The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Here M&M GMs can trade tips and seek inspiration. Look out for SPOILERS! Players, surf elsewhere or ruin your own fun.
SuperChris
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Postby SuperChris » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:40 am

51. In Print, Its Libel

For: Any hero who is well-liked by the city, especially one who is geuinely trying to do good. Works best if the hero maintains a secret identity.

Premise: A local tabloid reporter (or blogger, etc.) has decided he doesn't like the hero. In fact, he so dislikes the hero that he's directing all his efforts toward ruining the hero's reputation. Convincing evidence, including compromising photos, cell phone videos (poor quality, of course), testimonials, and a stream of eyewitnesses are produced. All of the evidence points to the hero being either a total scumball, a fraud, or no better than the villains he fights against.

At first, there's little effect; maybe someone makes and off hand comment about the hero not being as bad as he or she thought. Slowly the city starts turning against the hero and it gets to the point that citizens don't want the hero's help; some may even tell him off or call the cops when he shows up.

Outcome/Rewards: Hero Point for dealing with the fallout of the antagonist's attacks. Hero point for finding out why the antagonist doesn't like the hero. Hero point for getting the antagonist to stop the attacks. Another Hero Point if the antagonist prints a retraction.

Variations: Maybe the antagonist is looking for more readers and sees this as a way to attract them. Maybe his property was damaged or destroyed in a fight between the hero and a villain. Instead of property being damage, someone the antagonist liked was injured. Maybe the antagonist is being paid off by a villain.

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Postby Funkadelic » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:00 am

52. Thank You Green Lantern!

For: A hero that's not very well known

Premise: The hero either just moved to a new city, or is just starting to become famous. However, whenever he saves they day people call him the wrong name thinking he's a slightly more popular hero.

Outcome/Rewards: A hero point for good role-playing. A good or bad reputation depending on what you do about it.

Variations: They confuse you for a villain. The hero they confuse you for has a bad reputation. The hero they confuse you for has a very good reputation and is pissed that you're ruining it. The hero they keep confusing you for is using a subtle form of mind control to make people think the deeds of others are done by him.

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Postby Funkadelic » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:30 am

53. All Right Mr. De Mille, I'm Ready For My Close-Up

For: A hero with some fame

Premise: A big name Hollywood director is making the next summer blockbuster and it's going to be about the PC. And to make sure that it's (at least somewhat) genuine, the PC is asked to offer their input from time to time (maybe a meeting with the director every game session until premiere night, which of course the hero is invites to).

Outcomes/Rewards: If the PC is willing to help with the director, the movie is a success the PCs fame increases, and of course hero points. If the PC doesn't help the movie bombs and/or is highly innaccurate.

Variations: The director isn't listening to your advice, and the movie is looking like a trainwreck. If your hero is like Superman, he comes off as a dick. If your hero is Batman, they cast Adam West to play you. Also, the director could be making a bad movie on purpose.

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Postby Funkadelic » Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:41 am

54. Doppelganger!

For: Any hero

Premise: For one reason or another (duplication ray, quantum accident, etc), there's another copy of the hero. Now they have to figure out which one is the "real" one, they both want to fight crime, and how on Earth are they supposed to explain this to their spouse?

Outcomes/Rewards: As always, hero points for dealing with it.

Variations: Your double has a goatee, we all know what that means. You powers are split between the two (one can fly, while the other is super strong) or the two only have half the power the originally did. Neither of the dupes are real, but different personalities of the original. One is red and the other is blue for some strange reason.

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Postby Funkadelic » Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:20 pm

55. IGNORE ME!

For: Any hero

Premise: (Ripped from the Venture Brothers) The PC is being followed around by a powerful cosmic being who wishes to observe humanity in a subtle manner. Unfortunately, he's very large is wearing garrish clothes, intrudes on private moments, and is constantly shouting that the PC act as if he wasn't being followed around by a being beyond human comprehension.

