Looking for some high level intrigue advice


Hi there!

I am going to be running a high level home-brew Pathfinder campaign set in the Dragon Empires (starting at level 12) and am thinking that I may want to introduce secret goals for each character or groups of characters (I think I will have 6-7 players for this campaign), and am wondering how any fellow GMs out there would introduce them to the players? Ideally I would like the players to have reasons to need to keep them secret and perhaps even be at cross-purposes to the secret or known goals to others in the party.

Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Ran a short intrigue campaign over the summer. Found the best 3 ways for me to convey secret information were in order of larger information quantity

1. Sticky notes
2. Notecards
3. Ducking into the next room and closing the door

As for picking character goals I might prepare note cards > than the number of players. Shuffle them and then place facedown. Everybody picks a card. They can then redraw once if the task won't fit their character backstory/personality/theydon'twanttodoit. Then I would duck into the side room and call them in 1 by 1 to talk about their individual goal. I would also provide each player with some extra world info to use as red herrings for other players. Prefferably some of this red herring info related to the other player's tasks. Since you overprepared you don't even need to make up extra things for this as you made more than you will actually be using. Then start the actual campaigns off with some occasion where all the party members would be together IE: if the players are nobles, a grand mascarade party. This event should give everybody a chance to either pursue their goal or drop a herring.

As for why they might keep something secret it always breaks down to trust and what the information is. Obviously if the goal is illegal you don't tell people. If you don't know how the other people will react to learning your goal you don't tell them. IE if you don't know how close Sally is to Sue you don't tell Sally about your plan to embarrass her at the dance so that she won't warn Sue. It could be like Elizebethan era politics. Wrong words in the wrong ear and you find yourself without a head. It could have to do with defending a person's honor or reputation. What if it could cause you to become a social pariah should your goal come to light? Lives could hang in the balance should you not keep your goal absolutely secret until it has come into fruition. Then again there are more reasons to not tell someone something than there are to tell someone something. They could keep something secret merely on the grounds of they have no reason to tell other people.

Thanks for the insights!

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