Brothels and Intrigues
The PCs get called upon a job in a foreign city, with instructions to seek out a contact. This contact is a high paying prostitute, the mistress of her profession, who has many connections that the PCs have to call upon to complete their job. During their interactions it seems to the PCs that this ladys demeanour is unusually cold. On top of that, there is the complication that she shares a remarkable resemblance to a girl who the PCs had once encountered and parted with on a somewhat jarring note. For the girl was the daughter of a Lord who first ran into the PCs when she was chased by a group of thugs from whom the PCs rescued from, except that later the PCs were told by the Lord that the whole event was a prank that she often liked to spring on adventurers. Subsequently, the adventurers headed for the road again but then received a mysterious note from an urchin saying only that the girl had been kidnapped.
Possibilities/ Plot hooks:
1. The woman really is the girl from the 1st Encounter. Her kidnapping was real: she was captured by slavers but she managed to persuade an urchin to deliver a SOS note to the PCs but the PCs either ignored the note or couldn't find her in time and she got sold into a brothel.
2. The woman is an imposter who, through magical means or otherwise, was made to look like the girl. She is an old adversary of the PCs who wanted to use sympathy from the PCs as a leverage to trick the PCs. This can be made into a side quest where the PCs try to untangle the fate of the real girl as well as dealing with the imposter.
Possible fate for the real girl
a. Same as 1, with the addition that the imposter is the mastermind behind the kidnapping or somehow linked to the mastermind who runs a scheme of kidnapping young women to use as free labor in brothels.
b. She is in fact safe and sound in her fathers house. The kidnapping was a prank and the imposter heard of her talk of this event and in her devious mind developed such a plot to trick the PCs.
3. The woman really is the girl from the 1st Encounter. She, however, isn't really the Lords daughter as the PCs are led to believe. She is in fact part of his harem, the members of which he illegally captures and often resells to brothels when he is bored with them. She had already been with the Lord for quite a few years and it seems that through her personal charm, she will be a permanent fixture in his harem. However, she still yearned for her freedom and was carefully choosing the right moment to make her escape. But unfortunately, she chose wrongly and got sold into the brothel as punishment for her act of betrayal.
Bonus Plot (aka All-3-Jumbled-Into-1 as suggested by Muro, many thanks)
The woman is an imposter who, through magical means or otherwise, was made to look like the girl. She is an old adversary of the PCs who wanted to use sympathy from the PCs as a leverage to trick the PCs. As for the real girl, she really was kidnapped and sold into a brothel where the imposter came into contact with her and got the story of the 'prank' she played on the PCs out of her. Additionally, the real girl isn't really the Lords daughter as the PCs are led to believe. She is in fact part of his harem, the members of which he illegally captures and often resells to brothels when he is bored with them. This girl, however, had already been with the Lord for quite a few years and is in fact one of his favoured mistresses that he has decided to keep permanently. (And for someone he decides to keep permanently, he really means business. He will stop at nothing to get the girl back!) On the girl's part, she is someone with a strong character, who constantly yearns for her freedom and tries to escape from the Lord. The Lord, however, actually likes such spirited women and he in particular enjoys the thrill of hunting for his mistress when she escapes. The result of all these was that the girl was in the habit of periodically making escape attempts but every time she always got hunted down and the one time that she didn't, well, she got kidnapped and sold into a brothel.
This is not meant to be read as a stand-alone plot sub but rather an addition to the Tales of the Road Codex, utilising the format of Tales of Adventure.
Tales of Adventure are brief adventure plots or story elements, presented in a few paragraphs. What separates a Tale of Adventure from other plots is that it gives three different directions for the adventure to play out. They may be minor twists in how the original situation is presented, or they may turn the whole scenario upside down.
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? Responses (17)
Updated: need help with plot hook #2 and 3
My suggestion would be to clean up the formatting and layout of this piece quite a bit. An introduction followed by three possible explanations would work best. Read trough other Tales of the Road submissions, ponder some, comment some and update this.
Thanks for the comment. Will rethink format and orgnisation of ideas.
