The Trojan Vaccine

The Trojan Horse ploy is a common staple of roleplaying games. So much so that most players can suss out a Trojan well in advance of the trap being sprung. In this plot hook, we disguise the trap by hiding it within the MacGuffin!
For this plot hook, present the players with an illness afflicting society (or the world) at large. This needs to be a pervasive, deadly affair that creates the appropriate sense of dread. The PCs, being the heroes they are, set off to find the cure. The shape of this cure differs based on setting (e.g. magical artifact in fantasy, alien tech in sci-fi), but should be difficult to achieve. After searching and struggling, the players find the cure and work to spread it to the afflicted populace.
This is where the Trojan Horse comes into play. The illness ins’t the worse thing that can happen. Maybe it’s a ruse or perhaps it’s just an opportunity that presented iteslf to the big bad. Regardless, the cure hides a sickness of it’s own. There are lots of interesting side effects that the cure might have:
  • The cure makes it’s victim’s succeptible to orders from the main bad guy
  • The cure is itself a disease that is far more fatal than the one it cures
  • The cure results in some transformation of the populace (lycanthropy? zombie-hood? vampirism? albinoism?)
  • The cure affects the minds of the cured afflicting them with some chronic mental condition (narcolepsy? alignment change?)
  • The cure merely hides the symptoms of the original disease, but doesn’t actually cure it

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