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Comments: 8
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3
Condition: Normal
ID: 3981


February 11, 2015, 8:39 am

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The King is Dead


The King is dead.
So who killed him?
And why?

Plot Description

The old King has been murdered and a successor must be found, but first the killer must be found. The PCs, being members of the old Kings household, are tasked with the job of apprehending his killer.

Regarding the succession. The Throne is shared between three separate Noble Houses and the Crown cannot pass to the two members of the same House successively, thus it must go to one of the other two Houses.

Since nobody, not even an heir apparent, may benefit from the murder of another person, the succession cannot proceed until both contenders for the Throne, and all of their followers, are eliminated from the enquiry.


1. One of the heirs apparent, impatient for his shot at the Throne, assassinated the King in order to speed the process up. Being no fool, he did of course attempt to frame his opponent for the crime.

2. The Kings assignation was the work of a foreign power or major criminal origination that hopes to profit from the resulting chaos.

3. The murder was not at all political. Instead the old King, who always had something of a reputation as a womaniser, was killed by the jealous husband of his latest conquest.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Scrasamax
June 11, 2007, 12:40
I don't claim to be an expert on succession, but the three houses and their rules seem a bit far fetched. I know this is a short submission for the ToA, but it seems a bit unplausible.
Voted Wulfhere
June 11, 2007, 14:16
I don't have a problem believing the unusual rules for succession (odd rules of various types have cropped up often through history), but so far, the information given is really just a sketch of the idea. A greater level of detail would be desirable.

As it is, the GM would have to come up with how the murder was done, what clues exist, who they point to, and why the antagonist killed the king. Their desire to seize the throne leads to more questions about why and what they will do if they achieve their ambition.

An interesting series of adventures could be built around an assassin who successfully blames someone else for the deed. If the evidence of the murder only surfaces after the murderer is crowned, do the player characters risk plunging the land into civil war to overthrow the usurper?

The murderer may not even have had evil motives: Suppose that the doddering, aged king refused to pass the reins of power to his eminently qualified successor, instead trying to manipulate the system to put a favorite (but unqualified) princeling onto the throne after he steps down. The murderer could have thought (rightly or wrongly) that the king's death would save the land from endless suffering and chaos.
May 2, 2008, 17:06
I don;t really agree with your assessment Wulfhere of lack of detail. If the entire murder was plotted out here, along with the clues, it would limit the usefulness of this piece to GM's who's players haven't frequented this site and looked at the submission. (It would be hard to tell that until one was already into the adventure, and one well read player could easily intentionally or unintentionally ruin the adventure for the entire group)

As far as the plot goes, it's a nice take on the standard "The king is dead long live the king!" plot line. (The unique inheritance rules are a nice touch, and any gm who doesn't like'em can just as easily ignore'em.)
Voted Cheka Man
June 11, 2007, 14:19
I like it.
Voted manfred
June 11, 2007, 16:11
With Wulf's update, it is an okay short plot. If a kingdom seems too large for the strange succession laws, they can be comfortably transplanted into a town of one's choice. :)
Voted Drackler
June 13, 2007, 11:07
The odd succession rules are actually quite inventive. For instance, now the players will have an ally in the third house, since they probably didn't kill the king.
October 2, 2007, 16:58
Nice change of pace on the succession rules.
Voted valadaar
March 3, 2014, 11:02
Complex rules tend to be discarded when swords are drawn. I think this idea would work well for a tournament game or other one-shot type adventure.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Castoria, Land of Shattered Stars

       By: Veretrix

Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.

By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.

Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).

To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.

To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.

When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.

What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | August 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

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