Could you help me brainstorm for next session? :D

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Black Quartz Sphinx
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Heyo,

Usually when I end a session I have the next one ready to go within an hour, but I'm having a little trouble deciding on where to go with this next session. So I was hoping some of you would have ideas that would kick my brain into gear.

My players are students at The House of Bells. Last session they finally bumped into the fang that were going to be villians for the rest of their school years. But they were very good protaganists, and realized that they were actually dangerous and not just aggressive and annoying like some of the other fangs they've come into contact with. Specifically their leader, who had magical eyes that could hypnotize people due to him eating a fae when he was a child. I'm very proud of them, and they used a lot of charms and roleplaying to figure out what was up with him specifically that he had the Intimacy "I'm going to kill a student before I graduate."

They argued about the morality of precrime, and ultimately decided saving a life was the greatest good. Our tepet gathered up his cousins and started to prepare to jump the guy and blind him so his eyes couldn't do any more harm, while everyone else tried to figure out who his target would be. 

His target was a Treeborne Pearl, a child prodigy from House V'neef who the group is very connected to, and helped exalt a year back. Treeborne Pearl is best friends with another group favorite Red Iron Giant, who is a mysterious Outcaste who was sent to the House of Bells by The Scarlet Empress herself. They wear a suit of red armor, and pretty much all they know about them is that when they graduate they too plan on killing someone. 

Once they found out who was in danger they let Red Iron Giant know that their tiny friend was in danger, you know for protection. Well Red Iron Giant figures the quickest path is a straight line, so they kicked down the door to the enemy fang's room, and broke the villians neck before any damage could be done.

And the session ended with Red Iron Giant being arrested.

---

It was a really fun session, that went way off the rails due to players being so proactive and excited, so I had a great time. I really like sessions where I basically have to rewrite the campaign to fit their actions, they basically killed their villain for the next few games before he was even a problem. It was great, and they were all very excited about it, but now I'm a little wobbly on what to do next.

A trial seems obvious, but I have a hard time imagining that the players would get the chance to be his advocates. Unless The House of Bells has a junior JAG division, which... why not right? Or maybe they could investigate and find more proof that the guy was planning a murder, while an actual advocate works on the case.

The Scarlet Empress was just revealed to have been missing, so her protection of Red Iron Giant seems in doubt.

The guy that was killed is a member of House Sesus, so I'm planning on them coming in and demanding justice. We're a year away from House Tepet getting bopped, so setting up House Sesus as a threat could be fun.

Then there are the Tepet cousins who were going to help the players blind the guy. One is going to advocate for letting the Outcaste take the fall, since they killed the guy, saved a life, and managed to get someone else to take a blame. While the other tepet is Red Irion Giant's fangmate, and obviously wants to defend them.

The players are also convinced that Treeborne Pearl is somehow connected to The Scarlet Empress if Red Irion Giant was willing to risk their career to protect her. Which isn't true...but could be if that's more interesting. I dunno.

So I have a lot of hooks and story to tell, but I am having a hard time thinking of how the players can engage with it.

Any rad cool ideas you guys can come up with about this situation would be great. Mainly how to get players involved in the plot, but I'll take anything. Who knows what will get my gears turning?
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if your players are that focused on the gears of justice and doing the right thing, it seems likely that they won't be okay letting some random Outcaste take the fall when, realistically, they're just as culpable for the act (In that they informed them of the issue which lead to the reaction). This could lead into conflict even with their own cousins and friends, who tell them 'it's better to leave this alone' and try to convince them to stop looking into it because it's no longer their problem, and the more they get involved the more likely people will find out they sent Red Iron Giant after the guy, or even that they intended to ambush him and mutilate him.

While they may not be allowed to be an advocate themselves, it's likely they'll be interviewed, both by Sesus and by whoever is working to defend Red Iron Giant, which may, given the situation, be an overworked, underpaid individual who can barely keep their focus together. In doing so, they'll have to carefully manage their story, and do their best to present a vision of events that is as truthful as it can be while not incriminating themselves or Red Iron Giant, against investigators who are going to be looking for every little lie and misstep as a way to get what they want.

Perhaps while the actual PCs won't be the lawyers or Advocates, they may have to find someone who will represent Red Iron Giant, or convince their parents/siblings/whoever to pony up a fee to get one, possibly explaining the situation to them. While this won't exactly resort to them going into court themselves- or maybe it will-, they would still face the social challenge of either finding a magistrate/advocate willing to support the individual, or convincing a parent or sibling to waste a favor/money on an Outcaste, especially when the Outcaste was 'dumb' enough to just walk over and kill someone in full view of everyone else.

