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:

Postby Funkadelic » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:39 am

67. What Gives You The Right To Wear That Costume?

For: Any hero that was close to a hero that died.

Premise: The hero is going about his business when he starts hearing about a new hero with an old name. Someone has taken up the name and costume of a fallen hero close to the PC. He's not claiming to be the original but it's hard to see someone replace a dear friend.

Outcomes/Rewards: As always hero points for dealing with it. A new ally in crime fighting if done well. A rival if done badly. A new villain if it goes really badly.

Variations: The new hero is completely incompetent and is going to get himself (or others) killed. The new hero is really, really nice and all the other hero's love him. The new hero is a villain in disguise, trying to sneak his way into the superhero community and learn their secrets. The new hero is a villain trying to make up for his past crimes.

68. A Bun in the Oven.

For: Any hero with reproductive organs.

Premise: The hero is pregnant, or the hero's significant other is pregnant. (This should probably be talked out with the player first to make sure it's okay).

Outcomes/Rewards: Hero points. A closer or strained relationship with the SO depending on how it's handled. Maybe a new outlook on why the hero is fighting crime, or whether he or she should be putting their life in danger now that a baby is on the way.

Variations: The other parent is NOT the significant other of who is pregnant. One of the parents is not human, and the pregnancy is likely to be complicated. Both parents are powerful heroes and the child is expected to be on of the most powerful superhuman to ever exist. A villain from the future is comes back to kill the mother before the baby could be born to prevent the existence of a great hero. A hero from the future comes back in time to convince the parents to terminate the pregnancy (or kill the mother depending on how desperate they are) to prevent the existence of a future villain.

69. Can I Ask You A Few Questions?

For: Any hero.

Premise: The hero is asked to give an interview to a local reporter.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for participating. A lot of good exposure. A lot of bad exposure if it doesn't go well.

Variations: The interviewer is hostile to the hero. The interview is with a high school paper and the questions are a little out there. The interviewer is obviously attracted to the hero and the questions are a little...uncomfortable.

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Re: Re:

Postby Funkadelic » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:55 am

Once again I find myself with a few ideas. Holiday themed.

70. No. He Can't Be...Can He?

For: Anyone in any campaign around December.

Premise: A fat man with red cheeks and a big white beard asked the PCs for help. Of course he claims to be Santa Claus, and says someone stole his bag (or the North Pole has been captured by villains, or something) and he needs the heroes help to get it back.

Outcomes/Rewards: If it's really old Saint Nick then you've saved Christmas and you should feel really great. If that's not good enough, then I'm sure Santa has something in his bag for you.

Variations: Santa has amnesia. Santa know all the bad things you did as a child that are embarrassing now, and tends to let them slip. Now the whole team knows about the Noodle Incident. He's not really Santa just a crazy old man. He's a demon trying to sneak into people's houses. He's really a villain trying to get the PCs to steal the sack from the real Santa.

71. You're Not The Real Santa!

For: A hero that loves the season.

Premise: A local orphanage asks the hero to dress up like Santa and deliver presents.

Outcomes/Rewards: If I've learned anything from Batman it's that orphans make great sidekicks, pick one up (see also Adventure Padding #4). Also a hero point for being nice. The good PR is nice too.

Variations: One kid is horrible depressed and it's up to you to cheer him up. One kid's parents died when the PC failed to saved them, and is appropriately bitter. It's a home for super-powered kids that are too dangerous to be around others.

72. It's A Time For Holly, A Time To Be Jolly, A Time For...Other Things That End In Olly.

For: A hero that loves the season.

Premise: Teach someone the meaning of Christmas. The emotionless robot/alien on the superteam doesn't understand what the big deal is, and the hero is going to show them. Share a moment with a villain, and convince them there might be better things in life.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point.

Variations: The alien/robot really doesn't care, and would like the PC to back off and mind his own business. Seriously, the PC's kind of annoying. Even better, even the rest of the team thinks the PC's taking the holidays too far and would like you stop.

73. His Heart Grew Three Sizes That Day.

For: A cold emotionless robot/alien hero.

Premise: The PC doesn't know what the humans are blathering about this time, but thinks they should investigate this Christmas thing. If only to get the humans to quit bugging the PC about it. Go to Christmas parties, decorate the tree, and sit on Santa's lap. Find out what the fuss is about.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for every comic misunderstanding. This should be comedy gold.

