Need help forming quests in a Steampunk-inspired setting

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Hello again! I'm starting up a new story arc to playtest a game system which I, myself, am creating. This particular story arc will feature a lot less magic and a lot more Steampunk-esque technology than the usual fantasy setting would, as explained in the spoiler sections. So far, I've got most of the setting itself worked out, and the details on that are below. The problem is, I'm not sure exactly what to give the players for plot hooks or even quests for those plot hooks to lead to. That is why I'm asking for help here. Note that only two player characters have been made, and at that, only one has a backstory (he's an outcast from the Drallid Peninsula (mentioned briefly in the National Setting Details below) who was always fascinated by technology, especially the kind that explodes.), so forming a plot based on the player characters will be hard at this point.

Setting Details (National Level)

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The nation of Calmekkani, of all the known nations of Ufera, was always different from the other great nations. Originally set up long ago as a refuge meant to keep people safe from the slaver mages of the now-gone nation of Baalicos, the desert region's low amount of ambient ether meant that it would serve its purpose well by weakening the abilities of magic-users, but it also meant that the people of this new nation could not effectively use magic. Fearing that the nearby theocratic nation of Parodesh would be less than appreciative of a bunch of "heathens" immigrating and "polluting" the populace with "deviant" beliefs, knowing that Gondrogar was never a nation known to accept refugees (them being "weak" and all), having never trusted the merchant league-turned-nation of the Remiel, and staying away from the Drallid Peninsula on account of the xenophobic race of turtle-men living there, the settlers of Calmekkani had no other choice but to settle these wastelands they had fled to.

But that's all ancient history. Until about a century ago, Calmekkani was a respectably prosperous nation, having been the first known nation to adopt technology as a replacement for magic and the only nation to wage war with black powder weapons. Calmekkani and Remiel airships alike flew through the skies above, carrying trade goods to and fro and making sure food from farms and fisheries could reach those settlements which could not feed themselves. The Calmekkani military, small as it was in numbers, was well-armed with firearms, and some of the higher-ranking officers even carried weapons which shot various types of harmful energy. All was well until the Baalicans, the old enemy of pretty much the entire rest of the world, began a massive invasion of Calmekkani, focusing mostly on attacking settlements which produced food. Desperate to stop the invasion and keep his populace fed, Chief Commander Caenbikh Sernaire ordered a massive increase in weapons production and a great reduction in military recruiting standards. As a result, many criminals were freed from their prisons and armed with firearms in hopes that they would accept the incentive of freedom and monetary compensation and serve in the Calmekkani military.

But the invasion was all a ruse by the Baalicans, who withdrew from Calmekkani lands soon after the Calmekkanians began to fight back, leaving the lands they occupied with salted fields and the ports with broken fishing boats. The fate of Calmekkani was sealed at that point, because the Calmekkanians could no longer afford to set aside the supplies necessary to counterattack the Baalicans, and their military ranks were swollen with armed convicts who now had to be told that they were no longer employed. As the Chief Commander went into hiding, never to be seen again, the now unemployed soldier/convicts gathered the weapons from the barracks and rampaged across Calmekanni, dividing the land into territories controlled by gangs of outlaws. Today, there are two gangs - the Blood Drakes and the Screaming Skulls - both controlling about a third of what little hospitable land is in what used to be Calmekkani, and the remaining hospitable land is is divided among a bunch of lesser gangs.


While not directly relevant to the history of Calmekkani, I feel it must be mentioned that 50 years after the faked invasion, also 50 years ago in game-time, Baalicos ceased to be a nation after its own people revolted and overthrew their oppressive regime to found the nation of Milandria. Given the history of Baalican treachery, however, most of the people outside of Milandria refuse to believe that such a revolution actually happened.



