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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GoblinGilmartin's Avatar

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    Default Stealing plot for your game?

    So, I wrote a blog post today about stealing things from other media wholesale to put in your game and sneak past players. For me, my personal favorite instances of this were A. Stealing an entire dungeon from a freddi-fish game, and B. Working in the Graverobber from Repo! into my game.

    DMs, what are some of your proudest moments of taking a plot, a character or a location from another piece of fiction and sneaking it past your group?

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    I'm not sure this counts as it's pretty obscure but a lot of the LA Underworld and the Changelings involved in it in my 'Changeling the Lost' game are taken form a comic called 'Whisper'
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastergilgamesh View Post
    So, I wrote a blog post today about stealing things from other media wholesale to put in your game and sneak past players. For me, my personal favorite instances of this were A. Stealing an entire dungeon from a freddi-fish game, and B. Working in the Graverobber from Repo! into my game.
    I have to ask... Were you inspired to do this by Lucahjin's playthrough of at least two of the games in that series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastergilgamesh View Post
    DMs, what are some of your proudest moments of taking a plot, a character or a location from another piece of fiction and sneaking it past your group?
    Right now the only thing that comes to mind is the landscramble between the European powers in the age of colonization and the rush for Africa, which weren't exactly fictional.

    And is more of a backdrop of the setting sort of thing.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    I once roughly borrowed the plots from "Five Deadly Venoms" and "Kid with the Golden Arm" for two different one shot Feng Shui games. I didn't completely sneak the Venoms past, one of my players recognized it (I didn't think anyone in the group knew the Shaw Bros. movies that well).

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    St Fan's Avatar

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    Well, I wouldn't call it "sneaking past" because I was pretty open about it, but I've used several gamebooks as straight D&D 2nd edition adventures. It was usually for a solo player, so it worked very well. Sure, I usually cheated a bit, not following the storyline rigidly, to either avoid the player dying stupidly, or on the other hand to make sure the challenge was sufficient.

    Most notably, I've done this way the Lone Wolf book The Cauldron of Fear from beginning to end, with minimal setting adjustment.

    Oh yes, I remember now, I've also turned Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom into an adventure, again quite faithfully, for AD&D. The plane ride was turned into giant eagle ride, if my memory is good (or was it a dragon?). The player hadn't seen the movie yet, so it worked.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GoblinGilmartin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    I have to ask... Were you inspired to do this by Lucahjin's playthrough of at least two of the games in that series?

    T'was not. I played those games all the time as a kid, and I just had the idea to do so, based on the ancient passages and gem puzzle.. I downloaded FF3 and clocked how long it took me to get to the end. Two minutes. When I got to the end, I mapped out on grid paper which rooms were connected and how, then I made a map.

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Not so much a plot but a character.

    For a iron kingdoms game I created a NPC; specifically a Llaelese noble of dubious reputation. His home base had been moved to Corvis ahead of the Khadorian invasion of Llael (suggesting he has either impeccable timing or that he knew the invasion was coming). This guy had his fingers in everything, he had connections to the Llaelese resistance, was mixed up with the Kayazy and a ton of other stuff. He was basically a gangster and a major part of the campaign.

    In order to show how corrupt this guy was I made him grossly obese. Almost every time the party had dealings with him he was eating. I mean he had a feast laid out in front of him. He drank expensive wine, would take a bite off a piece of food and throw the rest away, that sort of stuff. I gave him a pretty “slave girl” to hang off of him; I even gave him a weasely majordomo to introduce people to him.

    It wasn’t until one of my players referred to him as Jabba that it dawned on me. I had nearly strait up copied Jabba the Hutt.
    Last edited by TheThan; 2014-09-13 at 08:04 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheThan View Post
    Not so much a plot but a character.

    For a iron kingdoms game I created a NPC; specifically a Llaelese noble of dubious reputation. His home base had been moved to Corvis ahead of the Khadorian invasion of Llael (suggesting he has either impeccable timing or that he knew the invasion was coming). This guy had his fingers in everything, he had connections to the Llaelese resistance, was mixed up with the Kayazy and a ton of other stuff. He was basically a gangster and a major part of the campaign.

