Pepla (Sword-and-Sorcery) Plot Generator

Hercules Against the Moon Men (AKA Maciste e la regina di Samar)
He actually succeeds on his Smarts roll.

A generator for short, campy, formulaic adventures in the style of 1950s/1960s sword-and-sandal films. This generator makes reference of the previously posted pepla frameworks.
 
Act I: Draw a card.
  • Clubs: The heroes’ city-state/tribe is attacked/butchered by barbarians. The Super-Strong Demigod’s or Secondary Protagonists’ love interest dies. If this love interest is a player character, that player may introduce a new character in the next act, either giving a new name and backstory for a character using the same game statistics or creating a new character with the same level of experience. The heroes must seek the aid of a neighboring nation to defeat the barbarians.
  • Diamonds: The heroes are charged with retrieving a fabulous treasure in order to prove that either a Secondary Protagonist or Lookout player character is the rightful heir to a nearby city-state or kingdom. At the end of this adventure, the heir character must retire to rule their new nation. The player of that character may introduce a new character in the next adventure, either giving a new name and backstory for a character using the same game statistics or creating a new character with the same level of experience.
  • Hearts: The love interest of any one hero – Super-Strong Demigod, Lookout, or Protagonist – inherits the throne of a nearby city-state or kingdom. At the end of the adventure, the hero whose love interest has ascended the throne must choose whether to marry their love interest and stay behind, or leave them and continue their adventures. The player of that character may introduce a new character in the next adventure, either giving a new name and backstory for a character using the same game statistics or creating a new character with the same level of experience.
  • Spades: The heroes’ city-state/tribe is attacked/butchered by the army of a rival or enemy kingdom. The Super-Strong Demigod’s or Secondary Protagonists’ love interest dies. If this love interest is a player character, that player may introduce a new character in the next act, either giving a new name and backstory for a character using the same game statistics or creating a new character with the same level of experience. The heroes must seek the aid of a neighboring nation to defeat their enemy or journey to confront the enemy directly. 
II. The heroes journey to a nearby city-state or kingdom to either request aid in completing the quest initiated in Part I or seek revenge against the ruler of that nation. They meet peasants on the road beset by a dangerous animal. Draw a card. 
  • Clubs: dire wolf Extras (one per party member plus one per Rank of highest-Ranked hero) 
  • Diamonds: Wild Card bull 
  • Hearts: Wild Card lion 
  • Spades: Wild card large bear  
III. The heroes arrive in the nearby city-state or kingdom. If the heroes are journeying to a nation they expect to be friendly, they discover the nation currently ruled by a puppet of the barbarian horde, regent, or usurper who is hostile to their intent. (Enemy rulers are, of course, always hostile.) The ruler or the ruler’s spouse attempts to persuade or seduce the Super-Strong Demigod in order to turn the hero against the hero’s allies or cause. 
 
The ruler has an ethical adult child or ward (a prince or princess). This prince/ss falls in love with a hero who does not have a love interest (prioritizing the Demigod first, the Secondary Protagonist second, and a Lookout third). This prince/ss warns the heroes to beware their treacherous parent(s)
 
Adjourn for snacks and a bathroom break while the Game Master describes a licentious belly-dance or pagan dance. 
 
IV. The ruler or spouse of the ruler of the city-state or kingdom attempts to drug the Super-Strong Demigod. The hero must either beat the ruler in an opposed Smarts roll to avoid drinking the poison (the ruler is a Wild Card and has a Smarts die one higher than the hero) or succeed on a Vigor roll to avoid an effect determined by drawing a card. 
  • Clubs: The Demigod is convinced their allies are their enemies. While they will not physically attack them, they are now Hostile (as per the NPC Reaction table). The Secondary Protagonist and Lookout must succeed on a Persuasion Dramatic Task to return the Super-Strong Demigod to their right mind. Every success on the task moves the Demigod one step closer to Helpful; each turn of the Dramatic Task takes place on a successive day. The allies discover the fabulous treasure, if that was the inciting incident in Act I.
  • Diamonds: The Demigod falls asleep and wakes in a stone-walled prison or labyrinth. Breaking out requires success on a Stength Dramatic Task, as the hero bends bars and shatters stones to break free. Each turn of the Dramatic Task corresponds to a turn of a Chase as the villain tries to trap the Super-Strong Demigod’s allies. The prison holds the fabulous treasure, if that was the inciting incident in Act I.
  • Hearts: The Demigod falls in love with the ruler or spouse of the ruler of the nation. While they will not physically attack them, they are now Hostile (as per the NPC Reaction table) to their former allies. The Secondary Protagonist and Lookout must succeed on a Persuasion Dramatic Task to return the Super-Strong Demigod to their right mind. Every success on the task moves the Demigod one step closer to Helpful; each turn of the Dramatic Task takes place on a successive scene of the Demigod and their new evil love interest frolicking and/or indulging in excess. The allies find the fabulous treasure in the villain's bedroom, if that was the inciting incident in Act I.
  • Spades: The Demigod falls asleep and wakes in the lair of a monster. This monster is a monstrous beast (Cerberus, chimera, four-legged reptile) with the game stats of a lion Extra or a brute-man (Cyclops, giant, minotaur, wild man) with the stats of an ogre Extra. Each turn of combat corresponds to a turn of a Chase as the villain tries to trap the Super-Strong Demigod’s allies. The monster is guarding the fabulous treasure, if that was the inciting incident in Act I.
If the Super-Strong Demigod does not fall victim to the villain's poison, they are nevertheless plunged into the lair of a monster per the Spades result above.   

V. The demigod rejoins their allies in a massive melee in the throne room or dungeon of the evil ruler. This melee may be fought against an unceasing horde of poorly-trained guards (as goblin Extras without Infravision) or a monster (using the stats of a Wild Card drake, lion, minotaur, or ogre). If the Demigod fought a monster in Act IV, it returns revived and stronger. 

The heroes may declare that they are attempting to reach the evil ruler (who may be the leader of the barbarian horde if that was the inciting incident in Act I). Regardless of previous statistics used, the evil ruler has the stats of a Wild Card orc chieftain in this scene. It takes three rounds of battling through the poorly-trained guards or the monster to reach the evil ruler. Defeating the evil ruler demoralizes guards and causes them to flee or leaves a monster Shaken for one turn.

Once the villain is defeated, the oppressed populace cheers the heroes and whoever earned a love interest gets to kiss their beloved. 
 
THE END 
 
 
 
 

Comments

  1. Absolutely outstanding! Every game benefits from a little random generation, bit it card or dice driven!

    ReplyDelete

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