Setting Details (Local Level)


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For the past several decades, the Blood Drakes have used the town of Drakesport, formerly known as Abundansport, as their gang's headquarters. About ten years ago, there was a forceful change in management for the Blood Drakes – the Rahlder Family, a merchant family which had managed to survive and even continue to do business after the convict military uprising almost a century before, and whom the Blood Drakes had been demanding protection money from, had become fed up with the oppressive rule of the Blood Drakes. As such, they negotiated with the Remiel Merchant league to buy as many weapons and ammunition and recruit as many mercenaries as possible to ambush the leader of the Blood Drakes, one Drago Bledden IV, who was also the great-grandson of the original Drago Bledden, the founder of the Blood Drakes. Through great cunning and sheer firepower, the ambush ended up killing all of Drago's bodyguards, albeit with most of the Rahlder family and their mercenaries dead as well. Drago had thought he had just barely survived, when he was shot and killed from behind by a shotgun held in the hands of 17-year-old Codeau Rahlder, one of only two remaining members of the Rahlder family (the other being Kitsana, his adopted sister of another race). According to gang rules, whoever kills the current leader becomes the new leader, and so Codeau Rahlder became the top member of the Blood Drakes after news had spread of Drago Bledden's death.



As the new leader of the Blood Drakes, Codeau made a lot of changes as he tried to use the Blood Drakes' power for good, rather than evil. Ten years later, Codeau has made some secret enemies within the Blood Drakes, mostly because the enemies in question think he's too soft as a leader. Kitsana, meanwhile, has become an inventor, using her knowledge of technology to invent newer, better tools of both peace and war in order to enable the Blood Drakes to better aid and protect the people in the territories they control. Codeau, being very protective of Kitsana, has made sure never to be too far from her, though Kitsana secretly wishes that he'd allow her more freedom.



As for the Blood Drakes themselves, they in general support the new leadership, seeing their work improve the lives of “their people” and knowing that the gang will ultimately benefit in the long run from having the support of a strong public. As said before, some members of the Blood Drakes disapprove of the direction that Codeau Rahlder has taken them in, claiming that he's given them a “soft” reputation which will ultimately decrease their power in the long run. Recently, these members have been making themselves less of a secret by trying to take Codeau out of the picture, either through direct assassination attempts or through threatening his friends and, more importantly, his sister. As of yet, no such attempt has succeeded so far.


Do you have trains?  Airships?  Fighting on a train/airship would be a blast.  Just figure out some sort of quest...defend the train/airship or have to capture something aboard it.

The Season 4 Episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bounty Hunters" features a good example of this.  Same with the train mission scene in the movie Sucker Punch.
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I assume airships, if there are none make it waterships and reconsider how steampunk this setting is. 


Airship pirates have been robbing trade blimps. It is really hampering intercontinental trade and someone should do something about it. Unfortunatley no one can find the pirates base of operations, and they don't strike if there are authorities onboard the blimps. They must have someone on the inside. The PCs are brought on in secret to help resolve this issue. 


The PCs now have a few options. They can try to find the authorities mole, and take care of that letting the authorities deal with the pirates OR what I think is the more interesting option. They can stow away on the blimps. Then when the pirates attack they can fend it off, and track the pirates to their hidden lair. I'd make it a hidden floating island. No one has ever seen a floating island before so thats why no one thought to look for it. The floating island can be steam powered and man made, or it can be like the ones from pandora. Depending. 


From here your PCs can either run the pirates out of the island, convince them to leave the blimps alone (some sort of alliance with the mainland?), or join up with them.  You've got a lot of options. 


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The PCs are assigned as the new sherrifs for a border town. They get off the train to see their town is fairly lawless at the moment. Have a saloon shoot out moment where they establish themselves as the law, and badasses. While in town they realize that lots of the residents are not happy with national rule. They eventually can find their way to a revolutionary group trying to break free and set up a new nation. (I'd make them either doing something obviously horrible so its clear who the bad guys are, or make them relatively likeable if you want it more ambiguious). Eventually the PCs find a hidden city built into some mines in the more remote areas. Furthermore, someone is building a giant steam powered super weapon. Maybe the giant spider from wild wild west. PCs can battle it, destroy it, or steal it. 


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Using a combination of magic and steam tech, a powerful wizard has set up his own city deep at the bottom of the ocean. It has become a popular getaway spot for the wealthy for gambling, and other vices. Its far outside the domain of any organized nation. Unfortunatley people have begun disappearing, and most recently the ruler of the PCs main city's daughter has disappeared while on a trip. 


It turns out that the wizard found a tribe of (underwater monsters) living in a nearby trench a few years after building his city. He realized he would have to wipe the entire race out, because it would be fairly simple for even one to puncture the protective bubble keeping the city alive. As a bribe to this race, he sneaks a few people off every so often and hands them over. He does not know what for. 


