The Situation

Brainstorm for settings and game ideas
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The Situation

Post by Agamemnon » 02 Sep 2018, 12:40

Sword & Scoundrel is fairly explicit in focusing on the players. Through their drives and traits, the player characters ultimately choose where the story is going to go -- but what about where they start?

Every good campaign begins with a situation. Sometimes called a kicker, the situation isn't just a general premise for the campaign, it's a specific event or circumstance that thrusts the story into action. The situation is where the GM gets to make their voice heard in the shape of the game to come, even giving the players a solid starting point from which to write their drives.

The situation inevitably springs from the premise, but any given premise could spawn a theoretically infinite number of situations.
Premise: The PCs are all important figures in a revolution to bring down a theocratic regime. For the good of the empire, the chains of the false god-emperor must be shattered and the man exposed for the pretender he is.

Situation: At the revolution's climax, revolutionary forces stormed the palace and with the help of a strange old priest slew the emperor. It was only in the howling, screaming, chittering aftermath that they realized without question and beyond dispute -- the emperor was a god... and they have killed him.

Premise: The PCs are members of and connected to one of the five most powerful noble houses in the kingdom. For generations, they have had a blood feud with a rival house that goes beyond any hope of reconciliation.

Situation: After the most recent clash between the houses threatened to engulf the kingdom in a civil war, the King himself has put his foot down and demand the two houses put a stop to this madness. The two houses were forced to enter a peace accord, swearing an oath that neither shall seek harm against the other or break the kings peace on pain of death and the stripping of title and lands from every member of the house responsible. No more than a week after the accords are signed, the former head of the PC's household dies mysteriously on a boar hunt. The house physician strongly suspects that the wine was poisoned with some form of sedative.
Premise: The PCs are members of prestigious Musketeers of the military household of the King of France -- or, more colloquially, the King's Musketeers. Swashbuckling adventure will ensue.

Situation: After an evening of carefree drinking and gambling in a lower-class tavern, they are set upon in an alleyway by armed men. The target? One of the PCs. One of the assassins? A Spaniard. No one knows why.
Have you been kicking around any ideas for your Scoundrel campaign?
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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Re: The Situation

Post by thirtythr33 » 06 Sep 2018, 10:29

Premise: The PCs are all in an army invading foreign territory. Maybe they were conscripted, a patriot serving their country, or just a mercenary looking to get rich, doesn't really matter.

Situation: The commander has decided that they are to follow a river to a shallow crossing at a small village downstream. When they arrive they see a commotion of people at the shores of the village, but they are no army. Mostly women by the looks of it. The commander gives the order to cross the river. As the army is coming up the shore the women attack them with flaming torches and stones while screaming like wild animals. Having crossed they can now see in the village is a circle of men wearing black robes and standing on a raised platform. They are chanting in a strange tongue and stretching their arms out to the sky. The army puts the women to the sword and advance next on to the chanters. They too are cut down, the chanters don't even defend themselves, chanting until the last. As the slaughter slows down, they begin to realize what is going on. The platform the chanters were standing on is a giant funeral pyre. A surviving woman, still carrying her flaming stick, lights the pyre ablaze which begins to consume the bodies of the chanters. The army has been tricked into participating in a dark ritual fueled by the sacrifice of the women and the chanters. Oops.

Inspired by: ... f_Anglesey
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This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

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Re: The Situation

Post by dysjunct » 06 Sep 2018, 22:32

Premise: The PCs were once movers and shakers in the Thieves’ Guild in the most powerful city in the world. The old leadership was ousted in a coup and the PCs barely escaped with their lives. Since then, they’ve been plotting revenge, and the time is finally ripe.

Situation: The PCs infiltrate the city. They isolate the current leader and move in for the kill. Then, he drops over dead from clearly unnatural causes. The town guards move in. What do you do?
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