View Full Version : Plot Ideas? My players stay OUT. That means you Gaul.

2010-03-04, 05:07 PM
Hello all! I am in need of some inspiration. I am about to introduce the BBEG into my campaign and I need some supplemental side-quests for future use.

The BBEG is a very old man who has discovered how to extend his life through magical means (arcane magic is next to nonexistant in my campaign). When he was 25 some crazy events happened and he survived while his wife and children were tortured and killed in front of him. Basically, he started out trying to find a way to prevent all future tragedies like his, but over the years his grief and pain twisted him. He has lost sight of why he began his search for knowledge and now is searching for as much as possible, no matter the cost.

So he still looks like a 45 year old, but over the past 700 years or so he has been conducting extremely unethical experiments to further his own knowledge. Now I need ideas of terrible things that he could do that the PC's could discover and fix!

An example of one of the experiments that I thought up is:

Note: I haven't decided on any names, so I just refer to the characters as nouns.
So ~300 years ago the BBEG manipulated a knight into raping the woman that he loved (she loved him too). She was emotionally traumatized by this, and wanted nothing more to do with him. After the woman had his child, naturally she didn't want to share custody or give him the child, but the knight wanted his baby. After further manipulation by the BBEG and other events he ends up chasing her into the forest. The woman manages to lose the knight temporarily as, unbeknownst to her, the BBEG covers her tracks or something. Then the BBEG approaches the woman, telling her that he can save her baby from the now murderous knight, telling her that if the knight catches her, he will kill both her and the baby. The BBEG gets her to agree, then takes the baby from her; she stays behind because she thinks she would just slow them down.

Next the knight finds her, (rapes her again?) and kills her. However, before leaving her to her death, the BBEG had left her an enchanted pendant that he spent years developing. As her blood soaks into the ground, the pendant forces her soul to be transferred to the tree that "drinks" her blood. Thus, she becomes the center of the forest and over the centuries she spent alone grieving for her lost baby, she goes quite insane. The PCs will need to find her and save her due to the phenomenon below:

Gradually she begins to sprout wooden rings as "fruit." She produced the rings to hopefully entrap the BBEG one day and force him to return the baby to her so that she may rest in peace. They are of braided wood, and look to be quite cheap, but naturally they're quite magical and indestructible. About a month after someone puts one on, the woman-tree is able to communicate telepathically with them. However, since she's gone a bit batty, she is beyond meaningful communication outside of stuff like "bring me back my baby, return to me what was mine, come home child."

Apart from being telepathically bonded to the tree, just before the first message is sent from the tree, the braids in the ring sprout little wooden tentacles and burrow into the wearer's hand. They weave their way up the arm, forming a layer of very hard wooden armor under the skin, improving ac and reducing cha. The process continues after 4 weeks, the weave going up to the shoulder and locking the elbow in place, increasing the ac bonus and cha penalty as well as rendering the arm fairly useless. There are a couple other stages with similar results, with the end result of the wearer being transformed into one of those strange trees that the PCs have been seeing around. The ones with the images of horrified faces colored into the bark at around head level. The wearer has about 3 months to figure out what is going on and bring his party to the forest to speak with the treewoman.

I've already gotten one of my PCs to wear one and he has reached the second stage of the encasement. He feels a compulsion to head towards the forest in the north east. I might through some time consuming moral decisions at them to see how long he'll let the transformation go. Hahaha! :smallbiggrin:

So, does anyone have an idea for an experiment? You don't need to be nearly as detailed as my example, just give me the basics. You can elaborate as much as you want though, I don't mean to limit your creative process!

Thanks to any who reply!

2010-03-04, 10:09 PM
You said that arcane magic is incredibly rare. Perhaps the BBEG wanted to study more magic, so he concocted some sort of elixir that would essentially force a user to gain magical/arcane abilities, but would be "burned out" by the magic inside them after a few months in a slow process, presumably mechanically represented by the slow draining of abilities and increase in CL, or whatever.

2010-03-05, 10:09 AM
Hmm, very cool. I think I'll need to have it spread some how or make the victim important to the PCs. OH! Perfect, I needed a plot continuation for one of the PCs' parents, so guess who gets the elixer? I hope the PCs can figure it out before their CON drains to zero! bwa ha ha!

