The fourteenth Monday Mashup revolves around the Boston Red Sox. (Yeah, you can take a week off if you’re staring at your screen in horror.) They’re generally a talented team of players but are always struck down before they reach the peak of their profession by a dire curse — which always leaves them strong enough to come back and make another try next year. In my book, professional sports is a popular form of entertainment, so let’s mash those Dirt Dogs up.
I’m going to use Fulminata, here, and I’m going to go for the easy cognate and make the PCs gladiators. As such, they’re risking their lives for the audience — so a curse is a little more serious than it is for my beloved sports team. And yet a curse exists. It doesn’t get anyone killed, but whenever one of them (or the team) is about to win, something happens. A lion gets loose, or the Emperor gets gastric distress, or something.
The overarching campaign arc is discovering who’s behind the curse and why. There’s some secret in the backgrounds of the gladiators which links them together, unbeknownst to the PCs and to their players. Whatever it is, it must be kept secret at all costs — so someone’s trying to make sure they never get too famous or gain their freedom.