    In order to show how corrupt this guy was I made him grossly obese. Almost every time the party had dealings with him he was eating. I mean he had a feast laid out in front of him. He drank expensive wine, would take a bite of a piece of food and throw the rest away, that sort of stuff. I gave him a pretty “slave girl” to hang off of him; I even gave him a weasely majordomo to introduce people to him.

    It wasn’t until one of my players referred to him as Jabba that I dawned on me. I had nearly strait up copied Jabba the Hutt.
    Love it. How did you handle it after that?

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastergilgamesh View Post
    Love it. How did you handle it after that?
    I actually head-desked because I didn’t realize that I copied Jabba, and I’m the starwars nerd.

    after this stunning realization I had the “slave girl” take over his organization after he choked to death on a chicken bone. She was Ordic and secretly part of the King Baird’s spy network.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheThan View Post
    I actually head-desked because I didn’t realize that I copied Jabba, and I’m the starwars nerd.

    after this stunning realization I had the “slave girl” take over his organization after he choked to death on a chicken bone. She was Ordic and secretly part of the King Baird’s spy network.
    Smoooth. Very smooth.

    GraveGobbler Avatar still made by Ceika!

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Wow, so much. Entire plot arcs from obscure ps1 rpgs, that most of my players never heard about, adventures from old dungeon magazines and images from movies. But specially magic items. I have a big file with magic item descriptions from lots of games; dragon age, witcher, castlevania, breath of fire... most times my players find an item with a cool, interesting story, it's from a game, and they never realize it. (Like Heirsplitter, a dwarven axe that became magical because of its story, being the axe of a noble that killed many other in glorious battle but that was later taken in battle by an opponent that used to cleave open the noble's head. Some time later his noble sister dropped the axe down a mine shaft and it hit in the head a young noble in a lower level, also cleaving his head. The axe was deemed cursed and long forgotten. In my games it caused extra damage against highborn people)
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastergilgamesh View Post
    Smoooth. Very smooth.
    It actually made sense; the party had never seen the guy without the girl. So I decided she was present for every major dealing this guy had with people, so she knew everything.

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    Kobold

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    Oh Dear God yes, I've done this.

    My "crowning moment" of this has to be during the Alternity campaign (our second longest-running). It's a science fiction campaign where the PC's run a franchise of a mercenary megacorporation. The "awesome twist" the players figured out quickly is that it was actually the far future of a fantasy campaign we'd done once upon a time (pun intended) and now each of the major races from that campaign were on separate planets just reaching the point of space travel.

    Well, one of the races (Wood Elves) that was initially thought to be missing turned out to just be highly isolationist and the PC's took a job to try and break the ice \ open up real contact with them. They landed to find that grass\trees\environment was garishly colored, with different elves (the odd names) wearing outfits of the same color, speaking about how they loved Friend Planet, and living in some kind of weird caste system that the players were trying to figure out when I saw the light go on in one of the player's eyes. Followed immediately by a facepalm. "TheEmerged, you didn't."

    I had. The Wood Elf planet was essentially the Alpha Complex. From Paranoia(tm).

    That's one of two or three times the gamer group threatened to kill me

    ============================

    The current campaign is named Sky High, after the Disney movie of the same name, and like my signature says the name ain't the only thing I borrowed. The students in the class the PC's are in include...

    Shino (a direct lift), Pain (renamed PushPull and brought more in line with the power level), and Hinata (leavened with Psylocke of the X-men and named "Bah Ne" like a character from the old Jem cartoon) from the Naruto world.

    Drummer & Jakita (and originally Elijah Snow) from the Planetary comic.

    Forearm and Strobe, villains from the X-men group The MLF (Mutant Liberation Front).

    "Ylsa", a pretty direct translation of Elsa from Frozen (one of the players is a pre-teen girl, this was pretty much demanded) who replaced Elijah Snow

    Goose, a direct lift from the old Galaxy Rangers cartoon.

    GloriaGal (with a different power set) and Trixie from an obscure TV show called "The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam!"