Variations: The PC doesn't just misunderstand Christmas, it's offensive/frightening to her. On the far planet Liksum members of the assassin guild are known for the corpulence and red suits. In the Uriga Dimension colorful lights in trees summons the soul eating demons of The Netherwrack. Really ham it up.

7$. Home For The Holidays.

For: A hero who's family wasn't killed in a terrible crime that led him to become a superhero.

Premise: As tradition dictates the PC has got to go see family for the holidays. Hopefully Dr. Destruction's later scheme won't bother the family time.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for the roleplaying.

Variations: The PC and her family don't get along and she prays Dr. Destruction has some scheme brewing. Dr. Destruction is the PC's family. "Why aren't you married yet?" "Your brother is always so reliable, why can't you be more like him?" The PC's family is on another planet. The PC's family thinks superheroes are reckless vigilantes. The PC comes from a superhero family.

76. I Just Don't Celebrate.

For: The hero who volunteers for monitor duty on Christmas.

Premise: For religious, personal, or cultural reasons the PC don't celebrate the holidays. Of course the PC's friends that do don't always take no for an answer.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for every successful avoidance of the holiday season, or other good roleplaying. Strained friendships, if the PC's friends are really pushy or the PC really hates the holidays.

Variations: For some reason the PC is also the PC in numbers 70 and 71. The PC's parents/spouse/child died on Christmas and just can't find the good cheer.
Last edited by Funkadelic on Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Re:

Postby FuzzyBoots » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:05 am

Rudeboyscott wrote: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...

Heh, I remember the comic where Bruce Wayne got called in for jury duty on a criminal he caught as Batman. His reason for not being able to be on the jury? "I'm Batman and I brought that man in." Of course, he gets fined for contempt of court for his outright lies.

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

Postby VIRTUE » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:37 pm

I still have a lot more to go through but this is really cool thread

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

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:36 am

77. I keep on trying to get out but they keep pulling me back in!

For: Any hero who has an ongoing rogues gallery.

Premise: One of your older (age wise) science/gadget based villains has retired from the life of crime, after all crime is a young mans game & in this age of super violent heroes its just not worth it anymore. He's trying to live an ordinary life, he's put away his super-gadgets & is even trying to make good with the family he ignored & the grandson he didn't know he had. But just because he's retired doesn't mean his old associates are going to let him go so easy. They want him back in the game for one more score & these aren't the sort of people you say NO too. He's got a family to protect now & the other villains promise its just one more score... He can't say NO, but he doesn't want to be pulled back in, or go to jail. The only person he trusts to not have an agenda is you... after all your relationship has always been pretty black and white.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point should be the very least you should reward them. If the ex-villain is on the up and up. A possible contact & go to science guy for misc. wierd tech. If it all goes badly, at best the villain comes out of retirement at worst the villains family is killed & the villain makes it his life works to make you feel the lose he now feels every day.

Variations: The grandson is sick, the score is stealing something that may help him get better. But he doesn't want his associates hanging around once the deal is done.

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

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:14 am

78. Unused Legacies or Mistaken Identities

For: Any character who has retired one super-identity for another

Premise: For whatever reason a PC has dropped one super-identity for another (think Robin, becoming Nightwing). Its been a while since anyone has seen your old costume identity & then all of a sudden someone claiming to be your old costumed id shows up & starts fighting crime. The costume is different but similiar to what you just to wear & the power-set is close enough to be what you used to use, even though the violence of it has been turned upto 11. This new version of your old ID has no compunction about maiming & killing to get the job done. He's you if you didn't have any restraint or care for the people you protect. A complete Glory-Hound he is descrediting an ID you no longer use. But who & why?

Outcomes/Rewards: A power point if the new *ahem* hero is stopped, or made to see what he is doing isn't right. If you beat him & take his stuff; the possibility of one day taking back the identity (plus new toys).

Variations: The new hero is actually hired by one of your old villains & was supplied with the "powers" in a hope that the true hero would confiscate the powers (works best with gadget heroes) & take them back to there secret HQ, where he can track them later on.

-M
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

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Re: Re:

Postby Funkadelic » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:21 am

Valentine Day themed sub-plots today.

79. Welcome to Dumpsville! Population...YOU!

For: A hero in a relationship.

