can mind-fry any prisoner trying to escape. The Storm Knights have to defeat the physical form of the warden. Or maybe there is nothing corporeal about it, and the psionics expert (if you have one) can shine by doing a DSR to wrest control of the prison away from the warden. What is everybody else doing during this? Why, fending off the mind-controlled inmates sent to kill them. But can they do this without killing the people they are trying to protect?

Hmm, I think I may steal that one for my home game.
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Re: Advice on a Plothook

Postby MalicWanderer » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:02 am

Lots of great ideas here. If you wanted to keep the original hostage for food idea, even in the LL, you could have the prison be a hardpoint, or inside the dominant portion of one at least. Maybe after their original prison broke down they were running from dinos and ended up in Alcatraz?

The prisoners are too afraid of the dinos to go out and get food, so they capture the scout(s) sent to investigate the place satellite imaging says isn't covered in jungle, looking for a hardpoint or wonder zone.

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Re: Advice on a Plothook

Postby bchoinski » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:37 am

You almost have the seed of Eric Flint's "Timespike"

Captain Mark Stephens was overseeing the change of shifts at the state of Illinois' maximum-security prison when the world outside was suddenly ripped. They thought it was an earthquake until they found that the Mississippi river had disappeared, along with all signs of civilization. Then the sun came up -- in the wrong direction. And a dinosaur came by and scratched its h ...more

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Re: Advice on a Plothook

Postby Coolman » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:54 pm

Good ideas so far. I wonder how hard it is for a high lord to contact a cultist in advance to set up the stela before the invasion? Also, i wonder which high lord is more likely to have a Core Earth servant before the Wars, The High Lord of the LL or the evil Lord of Aysle?

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Re: Advice on a Plothook

Postby Big Lurker » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:41 pm

I think Aysle would work better if you're going with the cultist angle; Baruk Kaah doesn't strike me as the type. As for contact, the High Lords had to send followers over on dimthreads to plant the original stelae; an ambitious mage came across the Warden's collection of esoteric books/talismans/etc. (Possibly was looking for Eternity Shards) and inducted him (maybe even gave him a minor spell to 'encourage' guards to ignore/protect the weird thing in the basement). Plus, while still low tech, Aysle would be easier to get a message out; hard to hold a hostage if no one knows you have them.
I may borrow this idea myself; friend held hostage in a fortified keep/gaol, large number of hostile prisoners, both Core Earth and Aysle, a prisoner may have come across the Warden's magic collection and picked up a few tricks himself, culminating in a fight to destroy a stelae... It practically writes itself...

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