2010-03-06, 09:01 AM
Well at least I got one reply. Come on people share the love :*(

2010-03-06, 09:18 AM
Perhaps he has found a sunken/underground tomb of a once powerful wizard centuries old, when (possibly in your campaign) magic wasn't non-existant. The BBEG has found this tomb, and now seeks to further his magical knowledge after finding some powerful items. Unfortunately for him, alot of the writings and what not have withered and become unintelligible. But he has something to go off of and try. The players might discover the tomb and find that he has turned it into a small outpost/base of operations. Perhaps the tomb is now infested with devils, since the evil wizard bound them to his service to further his own goals?

2010-03-06, 06:21 PM
Maybe your BBEG has been doing some experiments on enhancing human abilities (developing supernatural/Extraordinary abilities) on the nobles of a city/country to test the effects of the alterations over several generations. Using the nobles to have more documentation regarding bloodlines and the like. Maybe something is starting to go wrong with these nobles that the PCs have to sort out.

2010-03-06, 06:23 PM
You can become a lich with divine magic you know. Or failing that, a greater mummy (D&DG)

2010-03-06, 07:13 PM
Looking for weird magical experiments that you could turn into quests?

Hows this?
He experiments on lycanthropes to find out their connection to the moon. This involves subjecting them to various substances, various illusions of the moon and other unusal ideas. The end result is a group of savage lycantrhopes that are constantly in their hybrid form but are utterly insane/bloodthirsty. Unable to find his answer, he deems the experiments a failure and releases them into the wild, where they become the problems of others.

Edit: Thought of a second. How about he writes down some of his earlier experiments in Tome, but fearing that they might be read one day he places a curse on the Tome. Now, much later, he has no need for the Tome (with the writing of the experiments now erased) and has discarded it. However, the curse remains, and someone has stumbled upon the tome.

Fiery Diamond
2010-03-06, 07:16 PM
You can become a lich with divine magic you know. Or failing that, a greater mummy (D&DG)

This is completely and utterly irrelevant. If he has limits on his arcane magic availability, it is patently obvious that he doesn't include everything from everywhere (or even everything from core), so if he didn't say it could be done (and the context implied it could not) then it can't

On topic... Perhaps he could have developed some form of tome that increases the wearer's knowledge on a variety of topics but decreases their physical ability and places a compulsion on the reader to read it every day. The knowledge bonuses continue to increase (perhaps with bonuses to Int as well) and the physical abilities continue to decrease until you end up a dead know-it-all/genius. Or something along those lines, at any rate.

2010-03-06, 07:56 PM
How about this?

There is a city founded several hundred years ago by a wandering scholar (the BBEG). Stories are told about how the scholar led a group of refugees to this point and defeated a tribe of evil [orcs, goblins, whatever savage tribe]. In fact this was an elaborate plot to provide the BBEG with hundreds of souls and corpses upon which to test. Beneath the city, natural catacombs stretch far into the countryside. It is infested with golems, undead, and descendants of various acolytes of the BBEG's who have essentially formed a cult around him. Every year they ritually break into houses to kidnap children and continue the BBEG's research. The cult itself extends into the city where many priests pay homage to the Traveler, though the worshipers (and even most leaders) don't know the extent of their work. The catacombs have vast libraries related to their research and perhaps even equipment the party could find useful.

Sorry if that was a little random or hard to follow.

2010-03-07, 06:02 AM
Your BBEG could also be working with a group of monstrous humanoids or similar threat, promising to disrupt the local civilized authority's efforts to stop their expansion (sending patrols to the wrong areas, stopping reinforcements, and other disruptions) until the new larger area is properly secured. In return, the monstrous humanoids or similar threat promised to tell/show the BBEG what they know about some kind of shamanism or religion.

Maybe the PCs should investigate why all the plans and defenses the local authority uses fails every time instead of being asked to just deal with the problem(the threat could be too large for the party to deal with. I'm not saying they shouldn't be involved fighting the threat, but encounters with the threat could give clues to a human involved with them). If done properly you could start giving them a few vague clues about the BBEG and his goals, just be careful not to give too much away. (Once had a DM who started a conversation we had with a new NPC: "The vampire.......". It was a slip of the tongue (we knew nothing about the person, and were not suposed to know he was a vampire), and hilarious at the time, but it takes some of the fun of discovering the plot away)

2010-03-07, 09:50 PM
WOW! Thanks for the great replies guys. I will likely use every single idea posted as I love them all. There are so many ways that I can gradually begin to reveal info about the BBEG with these plots that I just had a DMgasm.
Thanks again!

Oh and I especially liked the two ideas involving tomes. Excellent.