>The royal archmage can't actually perform any magic. He just maxed out his Bluff and now he's in way over his head.
>The dragon was keeping the kingdom safe from the princess' sorcerous sadism.
>The evil king was well-meaning all along, he was just betrayed by his ministers. Turns out he IS actually evil though, but prioritizes his subjects anyway.
>The local crime boss is actually the secret benefactor of the local orphanages, and only commits crime to fund them.
BRB, stealing this and building an entire setting around it.
>The demon summoned by the evil wizard is actually God. Not any god, but the original big kahuna who created everything. He got deposed and the new pantheon wrote the history books. He's understandably pissed off about it.
>The dog was the mastermind the whole time
DM's done it twice now. I'm pretty tempted to just start killing dogs whenever they show up.
>the lush, temperate wildernesses are revealed to be artificial creations of an ancient evil race who completely replaced the original ecosytsem. Good-aligned druids seek to burn down every last tree and uproot every last flower to restore the lands to their natural state.
>the pretender was actually the rightful heir all along
>the random guy who's been leading you is actually the BBEG
>the village actually manages to fight off the invasions while you're collecting twenty cow patties
>The Werewolf uses the portal to open a gateway to the moon
>The moon is actually his own eye from the future, when he becomes god of werewolves and then goes back in time to create werewolves, killing himself and hanging his eye in the sky as a consequence.
Humans are just animals, if Druids hate humans for destroying the environment they must hate all animals.
The druids in this setting go about slaughtering all forms of live other than plant. They must be stopped by your party at all costs!
>Turns out the dragon was kidnapped by the princess and was used as a sacrifice so the princess can become a dragon.
>The evil guy roaming between towns under the radar was really just a door-to-door salesman.
>The necromancer on the hill isn't a necromancer, he just did his Halloween decorations really well one year
>The king is actually just a homeless guy who killed the mayor. Also, nobody ever remembers voting for the mayor.
>No, you are the end of the world
What if a gay touches the ancient sword of destiny? Do they become a turbo gay? What happens if a turbo gay touches it? Do they become an ultra-mega-floats-around-in-the-air gayfag?
>the strange cowled figure who approached your party out of the blue several times to give you strange cryptic hints was really just a Gnome playing pranks on you, and the cryptic hints were actually meaningless
In a campaign I'm running currently.
>Emperor imposes complete and total law, meaning that even he is subjected to it.
>his lover is killed gruesomely.
>Hires out of town adventures to be the detectives, because he knows they'll be the people the least cowed by him and his position.
>PCs discover emperor was the murderer.
>Emperor surrenders, and is executed for the crime of murder.
>Emperor arranged it to establish that in his country, there is absolute law, and no privilege.
>Reincarnates and runs off with his now reincarnated lover.
>PCs are now the CSI unit in a D&D setting.
> turns out the murdered villagers weren't torn apart by werewolves but instead an old blind blink dog had accidentally telefragged a few folks as he was passing through
> the howling the other villagers overheard was Blink Dog for 'excuse me, pardon me'
>The entire campaign is just 6 kids running around in cardboard clothes in the park.
>The kingdom's castle is the big modern jungle gym.
>The dragon's lair is the old, barebones jungle gym.
>The fountains of Knowledge, Youth, and Love are the water fountains on the east side of the park.
>The BBEG is the older sister of one of the kids and her boyfriend/babysitter.
>the random guy who's been leading you is actually the BBEG
My PCs put way too much trust in NPCs that offer even the slightest hint of help. I think subconsciously or not they're meta gaming;
"Why would this NPC be offering help if the DM didn't want us to take it?"
Betraying the party is a good, believable way to break this spell.
Here's my contribution:
>the BBEG is fucking the world because when the tru-Evil turns up, only a population of the strongest and bravest can possibly offer resistance
>the BBEG, seeing the epic-level potential of the PCs has been training them for the Ragnarok by goading them on more and more outlandish and dangerous adventures
>The Deathcult you're investigating is actually an Order of Clerics willing to serve the greater good even after death
>The "Hell House" "Marred with the bones of the damned" is actually a Large monastery built over the entrance to an ancient burial ground
>You're greeted by a rather jovial man who happily explains everything
>their faith is so strong that when their skeletons are animated (not zombies for obvious hygiene reasons) they channel positive energy like some crazy nega-skellingtons
>These Skelrics follow the living Clerics as they travel from town to town to be used as healing dispensaries and only retain an echo of their former beings personality
>The old man who sent you assumed you would just kill them all because "They're fecking evil!"
