member, 295 posts
Thu 23 Jul 2020
at 16:43
Plot advice needed: Building stakes for 'chosing sides'.
Hey all. Running a game of Masks, and I've got a plot that needs help developing.

The Protege character has given me a really elaborate backstory, about his family being in the superhero business for generations (probably should've been a Legacy, but it's what he wanted). Part of it involves his father (Silver Talon) being framed for a heinous (undetailed) crime and put in prison.

Two sessions ago, the PC missed his twice-a-year meeting with his dad (prison visit)due to a kaiju attack, and later learned his father had broken out of prison along with some criminals. AEGIS contacted the PC to let him know about the break out, and if he found out anything about his father's whereabouts, he was to contact them immediately.

Meanwhile, the Legacy had a heart-to-heart with her dad, who told her that since Silver Talon is a criminal, albeit one he'd hero'd with back in the day, it was his duty to take ST in.

What I'm trying to build is a raising-the-stakes set of encounters or moments so the team will have to decide who they're backing, even if it means they all chose someone different.

The first step I have is AEGIS bringing them all together and telling them that they know Silver Talon is in the city, and most likely looking for his son. AEGIS will say, "He's a criminal. If you run into him, don't engage. Contact us immediately."

But that's sort-of... well, it's a decision, but it's not a real high-stakes one. I'm looking for a 'step two' for it that raises the stakes of the decision.

Anyone got any ideas?
 member, 102 posts
 SW Florida
Thu 23 Jul 2020
at 17:00
Plot advice needed: Building stakes for 'chosing sides'.
While I have never played the system, you could always have Silver Talon meet Protege in secret, and give a reason for escaping that might convince his son to take his side (deep undercover or some such thing).  Meanwhile, Legacy's father is training her how to counter ST should she encounter him.  Then have Legacy catch ST and Protege together.

This message was last edited by the user at 17:01, Thu 23 July.

 subscriber, 113 posts
Thu 23 Jul 2020
at 17:26
Plot advice needed: Building stakes for 'chosing sides'.
I would make sure that there are pros and cons for either choice.

In any event, I would be ready to throw a plot twist at the teen for making a choice (sort of a Schrodinger's Cat sort of thing. In other words, the answer can remain a mutable thing until the teen makes his choice).

Making a choice this heavy is going to change the character ... perhaps it warrants unlocking the selection of an Adult Move? (sort of sweetens the pot of making the choice ... if making the choice will alter the character)

Choose dad

Pros: reinforce/maintain Protege relationship.  Addition of plot twist?  (discover a compelling - and convincing - heroic reason for the escape/lawlessness.  What sort of 'greater good' would warrant such behavior?  Is AEGIS implicated?  Maybe ST cannot 'come in from the cold' because the authorities are part of the problem?)

Cons: negatively affect team relationships, lose AEGIS/government support?, perhaps get named an outlaw as well?  Unflattering media coverage, etc.


Choose team

Pros: Positively affect team / AEGIS / government affiliation.  Addition of some new perk or level of trust?  (access to gear, secrets, support?)  Addition of plot twist? (discover a compelling - albeit not very convincing - reason that dad took this heel turn? I mean, obviously ST had a good reason ... but why was it not enough to sway the teen?  Is ST a villain now?  Is his reason villainous?  What are those implications?)

Cons: negatively affect protege relationship (lose access to certain playbook benefits? hideouts, gear, etc)
 supporter, 232 posts
Thu 23 Jul 2020
at 17:40
Plot advice needed: Building stakes for 'chosing sides'.
My idea. Protege gets a message from Silver Talon - make sure to include family stuff - but the rest is, he broke out because he saw a chance to clea4 his name.  And don’t talk to AEGIS because he thinks that someone in the organisation is compromised.

Maybe go on to have something to do with one of the escaped criminals being found ?  Or if they’re supers, too - actually going back into action?
 member, 75 posts
Thu 23 Jul 2020
at 17:47
Plot advice needed: Building stakes for 'chosing sides'.
This sounds like a "secret" waiting to be revealed.

The original framing: this could have happened because the hero being framed was trying to keep a secret for a person they hold dear/important. They were willing to take the fall in order for the secret to stay hidden.

Then things changed. There is now a risk the secret is about to come out into the open. In the days to come the escaped hero gets involved in a fight against 'bad guys', giving him some credit for his 'good behavior'. He gets away before the heroes arrive, they get the tail end of the fight. Investigation of the scene reveals there is something else going on, clues point to a [place/thing/people/organization] the escaped hero is trying to get to.

Follow clues, go to place: here the heroes encounter sudden resistance in a surprise fight from enemies unknown. Escaped hero makes appearance, helps in the fight, disappears via MacGuffin plot device. Plot thickens. (Dun, dun, DUNNN!) More clues, this time about intentions and orders, and perhaps even some sinister Mastermind.

Again, follow clues, go to next place: arrive just in time to have the Escaped Hero confront the Master Villain, and expose the 'secret' he was hiding. Master Villain has a good reason for exposing it (profit/vengeance/bad hair day). Cue in climactic last fight.

Optional Kicker 1: secret is actually a lie, and Escaped Hero had been deceived all these years. However, exonerating evidence allows for a retrial and his freedom.

Optional Kicker 2: 'Master Villain' is actually on a lieutenant, the real 'Master Villain' is still on the loose, and has further plans in the oven.

Optional Kicker 3: Escaped Hero has been mind-controlled all this time. He is being used as a patsy to get closer to the team so the Master Villain has an 'inside man'.

Add personality seasoning to taste, sprinkle in a few well-meaning NPCs, cook for an hour at 375, makes for two plot servings.

All jokes aside, this is all in generic terms so you can add to any background or history you like. Flesh it out to your taste. =)
 member, 67 posts
Fri 24 Jul 2020
at 06:53
Plot advice needed: Building stakes for 'chosing sides'.
Silver Talon began discovering some secrets regarding the AEGIS (Hail Hydra!) and asked Legacy's father for help. Legacy's father told their superiors about that and they made him arrest Silver Talon. Now Legacy's father, after years of witnessing some further irregularities, wants to "catch" Silver Talon by himself to ask him for forgiveness and join his anti-HydraAEGIS crusade.

Now Silver Talon is out with other "criminals" (who also had some unfinished business with AEGIS) and he is more than willing to explain that to his son.

This time, though, AEGIS is not willing to risk and given the chance whey would rather kill Silver Talon than let him live.