In reality the tribe uses them in sort of ritual. The people spend a few years as mindless slaves, while they undergo a "Transformation". This gives them gills and at this point their mind is changed. They slowly become more and more "race"like. This race is building its numbers in preperation for an invasion of the mainland. 


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There is three that I would be totally into as a player. I also think they could last 6-8+ sessions so you can get a lot of milage from them. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

Do you have trains?  Airships?  Fighting on a train/airship would be a blast.  Just figure out some sort of quest...defend the train/airship or have to capture something aboard it.

The Season 4 Episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bounty Hunters" features a good example of this.  Same with the train mission scene in the movie Sucker Punch.



The spoiler section under "Setting Details (National Level) mentions that airships are not only technologically possible, but at one point were very common. I suppose I should mention that, after the revolt of the criminals who were desperately recruited into the military, a lot of airships were destroyed. I did forget to mention trains; they would be a much cheaper method of travel, but they'd also be a little slower and a lot more limited as to where they could go (the middle of what used to be Calmekkani was made up of mostly industrial towns which needed food imported from coastal cities; after food production and transport had pretty much stopped due to the aforementioned revolt, they pretty much all starved, and with no people to maintain the railroads, all the travel by train happens on or near the coast, or in places where underground aquifers allow farming.)


I assume airships, if there are none make it waterships and reconsider how steampunk this setting is. 


Airship pirates have been robbing trade blimps. It is really hampering intercontinental trade and someone should do something about it. Unfortunatley no one can find the pirates base of operations, and they don't strike if there are authorities onboard the blimps. They must have someone on the inside. The PCs are brought on in secret to help resolve this issue. 


The PCs now have a few options. They can try to find the authorities mole, and take care of that letting the authorities deal with the pirates OR what I think is the more interesting option. They can stow away on the blimps. Then when the pirates attack they can fend it off, and track the pirates to their hidden lair. I'd make it a hidden floating island. No one has ever seen a floating island before so thats why no one thought to look for it. The floating island can be steam powered and man made, or it can be like the ones from pandora. Depending. 


From here your PCs can either run the pirates out of the island, convince them to leave the blimps alone (some sort of alliance with the mainland?), or join up with them.  You've got a lot of options. 


---------------------------------


The PCs are assigned as the new sherrifs for a border town. They get off the train to see their town is fairly lawless at the moment. Have a saloon shoot out moment where they establish themselves as the law, and badasses. While in town they realize that lots of the residents are not happy with national rule. They eventually can find their way to a revolutionary group trying to break free and set up a new nation. (I'd make them either doing something obviously horrible so its clear who the bad guys are, or make them relatively likeable if you want it more ambiguious). Eventually the PCs find a hidden city built into some mines in the more remote areas. Furthermore, someone is building a giant steam powered super weapon. Maybe the giant spider from wild wild west. PCs can battle it, destroy it, or steal it. 


-----------------------------------


Using a combination of magic and steam tech, a powerful wizard has set up his own city deep at the bottom of the ocean. It has become a popular getaway spot for the wealthy for gambling, and other vices. Its far outside the domain of any organized nation. Unfortunatley people have begun disappearing, and most recently the ruler of the PCs main city's daughter has disappeared while on a trip. 


It turns out that the wizard found a tribe of (underwater monsters) living in a nearby trench a few years after building his city. He realized he would have to wipe the entire race out, because it would be fairly simple for even one to puncture the protective bubble keeping the city alive. As a bribe to this race, he sneaks a few people off every so often and hands them over. He does not know what for. 


In reality the tribe uses them in sort of ritual. The people spend a few years as mindless slaves, while they undergo a "Transformation". This gives them gills and at this point their mind is changed. They slowly become more and more "race"like. This race is building its numbers in preperation for an invasion of the mainland. 


---------------


There is three that I would be totally into as a player. I also think they could last 6-8+ sessions so you can get a lot of milage from them. 




These are all very good ideas. Granted, what you wrote makes me assume you didn't read the details in the spoiler blocks (or if you did, you skimmed over them), but I think I can do something with your ideas.

