To add a twist, they could find out their Mr. Smith (Government type) was not really a government person, but only presented forged credentials and an office that appeared to be part of the local buracracy.
Such a revelation should be after they deliver the noble, but before they get paid.
Now what do they do?
Get the guy back?
Try to clear their name?
Who will believe them?
If they discover it before the nobel is traded, now they have this noble with them who may or may not trust them.
Say thank you Sneakers for this wonderful plot twist. Go to Comment
Maybe the caravan is a cover for the forces of the government trying to move this traitor. All of a suden, secretive warriors are involved in the fight, or may chase the players after they do the snatch. Go to Comment
Moonhunter, some of those twists are really nasty! And thus very fun. If the man who hired them had only had forged credentials, as well as the complications you mentioned there would be the added fun of trying to figure out who he was. An agent of another country? Part of a sophisticated organised crime outfit? If they do try to take the noble back, they could start getting in all kinds of trouble (in addition to the trouble they are already in). Go to Comment
I came across this in random sub and while I think it is a solid idea, I think this has been developed too little and offer nothing more than the idea.
But to sum up what people listed as the positive points:
Potential Moral Problems:
I think this could be improved upon if you place some NPCs in the caravan with which the PCs have some meaningful connections. This would increase their motivation to be subtle and use as little force as possible.
Also what if the PC don't know exactly what the Noble looks like, and the Noble is in disguise. They could grab the wrong guy, and then if the PCs were also tasked with getting the information out of him they would have to determine if the Noble is just playing dumb or if they really grabbed the wrong guy. The grabbing the wrong guy thing could implemented if there was some marker, such as horse or a medallion or something that Noble passed off to another NPC or the other NPC just had the back luck to own. Worse case scenario they get the peasent to confess to being a Noble traitor and the real Noble traitor gets away.
twist: Again start with they capture a guy who swears left and right that he is not noble X. They use telepathay or what ever and determine that this guy possess the mind of a simple cobbler. You could even toss in a few confessions of crime unrelated to the one they are after. The twist is that this really is the Noble and he has just cast some sort of charm on himself to make himself believe that he is a simple cobbler. A version of this could also be implemented with the same set up, but instead of charming himself, there is a wizard from the other nation who has been controlling the noble. This wizard is traveling with the caravan, and is a real threat to the the caravan's and the nation's safety. If the PC discover this they have to then have to attack the caravan again to protect it form the wizard...who as far as the caravan is concerned is just another merchant they are sworn to protect.
twist: What if the state secrete is something that no memeber of the kingdom should know? For example the prosperity and ricness of this kingdom is based on some evil-blood pact with a dark power. Lets say long ago an ancestor of the king agreed to give the body and soul of twenty men and women at the age of twenty to be eternally tortured and bound to a dark demon. In exchange the kingdom is free of plagues, there are not wars within its borders, crops never fail, women are tall and men are good looking. The noble is gathering his case and plans to expose the kings evil pact. As collateral the demons holds the rights to the body and soul of every innocent within the kingdom...every child, savant or pure of heart. The noble is a real stick in the mud when it comes to demons and plans to break this contract. The 20 sacrifical men and women are being transported with the caravan, ignorant of their fate. Or something like that Go to Comment
Thanks for the comment and questions. To answer them: you're right - Niavon was angry at the Council for their blunders, rather than for their overall aim. Siluria and Torridon are long-term enemies (thing England and France in the middle ages): there are a number of ongoing territorial disputes, there is a lot of economic rivalry and, of course, there is (because it's a long term rivalry) the whole "They committed atrocities against us 20 years ago at place X" (on both sides). Niavon wanted (before craziness) war for all these reasons but also for revenge. It was also quite a populist policy.
Re. human and elf advisors, the land is multi-racial (I have all the racial languages being dead languages and the races, most of them, integrated for millenia in this part of the world). This could be easy to change if your world isn't that though. Go to Comment
Nice history. I like where you suggest the madness could be magical.. or not. How did Niavon come to find human and elf advisors? Is the land multi-racial, or is this unusual (and how is it seen by others). Why does Niavon want to defeat Siluria (before he went crazy)? Does he feel it is unfinished business? Do they have riches? Is it revenge? He took over for people who waged war carelessly, and then did so himself... so I guess he was more upset at the council for losing than for philosophy... Go to Comment
Hmmm... now if it is guarding a gate or portal of some sort, it would be logical for it to die right before it. Even if someone can dispatch it easily, it will take a lot of time to take it apart completely. Go to Comment
Easy to plug-n-play this background into any game. Use it as the background to push them any number of ways and then when they are getting comfortable with the arrangement, spring the madness.
I thought they could be declared enemies of the state and get a bounty on their head, somehow meet the 'resistance' and they learn that the Silurians understand the reason for his madness and may be the reason for it. Not sure what it is, but yet another twist seemed appropriate. Go to Comment
I like this plot very much. It has a number of ways it can play out, depending on DM whim. I personally would use the "third party trying to cause problems" with the added idea that the third party is another kingdom's ruler, intending to swoop in once both Torridon and Siluria have been battle-fatigued and weakened. Though adding in the "two advisors both blaming each other" idea could help as a distraction, keeping the PC's away from the real plot. A very good job Go to Comment
Glad you like it! I'm actually in the middle of it in a campaign I'm running, and haven't fully decided what the real cause of the madness is myself. Hopefully the npc post I've just done on Niavon will make this a bit more complete. Go to Comment