This plot would be well suited to any setting: The hand of power could be a head of a mega-corporation; A guild leader; A lich; the leader of a philanthropic organization; the leader of a gang. The only requirement is that they work through intermediaries and remain behind the curtain until the last Arc.
Campaign Plot: A person of power has decided to aid and guide the heroes to a goal of the persons choosing. NPCs: The Hand of Power, their assistant, and agents.
Arc Plot 1: An academic organization is trying to do good things in bad ways. NPCs: Academics and their agents; Victims; and the Assistant.
Intro Story: The heroes are contracted to deliver a device to a group of academics in a remote, yet settled location. They will be contacted by the assistants’ helper during a moment of need. The helper will question and council the heroes that they need to investigate further. NPCs: Helper, opposition.
Story Plot 1: The heroes are given a counter offer/mission by the Hand of Power through the helper. The new mission involves the investigation of a historical event that closely resembles the current situation. NPCs: Helper; historian;
Story Plot 2: The Assistants’ helper reveals that A trial run of the experiment is about to occur. The demonstration is successful and reveals that the academics goal is within reach, however there are rampant side effects that the heroes become witness to. NPCs: the Helper; victims; A lone researcher. A cameo by a member of the religious group would be a good thing.
Story Plot 3: The installation is complete and about to be used “for the good of everyone”. The assistant leaks information to the heroes that the opposite is true. NPCS: the Academic Leader; other academics; The assistant’s helper.
Interlude Plot 1: The Assistant contacts the heroes with offers of assistance as they deal with the social/political repercussions of their actions. The beloved leader (story 12) becomes involved.
Arc Plot 2: A religious group is attempting to increase their power base.
Story Plot 7: A gang war is tearing the city apart. The religious group attempts to intervene by taking a side and directing it against their opposition. The assistant attempts to convince the heroes to take the other gangs side.
Story Plot 8: The religious group targets other churches in the city. The first desecrations are carried out by a hand full of persons, the latter ones by a mob of devout and fearful. The assistant mostly assists with inferior information (which the heroes already know) and paltry resources.
Story Plot 9: The religious group attempts to gain political power through whatever means necessary. The assistant begrudgingly assists the heroes in the most minimal manner possible.
Interlude Plot 2: The assistant, out of jealousy, attempts to harm the heroes: They start by trying to destroy the heroes’ reputation and then progress to legal and physical destruction. NPCs: members of society, gossips, legal authorities, thugs and the Assistant.
Arc Plot 3: The Hand of Power attempts to use the heroes to achieve their goals.
Story Plot 10: The Hand of Power arranges a marriage for one of the heroes; the unwilling prospective spouse will attempt to flee with their true love.
Story Plot 11: The Hand of Power demands a test of loyalty from the heroes.
Story Plot 12: The Hand of Power wishes the heroes to kill a beloved leader so that they may place one of the heroes as a puppet.
Campaign Climax: Confrontation between the heroes and the Hand of Power at a moment of decision. NPCs: The Hand of Power, their followers and minions.
Generated by hand from a home brewed tarot generator that used my article “Three Layered Campaign Design”.