"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Fist Full of Gold Pieces

I love using spaghetti westerns as a source for inspiration for D&D adventures.

The party arrives at the little small town in the borderlands. An innkeeper, tells the party about the bitter feud between two groups vying to gain control of the town: on the one side, the Iron Ring, a notorious band of thieves; on the other, the family of the town sheriff, Eli Thorrma.

The next day, the party witness a detachment of the local Lord's soldiers passing through town escorting a shipment of gold. If the party follows the troops out of town, they witnesses the soldiers being massacred by a band of elves, who are actually members of the Iron Ring gang in disguise.


  1. ...and the players, being players, kill the Iron Ring members, steal the gold and hightail their way out of town. The End.

    Now, if the players have a *reason* to want to liberate the town...

  2. I love Spaghetti Westerns and have done this same thing. Of course, this particular plot was a samurai film first. ;)

  3. @ Dave - "...and the players, being players, kill the Iron Ring members, steal the gold and hightail their way out of town."

    If that's the type of players you have then isn't that kinda the point? But what if there are 5 times as many Iron Ring members as there are PCs? Can the PCs kill them all? Not likely in a straight up fight. Not so easy now. So how do they get the gold?

    "The End"?

    I think not. If they do get the gold, odds are that word will get out. Now they have the Lord after them. Maybe instead they join the Iron Ring. Now we have the Sheriff after the them as well as the Lord trying to regain his gold. Does the Iron Ring have connections through which they can gain revenge?

    Sure they can liberate the town if they want. But that brings another set of problems (aka adventure hooks). What does the Lord think of these upstarts taking control of "his" town? Etc.

    Or of they decide to just skip it? That's fine as well. It's part of being in a sandbox. I have a feeling though that they would cross paths with the Iron Ring again in the future.

    But of course, if your players are the heroic types instead of the rogue-ish types then of course you have a whole other dynamic.

  4. When I did a blog post on Unforgiven I was thinking of character types; http://modernappendixn.blogspot.com/2010/08/unforgiven.html . I find that the character ineraction in a lot of the older films far more interesting than plot points. Often the plot points can be boiled down pretty simply.

  5. And since Kurosawa got the plot of Yojimbo from a novel by Dashiell Hammett, it was hard-boiled fiction, before it was samurai film or a Spaghetti Western.
    The power of good ideas.