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Old 09-11-2018, 05:19 AM   #1
coronatiger
 
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Default Brainstorm: False Empathy plots

Premise 1: The queen is an impostor, spying on the king for a foreign power.
Premise 2: The party meets her for the first time, and the PC with Empathy critically fails their roll.
Conclusion: The GM gives the players some false information about the queen, unrelated to her being a spy, to send them on a wild goose chase.

So... Does anyone have any good ideas for what the GM might say?

Note: I don't have any plans for using these ideas (the characters in the game I'm GMing have no reason to go see the queen, and none of them have Empathy anyways), it's just meant to be a brainstorming challenge. Both funny and serious GM statements are accepted.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Brainstorm: False Empathy plots

  1. You get the distinct impression that the queen is pregnant
  2. The Queen seems to be deeply worried about the welfare of the King
  3. The Queen doesn't seem to be that interested in the affairs of the kingdom.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Brainstorm: False Empathy plots

The poor empath thinks that the queen has a crush on one of the PCs (pick the one that you think would be most amusing for the group).

EDIT: If the imposter thinks that the real queen was having an affair, she might try to keep it going to avoid suspicion, or try to get out of it in a way that doesn't cause suspicion, and either way, complicates the plot in an interesting manner.
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 09-11-2018 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:38 PM   #4
Maz
 
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Default Re: Brainstorm: False Empathy plots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
The poor empath thinks that the queen has a crush on one of the PCs (pick the one that you think would be most amusing for the group).

EDIT: If the imposter thinks that the real queen was having an affair, she might try to keep it going to avoid suspicion, or try to get out of it in a way that doesn't cause suspicion, and either way, complicates the plot in an interesting manner.
This is excellent. Especially the second part. I personally love it when "a failure" leads to more complicated play instead of "a fail o outright misdirection", so it allows clever PC's to actually end up on top thanks to a fail... although having to use a lot of time and resources and... be clever.
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Old 09-11-2018, 05:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Brainstorm: False Empathy plots

The Queen seems distracted by...your face? She’s making that- you know, that universal ‘you’ve got a smudge right there’ sign known to moms everywhere.

The Queen seems extremely tense, as if expecting deadly violence at any moment- and her eyes are tracking something coming up right behind you.

The Queen is- stoned out of her mind? Blind? For whatever reason, her gaze seems very unfocused.

The Queen keeps subtly wincing every time someone’s voice gets too loud: maybe she’s hung over? Migraine? Better speak as quietly as possible, even if it makes you tough to hear in this huge audience chamber.

The Queen is deeply interested in [PC’S favorite subject], and wants you to steer the conversation in that direction.

The Queen seemed fine at first, but now she seems to be paler, subtly struggling to breathe and gradually losing the thread of the conversation. She’s been poisoned!

The Queen recognized you the moment you stepped in the room: her expression is venomous. She hates your guts, and you don’t know why.

(If the ability is magical, psychic, or otherwise overtly supernatural) You are getting absolutely no reading off of the Queen. Not like a person with well-concealed emotions, or one feeling nothing in particular- like a statue or a projection or something.

(At a sufficiently suggestive or suspicious juncture of the conversation) The queen wants you to drop this subject. Now.

Last edited by Toptomcat; 09-11-2018 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Brainstorm: False Empathy plots

One PC in my fantasy game is absolutely certain that Kurilgalzu, certain 'festhall' (brothel) owner, is an undead lich, after he critically failed his Empathy roll upon first meeting him.

He's spent a lot of sessions trying to reconcile this empathetic gut feeling with mounting evidence that not only does the purported lich have a wife and many concubines, but also seems to sire children with some regularity. Oh, and Kurilgalzu also seems to be a were-serpent of some sort, able to take the form of a giant King Cobra.

So, evidence that the NPC is a harem-keeping, incestuous snake cult leader who uses his many, many serpent-natured offspring as dancers, whores, spies, assassins and personal concubines = Almost irrefutable.
Evidence that he is legally dead and continues to exist through a necromantic ritual giving him a connection with the Negative Energy Plane = None.

Yet, without fail, the player refers to him as the 'Lich Kurilgalzu' and are still searching for some way his literal brood of serpent children could somehow be an elaborate cover and/or that Kurilgalzu might be the first lich to discover a way to sire living children while dead.

It helps that the player character with Empathy also has Overconfidence.
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