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.
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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Funkadelic » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:55 am

96. And This Evening's Celebrity Judge Is...

For. A Well-liked Hero

Premise: The hero has been asked to judge some kind of big event, a talent show, a science fair, Miss USA, anything along those lines. There are cameras everywhere and contestants trying to earn the heroes favor.

Outcome/Rewards: A hero point if they accept the invitation.

Variants: The contestants offer the hero a series of evermore ridiculous bribes. The losing contestant claims they lost because they didn't bribe the hero. Another celebrity judge is the hero's ex, rival, or villain. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite have picked you for a rematch.

97. Super's Got Talent

For. A Hero With A Perform Skill that (probably) rarely gets used.

Premise: The things a hero does for charity. This time the hero has been asked to join the talent show, science fair, or beauty pageant.

Outcome/Rewards: A hero point if they accept the invitation. A nifty sash and crown or first place ribbon if they win.

Variants: The contest is embarrassing in someway: wardrobe malfunction, armpit fart contest, or something like that. A villain crashes the contest in order to prove they are superior to the hero in all things. The judges solicit bribes from the hero. Hephaestus is your competition in the science fair.

98. Why Do I Keep Sneezing?

For. Any hero

Premise: The hero has developed an allergy, but hasn't quite figured out what it is yet. Unfortunately the world still needs saving in the meantime.

Outcome/Rewards: A hero point surprisingly.

Variants: Every sneeze caused a spontaneous (and destructive) use of the hero's power. The allergy causes terrible swelling. The allergy is potentially fatal. The allergy was somehow given to a hero in order to reduce his effectiveness.

99. Lost and Found

For. Any hero

Premise: The hero has found an old photograph in the wind that he or she is incredibly fascinated by (details left up to GM based on player). The hero has a sudden desire to try to find the owner of the photo, the people in the photo, or the location in the photo.

Outcome/Rewards: A hero point. Maybe a new contact.

Variants: A villain is after the picture for there own nefarious purpose. The photo triggers repressed memories in the hero. The photo is somehow magical and the hero can venture into the photo or the subjects can venture out.

And finally a good round number...

100. Ending the Cycle

For. Any hero in a game dealing with more serious themes.

Premise: The hero has a neighbor that is always wearing dark glasses and heavy makeup. Or the sidekick has a friend that always has suspicious bruises. Whatever is happening the hero has had enough and is going to end it.

Outcome/Rewards: A hero point for doing the right thing.

Variants: The abuser is a respected member of the community. The abuser is another hero. The victim is a super-villain or a super-hero. The victim or abuser is from an alien culture where the concept of domestic abuse is completely absent. The victim is actually already willing to leave, but is compelled to stay for some other reason.

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby WonderMoogle » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:56 am

101. The Power is Yours!

For A team of heroes
A supervillain scientist opens a portal to a fantasy setting full of resources (fuel or otherwise). The heroes must prevent the villain from destroying, plundering, taking over the area with his robot army.

Outcome/Rewards:

Site of a future headquarters, hero point for protecting the area.

Variations:

There is some confusion of name/appearance between the villain and the patron deity. The heroes must convince the inhabitants of the ill-will of the villain.

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Dogbert » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:42 am

102. Who wants to be a celebrity?

For: Any hero/heroine with the Attractive advantage

Premise: Fame is now chasing the character with all kinds of offers; T.V commercials, shots for magazines (both decent and not so decent), interviews, licensing for related products, etc.

Outcomes/Rewards: If your setting has already a culture of supers that enables them to give their super persona a legal existence and allows them to make money without jeopardizing their secret identities, then it can be the begining of an interesting lifestyle. Alas, fame is a double edged sword, and life on the fast lane can very well be a Complication. Ridicule, being more subject to public scrutiny, rivals and enemies out to ruin the character's reputation, etc.

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Re:

Postby tggdan3 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:26 pm

Funkadelic wrote:And the fun never stops.

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.


I like the idea of combining these two. The superhero has to testify in court, but funny enough, his secret identity is on the jury!

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby tggdan3 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:31 pm

103 Let's kidnap bruce wayne! The villains want to kidnap the secret identity of a character, in hopes that the superhero will show up to save him. Even better if they get him into their secret base and broadcast the news!

For A hero with a secret identity.

Reward Hero point?

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Re: Re:

Postby Beleriphon » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:11 pm

tggdan3 wrote:
Funkadelic wrote:And the fun never stops.