I had formed an idea for a quest after my original post, but it seemed far too "epic" in scale for a low-level adventuring party (before reading further, I'd suggest you read the spoiler blocks, if you haven't done so already). The idea was that the Blood Drakes would intercept a message from the Screaming Skulls, talking about an "Ultimate Weapon" of sorts described in texts from back when the Calmekkani government existed. After a long quest, it would turn out that the Screaming Skulls already knew exactly where the weapon was (supposedly located in a giant statue), but they were completely stumped as far as how to access it, and they intended for the message to be intercepted in order to trick the PC's into getting the weapon for the Screaming Skulls (as it turns out, the giant statue is the weapon, basically being a giant mech in disguise).

Being too "epic" for low-level characters, what I could do is have a lesser quest leading into the aforementioned quest, which I thought of while reading your second idea, i.e., the "New Sheriff in Town" idea. I'm thinking that the town in question would be in the war zone between the Blood Drakes and the Screaming Skulls territories, wherein lies the capitol of Old Calmekkani. This area would be disputed, of course, because of the fact that whoever gains control of the old capitol has access to some very important government secrets; at the moment of the beginning of the quest, the Screaming Skulls would have control of the city. The PC's would be new recruits in the Blood Drakes gang, and quite competent at that. With the PCs' help, the Blood Drakes would slowly but surely take the capitol from the Screaming Skulls, only to find that a lot of the desired government secrets had been absconded with. What little they find would be references to an "Ultimate Weapon," with many details missing, leading the PC's into the quest to retrieve the "Ultimate Weapon" after they not only get a feel for their characters, but gain some levels too.

Thoughts? I know it's a far cry from the "New Sheriff in Town" idea you posted, but I probably wouldn't have thought of it if you hadn't posted the idea at all. Thanks for the inspiration!
These are all very good ideas. Granted, what you wrote makes me assume you didn't read the details in the spoiler blocks (or if you did, you skimmed over them), but I think I can do something with your ideas.



You caught me. It got wordy and I zoned out. I tried to reread it again, and even forcing myself to focus stopped caring before the national level section was over. This isn't something you are presenting to the players is it? If so I suggest you tighten it up a lot or directly read a shortened version to them. 


Thoughts? I know it's a far cry from the "New Sheriff in Town" idea you posted, but I probably wouldn't have thought of it if you hadn't posted the idea at all. Thanks for the inspiration!


Why do the PCs care about the blood drakes. I'm reading your idea and stuck here.

The idea was that the Blood Drakes would intercept a message from the Screaming Skulls, talking about an "Ultimate Weapon" of sorts described in texts from back when the Calmekkani government existed. After a long quest, it would turn out that the Screaming Skulls already knew exactly where the weapon was

. Why are the PCs going to help the blood drakes and do a long quest for them?

 they intended for the message to be intercepted in order to trick the PC's into getting the weapon for the Screaming Skulls (as it turns out, the giant statue is the weapon, basically being a giant mech in disguise).

 How are the PCs expected to know how to do this?

 Being too "epic" for low-level characters

Nothing it too epic for low level characters. Swap the word epic for important/interesting/exciting in your head and go with it. 

 The PC's would be new recruits in the Blood Drakes gang, and quite competent at that.

Are your players on board with playing blood drake gang members? I'd run this by them and make sure they are ok with it way before you create characters.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"



You caught me. It got wordy and I zoned out. I tried to reread it again, and even forcing myself to focus stopped caring before the national level section was over. This isn't something you are presenting to the players is it? If so I suggest you tighten it up a lot or directly read a shortened version to them.




Well, I was never known for being good at brevity, and rightly so. I don't really blame you for not reading the details. I'll try to type it up briefly here, though in doing so, a lot of the explanation as to why certain things are the way they are will be left out... *Ahem*


Calmekkani was a nation which used technology instead of magic. About 100 years prior to the present in-game, Calmekkani was tricked into hiring a bunch of criminals into its military in order to fight off a massive invasion. The massive invasion was a ruse, and ended before any real fighting began, so the criminals in the military became unemployed, and thus, extremely upset. You can guess what happens next.


*Fast Forward to Present Day*


Now there are two major gangs and a bunch of smaller gangs, each trying to rule what used to be Calmekkani. The Blood Drakes used to be a powerful gang of bad guys, but then their leader was killed by the last two remaining members of the Rahlder Family. Now the Blood Drakes are a powerful gang of good guys. Their rivals, the Screaming Skulls gang, are slightly more powerful and an extreme amount more evil.


Why do the PCs care about the blood drakes. I'm reading your idea and stuck here.

...


Why are the PCs going to help the blood drakes and do a long quest for them?