    Rapier, essentially the Queen of Swords (a female Zorro knockoff).

    Shield, essentially a female Captain America one-off (main difference being that she can share her defenses instead of throwing said shield).

    Clutch, a merger of the character from the earlier issues of the 80's GIJoe comic with the "motorcycle mecha" from the third act of the Robotech cartoon.

    AFOB - Arms Fall Off Boy, a joke character from the Legion of Superheroes comic, played straight. No really, I started out going "How can I make this a legitimate power?" and went from there.

    Sphere (a female) is actually a merger of a non-speaking extra from the Sky High movie itself merged with Bouncing Boy from the Legion of Superheroes. The game is in HERO System, and the "Bouncing Boy" is a known semi-exploit in that system. Mr. Boyd is a one-off of the Mr. Boy from the Sky High movie as well.

    Tyler Marlocke from the PS238 comic. Additionally, I merged the boy that can turn anything into food from PS238's Rainmaker Program with Matter Eater Lad from the Legion of Superheroes to create "MEL". Zodon from PS238 is merged with a couple similar mad scientists types & took the name of Medula from the Sky High movie.

    ...and many others, including characters from previous superheroic campaigns we've run. Heck the PC's include a character loosely based on Doctor Who and a character who might be described as the child of Gambit (X-Men) and Claire (Heroes). There are many adult NPC's in the world that the PC's haven't met yet that are one-offs and direct lifts from the Avengers & JLA (Warbird, AKA Captain\ MS Marvel, for example, is Tyler Marlocke's mom here).
    Last edited by TheEmerged; 2014-09-13 at 08:41 PM.
    • Sometimes, the knights are the monsters
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    • Pain is nature's way of saying you're not dead and the other guy is.
    • Current Project: Sky High, the superheroic High School campaign. The school's name isn't the only thing I borrowed...

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Fight Club. One player wanted to play a crazy character so I gave him a pet Tyler Durden. Took the party the entire game to figure it out.
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by valadil View Post
    Fight Club. One player wanted to play a crazy character so I gave him a pet Tyler Durden. Took the party the entire game to figure it out.
    That's actually pretty clever. I'll have to remember to do the same should someone try to create a crazy character. It's been years since i've seen fight club, but we don't talk about fight club.

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    I ran a successful Shadowrun game where I stole the plot from the Three Musketeers wholesale. Feuding corps replaced France and England, corporate espionage replaced romance, prototype Diamond Chips replaced the Diamond Necklace. NPCs were lifted practically straight across - The Red Bishop as the string-pulling head of security for one corp, the amoral mercenary Lady Winter, and, of course, Duke of Buckingham George Villiers as himself (the Villiers family runs one of Shadowrun's canon megacorps).

    The players had fun (naturally they were, without knowing it, the Musketeers), but never had a clue that I was stealing the plot.

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    For the game I'm currently writing up, I'm basically stealing the entire ending to Final Fantasy II. The BBEG is actually banking on the party killing him, so that his ghostly spirit can rise up to take over the Lower Planes and return again as a powerful archdemon.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by runeghost View Post
    I ran a successful Shadowrun game where I stole the plot from the Three Musketeers wholesale. Feuding corps replaced France and England, corporate espionage replaced romance, prototype Diamond Chips replaced the Diamond Necklace. NPCs were lifted practically straight across - The Red Bishop as the string-pulling head of security for one corp, the amoral mercenary Lady Winter, and, of course, Duke of Buckingham George Villiers as himself (the Villiers family runs one of Shadowrun's canon megacorps).

    The players had fun (naturally they were, without knowing it, the Musketeers), but never had a clue that I was stealing the plot.
    *clap**clap**clap**clap*

    GraveGobbler Avatar still made by Ceika!

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Pretty much everything I do is based on seeing something and thinking I could do better.

    Almost all of my setting is made that way.

    However particularly cool is my idea for the next big adventure after the current one, which is based on the Feros level from Mass Effect, with an aboleth and a snakeman sorcerer.
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    I've lifted Ankh-Morpork wholesale from Discworld and then threw Dr. Dinosaur from Atomic Robo in there for good measure. I had plans to incorporate an Abolith as a Forever from the Ayreon albums but it never happened. That was fun.