Updated: Changed the format as adviced.
Lol, i had to read that tag-line a few times (...once a second time) to get it. Nothing wrong with the sentence mind you, just with me.
I understand what you're saying here, but this line could use a once-over (tense and stuff) For the girl was the daughter of a Lord who first ran into the PCs when she was chased a group of thugs who the PCs rescued from, except that later the PCs were told by the Lord that the whole event was a prank that she often likes to spring on adventurers
Other than that this is a good set of plothooks from an interesting premise. I kinda like #1, the direct approach. I find it fun to confound PCs with such problems. #2 and #3 are good too. I actually think that combining the first 3 options (somehow), would make a good overall plot.
Thanks for pointing out the grammar mistakes. Fixed now. Actually, if you find the "once a second time" hard to comprehend, you should read my 1st draft where I typed "once again" on impulse, meaning "once (break) again" but obviously it doesn't work out. Lucky I spotted that particular bit myself and changed it else everyone will be scratching their heads about the inconsistencies b/w the summary and the content of the sub. But I too can see that the "once a second time" is just a mouthful LoL.
Actually, with respect to the combining of all 3 possibilities, I have a thought that came to me last night: it's basically plot possibility 2a combined with 3 with a slight change: the Lord actually likes spirited women and likes the thrill of the hunt for his mistress so that the girl actually makes her escapes periodically but everytime she always got hunted down and the one time she didn't get hunted down was when she got kidnapped and sold into a brothel. I can imagine this being a little chaotic game session where the PCs have to deal with the imposter, deal with the Lord who somehow got wind of this and came to reclaim his favored mistress and rescue the girl for good.
Updated: Changed title of sub as per Muro's suggestion (though I don't think like the word betrayal much in this context and so changed it to intrigue). Also added Bonus Plot. Many thanks, Muro, for your suggestions.
Very good, I should comment more but I am so tired tonight.
Perhaps you should write the adventure starting with the first encounter. If you have a stable group....I believe there is something about the demographic of roleplayers, the majority of them are 10 mins away from personal crisis at all times...you can have the initial encounter with the plan that it will later become relevant during second encounter. So here you have two encounters and one plot line spread over a long chunk of time with the PCs being central to the plot line. More than half the roleplaying plots should use similiar model. However here you also have two very underdeveloped encounters and one central idea which is very strong. I think it still needs work, but it also worth working on.
The comment is appreciated and is very valid. However, I also just would like to make some clarifying comments myself:
1. This sub is meant as part of the Tales of the Road plots Codex which requires subs of a specific format. So in relation to your point of two underdeveloped encounters and one strong central idea, I agree but then I can't see an alternative way to writing this sub and just conform to the Tales of the Road format. I agree I should've started with the 1st Encounter if I'm writing this as a straight plot sub. In fact, I started this way but I'm too slack to work it out fully into a workable plot that can be dumped stratight into gameplay and preserve the diferent possibilities. But anyway, it's prob. also my fault for not signaling more clearly that this sub should be read as a Tales of the Road sub and not as a straight plot sub.
2. Strictly speaking, I'm a non-gamer myself though I try to write with my audiences in mind and maybe ppl mistake me for a gamer this way (though I think some can tell the signs already). But anyway, what you say about the gameplay and the stretching of a plot line over a long chunk of time is still very valid, even I can see that as a non-gamer. My solution to this (by pretending that I'm a real GM when I'm not) is more or less what you said: first present to them the first encounter and let them choose whether or not to follow up on the note but impose the restriction that even if they do, the investigation comes to a dead end. And then, distract the players with an absorbing side quest or two. And then come back to the 2nd encounter.
In conclusion, I reiterate that the comment is appreciated and very valid but I will not be coming back to this sub.
Updated: Clarified that this is a Tales of the Road sub, and not a standalone plot sub.
The submission has some errors where it seems spellcheck turned one word into another. I think this works just fine as a stand alone plot and I think the variety of options are clever and interesting. Based on the comments, however, it appears I am getting more of a polished product than the previous readers.
This is a pretty good plot idea. I like it!