Outcomes/Rewards: As always, hero points for dealing with it. Perhaps an annoying new ally or enemy depending on how it goes.

Variations: The Cosmic Being will destroy humanity if he doesn't approve of what he sees. The Cosmic Being is filming you for an interdimensional TV show. The Cosmic Being doesn't have a physical form and is living in your head. The Cosmic Being is actually very subtle and only through the use of supersenses are you able to get even quick glimpses of him (to be used in more serious, mysterious adventures).

56. Remember When We Sent Captain Vigilance to Tolerance Camp?

For: Any hero and campaigns wanting to deal with social issues

Premise: While hanging out in private with a prominent, well respected hero the PC hears him make a comment that is racist/sexist/homophobic. It's small enough that the PC can say it's just a small one time thing. However, the seed has been planted and as the PC and the hero spend more time together it's clear the hero has problems with one or more minorities.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point or more depending on how the PCs deal with it.

Variations: The hero isn't even aware that he's a bigot, and would be shocked, mortified, and offended that someone could even suggest it. The hero is more overtly bigoted. His Justice Guys are notably...similar, and some research will reveal that the villains of the type he is bigoted against tend to end up in the hospital while others are more likely to get away. The hero is a card carrying member of the KKK. The hero is actually trying to feel out heroes that share his prejudices so they can put the uppity so-and-sos back in their place.

57. I Swear, I'm Retired

For: Any hero

Premise: While out and about the PC notices a civilian who looks very familiar, but can't quite place him or her. Late one night it finally comes to the PC, the civilian was actually a supervillain who hasn't been seen in years and is still wanted for a number of crimes. Tracking him down, the PC finds the villain has gone completely straight: an honest job, a family, a dog, and has even been secretly sending money to all the people he's wronged. The villain is of course still a fugitive, but upsetting the life he has now could put him back into a life of crime.

Outcomes/Rewards: Hero point. An ally that can fill you in on some villains, a new enemy who blame the PC personally for destroying his life.

Variations: The villains was a c-lister who never did anything that harmful. The villain was real bad news with a body count. The villain is a powerful being that was once worshiped as a god by his fearful subject across the galaxy. The villains looks reformed, but recently someone who looks a lot like him has been putting on the old costume and committing crimes.

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Postby Gigaknight » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:07 am

58. Bounty Hunters

For: any one with enemies

Premise: A villain has decided to get outside help capturing the hero/s so has hired the meanest toughest bounty hunter out there to bring them in.

Outcomes/Rewards: They get captured or not.

Variations: Replace bounty hunter with assassin. If they get captured, the villain betrays the bounty hunter then hero, bounty hunter team up. Just a distraction the villain has no intention of capturing hero just wants to keep them busy while they pull a caper. The bounty hunter has some kind of super senses that let them track the hero in normal identity. He's just hunting them fun.

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Postby Khantalas » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:54 am

Funkadelic wrote:56. Remember When We Sent Captain Vigilance to Tolerance Camp?


That sounds like something I once read in Shortpacked! about Captain America and what other supers said at his funeral.
"I once had lots of friends. They gave me gifts like a word that means hope and despair at the same time and sands to season meals and a castle made out of nothing but stories. I wonder where I left them?"

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Postby Funkadelic » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:13 am

Khantalas wrote:
Funkadelic wrote:56. Remember When We Sent Captain Vigilance to Tolerance Camp?


That sounds like something I once read in Shortpacked! about Captain America and what other supers said at his funeral.


That is where I got it from. I'd seen the comic before in various places around the intertubes but I couldn't remember the exact phrasing, where I saw it originally, or what comic it came from so I changed it a little bit to make it an homage rather than a butchered quote.

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Postby Funkadelic » Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:50 am

59. It's Not Enough To Bash In Heads, You've Got To Bash In Minds.

For: Any hero wanting to help a noble cause.