Premise: The PC is a completely unreliable partner. Coming and going at all hours. Leaving in the middle of dates. And the lame excuses! The significant other has finally had enough and suggests you see other people. Does the PC accept this or convince their partner to give them one more chance?

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for trying to make it work. One for letting her go to if the roleplaying is good enough.

Variations: Your partner is already seeing someone else. You're married and now you get the joy of a divorce. The partner is being mind controlled by a villain.

80. You Want To Get a Cup of Coffee or Something?

For: A hero that interacts regularly with recurring NPCs.

Premise: Maybe it's the nameless lab technician. Maybe a police officer you run into from time to time. But one of the NPCs has been nursing a crush on the PC for a while and figured they might as well see if they have a chance.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for dealing with it. Fun new roleplaying experiences with the new *cough*recurring hostage*cough* romantic interest.

Variations: The NPC is a villain you've busted a few times. The NPC has been struck by Cupid's Arrow, literally.


81. Take The Hint Already!

For: A hero that just isn't looking for a relationship right now and interacts with other heroes.

Premise: A teammate, or some other hero, has a thing for the PC. The would-be-lover is completely obnoxious about it. With every refection the overtures of love get more ridiculous and bothersome.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for dealing with it. Maybe a fat settlement from the sexual harassment lawsuit.

Variations: The PC is married. Did I say another hero, I meant a villain. It's beginning to look like you may need a restraining order.

82. Just For Tonight.

For: A hero who is strangely attracted to one of the villains.

Premise: The PC finds out through various channels that the villain has something special in store for the hero. After charging into the villain's lair the hero finds a table set for two, with candles, a glass of wine, and soft music playing. The villain is willing to set aside their differences (briefly) for one night of romance.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point with the complicated love life. If it goes real well, maybe the villain will give up the life of crime.

Variations: Either the PC or the villain has another significant other, making their love even more forbidden. Admiral Akbar was right...It's a trap! A month or so later either the villain or hero is pregnant from the one night of romance.


83. Super-Date!

For: A hero with a lover that knows the PCs secret identity.

Premise: Sure anyone can go dancing, or make a reservation at a fancy restaurant. But can those other people take their dates to see the eternal aurora of the living planet Ortil? Can they take their lover to a masquerade ball being thrown by Oberon and Titania King and Queen of the Fairies? Well you can, and this Valentine's day you're going to give it your all.

Outcomes/Rewards: For the play a hero point. For the GM the fun of seeing what kind of superdate the player comes up with.

Variations: Your date would really rather just go to the restaurant. The living planet Ortil competes for your lovers attention. Alien invasions happen at the worst possible time.


84. WHY WON'T YOU LOVE ME?

For: Any hero.

Premise: The hero begins noticing that the same clingy person ends up needing saving a lot. Turns out the victim is obsessed with the hero and is staging events to try to earn the hero's love. The events get more and more dangerous, as the person become more and more unhinged. If something isn't done soon the poor soul will get killed, or will kill someone else.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point and maybe a new villain.

Variations: The suitor has powers, as well as being mentally unstable. The victim is being manipulated by someone...or something. The victim has uncovered the hero's secret identity, and shows up at his home. Hopefully the PC doesn't have a family.


85. Put Your Love To The Test

For: Any hero with a love interest.

Premise: Aphrodite or Cupid or some other love god or goddess has taken an interest in the PCs love life, and wants to see how true the hero's love really is. The hero and the love interest find themselves being hit on by numerous attractive people (maybe even the god/goddess). The hero or love interest hear rumors that the other one is cheating. They're offered riches, fame, whatever they want to leave their lover. The gods won't rest until they're sure the love is pure.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point at least. See how it goes.

Variations: The deity in question isn't just testing, but is malevolent and actually seeking to break up the couple. It's not just the PC, the whole city is being tested. The deity wants the PC or love interest for their own.


Ended up having more than I thought. I thought I had one more though. Oh well, I'll post it if I remember.

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

Postby JohntheDM7000 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:50 pm

A couple of ideas:

86. I cannot tell a lie. It was I who came back from the dead as an unliving abomination

For:Patriotic heroes

Premise: A new mutant or sorcerer with uncontrolled necromantic powers is causing the dead to come back as undead versions of themselves! This would be fairly easy to stop, as the new mutant isn't trying to cause trouble and is a fairly normal person otherwise-he or she just has an uncontrollable gift. The main problem is what happens when the public at large releases that "one of those damn muties" is inadvertently desecrating some of the most important graves in the U.S! The heroes must intervene quickly to prevent a riot, and teach the new mutant to control their powers.