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.


I like the idea of combining these two. The superhero has to testify in court, but funny enough, his secret identity is on the jury!


In all likeliness a superhero would be exempt from jury duty, same a lawyers and police officers. That said it would only really work if the hero were a public hero like Tony Stark. Clark Kent could have jury duty, same a Bruce Wayne but I suspect that it would be easy enough for them to get out of that. I can't imagine what lawyer wouldn't have either of them removed from the panel of possible jurist just for being who they are.

As a side note, and I don't know how this works in other places, most jury pools in Canada are drawn from voter's lists (usually provincial) so if a character never votes they'll never get drawn for jury duty.

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Re: Re:

Postby tggdan3 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:31 pm

Beleriphon wrote:In all likeliness a superhero would be exempt from jury duty, same a lawyers and police officers. That said it would only really work if the hero were a public hero like Tony Stark. Clark Kent could have jury duty, same a Bruce Wayne but I suspect that it would be easy enough for them to get out of that. I can't imagine what lawyer wouldn't have either of them removed from the panel of possible jurist just for being who they are.

As a side note, and I don't know how this works in other places, most jury pools in Canada are drawn from voter's lists (usually provincial) so if a character never votes they'll never get drawn for jury duty.


The secret identity could get jury duty, which could be a hassle if the superhero is a witness in the same trial. Perhaps the character could "get out of it" but that might be part of the mission. For example, a particularly patrotic hero might see jury duty as his civic duty...

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Funkadelic » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:23 pm

104. Out-of-Towner

For: Any superhero that operates primarily in one city.

Premise: Due to a job, a relationship, or just a vacation the hero is operating in a city they are not familiar with.

Outcomes/Rewards: Contacts in the new city if thing go well. New enemies is things go poorly. Reputations could change. And as always a hero point.

Variations: The city is in another country and they don't speak English. The cities hero is Batman-like and could be confused with a villain. The city has stricter laws regarding vigilantes.

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Funkadelic » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:04 pm

105. Fashion Faux Pas

For: Any public superhero

Premise: The time has come to update the old costume, but the new result is not popular with the public, the heroes allies, or enemies. The hero can't seem to live down their new style. Can the hero pull it off or will he forever be known as the Worst Dressed Hero?

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point as always for dealing with it, and whatever else flows naturally or course.

Variations: The costume isn't just bad, it's embarrassing (either too revealing, or too sparkly or whatever). The costume is some kind of alien parasite or technological device designed to make the hero look stupid, and the hero can't remove it. In response, a crack team of super-mercenaries known as the Fashion Police have been dispatched from their HQ in Milan.

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Funkadelic » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:48 pm

106. The Future Depends On You!

For: Any hero

Premise: A visitor claiming to be from the future appears before the hero warning them to do/not do something. Does the hero listen?

Outcomes/Rewards: Hero points are always good. Perhaps a bit of a hint of what the future will be like as well.

Variations: The visitor doesn't appear trustworthy. The visitor is the child of the hero. The visitor is an older version of the heroes nemesis. The task being asked is something the hero is not incredibly likely to do.

107. Fun For The Whole Family

For: A hero whose family wasn't killed as part of their origin story.

Premise: The hero's family is visiting (for the holidays/birthday/vacation) to spend time with the hero. Unfortunately the hero is busy with the latest case, work, or the fallout from the latest transdimensional incursion.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for spending time with the family.

Variations: The family members are also have powers. The family members are criminals in town for a heist. The family members (and the hero) are aliens but the visiting family isn't familiar with Earth customs. The family is visiting because they are having hard times and need help, but are too proud to just ask for it.

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby MistahFixIt » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:19 pm

I really like this thread and want to continue seeing ideas added to it. That said, I only have one idea, but it was a pretty good one. Particularly nice for stumbling those Device-Laden heroes without completely crippling them. (Somewhat inspired by Ultimate Iron Man, by the by.)


107. Trademark Wars

For: Battlesuits, Gadgeteers, Crime-Fighters, and any hero with Devices or powers with the Technology descriptor.

Premise: A PC's super-tech has been leaked to the public, and they must deal with the ensuing fallout. Perhaps a particularly clever hacker broke into your database. Maybe one of your Nemeses stole it, or an up-and-coming Villian used it to get your attention. Whatever the cause, your inventions and tech are now on the streets, and have sparked a new era of Gang Warfare. Ballers are shooting each other with concussion beams, evading police capture with rocket-boots, and so on. Collateral damage is at an all-time high, and the general public is looking for someone to blame.