>He's actually just bitter he was never allowed to join their order when he was young
I just love the idea of non evil or sentient skeletons
One time my group was trying out a round-robin DMing format and I was able to AVOID having the session I DMed retconned because the alternative meant that my alchemist would be able to manufacture hallucinogens. The giant crab fighting the four armed giant skeleton with skeletons for hands stayed.
>the PCs adventure for many years
>power, wealth and fame come easily to them
>soon the whole world knows and respects/fears them
>it's all background to make them powerful figures for Baron Munchausen to outwit
>Years long campaign
>PCs have become high-level nobility
>Benevolent and well-loved rulers of their world
>Ancient demi-god is their best pal
>While hunting in the royal forest
they stumble upon a doorway one day
>Why the fuck not? Walk into door
>Fall on the floor
>They were in the wardrobe
>They are level 1 Commoner children again
>It all meant nothing
I see you there Archibald, you can't fool me!
A gay Starship Captain, of course.
>the PCs are one of several bands of heroes, each pursuing different sets of artifacts to throw off the villains
>they have no idea if the artifacts they are hunting for are the actual ones that will save the world
>Making a deal with a dragon turns out perfectly well
>The Pact the Warlock signed is actually a mariage contract
>The Hourglass of Time the PCs and the BBEG battled for is just a big fancy hourglass
>you had the air of destiny swirling around you, and seers could tell you would do something that would change the galaxy forever
>thrown down reactor shaft of the bbeg's ship, accidentally causing a chain reaction which destroys his ship, shifting the balance of power in the galaxy
Fuck you, mate, you just spoiled me on three different movies!
I had a character like this
He was killed while saving a wizard from being killed by an Ilithid. The wizard felt bad and got good enough to cast a wish spell an came back a few years later, found his skeleton, and wished that "He would be brought back with his mind and soul intact". So it did, it just took the easiest/literal route as wish spells do and brought him back as a skeleton, with the consciousness of the man he was.
Now Rattles runs a small store in a spooky shack well outside a town, selling meat he catches during the night to raise money for a resurrection. The party's going to be sent to investigate a tumor.
>Have a long running campaign world: We often play different parties, but our last like 8 campaigns have been set in the same world over a period of about 80 years.
>3 campaigns ago, have a one off adventure in context of a larger campaign, we go to this one wizard's home, he's out, and his bumbling apprentice accidentally let out the gremlins and they tore up the spellbook we were fetching. Have to help him out.
>Cut to current campaign. He's the BBEG. And he tore apart an NPC mentor, himself able to whip the entire party at once, in 3 combat rounds.
>the friendly skeleton companion you acquired is actually the lich you thought you killed several adventures ago
>the high fantasy game turns out to be a virtual reality simulation far in the future
>the PCs are actually prisoners being used for VR experiments, everyone in the game world was real and if you die in the game you die for real
>when the PCs awake from the simulation they still have their epic level fantasy powers and magic in "real life"
>By killing the BBGE you actually started WW3
>After killing him you could have still prevented it by not panicking and going in to the small room that you guys passed when you entered the dungeon
Gold Digger has "Benji and Mr. Peachbody"
Benji is a Genetic modified hyper muscled submissive / house pet human of Mr. Peachbody, a time traveling sadistic dictator. He also happens to be a dog (black Labrador, I think) who conquered ONE alternate future, and he's trying to make the past fall in line to preserve his dictatorship.
>some wizard ascends to lichdom
>everything is gr8
>something feels off one day
>goes to a doctor
>finds out he has terminal bone cancer, he'll be redead in 3 years
>Lich decides to do all the good he can before he dies
This could be fun
>leader of the party get captured by BBEG
>he is rescued but the BBEG has escaped so the quest continues
>months of adventuring later they finally track him down
>he laughs and reveals that the he killed your party member while he was captured and has been remotely using the leader's magically preserved corpse as a puppet ever since they "rescued" him
>BBEG was manipulating the party into doing everything for him by using the leader as his mouth piece.