    But pretty much everything I've ever run or played has been blatantly stolen. Sometimes I even both to file off the serial number.
    Thanks to Lindorm for the Ziltoid avatar.

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    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    I stole the beginning sequence (in the mining colony) from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords for a Savage Worlds: Mass Effect game.
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I stole the beginning sequence (in the mining colony) from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords for a Savage Worlds: Mass Effect game.
    Ooo~ How did you handle HK-50?
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    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Ooo~ How did you handle HK-50?
    Never fully developed it. Mostly the general "You wake up in a dead space station."
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *Keep faith, trust to love. Fight with honor, but fight to win. -Wonder Woman, The Circle (Gail Simone)
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    I ran a Shadowrun mission where the PCs were hired to solve a murder mystery at an old mansion. The players didn't figure out until near the end that I had, in fact, stolen not only the plot to the game board Clue, but stole the layout of the mansion from Kill Doctor Lucky. I even mixed it up a bit where some of the NPCs (and yes I shamelessly kept a lot of the original names like Sergeant Gray, Scarlet, Col. mustard, etc.) did actively try to kill Dr. Lucky, but had failed.

    In the end, the PCs finally deduced correctly that doctor's own dog killed him, having been a werewolf kind of monstrosity.
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    I keep meaning to map out Luigi's Mansion (for game cube) and use it as a dungeon map.

    I did put Daniel Leary and Adel Mundy (With the Lightnings, by David Drake) in my Star Wars: Age of Rebelion game as imperial defectors.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakaydos View Post
    I keep meaning to map out Luigi's Mansion (for game cube) and use it as a dungeon map.
    Ohh... That sounds delightful. I would love to run that dungeon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    #Dip Potion of Acid in Water

    -Player killed by elementary chemistry.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    True story, which I made the basis for a campaign:

    In 1598, a pair of English adventurer/merchant/would-be diplomats arrived at the court of the Shah of Persia, with the aim of (a) getting rich, and (b) stirring up the Persians against the Turks, who were at that time threatening the very heart of Europe. The Shah was all for it - the Persians never needed much stirring to attack the Turks - and employed them as mercenaries to teach his army the arts of modern artillery, before dispatching them as emissaries to the most important courts of Europe to try to unite the Christian powers in a crusade against the Turks.

    (For context, you need to understand that this was 300 years after the last crusade, and the Christian powers had been fully occupied fighting each other for much of the past century. It'd be like someone today saying "why don't we get a bunch of people together and go grow tobacco in Virginia, I hear there's good profit to be made there".)

    The Englishmen spent the next 3 years travelling all over Europe, trying very hard to hobnob with the great and powerful wherever they went, and of course utterly failed to produce any kind of "crusade".

    My campaign didn't work out quite the same way... To this day, I'm not sure whether the real life or the campaign version unfolded into the more unlikely adventure.
    Last edited by veti; 2014-09-18 at 06:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrl View Post
    "They didn't change the alignment system, they just augmented its inherent weaknesses and limitations with a few gaping holes."
    "Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." - G K Chesterton


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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    It's not so much plot, but again some characters. I'm running a modified 3.5/Pathfinder hybrid in a custom setting using the Necromorphs from Dead Space as primary enemies as well as making the main antagonist be very similar to Dr. Challus Mercer from the first game. I was also pretty honest about it with a pair of my players who had recognized it, but the others had no clue.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    I steal plots and characters and elements all over the place. That's not counting adventures and ideas from one game I've hammered into another (like running a bunch of Traveller scenarios for Dragonstar).
    - Ringworld for Dragonstar. It ended badly. This was years ago and my gf still bitches about occasionally.
    - Dead Space for a Star Wars game. This one ended ok. Jedi have a slight advantage over an engineer
    - Dusk Maiden of Amnesia for an Oriental Adventures game. This one was ok.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Stealing plot for your game?

    Don't tell me you don't want to base a city on the City of Ember.

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