While investigating the sourceof the leak, the PC has to deal with super-powered gangbangers in scrapyard power armor, bad press, and pressure from local law enforcement for release of the patents to keep police 'competitive'.

Variations: If the PC is also a billionare philanthropist or captain of industry, you can keep up the bad press and police pressure, particularly if their secret identity is also the PC's publicly-known 'benefactor'. If the hero doesn't have a secret identity, the pressure would keep up regardless. Also, perhaps the tech went viral on the internet, requiring nationwide response from the FBI or even Interpol. You could also take it a step further and have a local crime boss, or even a super-villain's alter-ego try to patent the stolen tech. (Which would lead to a previously-mentioned arc on this very thread!)

Outcome: If the player manages to negotiate his/her way out of the bad press or police pressure, award them a hero point. Note that getting the press/police commissioner to back off for good will require multiple Persuasion/Presence checks. Adjust the number of consecutive successful checks to make the Complication easier or harder, as you see fit. If the player submits to police pressure (either of their own volition or by botching several interaction checks in a row) then the Tech-equipped cops become a recurri permanent (frequently recurring) Complication, in addition to the gang criminals.

If the player finds and stops the leaking of their Tech designs, then remove the Tech-Gang as a Complication, but don't award a Hero Point for it. If they defend their patents (particularly if they do not compromise their secret identity in the process) award a hero point for that, as well.
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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Funkadelic » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:12 pm

109. Juicy Tell-All

For: A hero part of a public team

Premise: A member (or former member) of the hero's super-team has written a tell-all book. It's just hit the shelves and it is filled with dirty secrets, juicy gossip, and personal drama. Needless to say, the team is pissed and the media is in a frenzy.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point. A book deal. A new solo gig if things go poorly.

Variations: The book was written anonymously and the team wants to know who did it. The book threatens to expose some secret identities. The book seems to suggest that someone has the HQ under surveillance. Some of the dirty secrets are quite illegal.

110. I Just Wanted To Say Thank You

For: Any hero

Premise: The hero is out doing the hero thing, when someone the hero doesn't recognize come up and says to them "Thank you. What you did that day changed my life. Just...thank you so much. I don't know what I would have done without you." The person quickly leaves before the hero can respond.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point trying to remember who the person was.

Variations: The person is a villain that went straight. The person is an average citizen that decided to become a superhero. The person is an average citizen who decided to become a supervillain. A villain suspects the person is important to the hero, and targets that grateful citizen to demoralize the PC.

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Caniswolfman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:44 pm

I love this thread, so I came up with one while reading:

110. The Serial Adventures of Sergeant Super…
For: Any Hero
Premise: A comic book series is published featuring either a hero or someone very similar to the hero. What is odd is that the adventures in the comic happen soon after. The comic shows the hero fighting a villain, and the next day the hero really fights the villain under the same situation.

Outcome/Rewards: The Hero can gain a Hero Point for figuring out what is behind the comics, or uses the information to be prepared for whatever happens next. Perhaps the writer/artist can see the future?

Variations: The comic shows the death of the Hero. The comic suddenly stops. The comic is suddenly not accurate.

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Funkadelic » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:10 am

112.Welcome to Earth!

For: Any Hero

Premise:An single alien has come to Earth. Whether the alien is the last survivor of a dead species o just on vacation, the hero has somehow become responsible for the creature.

Outcome/Rewards: Hero point. New ally or enemy depending on how it goes.

Variations:This alien (unlike every other alien apparently) doesn't speak English or have a universal translator. The alien is monstrous. The alien was the inspiration for a religion on Earth. The alien come from a very harsh culture. The alien is super naive.

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Re: The Endless Thread of Sub-plots and Adventure Padding!

Postby Funkadelic » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:03 pm

113.New Leadership

For: Any Hero on a team

Premise:The current leader of the super-team has decided to stepdown/retire/been turned evil. The team needs to pick a new leader, but with all the great heroes on the team, who will it be?

Outcome/Rewards: Hero point. New position of responsibility. Rivalry and retribution.

Variations:The leader left in disgrace and public image is very important to the team. Someone is spreading terrible false rumors. Some is spreading terrible TRUE rumors. Villains take advantage of the situation, by sowing discord in the team. One of the team members turns to violence. The people choosing the new leader aren't the team members but politicians/generals/the voting public.


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