See above.


How are the PCs expected to know how to do this?


Well, the PC's won't do it directly; basically, the Screaming Skulls expect an NPC to do it, and the PC's are basically going to serve as the NPC's bodyguards while she gets the weapon.


Nothing it too epic for low level characters. Swap the word epic for important/interesting/exciting in your head and go with it.


I hadn't thought of it that way...


Are your players on board with playing blood drake gang members? I'd run this by them and make sure they are ok with it way before you create characters.


That's what I plan to do. This campaign will begin when our current campaign ends, at which time I'll make sure of what the players want to do next. It was actually one of my players who suggested we playtest the rules for a more technological-type campaign, and another player had expressed interest in such a campaign before that.
Sounds like a great campaign!, wish you the best of luck!.
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I still don't see any direct loyalty for the blood drakes from the PCs. I get that they are the good guys because you are telling me that, but why do the PCs want to work with them. Are they the only good guys, and are the PCs unable to be a secondary group of good guys for some reason? I think you need to try to come up with some sort of overall goal that links the PCs to this group. Maybe the blood drakes are awesome at ___, and the PCs need a ___ for instance.

Well, the PC's won't do it directly; basically, the Screaming Skulls expect an NPC to do it, and the PC's are basically going to serve as the NPC's bodyguards while she gets the weapon.

That seems an awful lot like you are creating an awesome NPC to tell a story about, and letting the PCs come along for the ride. It would seriously annoy me as a player.

Why not let one of the PCs do something and get the weapon. Maybe work with one so its in their backstory somehow. Take a seasoned reliable player aside and ask them to include membership in the blood drakes in their backstory, and that they are undercover in the screaming skulls. But furthermore, the PC is the one prophisized to reactivate the machine in one of those "you will know when you see it" things. This ties your PCs to the blood drakes, and lets them be the ones doing something awesome. Finding a legendary weapon. 

The other PCs now just need normal ties to this PC, like I generally ask all my PCs to have. "You need to know each other and by loyal to one another somehow".

For example: You've got the paladin who is destined to activate the weapon. The Blood Drake knight sworn to protect her (maybe hidden romance?). His childhood friend who is handy with locks and prone to bending the law. Throw in the Divination wizard who got a vision revealing her as the chosen one and you are good to go. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I still don't see any direct loyalty for the blood drakes from the PCs. I get that they are the good guys because you are telling me that, but why do the PCs want to work with them. Are they the only good guys, and are the PCs unable to be a secondary group of good guys for some reason? I think you need to try to come up with some sort of overall goal that links the PCs to this group. Maybe the blood drakes are awesome at ___, and the PCs need a ___ for instance.



Have you ever played Fallout: New Vegas? Basically, in that game, your character may have his or her own goals and such, and may even have some success in carrying out those goals on a smaller scale, but ultimately, in order to have a major impact on the world, your character will have to serve a more powerful group representing a cause your character agrees with. It's similar in this setting; unless the PC's are level 8 or higher (my game's equivalent of DnD's Epic Tier), they probably will be acting on behalf of a more powerful group or entity if they want to have enough power to achieve a major goal.

In addition to being similar to Fallout: New Vegas, this setting is also similar to other Fallout games in that the Blood Drakes are kind of like a combination of the Brotherhood of Steel and the NCR; not in that their goal is specifically to acquire technology or to restore old-world government, but more in that the Blood Drakes as a whole are stuck in a vaguely-defined area between Good and Lawful Neutral. Basically, in order to gain the power and influence necessary to carry out their goals of goodness, they have to resort to less-than agreeable tactics, and one such tactic is a strict regulation of business in their territory (as in, either you support the Blood Drakes or at least agree to their rules, or you probably don't do business in their territory). Their policies and tactics are still far more agreeable than those of the Screaming Skulls and the lesser gangs, but they are far from being a Utopia by any means.

In other words, the PC's would have to support the Blood Drakes out of necessity.

That seems an awful lot like you are creating an awesome NPC to tell a story about, and letting the PCs come along for the ride. It would seriously annoy me as a player.


The "awesome NPC" in question is more of a "quest NPC" than a "directly useful NPC." She's got limited combat capabilities, and she makes up for it with her non-combat skills. It might annoy the characters in-game when they have to get her out of trouble, but I'm not sure if it'll annoy the players as much. Of course, this is assuming that no players design a character designed mechanically for skills, in which case I'll leave the NPC out, but knowing the players and their characters they've made in other campaigns so far, they'll design for combat and combat alone.