>he lets the corpse out of his control and its decay immediately catches up to it
>he escapes again, laughing like an asshole as he does so
I don't know, I think it would be more personal if the bad guy was literally pretending to be your friend the entire time.
Listen you massive tit. If you want your campaigns to be as realistic as possible, sure, that's fine. But trying to impose this on others is testimony to a kind of personality that would annoy the shit out of me, and others as well, of that I am fairly sure. Remember that we are talking about play pretend games where anything goes as long as it is accepted within the group partaking in the activities.
In other words: stop bitching.
But in your setting, the god of Death is actually a massive, hairy spider. With glowing red eyes that weave cocoon-bags for the souls it takes.
"Get in the bag!"
The revivification process turns the bones into amazing, living objects.
Alternatively, the lich is living in an area with high levels of background positive energy, and is being overhealed as a result.
The party bard was actually a lich with too much free time on his hands that decided that he wanted to try his hand at playing music while disguised as one of the living. Everyone thought it was a bit weird that he always had so much information to offer when it came combating dark magic and the undead but figured that he just researched those topics for his songs which are usually about morbid shit anyways.
>>the only difference between the kingdoms religion and the secret cult you are sent to find and destroy is they go to church on saturday instead of sunday
Jehovah Witness of Jews?
Many years ago, the King of Xlandia killed a dragon, and appropriated its hoard to fuel his expansionist and socially progressive policies. The PCs have been hired to raid the Bank of Xlandia's vaults
>When they break in they discover the vaults are empty, the money used/stolen years ago, and all the local kingdoms have been trading in Xlandian paper money that has no actual worth. Do they reveal the terrible secret?
And the reason why the enemy is so strong is because their power of friendship is stronger than yours.
>The enemy lays siege to your fortress and a favored soldier comes to you from the front saying all is lost. All really is lost, you are under supplied, and out numbered. You can not possibly hope to actually hold this position without an unacceptable number of casualties
>Team finds mysterious weapons factory that's been corrupting guardsmen. Cracks it open ready to kill the daemon inside before it's nefarious plots destroy the galaxy.
>It's actually just full of of Orks
AND ARE WOMEN
Look at this fucking conspiracy nut!
A book I once read had one I'd consider in my top ten anytime:
>Main character is a young girl
>Her village gets destroyed by dragons for the lulz apparently
>gets taken away by mercenaries
>she's now the leader of said mercenaries
>visiting the place where they get there missions, old tower no one is supposed to enter, they get their missions telepathically
>decides to enter, gets attacked by strange creature using some sort of magic
>she fights it off, finds strange device inside tower, decides to investigate
>lots of adventuring ensues, etc...
>suddenly, turns out, the whole setting is past WW3, nuclear weapons had brought mankind to the brink of extinction
>bugs are now "sentient" (well, some of them) and rule the world
>bugs are partially controlled by overmind 2.0
>they use dragons to keep humanity in bronze age forever, because no WW4 here sir
Basically the twist is
>it was Fallout all along!
But it was so well written, my mind was in wtf mode for days.
> mfw the closest you'll get to cool mutations from real radiation is lots of cancer.
Why is real life so boring?
> All elfin sex slaves are actually mind controlling their rapists and owners into doing what the elfs want.
>Villagers say the woods are haunted
>Lots of scary sounds come from the forest
>"Nobody has ever come out of the forest alive"
>It's actually just a really dark bunch of trees
>Scary sounds are the wind and some weird birds
>Lots of people have come out alive
>Fuck huge leader of Hextorian empire
>Always in full plate and always in face concealing helmet
>Always smashing things, angry, destructive and powerful
>PC out of fucking nowhere: So, is it actually a women
It was the first time meeting and I even refereed to it as HE. Mulan background and everything. How do PC's always know?
Because I made the armor was highly decorated and gave no race or gender qualities (i.e, boob plate, or codpeice).
Plus saying "I referred to her as he" just sounds funny in my head.
>the random guy who's been leading you is actually the BBEG
>but after all the time he passed with the party, he became friendly and consider them as part of his family
>decides to posticipate his grand plan of world destruction
>the terrorist group our party was hunting actually controls the country that employed us to hunt them
>the terrorist group is actually the good guys launching attacks against extremists and enemy nations
Quite important, actually. It's the sort of campaign where being in the right place at the right time with the right intentions means a lot more than raw power.