If the PCs do manage to find someone, it's possible they'll still want to investigate; possibly gathering evidence themselves or helping the advocate do so. This could lead into one or more of the PCs being tutored by the individual in investigation, particularly if, for instance, it's a Magistrate that becomes the lawyer for Red Iron Giant, which could lead to fun plot hooks down the road.
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Black Quartz Sphinx
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Mmmm all delicious and valuable ideas.

I really like the idea of appealing to their Houses for support. It kind of reminds me of the Chiss Families from Star Wars. I also like the idea of a Magistrate mentoring them.

From your suggestions, I'm thinking they spend some time convincing one of their houses to represent Red Iron Giant, but there isn't enough time to send a lawyer over, so they tell the players to find one, and they'll foot the bill. This could be a good chance to finally head to Arjuf, and soak up some of that flavor, in order to find a magistrate to help out.

The first part of the session could be with the players on their heels as the Sesus advocates interview everyone, push for harsher punishments, and get some NPCs detained for possible connections, and maybe have them scramble to hide any evidence they might have. Then once they have the magistrate on their side, they get help to where the Sesus can't bully then anymore, and they move to trying to uncover evidence that Red Iron Giant's actions were justified. With some character drama sprinked around for good measure.
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I think the interviews are where I would take things too. Lean into it less as a trial and more like a crime procedural where they're stuck in little interview rooms and subjected to good cop, bad cop type tropes.
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Did you get a sense of where the players expect things will go? Honestly, between the political, cultural, and supernatural forces at play here, I could see just about any outcome.

Red Iron Giant may be an Outcaste, but he's still a DB and sponsored by the empress, so I feel like summary exile or maybe being transfered to Pasiap's Stair is more likely than criminal proceedings?

The one who died might have been a Sesus, but also had some wierd Wyld taint that would probably embarrassing for the house to admit to?

And I definitely like the idea of getting Magistrates involved. Like Red Iron Giant, they only have one loyalty - the Empress.

Even money says the whole thing gets hushed up as an "accident" (military school is a dangerous place, all those sharp objects lying around...) and all the bad blood gets to seethe and become grudges.
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Black Quartz Sphinx
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Thanks for the ideas, folks. 

I had a fun time running the session, and basically went with the outline I came up with above. We had some good drama with players siding with each of the Tepet Cousins about wether they should get involved or not. To my delight they asked house Tepet to send representation first, so I got a chance to inform them that House Tepet didn't want to do anything to harm their relationship wit their ally House Sesus while their legions were in the north. 

But eventually House V'neef took up the call. 

I made the Sesus lawyer a sleeze-ball, he had Red Iron Giant's fang confined to their barracks, and was pushing for execution, and generally harassing the players for a deposition.

They headed to Arjuf, met some of the delinquents from The House of Bells. I then had to steer the away from getting into a political campaign that I sprinked in just for flavor. They met up with Magistrate Fong, who worked in a cramped office above a noodle shop. They presented the case to him, and then one of my players revealed the name of the other lawyer to him in a dramatic way. So to build off of that I decided that the lawyers father was the reason Fong was kicked out from the senate and appointed as a magistrate. So now they have a connection in politics when they need it.

They return with Fong to The House of Bells, he drops that he went to school there. The players very quickly try to farm him for information on a mystery they're investigating from 100 years back, but Fong's even older than that so he couldn't help them. 

Our Ledaal player was very insistent that the dead student was  Anathema, and that that should be taken seriously. So Fong started building a case around a Student chosen by the Empress did their duty and killed an Anathema despite great personal risk to their life and career. He wanted a little more evidence on the dead student being a threat so asked the players to investigate the night where they first met the student, where two of the players experienced six hours of missing time. I was kind of happy that the players hadn't bothered investigating the missing time up until then because it gave Fong a good intelligence feat.

They investigated and eventually found a witness who saw them with the dead student that night, at the top of the clocktower. The dead student went to the witness the next day and explained that the three of them were fooling around, and not to tell anybody. So the witness didn't even realize that he'd saved the players life until they confronted him about it. So he was happy to testify in support of Red Iron Giant, and the players managed to flip of a member of the dead guy's fang, who they were close with.

In the end Red Iron Giant went free, his fang was let out of their barracks and all was good. They even got a whole "Thanks" from Red Iron Giant, before they walked off. 

All in all a fun session with lots of roleplay. Our V'neef was rolling really hot that night, and managed to pass everything she tried, so it was a good outing for her. Investigations are always a little sloppy, with players trying to figure out what leads to follow so I had to step in out of character once to get them on the right track. Other than that, great session, and thanks for all the help!
 
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