Why not let one of the PCs do something and get the weapon. Maybe work with one so its in their backstory somehow...


Again, the players in my group are far more combat-oriented, whereas the retrieval and activation of the weapon would require skill. And again, if one of my players wishes to play a skill monkey, I might not use the NPC at all.
Have you ever played Fallout: New Vegas?


Except that the game pretty much forces you to help them.  There's no real choice in the matter.

Blood Drakes as a whole are stuck in a vaguely-defined area between Good and Lawful Neutral. Basically...either you support the Blood Drakes or at least agree to their rules, or you probably don't do business in their territory

Oh look, lawfull evil.  Join us or actively support us, or get out.

In other words, the PC's would have to support the Blood Drakes out of necessity.


No, the pcs would have to deal with the blood drakes.  Not support.  They could easily tell the group to piss off and find another way.


she makes up for it with her non-combat skills.


That's still outshining them with an npc.  If you make an npc who is great at the things they aren't, it's going to be a boring game for them.  Door locked?  She has the way to open it!  Hey, why didn't she see the traps since she has noncombat skills?  Here comes a point where we have to negotiate witht he guards, so leave it to her!  Dang, that notice in front of the pit can't be read by us, we don't need to find a way around it ourselves with an npc who can do it.  Those skills are part of what makes the game.  Not having them can be just as much fun as having the skills.


Except that the game pretty much forces you to help them.  There's no real choice in the matter.



This particular campaign is tailored for this particular group. When they are not being railroaded, the campaign ends quickly, either because absolutely nothing happens, or because they all collectively assume that the local guards and militia are entirely incompetent and cannot stop a couple of rookie adventurers from going on an entirely unprovoked rampage through the city. I hate to sound like I think lowly of them, but they have always done better both in-game and in terms of enjoyment when they are railroaded. That's just the way this group plays. There's nothing wrong with it.
 
Oh look, lawfull evil.  Join us or actively support us, or get out.



Desperate times call for desperate solutions. For example, was Lincoln being evil when he declared martial law to protect Washington, D.C., or was he doing the best he could given the circumstances? I will admit, in this case, the "desperate times" are a lot longer than the time during the American Civil War when the South could easily threaten Washington D.C. But other than that, I don't feel like debating morality in this thread.

No, the pcs would have to deal with the blood drakes.  Not support.  They could easily tell the group to piss off and find another way.



See above.

That's still outshining them with an npc.  If you make an npc who is great at the things they aren't, it's going to be a boring game for them.  Door locked?  She has the way to open it!  Hey, why didn't she see the traps since she has noncombat skills?  Here comes a point where we have to negotiate witht he guards, so leave it to her!  Dang, that notice in front of the pit can't be read by us, we don't need to find a way around it ourselves with an npc who can do it.  Those skills are part of what makes the game.  Not having them can be just as much fun as having the skills.



First of all: Again, this is a matter of tailoring to the group. Their idea of an "effective" character is a character who functions well as a combatant and nothing else. And as I said earlier, if one of them surprises me with a skill monkey character, I won't use this NPC.

Second of all: I never said how the NPC was a skill monkey. She's going to be a scientist/mechanical genius, and just about nothing more. Her skill focus is entirely a niche focus; she's not going to be the go-to-gal every time the party comes across a problem you can't solve by killing it.
Big fallout fan. Realistically, the original is probably what got me into RPGs as a concept, and eventually DND. (That and balduars gate)

What makes fallout better than most computer RPGs is that you can tell all the groups "I don't care what you think or want done I'm doing my own thing."

Have you ever played Fallout: New Vegas? Basically, in that game, your character may have his or her own goals and such, and may even have some success in carrying out those goals on a smaller scale, but ultimately, in order to have a major impact on the world, your character will have to serve a more powerful group representing a cause your character agrees with.

This is why fallout new vegas was my least favorite of the games. The vast majority of interesting quests directly tied to one of a few organizations. Previous games I would spend forever doing whatever random thing I stumbled onto. 

In Fallout NV you have to accept some of being forced to be part of an organization because its a video game, and you can't do much it wasn't programed for. The reason Pen and Paper RPGs are better is that your DM can handle way more than your computer. 

