Yesterday's experiment in Gygaxian Democracy went very well.
Ok, I mean I always say some shit like that when I do these reader participation things, but seriously, that was some quality RPG material we got there. Eventually I'll write it up proper like a real table.
Anyway, for now, here's another...
The Many Heads of Lord Eisengeth
Immobile and decapitated he sits, eternally preserved in the Basilisk Throne...
Basically, the deal is, the PCs have to find his head (somewhere in your sandbox) and put it back on him. When they do, he'll come back to life and all will be well in the kingdom/they'll get a lot of loot. (Depending on which School your players attend.)
Problem is which head? Though the forces of evil could not destroy the head of good Lord Eisengeth, (neither the head nor body can be destroyed so long as the body sits on the Basilisk Throne--they both become invulnerable stone) they pulled an old leprechaun trick and manufactured several false heads, each containing an isolated, confused, dark, and disoriented portion of the good Lord's soul.
So the schtick is: every time the PCs find a head, they try it. (The first time they won't know there's more than one head). The Lord stands up, stops being stone, and if it's the right head, yay, game over. If it's the wrong head, however, the PCs have to deal with the consequences. Each wrong head:
-has some unusual power/ability/knowledge/tendency that makes it a fearsome opponent, and
-possesses some clue that narrows down where the real head is
Some will be obviously the wrong head--their eyes will open red and they'll belch forth flame or whatever, but others will seem to be the true Lord, until...
Anyway, if the PCs decapitate the evil-headed lord and return the body to the Throne, the body will become stone and sit patiently while the PCs find the next head.
Also you'll need to figure out some mechanics or plot contrivances so that the PCs can't just have a whole army standing there waiting each time they try a new head, but that's not too hard.
When the PCs try a head, roll D(HoweverManyResponsesWeGet--if it's more than 20, roll d10o giving equal chances to each result)
The heads are...
1. Red eyes, murderous wrath, voice deafens all who hear it. Knows whether the true head is above sea level or not.
2. Appears to be the true Lord, but will have the PCs banished from the kingdom/castle/part of the dungeon he rules as soon as it is convenient and then rule with a cruel and arrogant hand. Knows whether the true head is north, south, east, or west of the current location.