Friday, January 18, 2013

Discussion: The Long Plot vs. The Direct Approach

PCs have a tendency to take things head on. They also have a tendency to set ablaze, shoot, explode, or hack apart anything that gets in their way. Hint at a corruption plot and a PC will probably punch the corrupt person in the face until the truth comes out and that can make things very hard on the poor GM. Especially when the PCs roll like crazy in combat (and it always comes down to combat) and just make things even bloodier and more explosive.

That in mind, how do you introduce your long plots so that they stymie even the direct approach? Do you only make certain plot elements available until later? Do you make it so a straight line is actually the longest distance? Do you flat out cheat? Hide clues? What?

I've tried all of the above approaches to varying levels of success, but today I figured it'd be worth polling the rest of you guys - and girls - to see what has worked for you.

Please, (seriously, please) sound off in the comments.


  1. It's tricky. I've had most success by just making it so that the long plot is hinted at in passing, but doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the things they're beating up *now* so that when it becomes time for me to fire off that particular plot, the players will have at least heard of it.

  2. I've done that too, but I'd really rather try for something where the PCs get involved - on the fringes maybe - and work their way up. Unsure how that will work though. Then again, I'm also planning on attempting to juggle 4-5 long plots

  3. I tend to make sure that going the direct route is unreasonable and untenable for political or survival reasons, and the PCs have to build towards it. Of course that makes it so they need to Want to build towards it. A good humiliation, a friend getting ganked, something.