One of the more…interesting?…Yeah, let’s go with ‘interesting>’! One of the more interesting parts of being a Genteel Magistrate is to keep a group of heroines from getting too large. Of course any player’s characters are in the gang, but eventually story arcs end in hangers-on, allies, frenemies, and groups of associates that can frankly cause headaches. See my earlier article “Calling in the Cavalry” for some ideas.
However, I’ve decided to create a table allowing a GM to roll for unfortunate events that keep those PC allies from interfering in a perfectly good adventure setup. I made it a table for my wife Elizabeth…and made it a 12-sided die for the same reasons. What can I say, we love D12s!
|1||Associate(s) are busy acting as bodyguards for a Minister of Parliament, state governor, or even the Crown or president depending on nation.|
|2||Associate(s) are on a secret mission, given to them by the Union League or SCEPTRE. Very hush-hush, can’t tell you anything else old boy.|
|3||Underneath race of ancients rise and are confronted by the Associate(s) in an attempt to head off a war. If a coastal city, then it’s underwater Atlantean-types. If inland, then it’s the Burrowing Masters of the UnderEarth!|
|4||Associate(s) are overseas investigating a remote crater with a strange meteor within it.|
|5||Associate(s) are busy hunting down escaped dinosaurs from Professor Challenger’s latest exhibit from the Lost Land. We think we got all the BIG pieces, but you can’t know for sure.|
|6||The Associate(s) are convinced by the army or navy (depending on the hero’s stomping grounds) to contribute their powers and abilities to a wargame live-fire exercise at a proving ground or in the wilderness, deep seas. We’ll send you a telegram next week!|
|7||The Queen or President has ‘volunteered’ the Associate(s) to visit an orphanage with press coverage to give the SuperMankind a kinder face to the public. It’s all day and maybe night too.|
|8||A local oracle has informed the Associate(s) that strange lights will be seen in the far north for the next seven days, each possibly building on the other’s power towards a catastrophe. It’s probably just hokum, but we have to be sure!|
|9||A nation that’s the enemy of the Associate(s) country are planning a military exercise close to the border or coast of the Associate(s) home soil. They must, as good patriots, volunteer to observe the enemy’s plans and show the flag that those foreign-sorts can’t get away with this! Now, get in there!|
|10||An arctic expedition has discovered a strange set of ruins at the north pole. The Associate(s) have been dispatched forthwith to investigate the find and make sure it’s safe. What could go wrong?|
|11||A strange gate has opened in the middle of the city, leading apparently nowhere. The heroine’s Associate(s) boldly entered the gate…but no one has come out in days?|
|12||An alien fleet from outer space is in orbit around Earth, their Aether ships obviously from a distant world. These creatures demand the submission of only one nation of the planet; your Associate(s). What? No other? Is some foreign plot afoot?|
These can also be used as plot hooks to move your hero team to the next adventure. Perhaps the other group isn’t up to the challenge? Did the Phosgene Man enter a gate, never to return? Lots of possible sessions can be played with a little work and a d12.
If you’re a heathen and insist on using a larger die (D20, D100) I suppose you could use the remaining rolls to come up with adventure hooks of your own. After all, if it’s good enough for the non-players, it’s good enough for the players!