Premise: The PC's community is having a fundraiser, and has asked the PC to be an active part of the event to draw more attention to whatever issue is at hand. So now the PC is sitting in the dunk tank at the local fair, or doing a cheesy after school special, it's a little humiliating but hey, it's all for a good cause right?

Outcomes/Rewards: As always, hero points. And a crazy madcap adventure.

Variations: The event is a date auction, and guess who the star attraction is? It's a full on beauty contest, complete with talent and swimsuit portions. The charity is a front for a criminal organization. More then one super-human is doing it, and one of them is the PCs ex-nemesis trying to go straight. Awkward.

60. CAPE-CON 2009!

For: Any hero

Premise: The nations biggest super themed convention is coming to the PC's town and for a few days there will be thousands of screaming fanboys swarming the city. It's a good time for a hero to go visit the fan club or say a few words to the young people about heroism.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point, and whatever seems right for what happens.

Variations: The PC;s fans are very annoying and very clingy. The PC's arch-nemesis is more popular than the PC. Villains attack the hero worshiping fools. Somehow everyone gains the powers of the hero (or villain) they're cosplaying as. Someone is selling highly inappropriate fan comics of the PC.

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Postby Funkadelic » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:13 pm

And more because I have nothing better to do with my life.

61. What's That Guy's Problem?

For: Any hero who regularly works with others

Premise: An NPC the hero comes into contact with regularly (a cop, a scientist, a reporter, maybe even another hero) really hates the hero, and makes no effort to hide the fact. The reason isn't obvious, and is completely baffling to the hero. The unlike subplot 51, the NPC is willing to keep the hate between him and the hero and won't spread lies or anything. The NPC is just unpleasant to work with.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point, and whatever seems right for what happens. Maybe a new villain if it goes really bad.

Variations: Someone close to the NPC was killed in the crossfire in one of the hero's battles. Sexual tension, it makes everything better. The NPC used to be a villain the hero used to smack around.

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Postby Funkadelic » Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:15 pm

One of these days I should start posting in other threads.

62. I'm Afraid I Can't Do That Captain Comet.

For: Any hero that uses a super computer.

Premise: Maybe is was the alien computer virus, or the magical backlash, or maybe that last driver update was just really powerful because suddenly the hero's supercomputer is suddenly self-aware.

Outcomes/Rewards: You may need a new computer. Or you could end up with a super computer anywhere between Skeets and Skynet in personality depending on how you handle it.

Variations: The computer is not happy with it's current lot in life and the hero has to help it find a place it feels comfortable. The computer is in love with the hero. It like people in general but hates the hero. It hates all organic life. It wants to help the hero, but doesn't understand people at all.

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Postby Funkadelic » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:34 am

And the fun never stops.

63. LOLHERO

For: Any hero that values self-respect

Premise: While on patrol or fighting crime, people are starting to shot weird phrases to the hero. Stuff about "Can Haz Hamburger" and "INVISIBLE AIRPLANE!" The hero is completely baffled until he learns that on the 'net people are posting pictures of him with funny (in theory) captions. He has become and internet meme.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point if the hero does anything interesting about it.

Variations: The meme is grossly offensive. It's a complicated spell being weaved to make everyone think the hero is a buffoon.


64. Do you swear to tell the truth?

For: Any hero

Premise: Catching criminals leads to trials and the hero has to testify.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point. And whatever else could happen. It really depends.

Variations: The hero has evidence the defendant didn't actually commit the crime. The case might get out because the defendant doesn't know who is really testifying against him. It's a retrial of an old case, there's new evidence the defendant the hero originally brought in didn't do it. The case is against another hero being accused of a heinous crime.

65. Civic Duty

For: Any hero that is a legal resident of the USA. (I'm sure it could work in other places but I don't know how jury selection work in other countries).

Premise: Simply, put, the hero has jury duty.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for doing his civic duty.

Variations: The hero is someone like the Red Tornado or Starfire who can't have a secret identity, and it will look bad if he wiggles out of it. The case is against a criminal the hero caught. The case is against someone the hero knows.

