Gunpowder Plots - Treason In Your Game?
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  1. #1
    Titan (Lvl 27)

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    Gunpowder Plots - Treason In Your Game?

    It's the 5th of November. Bonfires and fireworks are sweeping across the UK as they do every year on this date. So it seems appropriate to discuss plots of treason and conspiracy.

    Remember, remember, the 5th of November
    The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
    I see of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
    Should ever be forgot.

    Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
    'Twas his intent.
    To blow up the King and the Parliament.
    Three score barrels of powder below.
    Poor old England to overthrow.

    Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606) was an English soldier and a member of a group of Roman Catholic conspirators who attempted to carry out the Gunpowder Plot to assassinate King James I of England (James VI of Scotland) and the members of both houses of the Parliament of England with a huge explosion, which was prevented by his arrest on 5 November 1605.

    What plots of intrigue and treason have cropped up in your games? Political subterfuge? Courtly dramas?
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    Last edited by Morrus; Friday, 22nd March, 2013 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Magsman (Lvl 14)

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    My PCs overthrew a dynasty once; one that one of the players, in an earlier campaign, had founded. He wasn't too sad, given the way things had changed over the years in the ruling family. Over the course of several campaigns spanning generations, things had changed till the kingdom really wasn't a nice place to live. So they intrigued with various noble families, got the heads of some churches on their side, agitated among the population, replaced two heads of thieves guilds who seemed to be unreliable, assassinated the Royal Spymaster, provoked a small conflict with orc tribes that got significant parts of the army out of the way, and in the end managed to drive the queen off her throne.

    And then they were hit with the difficult question. "What do you do now?"

  3. #3
    One of my husband's PCs retired and became Prince of Greenvale (a small area at the time consisting of a couple of towns and the land between them). Eventually, it became a sizeable kingdom. The PC king's grandson was the nominal prince, but he was a child. When he should have become Prince in his own right, he failed the "test of rulership" set up for him; he tried to seize the throne anyway. Another group of PCs tracked down the next rightful heir and helped him overthrow the failed Prince.

    In the present day, THAT prince, Starbow, is still ruler of Greenvale, but his heirs are all pretty crappy (the Princess was killed in a war, and her two brothers are - a; transformed into a bird and cannot be restored by any known means, and b; apparently manic depressive or possessed by a demon). There's also a County whose leader was arrested for treason and he's in prison. The person now ruling the County (a regency for the treasonous Count's minor heir) is a right bastard. Some people suspect he may have framed the Count to gain power himself, and they may not be wrong...

    I really want to set a game in that area and watch what happens, but the two times I've tried (one was a solo game) they haven't amounted to anything. The PCs I have now prefer not to meddle in politics.

  4. #4
    No coups, but somehow the halfling mafia always seems to be after the crown jewels.

  5. #5
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

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    We did two long campaigns that dealt with this. The first back in 2e had the King's brother kill the King and his family except for the youngest boy who was being raised by his evil Uncle. We had to first find out what had happened, rescue the boy, and go to the capital and confront the evil Uncle and get the boy properly crowned. That was a fun two year campaign.

    The second in the early days of 3e had a rumor of the rightful King heir smuggled out when s/he was a baby twenty five years ago and was missing. That was a complex plot as the PCs had to trace the steps of the mysterious people who smuggled the baby to safety and find out what happened to him. It turned out one of the PCs was that rightful Heir as he didn't give the character a backstory so I made one up. Once he realized his character could be the heir her purposefully sabotaged the investigation as he didn't want to be the heir. That made the party's goals a whole lot tougher and it was months real time before the other players realized what was happening. That was a long campaign that went almost three years.

  6. #6
    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)

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    If you are into a long read, here is my integration of Expedition to Castle Ravenloft into Eberron. Very politically driven with several bit reveals.

  7. #7
    I never ran a political campaign but I did have a sly lord who had many appearances during one long adventure. Whenever he and players met, there was a great tension in the air.
    It was great because he had the power to kill the players whenever he wanted and in return players had a lot of dirt on him. PCs talked a lot about getting rid of him but never had the guts and wits to pull it of. In the end they formed a love-hate relationship with the lord.

  8. #8
    Our current party (D&D 3.5E; character levels 5-7) was recently sent into the capital city by the king (who is out on a campaign against a renegade vassal) to spy on Malik, General of the Royal Guard, who was let to run the capital in teh king's absence. The king suspects treason, involving the notorious White Skull criminal network, which was originally created by the king to serve as a straw man (i.e. do some mischief, then get arrested and show the king in a positive light as a fighter against crime), but has gone rogue and gathered too much power. We were given officers' ranks and sent to infiltrate the Royal Guard and see what mischeif Malik is up to. So far we have just reached the capital after two VERY NASTY encounters enroute (three Chimerae and later a Treant with various plant monsters under his command), which killed our Paladin; we finished this week's session after we spent almost all of our amassed treasure on her ressurection.

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