You do realize that not everything has to end in fisticuffs/magical duels/etc with the BBEG, right?
Campaign I started by crashed due to the party being entirely Bilbo Baggins
>Powerful wizard senses that the gates to the monster planes have been opened
>Only the immortals which were created hundreds of years ago to close the gates can close them
>Wizard is actually BBEG who opened the gates to gather the immortals and kill them and absorb their power (one of which is a party member)
Highlander references aplenty
>Guy sends us on a quest to retrieve a magic sword. Offers some money for it.
>Sword is worth a fuck lot more than he's offering to pay us.
>Run off with the blade.
>Actually, turns out the blade is intelligent, and can exert Suggestion like powers on the wielder.
>Guy didn't want the sword. He wanted to put the sword in the hands of a band of murderhobos like us.
We got hooked real bad.
That's actually what I do. But I use a lot of different tones of grey.
One of their biggest NPC allies right now is a sorceress who's a completely sociopathic narcissist.
When they met her she wasn't as powerful, and she had systematically mind controlled and charmed a tribe of goblins over the course of a month to treat her like a goddess so she could fight a local dragon she couldn't take on by herself.
Why was she trying to kill the dragon?
"Oh, it killed my step parents. But they were boring old set of fuckers, anyway - truth be told I never gave a rat's ass about them. It's just... It killed my parents; it's gotta die. It's all about principles, y'know?"
>Game goes as normal except odd things occasionally happen, like bookcases falling over for no reason, the occasional floating pot or pan, random guy blowing up, whatever
>Party is actually being followed by an elder god-like deity their brains completely refuse to comprehend or acknowledge.
>In a CoC that I've mastered, at the first session, all the PC, a group of cavemen, are killed by things not from this world.
>It was the same players, but it was their PC from the last session of the campaign, who only wanted to prevent the PC from the first session to invoke an elderich abomination to kill them.
It was fun when they understand (too late) the truth.
Just make the revelation that the character in the armor is actually
a trans man who's deathly ashamed of not being able to grow a beard or looking anything like a man because there's no hormone therapy in Medievallandia
>Party is sent to stop someone who has been running around Sigil, accumulating magical swords, and generally fucking around with the energy of the city.
>Turns out it's just a lonely bard who's smitten with the LoP, so is trying to perform a ritual to become a lord/lady of pain themself, with the express intent of h
olding handsand cuddlingwith the original LoP.
alright, I've been thinking on this one for a little bit, please tell me how shitty it is
>Team is hired to investigate a corporate research center going silent and to clean up any mess they find
>Upon entering find evidence of struggle, blood everywhere, burns, scattered pieces of bodies all over the floor and even lodged in the walls
>find a researcher, badly wounded, hiding behind a toppled bookshelf. He tells them, if pressured. that they were researching an artifact and the head researcher went nuts, throwing fireballs everywhere before slipping underground to the artifact room.
>Team breaks into quarantined area, noticing as they do that the air continually gets colder and colder as they approach, to the point that frost is building. The lead researcher is performing some ritual over the artifact, a sinister looking claymore. Runners either gun him down or interrupt the ritual.
Head researcher is surprised by their entry, but before he can say much the sword flies out from behind him, knocking him out as it speeds towards the team laughter breaks out behind them as they find the "injured" researcher had followed them down, as the sword lands in his hand battle tiem they were studying an old tomb that held a sword and corpse. Turns out the corpse had been possessed for centuries, and managed to bring other spirits in to possess the majority of the research crew. The injured guy was actually the master spirit, the head guy didn't go nuts he was trying to stop him from getting out
not a super big TWIST, but if I play it right I'm hoping they won't catch on. Maybe I should think of a second twist after the fact, just in case
It's alright, but the "innocent bystander who just happens to be the only significant character in the area" thing may give it away.
I think something good to compliment it would be to have the head spirit manipulate smaller spirits in other bodies, who in their dying breaths can lie to the party to make it more convincing.
there have been mana spikes. Hell he could be there since the 4th age
thats a good idea, although honestly the other bodies would have to join the battle, 'cause these fuckers can't actually bleed out or anything.
>investigating coastal drilling platform that has been taken over by eco-terrorists
>turns out to be working just fine
>but all the workers were just eco-terrorists posing as workers
>turns out they aren't eco-terrorists at all but are instead stealing the resources drilled and funneling it to another megacorp through another pipeline
Not a huge twist, but ya gotta love some corporate espionage
The guy who I have in full plate and concealing armour is in fact an elder fire elemental. Just fucking flame that will burn away anything that opens it up.