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Postby hypervirtue » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:03 am

Funkadelic wrote:64. Do you swear to tell the truth?

For: Any hero

Premise: Catching criminals leads to trials and the hero has to testify.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point. And whatever else could happen. It really depends.

Variations: The hero has evidence the defendant didn't actually commit the crime. The case might get out because the defendant doesn't know who is really testifying against him. It's a retrial of an old case, there's new evidence the defendant the hero originally brought in didn't do it. The case is against another hero being accused of a heinous crime.


Hah! This one happened to my character Soulfire!

It was a trial against a criminal mage-murderer named "Orion"

Soulfire actually caught him AT THE SCENE of the murder wearing power armor that was used to kill the person. Sadly the person's defense attorny managed to get Orion off by making Soulfire look like a crack pot on the stand.

The best line he used on me:

Attorney: "Right, so you expect us to believe that you defeated Mr. Wilks with... Magic? Is that right?"

Soulfire: "Uh, yes, that's right."

Attorney: "Can you prove what you do is magic?"

Soulfire: "Uh... What?"

Attorney: "Can you prove that you aren't a mutant?"

Soulfire: "Well, uh... No?"

Attorney: "So you are a mutant?"

Soulfire: "Well I mean, I don't know, I learned to cast spells from years of..."

Attorney: "So you don't like mutants then Mr. Lancer?"

Soulfire: "Well, I don't dislike mutants, but I'm not a mutant."

Attorney: "But you can't prove that, and you already said you didn't know if you were or not is that not true?"

Soulfire: "That isn't what I meant to..."

Attorney: "Let the record show that this so-called Wizard cannot verify the origin of his powers and since there is no way to verify his claims I call into question his supposed credentials in determining the ability for Mr. Wilk's protective devices to nullify so-called magic..."

------

Yeah... Low diplomacy scores suck.
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

Geredik
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Postby Geredik » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:47 pm

Lovable Villains

For:
Any character who regularly beats up minions
Premise: The Character encounters some minions who are hilarious comic relief to the story, unfortunately they are getting into the way of the characters goals. The player has to choose between letting them go and sabotaging his chance at the mission, or killing them and losing potentially hilarious reoccurring characters.
Rewards: Give the player lots of hero points for sparing these NPC's because these characters can give the GM a chance in adding some lightheartedness to a grim campaign.

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Rudeboyscott
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Re:

Postby Rudeboyscott » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:18 pm

Funkadelic wrote:64. Do you swear to tell the truth?

For: Any hero

Premise: Catching criminals leads to trials and the hero has to testify.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point. And whatever else could happen. It really depends.

Variations: The hero has evidence the defendant didn't actually commit the crime. The case might get out because the defendant doesn't know who is really testifying against him. It's a retrial of an old case, there's new evidence the defendant the hero originally brought in didn't do it. The case is against another hero being accused of a heinous crime.


Fun stuff...in American courts the accused has a right to face their accusers; defense attorneys' get discovery naming witnesses. What kind of legal wrangling will occur because the hero has an alias to hide behind? I think this was the punch in the gut of Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters, wasn't it? I like it.

Funkadelic wrote:65. Civic Duty

For: Any hero that is a legal resident of the USA. (I'm sure it could work in other places but I don't know how jury selection work in other countries).

Premise: Simply, put, the hero has jury duty.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for doing his civic duty.

Variations: The hero is someone like the Red Tornado or Starfire who can't have a secret identity, and it will look bad if he wiggles out of it. The case is against a criminal the hero caught. The case is against someone the hero knows.


If it's a villain (or thug) the hero caught, this only works for secret i.d.'s...the judge typically asks before the selection process if anyone being considered has any connection to anyone involved in the case (including prosecutors, defense attorneys, the judge, police officers, etc.). Those people are eliminated...but what if the hero keeps quiet because he doesn't want to reveal exactly how that connections works? Good moral drama...
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