Good Unexpected Events
…And Twists to them to Make them Not as Good
By: Jesse C Cohoon
Here’s a table that you can use to genuinely reward your players… but also gives a way of throwing a wrench into the works to make their rewards bite them in the end!
1) Party: A group of NPCs get together to throw a surprise party for the characters (and if the players were too nosy, they'd ruin the surprise)
a. The PCs are the main dinner course for a group of monsters disguised as humanoids
b. The PCs are mistaken for someone else, and they ruin the surprise for the actual recipient
c. The PCs are mistaken for someone else and must pay the group back for the time and expense they undertook for the party
d. The party is actually a ruse to capture the PCs while they are unprepared.
2) Help from the shadows: The characters have a person who has been helping them from the shadows, but doesn't want to reveal his identity just yet, and it's a surprise who it is
a. The “help” actually is one of the PC’s old rivals or a much stronger enemy, and do it to lure them into a false sense of security.
b. The “help” is someone who the PCs find annoying or someone who the PCs blew off before, but is doing it to win their favor.
c. The “help” is someone who is deathly ill or injured, doing it to prove they “still have game.”
d. The “help” is one of the PC’s relatives who’s watching over them because they don’t want to admit that the PC grew up and can face dangers alone.
e. The “help” is in terms of political maneuvering, bribes, payment of debts, etc., and when it gets to a certain level, they’ll want to have the PCs back them up in some nefarious way, and they won’t have any choice.
f. The “help” is in terms of stashes of things the PCs need laying around (weapons, healing items, food, etc.) that the helper left lying around so that the PCs could escape or get out of a difficult situation, and now want help on a larger scale then they provided.
3) Enemies become friends: Someone or something that was or would have been a foe becomes their friend because the PCs helped them out or some other reason.
a. The situation is a ruse or trick, so that they can entrap the PCs
b. The change was only brought upon by a magic item, for instance a “helm of opposite alignment.”
c. They lose a friend in the process
d. They lose their class abilities for associating with the enemy.
4) Honored: Rite of passage. The PCs are honored for some rite of passage (a wedding, funeral, or coming of age ceremony) that is seldom seen by outsiders
a. While attending the function the PCs are charged with a crime against the entire people by their sacrilege.
b. There is an enemy that wants the ceremony to fail/ be disturbed in some way. The PCs need to figure out who it is and how they want to disturb it.
c. The PCs are expected to perform a part that they were not told about and that is offensive to them. Do they comply to remain or do they leave?
d. The community finds the PC’s presence disturbing and asks them to leave. Which is more important: the honor of their friend who invited them, or the request of the community?
5) Won a lotto/ contest/ prize: The PCs win a great sum of money, are entered (and win) a contest of some sort, or win a prize
a. The PCs get an unexpected rival for the prize.
b. The prize is alive (a person or animal) [d6]
i. The person/ animal love each other on sight and have to be told to cool their affections of “get a room.”
ii. The person/ animal doesn’t like the PC who won them for some reason, but the PC likes them and must win their trust/ affection
iii. The person/ animal likes the PC, but the PC doesn’t like them for some reason and must win his/her trust/ affection
iv. Neither the PC nor the person/ animal like each other and are must work together for some task
v. The person/ animal and the PC hate each other on sight and immediately begin fighting.
vi. The person/ animal knows the PC from before and it is quite awkward
c. The PCs get an enemy because he/she wanted the prize more than they want/ needed it.
d. The PCs are stalked because they have it in their possession and don’t realize its worth.
6) Favor of the Gods (d3)
1. For the next X# of (time period) the PC can choose to reroll any die and take the better of the two results.
Twists (flip a coin)
a. For an equal amount of time, the PC has the curse of rerolling and taking the worst of the two results.
b. The PC has a permanent penalty to one stat
2. For the next X# of (time period) the PC can choose to add a bonus to their roll for any skill, check, or ability.
Twist (flip a coin)
a. For an equal amount of time, the PC has the curse of taking a penalty for any skill, check, or ability.
b. The PC has a permanent penalty to hitting or damaging the enemy.
3. You get a +X to one stat permanently
a. The PC has a permanent -2X to another stat
b. The PC is cursed; all skill, check, or ability rolls (except the one so boosted) are at the same level of a negative.
c. The PC’s armor never works as effectively, incurring a –X penalty.
I hope I have provided you some inspiration for to use in your games. If I have, please support me here: http://www.patreon.com/JesseC and visit my blog http://fantasyroleplayingplanes.blogspot.com/