In other words, the PC's would have to support the Blood Drakes out of necessity.

What stops them from saying "I don't care about the blood drakes, I am going to wander around and kill things that seem evil and then steal their stuff." 

I honesly think my main group sounds fairly similar to yours. Mostly combat focused and not too into involved backstories. It took years before I could run a game that didn't turn into "And then we steal a boat and become pirates" after a session or two. "Oh there is no ocean anywhere nearby? We steal a sand barge/airship/submarine/train/horses/mode of transportation". 

Keeping them focused tends to require giving them a reason to care about your organization and world.  If not they just go become pirates. You can't force them to play nice, and you can't punish them for not playing nice. The only thing you can do is make it so they actually want to play nice. Having them be hired mercs who are helping someone else doesn't provide a lot of attachment, and is prime recipie for "and then we become pirates". You have to make your plot relavent to every player, and make it more interesting than being a pirate. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

Find Space 1889 Books. Awesome ideas for your campaign can be found within. 
"We are men of action, lies do not become us" ~ D.P.R.

Desperate times call for desperate solutions. For example, was Lincoln being evil when he declared martial law to protect Washington, D.C., or was he doing the best he could given the circumstances? I will admit, in this case, the "desperate times" are a lot longer than the time during the American Civil War when the South could easily threaten Washington D.C. But other than that, I don't feel like debating morality in this thread.


We aren't debating morality.  We are debating you trying to force your players into doing what you want.  Choo choo.
Take your middle school arguement somewhere else.  Nobody said anything about Lincoln, nobody said anything about martial law.  I was address the railroading you would have to do to follow this logic of yours.


playtest a game system which I, myself, am creating.


Besides, why are you even posting here about any of this?  You said this is going to be in a different game system than d&d anyways.

We aren't debating morality.  We are debating you trying to force your players into doing what you want.  Choo choo.
Take your middle school arguement somewhere else.  Nobody said anything about Lincoln, nobody said anything about martial law.  I was address the railroading you would have to do to follow this logic of yours.



In response to my description of the Blood Drakes, you specifically said, and I quote, "Oh look, lawfull evil.  Join us or actively support us, or get out." Ergo, in that context, you were not talking about railroading, but were rather trying to start a moral debate (though, judging from your hostility and general attitude presented so far, you were more likely trying to troll me, using a supposed moral debate as a ruse so you could have a chance of getting away with being a troll). In addition, I specifically responded to that particular thing you said when I mentioned the Lincoln argument. I only hesitantly mentioned the Lincoln Argument at all, since I didn't want to start or engage in a tangential moral debate, but it has always been my experience that any controversial subject, no matter how irrelevent, once brought up, cannot feasibly be dismissed without a resolution to the controversial subject.

It should also be mentioned that I have said more than once that this campaign is designed for this group. I'm not going to repeat what has already been said regarding how or why, because you've been needlessly hostile and disrespectful, and frankly, I'm not willing to make things easier for you when all you do is make things harder.

Besides, why are you even posting here about any of this?  You said this is going to be in a different game system than d&d anyways.



It's relevent to this group of threads because it's a matter of designing a plot, which is central to being a DM, and on more than one occasion, I have seen threads here which were also not about D&D, and there was no issue raised regarding those threads. If this thread is so improperly placed that it cannot remain here, then it is the moderator's job, not yours, to deal with that.


Besides, why are you even posting here about any of this?  You said this is going to be in a different game system than d&d anyways.



A plot is something relatively system neutral. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

Well, due to delays caused by enough players being unable to attend the first session to cancel it this week, the fact that our first session was going to be character creation anyway, and the fact that the ending for the current campaign may or may not take another session, I've got at least a little over two more weeks before the plot actually needs to be applied, so things aren't nearly as urgent as I first thought they'd be.

While I understand the controversy over railroading, I will also say that its use has already been both justified and warranted for this group enough to make it my best option for now. The current idea of the plot being about retrieving an "ultimate weapon" for the Blood Drakes is the idea which I think I will use, and will definitely use if no better ideas are suggested or thought of. Whether or not we do an introductory quest beforehand will be subject to group voting.

As for the player characters' dedication to the Blood Drakes, most likely their affiliation will be that they're already members; a couple players might want to be new recruits for whatever reason, and I'll introduce their characters in based on their characters' descriptions.