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Old 02-28-2023, 03:15 PM   #1
Embassy of Time
 
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Default Illuminati defeated. Now what?

I'm finishing off the first round of campaign notes for a camaign to be run by some teens (friend's kids and their friends). Although it's meant to last a long time, I am including a quick chapter on how to handle defeating the final boss of the entire massive conspiracy that they will be dealing with. The thing is.... what then? Just end the campaign, roll credits, jolly good job, chaps? Or is there something else to be done??

What would any of you do when the heroes finally meet the One Behind It All, and subsequently defeat him/her/it/them/xhug?
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Old 03-01-2023, 03:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

I'm a proponent of ending things when they are over amd resisting the temptation to just do more. Holmes dies at Reichenbach Falls, and Doyle would have been better off if he stuck to his guns.

Campaigns have a limited lifespan regardless of what you do, so it's better to bring them to a conclusion than allow them to just Peter out eventually.
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Old 03-01-2023, 04:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

Cleaning up the mess afterwards is a traditional sequel - not only do villainous organisations not vanish in a puff of smoke as soon as their leader is killed (George Lucas, please call your office) but in all but the silliest realities, they were probably doing something constructive as well as being villainous (that being the nature of power centres - they govern as well as exploit). Taking down a large enough conspiracy has plenty of scope to cause an international crisis leading to very interesting times indeed. See, for example, the potential ends of Deux Ex - if you don't side with the Illuminati, the potential outcomes are the JC/Helios hive mind or Tracer Tong's radical de-globalisation. (Or the canonical ending for the dreadful sequel wherein JC attempted the Hive Mind, only for it to cause a worldwide crash that brought about de-globalisation anyway).
Forms of fun can include lower tiers of the conspiracy trying to re-built, mutually antagonistic puppet groups going to all out war and public backlash, all leading to very gameable chaos.
May be a job for different characters - and maybe steal the old ones for NPC cameos.
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Old 03-01-2023, 09:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

That's a whole different campaign that is.

You start from the point of chaos after the liberation and you start with totally different people because, just like with Churchill and Atlee, the people you want to win the peace aren't the people you needed to win the war.

There are stories with leftover heroes (like the Blackhawks when the only Nazis were keeping their heads down in South America or building bases on the Moon) but though the leftover heroes may get called in by the new administration the stories should mostly be about the new management cleaning things up and occasionally falling over horrible things the Illuminati did and a few the Resistance did.

("Posion gas? Really?" "We prepared some but it was never used." "Uh huh, and the invocation of the Eater of Souls?" "We did actually do that and cleared up afterwards. Wouldn't have defeated the Ministry of Righteousness without it." "If you cleared up properly how do you explain what happened to Smethwick?")
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Old 03-02-2023, 02:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

Oh darn..... now I'm getting ideas for entirely new campaigns.... this is dangerous....
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Old 03-02-2023, 03:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

This is also where all their missed clues, short cuts and loose ends not tied up become plot points.
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Old 03-01-2023, 08:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

There are plenty of options, but don't put too much stock in whatever your plans are - the players may well throw you a curveball that you'd rather pursue. That said, here are some options:

Always a Bigger Fish: This runs the risk of power creep, but basically while the Big Bad was the top of their own heap, there are worse entities out there... and defeating the Big Bad has brought the party to their attention. Or for a "You fools, you know not what you have done!" / Good Job Breaking It Hero situation, the Big Bad was actually holding something back (and/or trying to gather power to defeat it), and now the heroes are left holding the bag to deal with it.

Power Vacuum: As already noted, taking out the dude on top typically doesn't suddenly mean all their underlings stop being an issue. You could potentially combine it with the above, with the Big Bad having served in part to hold the underlings back from going full-on goblin mode. You could also have the internal struggles as someone tries to take the Big Bad's place cause serious issues for innocents. Or you could go for a "Scouring of the Shire" incident (or several of them) - former lieutenants of the Big Bad splinter off their own small groups and basically set themselves up as warlords (or whatever the equivalent is for your scenario), each dominating a small area (possibly one connected to the PC's), and now the PC's need to deal with them.

Retired Heroes: This really can just be the end of the story. They've won, they get their just rewards, and go off to live happily ever after. You can, of course, have a later, mostly - or even completely - unrelated adventure in the same setting; having it occur a generation or two later, with the old PC's as NPC supporting cast, would be a good option.
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Old 03-01-2023, 08:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

After all, Cincinnatus can often become Titus Andronicus - someone needs to be in charge, and sometimes they have to take that job to stop someone else from getting it. Now the PCs have removed the person who was in charge ... who gets to be in charge now? If the PCs think it should be them ... well, this is where they find out the last guys didn't start out evil either.
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Old 03-14-2023, 08:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Embassy of Time View Post
I'm finishing off the first round of campaign notes for a camaign to be run by some teens (friend's kids and their friends). Although it's meant to last a long time, I am including a quick chapter on how to handle defeating the final boss of the entire massive conspiracy that they will be dealing with. The thing is.... what then? Just end the campaign, roll credits, jolly good job, chaps? Or is there something else to be done??

What would any of you do when the heroes finally meet the One Behind It All, and subsequently defeat him/her/it/them/xhug?
Form an evil conspiracy of your own of course. Why should they get all the fun?
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Old 03-17-2023, 11:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Illuminati defeated. Now what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
This is also where all their missed clues, short cuts and loose ends not tied up become plot points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Form an evil conspiracy of your own of course. Why should they get all the fun?
I love the contrast between "tidy it up" and "let's make a mess!" :)
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