I need that miniboss villain to turn up again at some point.
>King hires adventurers to deliver mail to BBEG
>They think he is crazy and turn it down
He also wasnt paying very much
>A few days later, they hear that the BBEG's keep fell to a lone adventurer with a mail bag
>Turns out he was delivering spam mail
And one of them was a trojan
Werewolves are Neutral Good. They only defend their lands from the elves who are xenophobic and seek to kick all other races out of the forest.
But you can't talk to the werewolves. And the elves are trying to manipulate you.
(Halfass ripped off from the first Dragon Age)
>The egg that everyone believes to contain a dragon actually contains a perfectly normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill bird.
This is taken by the evil cultists as a sign that the bird is more powerful than the dragon. Ushering in a new age of wing-based flight and begging for foodscraps
>The legendary hero who continually upstaged the PCs is actually a fraud.
>His foulmouthed rogue brother is actually the one responsible for his deeds but gives him the credit because he fits the mould better
Our GM got tired of us not seeing the twist coming and just abruptly explained it to us full out.
>The world is actually the back of a giant space whale
>The party and society as a whole are psychic constructs spawned from its imagination to relieve its loneliness
>Your adventure is a space whale's novel-in-progress
I've never heard of that being used. Sometimes a god that behaves in an evil tyrannical fashion, however, turns out to be evil, but I know of no instances in which a god of good turns out to be evil in fiction.
Well it's usually only revealed that God is a jerk by the time you meet him in the game.
Shin Megami Tensei does it all the time, I'm sure Final Fantasy did it at least once, don't know if the Tales series ever did...
The only JRPG I ever remember showing a Christian-themed religion in a mildly positive light is Dragon Quest, and they've still dicked around with it a lot.
>Shin Megami Tensei does it all the time, I'm sure Final Fantasy did it at least once, don't know if the Tales series ever did...
Yup. But the god of good being evil is a novel concept. A god just plain turning out to, in fact, be evil is well tread ground, but the god of good being evil is a novel concept.
The god (well, shinma) of corruption, Dharma, being himself pure and innocent in Exalted is the only thing that comes to mind, but one could easily reverse the logic and have it be that in the beginning, there was only primal evil and chaos, and an evil god created the force of good because it'd be funny/necessary/profitable/whatever.
Hm, the Ebon Dragon creating the Unconquered Sun is also a bit similar, although Ed is hardly a god of good.
All this is in contrast to the jrpg "there's a god, and he's evil. " Its also entirely legitimate for, say, the Japanese to view the monotheist god as evil, since from the perspective of anyone who isn't his follower, and according to his followers, his goal in life is to utterly skullfuck and torture everyone who doesn't like his best selling book(s) forever.
I don't even see how the monotheistic god could be anything but evil, from the perspective of anyone who isn't his follower, since again -- the vast majority of his followers believe its destruction at best or eternal screaming agony at worst for you, enjoy.
>Avoid a major plot, always have it being stupid shit that is resolved by the time the session is over, with extra detail about daily life.
>It's all just a fantasy sitcom, and every session is an episode
>>The Hourglass of Time the PCs and the BBEG battled for is just a big fancy hourglass
>it is actually a time machine, but you can only go back
twenty minutes Hands up if you guessed what was in the spoiler before highlighting.
>the "reality" is just another VR layer
>keep breaking them
And no, I'm not making an inception joke. I haven't even seen that movie.
I'm drawing on a random
tgchanquest I've read a long time ago - the QM would constantly write to a some plot-turning point, have no idea where to go next and pull out with "it's a VR!"
After the fourth time it became an interesting signature shtick from my reading point of view.
Unfortunately, from his point it was a failure and he gave up on it.
You should play it some day, from the peeps who did Bastion.
It's a nice game.
1e Sun? Yeah sure he gave you all freedom from the Primordials and all the awesome powers that you can use to make the world better...
But he's still a warmonger that wanted the Cosmic Xbox.
And when you attempt to pry him off of it to fix the world, he's going to boot you off because he doesn't care. And if you /break/ the Games, he's going to skullfuck you for breaking his toy.