E.S. Wynn is an editor and the author of over seventy books in print.
Need a hot idea to kickstart your next game or RPG match? Maybe some inspiration for that next gritty and rainsoaked run into the underbelly of a film noir future? Well, look no further than here. Even if your game isn't dark, gritty, or even Cyberpunk in slant, you might find something cool here you can twist, or that might give you just the push you need to come up with the ultimate adventure!
The characters are offered a shot at collecting a bounty for a big corporation who wants to snare this guy (or gal) for some shady corporate reason. Only problem is, the person the bounty is being offered for is one of the PC's themselves! Luckily the bounty just went out, so they still have a little time to figure out what to do... right? If you really want to amp up the pressure, make the bounty really high—think millions. Why this character is targeted is totally up to you.
2. The Job
Some kids tagged a corporate exec's nice new car. No big deal, right? Happens all the time in (insert big city name here). Except this particular exec is a young, up and coming hotshot with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid, and he's willing to hire some cheap thugs to track down the gang that tagged his rig and put an end to them altogether. Make him a real charm to deal with- foaming at the mouth angry when in private, but sweet as pie movie-star grins in public.
3. Chop Shop
A local streetdoc has his eye on a flashy new piece of techware, (Could be anything from a covert weapons system to some kind of hot-rod neural upgrade that boosts brain function 250%, etc. Get creative.) and he's willing to pay top dollar to get it. The catch? It's attached to a corporate exec, and he plans to keep it! (Maybe the corporate exec from the last seed? That could be fun.)
4. Wait... What?
The Characters are given an easy job—a datastick with a handful of banned books on it has to be delivered to a man at a club downtown. But when they make the transaction, the cops show up and start shooting. The contact knows a way out, and keeps them running—until they find out it's not really them the cops are after, it's the contact, and he's being chased for a totally unrelated reason!
5. A Different Deal
The characters are given a briefcase of "parts" (organs, smuggled tech, something like that) and told to sell it to the representative of a local gang (Triads, Yakuza, Russian Mafia, etc.) for at least a certain sum. Whatever they make off the top of that is theirs to keep. But when they sit down at the negotiation table and get to dealing, the gang rep decides he's much more interested in a different set of "parts"—those attached to the players. Too bad he's got an entire gang to back him up, and his offer sure is... killer.
6. Beaten to the Punch
The characters are hired on to hijack something owned by their contact's rival corporation (or gang, etc.) A shipment, a truck, cybertech, etc. Something like that. Let them come up with an elaborate plan, but when things get hot, the plan gets blown out the window. Seems someone else has already hijacked the gear/rig, and not only is that someone better armed than the player characters, but he/she is totally insane as well.
7. Prime Footage
An up and coming filmmaker is filming his latest masterpiece, something so violent and realistic that it's going to change the face of film forever—or at least that's the pitch. He wants the characters as stars for the film, and he's very persistent (lots of money offered), but how the characters decide to react to discovering that the movie's "bad guys" are real street junkies with real weapons that make death equally real is up to them.
8. The Rogue
A bounty has been put out for a man that a biotech corp wants bad. Further information is consistently blocked—it just doesn't exist where it can be reached. All the characters have is a picture and a list of hangouts, but that should be enough, right? So what's the catch? The man is a military-grade construct, either a machine or a bioengineered product, and this is his corporation's big test...
9. Lucky Winner
The Characters are driving somewhere (best if they're in a hurry to get somewhere) when a hover-truck goes screaming by (literally) and the guy doing the screaming jumps off the back of the rig and hooks himself onto the PC's ride. He has one arm that's totally techware, fitted with some kind of streetdoc custom winch attachment that keeps him from being shaken off. Make the guy really irritating—he's dressed in nothing but bright neon yellow leather pants with a pink mohawk and a giant laughing skull tattooed (subdermal LED's) across his chest. He should have some kind of small gun that's really noisy and really good at blowing holes through things without a lot of extra damage (like a high-power hand-held railgun) but he's a lousy shot. So why's he hopping onto the PC's ride? Well, that's up to you. He picked the ride at random during his escape from anything from the cops (who might be interested in the PC'S too) to some vicious and well-armed gang. And if he's shooting, you can bet they're shooting back, putting the PC's in the crossfire...
10. Mistaken Identity
The characters go to talk to or question somebody. Maybe it's someone they've come to get a job from, or maybe it's someone they've come to question/kidnap, etc. Whatever the reason, the instant they knock or kick down the door, they find someone else there—cops, landlord, current boyfriend/girlfriend, corporate goon squad, etc. They all want something, and they're all suspicious (the boyfriend/girlfriend one could be fun—jealousy could cause violence), and there's no sign of the person they came for. Not that the PC's are going to get out of this all that easy...
11. The Creeping Crud
After a particularly nasty encounter involving a lot of blood and/or grime, one of the characters starts developing (after a few days, maybe a week) some nasty symptoms. (Rashes, oozing sores, high fever, weakness, vertigo, etc. make the disease really "fun") This should raise a lot of great questions—is the disease contagious? Where did it come from? No doctor in any hospital can identify it, but clues and hints lead them to a free clinic in the middle of the must rundown and dangerous area of the city, where a doctor knows exactly what they're dealing with—he's been seeing cases of it all week! We're talking ground zero for the next great plague here. Does he have a vaccine? Probably not, but don't worry, it doesn't kill you right away...
The world is full of ideas—just think back to books you've read or movies you've watched and pick out that one series of plot twists you could turn into something to make your game just that much more fun. You might also check out 11 Steampunk Adventure Seeds, 11 Horror Adventure Seeds or even 11 Firefly/Serenity Adventure Seeds for some other ideas you can twist or change or use raw in your next game!
Arreis Kurai on June 29, 2011:
I like the ideas! I've been wanting to play a cyberpunk game, or something similar, and the ideas would be very helpful if I end up being the one DMing it!