Wednesday already – being at home sick (thankfully not COVID though, rolled a good con save there) and not working means that I have a lot of extra brain power these past few days so I am experimenting with new formats and templates for the different content I produce.
Today is Twist day – that isn’t to say that you need to have a twist in an adventure, just that they can add a little something to the session. Let’s have a look at what can go wrong in and around Zel.
Jeremiha (02TuSt2) is wanted for aggressive robbery and murder. He has been requested to be brought in dead or alive by the Zel City Watch (02MoSt2)… But what if all isn’t what it seems.
Jeremiha is targeting shipments of supplies going outside the city of Zel. It turns out he is only stealing from the merchants who are sending out the limited supplies out of the city instead of helping the poor and starving.
The reported murder is where the father and son got into a heated arguement about handing the goods over – the son wanted to sell the goods to make more money for themselves but the father was happy to hand over the goods peacefully to Jeremiha. When the Father agreed the son pulled out a weapon and tried to kill the father, doing so just as Jeremihas blade separated the arm from the son. Applying a healing salve to the sons wound Jeremiha left after depositing a sum of money to the son so that he could ensure
If the party witness Jeremiha during a robbery/heist, and he is captured then this twist should be considered
Up to the players – Can hand him in or let him go and knowingly fail the quest. Hand him in and the goods will continue to be stolen and given back to the people
Jeremiha is as bad as they come. He almost prefers people to put up a fight so he can inflict harm upon them – seemingly only feeling joy when he is on the hunt for new people to assault and rob.
However, he is not alone. The reason he has gone undetected for so long is because several of the watchmen and women are under his employ.
If Jeremiha is found several men/women of the watch appear at the same time and look to surround him and “back up” the players. But then they ambush the players.
If the players request help from the guard then they turn on the players just after finding Jeremiha with the intent on killing them.
Players now have to try and fight off Jeremiha as well as the corrupt officials. Then they have to report this back to the head officer, Sam (02TuSt1)
Sam could have known that there was corruption in the watch and used this to get rid or reveal the traitors.
Jeremiha was the corrupt previous captain of the watch and held a lot of power over her officers. Getting rid of him and some of those officers will solidify her position
Or you could just have him as a lone operator without a twist. The idea behind him is relatively flexible – not all bad guys need to have corrupted the system or have a deeper more ‘robin hood’ background story but these twists can enrich them further.
What lies behind the sheets
The idea for this twist is simple. What you are escorting is not all all what it seems. The caravan carrying refugees (02MoEs1) or the escort of goods from warehouse 1 to market (02MoEs2)
The caravan that the refugees are in, led by one of the refugees who is a sort of nominated leader of the group, has gone through a long journey to the neighbouring settlement. Along the way however they changed course off the pre-plotted route to go down dangerous roads and it caused the party a few days of fighting.
The last few nights the party have also woken up to ambushes on the caravan which has caused the party a few restless nights of sleep.
The party arrive exhausted but safe at the settlement…
There is no particular trigger for this – either it happens or it doesn’t. I would think that this is the default adventure for this plot.
See 02WeEs3 or 02WeEs4
What Brumblethatch didn’t tell the party is that the goods they are to escort are living specimens of a semi-hostile race.
The buyer is someone who plans to experiment on them so that they can better understand how they work and how to kill them.
Since they are hostile, relatively unknown creatures, despite it being a short distance the party members have to subdue the creatures as they try to escape their crate. For each creature not subdued (but slain) reduce the payout by 20%.
If you want to have the quest have more of a shock or moral delimma then introduce this twist.
Reduced income if the party kills any of the creatures. The party members have to decide if they want to hand over the things to be experimented on.
Upon seeing the settlement walls a strange silence comes from the caravans holding the refugees. Approaching the walls of the settlement the guard of the settlement comes to greet the caravan and the escort.
Once within range of the Caravans the refugees burst out armoured and armed with a range of weapons. The refugees quickly overpower the guards at the settlement before rushing towards the gate separating the walls.
The party, exhausted, watches on as the first guards fall down injured, dead or dying as the self proclaimed leader apologises for their deceit and throws a bag or valuable goods towards the party member. Mentioning that this settlement invaded the settlement that they used to belong to and either killed or captured (into slavery) the people that didnt manage to escape.
Option for changing the storyline between the refugees quest..
The party has to decide whether to help the guards and fight the people they have travelled with for the past few days in their exhausted state.
Protecting the settlement may buy them an ally in the future and give more options of future missions and quests.
Some of the locals don’t like that the Party has brought more mouths to feed to the settlement and organise an ambush/attack on the party as they are resting that night.
Some of the refugees are killed in the attack.
If the refugees don’t attack the settlement then consider this the other side of the coin.
The refugees leave the settlement after the attackers are dealt with to take their chances in the wild instead of dealing with the settlement’s people who attacked them outright.
There are quite a few here, but really its 2 with different outcomes for the first. Either of these should be considered heavily if either of the parent plots are selected.
It’s a trap!
Suitable for any quest. It’s a trap is simple. Either the patron or a competing faction want what you have and have set you up. OR they are testing you see if you are truly worthy to be in their employ
As the party members are on the verge of completing their quest they are ambushed or stopped.
If you want to add danger, a sense of shock or to expand from a basic plot into something a bit more.
The party has to fight their way out to complete their quest/mission. Giving them more rewards (loot from the bodies of the fallen) or a bonus from their patron. Or if their patron is betraying them then it’s time for renegotiations of the contract to take place.
Stealing the thingy, transporting the goods (that are actually not valuable or for sale at all) or apprehending the city watchmen disguised as a murderous thug are all ways that the patron is testing to see if they are suitable for a bigger task.
If you have ideas for a series of bigger quests revolving around a NPC or group then this could be a good way to start it off. A test that is disguised as a real mission/quest could lay the groundwork for future bigger or more dangerous work
Future work opens up and the party are trusted by the patron group further
Probably a good twist to open up a series of quests or “kick down the door” to bigger revelation or reward.
Hopefully the new layout helps in breaking up the twists we have at our disposal. Apart from the first two that focus around a specific NPC the other twists could be woven into any mission that it could be relevant to.
Twist it up
As with our Monday post, if you want to see a specific twist used in this week’s adventure lets see it below in a comment.
Don’t worry if it’s person specific or story specific as with all twists it shouldn’t be too hard to blend them together to throw in a curve ball. Like the idea of Jeremiha but want an escort quest – no worries, Jeremiha likes stealing stuff.
Like the idea of an escort gone wrong but want to be looking for something magical, Maybe the one goods that are on that convoy to be sold is particularly potent in magic.
So if you see one that you like, add in the tagline into a comment and we will add it to this week’s adventure – else, I will let the dice decide the twist for this week.
Twists, although fun, shouldn’t be over done. Some weeks it may be better to have no twists occur for the players and just let the plot and the players decisions speak for themselves. Not having a twist may keep the party on their toes more often than not.
Remember that the enjoyment of everyone in the session, Game Master, Player or even your observers is what is most important. If the rules or the structure of the adventure is getting in the way, scrap it or change it- move forward with what makes the party have the most enjoyment.
That’s it for today, and as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe