🎨 Creative [NECRO] 101+ Espionage Plot Ideas

MoonHunter

Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#91
97) There is a Russian (ex-soviet as well) agent doing "freelance" work between official missions. He has gone "off the reservation" as the American say. The Russians, wishing to operate in good faith (to make something else happen off camera), accept some FBI baby sitters to accompany them as they hunt down this spy.

You mission, to follow the Russians and make sure of what they are doing (as they are going to completely wall the poor FBI agents) and if you can, collect Maximov before the Russians can (so he can be briefly debriefed then traded).
 

ViAnn

New member
#93
I need help. I've been scanning all these great ideas but having trouble with my own. Hubby has created his own fantasy rpg system and we are using gaming sessions to develop plot, races, etc. I've hit a brick wall. And it always seems to happen this way. I get ideas, bullet points of plot but struggle to lead the party as gm from 1 point to next.
Current issue is an espionage plot I'm running. I have a small party of 'cartographers/diplomats' officially briefed to map out a new world in former enemy territory. Unofficially they are to 'put a cat amongst the pigeons' and stir unrest in hopes of rebellion but must not be caught of they are deemed traitors and loose diplomatic immunity.
Parallel to this they need to discover party npc's plot to meet with a spy. Spy has info of a high value "parcel" moving around the country. Both governments want "parcel" which is actually a noble woman, valued for nefarious purposes by 'enemy' government but valued by friendly government for Intel.
So my problem is, (1) how do I get 'cartographers' to acquire npc's spy info and (2) wish to actively put themselves at risk to engage in the hunt. (3) What carrot can i drop to start the chase. (4) How can i link errant scout info about spy - to spy - to take on hunt for parcel (excluding spy) - to discovering nature of parcel - to convince parcel her best chances of survival is with cartographers.
I hope this makes sense. I'm pretty inexperienced with gm'ing. And while I have the concept, I just struggle with the flow. Thanks
 

MoonHunter

Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#94
I need help. I've been scanning all these great ideas but having trouble with my own. Hubby has created his own fantasy rpg system and we are using gaming sessions to develop plot, races, etc. I've hit a brick wall. And it always seems to happen this way. I get ideas, bullet points of plot but struggle to lead the party as gm from 1 point to next.
One way to do this is to think of your bullet points in terms of book or movie scenes. Every scene in a movie/ book has a purpose, and entrance (how they get to this scene) and exits (where they can go from this scene). Everything in the scene should be there to help the players realize that purpose AND where they might go next. (I have some pieces on using scenes as building blocks and better definition of scenes)

This bullet point (realizing there is a spy). You would then define several possible clues that they could find to realize this (A letter dropped by someone perhaps or finding a secret compartment in something they are moving about.)

To help you do this planning, an easy way is to think through the scene as if you were a PC inside the scene. What would you do or need to do if you to (reach the goal of the scene)? Go through the scene in your head several times and seeing where it leads you. Then you now have the basis to plan the scene

Now remember, there are always multiple exits to a scene. If you want players to go certain places you need to provide them NOTABLE clues or information (in this scene or in a previous scene).

Current issue is an espionage plot I'm running. I have a small party of 'cartographers/diplomats' officially briefed to map out a new world in former enemy territory. Unofficially they are to 'put a cat amongst the pigeons' and stir unrest in hopes of rebellion but must not be caught of they are deemed traitors and loose diplomatic immunity.

Parallel to this they need to discover party npc's plot to meet with a spy. Spy has info of a high value "parcel" moving around the country. Both governments want "parcel" which is actually a noble woman, valued for nefarious purposes by 'enemy' government but valued by friendly government for Intel.
Okay, so the first plot defines the chronicle. It is the reason why you are doing everything. Technically it is a story arc, but okay.

The second is actually the plot. So once you get them going on the story arc. Then you will have them encounter this plotline. Define the scene (or possible scenes) thqat they will discover the NPC is going to meet the spy (and you always have the last ditch one of... he is being suspicious, we follow him). Again, there should be multiple ways planned for players to get important clues that will lead them on the road.

So my problem is, (1) how do I get 'cartographers' to acquire npc's spy info
Lost letter. Finding the spy's hiding place (accident or purpose). Someone tells the wrong person the wrong information (the contact thinks you are "in on it" and spills the specifics of the meeting to you.

(2) wish to actively put themselves at risk to engage in the hunt.
That is character motivation. What in their background would make them want to engage in this? Why would they? Do they believe in the cause? Do they just do this for the paycheck? Do they know this spy and he killed their partner/ spouse/ mentor/ dog? Maybe they know the noblewoman and realize she is the package due to to information is dropped. Setting up character motivation to doing thing should be set up before the play starts. Counting on "the GM said this is happening and you will be bored if you don't do it," is not a good way.

I mean think about it this way. You get information (maybe by accident) that "important government person is in danger". Are you motivate to go out there with a gun and stop that person or do you called the secret service and give them all that information? Which one are you motivated to do?

So think about each character, their history, their ideas. (Maybe give them a contact that gives them benefits. Have that contact give them the information.) Find what will make them do things and give them clues that they will follow to do it.

(3) What carrot can i drop to start the chase.
A woman screaming is always good. Various clues that this is going on. A handler gives them the information and it is their new mission. Lost letter. Finding the spy's hiding place (accident or purpose). Someone tells the wrong person the wrong information (the contact thinks you are "in on it" and spills the specifics of the meeting to you.

Dropping a carrot is not enough. You have to have characters (and players) willing to pick it up and run with it. If they are inclined to say.. it is a trap or it is not my job... then you need to find out what will motivate them.

(4) How can i link errant scout info about spy - to spy - to take on hunt for parcel (excluding spy) - to discovering nature of parcel - to convince parcel her best chances of survival is with cartographers.
You need to break this down into smaller segments. You want to do a lot of things at once. There isn't enough information here to give us the background we need to give you those specific links. Think about it. Someone gets a submission. You find out the parcel is a person. You find out it is a noble woman. (You need the information about the noble woman. Then you need to find her (which should be a nice little action sequence). Then you have to talk to her and convince her to come along. Then you need to get her out of the territory because otherwise you will attract enemy agents like bees to honey. (then the assassins, for you... not her).

Break it down into smaller pieces and individual scenes start popping up. You might need to break some plot points into two or three scenes to ensure that the folow of things makes sense and you don't have to force people to follow your plot.

Break your plots down into simple single steps. Think through the actions as if you were a player or character. (And if you know the players/ characters try to think through like them). This will give you what you will need to get you from plot point A to plot point B and onward to plotpoint Z (the final one).

This posts have some specifics, I have some general things in my RPG.Net Ex-Blog here . Browse through and find some helpful things (a lot of it requires you to read other things... so it is a surfing). There are some GMing products you might find useful listed here.
 
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