Outcomes/Rewards:Recognition at the national level for preventing an affront to the nation's dignity if it's handled successfully. Scorn and perhaps legal trouble if in the course of subduing the new mutant they have to blast apart zombified presidents who can only think to "defend" their master or mistress (who doesn't know how to tell them to stop). Problems with mutant-rights groups if the heroes kill or maim the target who wasn't intentionally doing anything wrong.

Variations:The mutant/sorcerer normally knows what he or she is doing, but something (perhaps sabotage) has warped his or her talent or spell. The mutant/sorcerer is a historian who made a specific study of the lives of great leaders and who could actually learn a lot from those he animates if they were allowed to exist long enough to tell him their secrets. The undead statesmen that are coming back are fully cognizant and many of them want to keep on "living", despite what the public might say.

87. Mutant Rights Now! or Kent state redux

For:Heroes passionate about equal rights for super-powered beings

Premise:While attending a peaceful rally for mutant rights (perhaps focusing on a repeal of a registration act, or just making their wishes known to city hall) the heroes realize that the rally is about to turn violent as police are called in to "manage" the unruly protestors.

Outcomes/Rewards:A hero point at the very least if the heroes manage to avoid a showdown between protestors and police, plus the respect of both the police and the mutant-rights activists. A hero point if things go bad and the heroes are forced to combat the police and become fugitives, or if they support the police against the mutants and thus alienate their fellows.

Variations:The protest goes awry as the result of an anonymous tip put in by a rival of the heroes. The violence at the protest is just the beginning, as mutant terroists organizations go on the offensive against their opressors. The police chief is a bigot who is looking to crack down on what he sees as dangerous radicals. The violence at the protest is initiated by a person planted there by a radical mutant organization. The violence was caused by a misunderstanding on one or both sides and revealing this might heal any damage.

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

Postby Funkadelic » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:55 am

88. And Sometimes I Despair The World Will Never See Another Man Like Him

For: Any hero

Premise: A famous and well-loved superhero has died and the PC has been asked to give the eulogy at his funeral. The press and most of the superhero community will be there, so it better be good.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for actually writing something. And a good or bad reputation for how well it is.

Variations: The PC and the dead hero didn't really get along. It was a villain that died. During the funeral a handful of the hero's villains arrive, are they here to start trouble or pay their respects? The fallen hero's ghost is haunting the hero, and you have to figure out how to lay him to rest before the funeral.

89. I Need To Get To The Hospital!

For: Any hero with a significant other expecting a baby.

Premise: While on patrol the hero gets a call. His wife has gone into labor, and he needs to get to the hospital right away.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for trying. Maybe an angry wife.

Variations: A villain is rampaging across the city and all the other heroes are out of town. The villain the PC is fighting has a family himself and will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get the hero to the hospital. The hero is on another planet.

90. "What Do You Mean? I Have it Right...Oh"

For: Any married hero.

Premise: The hero takes off her wedding while she's in costume and seems to have lost it somewhere. She needs to find it quick before she's in trouble. Hope the hero wasn't off-world that day.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for trying and whatever seems appropriate.

Variations: The ring is from the hero's late spouse and is the only thing she has to remember him by. It was stolen by: a villain, a homeless kid, an overzealous fan, Hermes.

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

Postby Dark Koala » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:51 pm

Best. Thread. Ever.

Okay, here's the only contribution I can think of. Somewhat similar to the LOLHero one from earlier, but a bit more invasive and malicious...

91. The Laughing Stock

For: Any hero with a good reputation.
Premise: The hero is attacked one night by a new villain, but the villain doesn't seem to really be trying to hurt him. Instead, the villain does things like trip the hero, squirt him in the crotch with a squirt gun (making it look like he's wet himself), and generally put him in compromising and humiliation positions. The villain then suddenly makes a getaway. The next morning, videos making the hero look like a complete tool are all over the internet, people are sending them via cell phones, etc.
Outcomes/Rewards: Hero points, of course. May seriously damage the heroes reputation. May also result in a villain the PC has a major vendetta against.
Variations: Perhaps this villain turns out to be someone the hero wronged in the past. Perhaps its another alter ego of a past villain. It could even be another hero who's grown jealous, or just doesn't like the PC's glory hounding.

