I am preparing a campaign of dungeons and dragons in a province in the middle of a separatist insurrection. I want the theme / shtick of the campaign to be the idea of choice and unintended consequences. The characters are all new recruits to a multi-kingdom / empire / national NGO dedicated to humanitarian relief in war-torn areas.
Such "hanging" occurs when the party receives its orientation when a randomly selected individual is asked to pick up something from the library and hears knocking at one of the doors. They open the door and a clearly helpless mother asks them to save her son, whom we have seen for the last time being dragged into the nearby swamp by several members of the local garrison. The mother proposes to pay the player a lot if she agrees to help him. I would communicate it to the player as a note, also informing him that undertaking this quest will not result in any professional repercussions if he manages to save his son. The rest of what will happen next would be in the form of note cards, dice rolls, etc.
Of course, undertaking this quest would be a huge mistake on many levels and eventually create a world of complications for the rest of the players, who would be forced to cross many obstacles to save their friend.
Engaging in this quest is a mistake because: doing something in an extremely tense war zone for an unknown person is already badly thought out. First of all, disappearing without anyone knowing it, leaving the rest of the party and the program coordinator in the dark, so that they do not know if you just fuck or if the local security service he picked up. Second, your quest necessarily involves the engagement of the soldiers who took the son, which means that you risk upsetting their military unit (that is, the government occupying the area). Thirdly, you have just represented the NGO for which you are working in the process of apprehending a suspect by soldiers. Fourth, it turns out that the son is much more guilty than he seemed, so the coordinator must now respond to the complaint of his employee who defends an alleged terrorist.
DO NOT undertake, it comes with its own dangers.
I would try to guarantee as much gameplay as possible to the separate party member and the rest of the people who are trying to catch up with him. In other words, I would have him engage the enemies and roll dice for him, and ask the rest of the group to stay in the character without any idea of what happened to him or what happens to him.
- Are "secret quests" of this type usually a bad idea?
- If they are feasible, what is the best way to implement them?
The campaign is of the "Choose your own adventure" type, where the story takes place with the choices of the players. I have several possible finals in mind, but I also want players to feel they can tell the story and the campaign where they want, especially if they have a particular vision of moral issues. tactics and strategies that arise. So there is a way for players to completely avoid or mitigate the disaster that I think is really difficult to handle. But if they do, I will ride with that.
The quest presented to the player will be formulated technically: go out, follow the mother to the soldiers and son, handle the situation, get the son. The way the player handles this interaction dictates how much it explodes in the face of the group. Handling it in a nonviolent manner will require persuasion control or intimidation. The violent approach is a good fighting tutorial, but gives rise to a lot of bad things. Removing it is also an option, but not obvious. In fact, going in is an option that is always present for any riddle that I pose to the team.