In a village the characters hear rumors of a man that recently came through screaming of demon attacks and murderous insects. He was sweating and the village thought he was delirious and had a disease so quickly they chased him from the village.
The party will come across a dead man a few miles outside town. If they go through his belongings they find a large golden necklace with square cut emeralds in it. The necklace is cursed and will draw demon attacks at random intervals and insect attacks during the night. Eventually these attacks will kill them if they do not get rid of it or return it to its original site.
Alternatively it could be some gold coins that carry the curse to make the cause less obvious.
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? Responses (7)
More to just add something to the game then a plot in itself. The annoyance of the insects at night not giving them a full nights rest could affect their fighting and such. Would have to figure it out eventually just to get some peace.
Maybe there is an open tomb out somewhere, with riches to be taken... and to be cursed. The characters are cursed too, just throwing away the necklace or gold may be not enough. Someone else may get the same curse, so it is necessary to return all items to break the curse. Sealing the tomb may be a good idea. They may be later haunted by a ghost, its rest once again disturbed. Characters recognized as worthy, they are asked for help. Once they AGAIN seal the tomb with the riches, they may be given interesting info of the ancient-kind. Now it is a plot.
What is wrong with the clerk being plagued by demons? Be creative and use that to your advantage. The clerk could blame the original death on the characters and blame his own misfortune on them. With barely any prompting you have the Salem Witch Trials vs. the players and let them try and figure it out.
Even though I agree with Strolen, that the idea is something I would use as an annoyance rather than a plot itself, it's still a pretty good idea.
You have some seemingly innocuous incident of finding some insect riddled corpse in the den of some man eating monster or something(take your pick of man eating monsters), so that the necklace doesn't appear to be the cause of the insect horde. The sort of thing that would appear to be a random encounter, only not really random. After defeating the random encounter, they search the body, oh my, what's this, a fancy necklace, thank you very much mr dead body!
Then you continue them down the path of an adventure. At some point in the adventure, typically a fairly critical but non-mortal point, a spell fails because the wizard couldn't concentrate enough to learn his spell correctly. Then it happens again, after another night, soon, he's not able to learn spells at all, because of all the bugs waking him up over and over again in the night. Same thing could happen for a priest learning spells. Maybe the warriors get tired from lack of sleep and can't hit effectively.
MAYBE they get so tired that paranoia steps in. Everyone is out to get you, even your own comrades. Well, maybe, but I find plots like that tend to be annoying for the players in a cooperative group. Just a thought, I suppose.
Of course, you need to have it happen that the necklace is not suspected for a while to get much play out of it.
A bit of foreshadowing is always a good thing. To start with, the necklace may already be gone when the PC's arrive on the scene. It may pass through a couple of owners before the PCs' get a hold of it.
I quite like these simple, minor plots.