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

Postby hypervirtue » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:51 pm

Here is one courtesy of our group...

So Mr. (Hero name here), why do YOU hate America?

The PC is a victim of a really belligerent reporter. So belligerent that the reporter is just this side of outright accusing the hero of being up to no good.

Example:
"Look at the destruction that this so-called "hero" caused in the course of his battle with Dr. Destructor, a villain who supposedly "got away" now, I am not saying that this supposed hero is a menace, but it does bring up some questions..."

or

"Dr. Destructor was just a hard working steel man from Chicago and while his methods were extreme he was just a man who did what he did because he was afraid. Did he have a reason to be afraid? That is for you to decide."

This is setting the stage for an eventual interview on the reporter's show... The reporter will ask horribly unfair questions, "How do we know that you are an American? Oh you say so, but can you produce a birth certificate? Some sources (his own show) claim that you are actually an illegal immigrant from Africa. Can you dispute these claims? What proof can you show? Oh your secret identity? What are you trying to hide? If you were a citizen of this country why would you hide your face? Oh you are afraid for your loved ones? So you don't trust the abilities of the brave men and women of law enforcement to protect the American people?"

Almost everything the PC tries to say will get turned and twisted into some kind of back handed insult to someone and the PC will simply have to deal with the fact that no matter what you do you can't win everyone over.

Rewards
A hero point for trying to answer the horribly unfair string of questions.

Consequences
The hero may suffer some negative press from the way that the interview will be cut together and broadcast to the nation.

Variations
Maybe it isn't a reporter, perhaps the PC is being targeted by a preacher who is convinced that the PC worships darkness. (This is especially useful for those PCs who use magic, or who might actually be Demonic in some way.)
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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

Postby Funkadelic » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:43 am

93. Guest Teacher

For: Any adult superhero

Premise: The local school has asked the local hero the give a guest lecture.

Outcomes/Rewards: A hero point for coming up with something good. A new sidekick. A group of young fans. Maybe a new job if it goes really well.

Variations: It's a school for super-powered kids. A super-villain attacks. The kids aren't impressed at all and heckle the hero. The school is for up and coming super-villains, the hero is less of a guest lecture and more of the frog about to be dissected. The hero's child is in the class.

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

Postby HJ1987 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:38 am

94. He Deserves to Die!

For. Anyone with a connection to the local enforcement

Premis:A NPC (police officer/detective/investigator/super cop/etc) gets the PC's help in arresting the local head of a drug ring that local law enforcment have not been able to capture due to the criminal's super powers. After knocking out the individual the NPC gets ready to kill the now defensless criminal claming that they are too dangerous to leave alive.

OUtcome/Rewards: If the party can convince the NPC to spare the criminal's life then they have a new reaccuring villian. If they decide to let the criminal die then they have to cover it up. Give everyone a hero point for making a moral choice.

Varients: The NPC is a crock, the criminal was their competition. the criminal is a serial murderer and/or cop killer. Due to servailance or someone hidding (invisibility power) there is a recording of the fight and arrest/exacution.

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

Postby CourtFool » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:25 am

This thread needs more llama love.

Not sub-plots or adventure padding, but a couple of links I found useful for creative fodder:

Secrecy News
2011 Army Weapon Systems (I believe US Army, I do apologize for the US centricity)
¡Vive el llama!

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

Postby Funkadelic » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:43 am

95. Final Issue

For. A PC with a comic book

Premise: The unthinkable has finally happened. The comic book featuring the hero is being canceled do to flagging sales. Is there anything the hero can do to save it? Does the hero even care? He better if he wants that hero point.

Outcome/Rewards: A hero point for trying to save the comic. Maybe an animated series if the hero comes up with a really good plan.

Variants: The sales are fine, the Editor-in-Chief just has a personal axe to grind against the hero. The comic is being canceled because rumors are spreading that the hero isn't as much of a straight arrow as he seems. This is just the first step in a villains plan to turn the public against the hero. The comic isn't being canceled, just revamped: more violence, more sex, or more slapstick. Whatever is more likely to annoy the PC.


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