The Plan

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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In nearly every work, you have a Plot. Frequently, a plan will guide the plot. Often an Evil Plan, hatched by the villain. Some plans are complex, with so many unforeseen events acting in concert, making it a Gambit Roulette. Other characters try to stick with A Simple Plan, which always gets more complicated. If the character doesn't plan ahead, it's an Indy Ploy. If you can’t figure out what subtrope a character's plan belongs to, just Pothole it here.

This is a subindex to the Gambit Index. Gambit Index covers everything about The Plan, such as who plans and who foils the plan, how the plan is revealed, and what is done after it works. This index covers only the plans themselves, and is divided into two categories—Types of Plans; how the scheme will work, and Specific Plans; what the scheme will accomplish. If it would fit in both, it goes in Specific Plans.

Types of Plans

Specific Goals

Examples of The Plan include:
  • Blue (or Green, in the English version) in Pokémon Special pulls off at least one of these per story arc, some more complicated than others. And some that are just plain ass pulls.
  • The aptly named episode "Gambit" of Blake's 7 in which Big Bad Servalan's Starscream, Travis goes to the criminal planet of Freedom City to find the technician Docholli knowing that his nemesis, Roj Blake is also seeking Docholli because he knows the location of Federation headquarters. Travis becomes Docholli's bodyguard so that when Blake arrives, Travis can kill him. Servalan also wants to kill Docholli to prevent him from revealing his information to anyone so she pays Krantor, the lecherous ruler of Freedom City to kill Travis and Docholli, knowing that Krantor will try to torture Docholli to find out what secret he carries and that the location of Federation headquarters is of no use to him. When Krantor sends Servalan Docholli's corpse, it will be obvious that he's extorted the secret of Star One's location. Therefore to shut him up, the Federation will kill Krantor and burn Freedom City to the ground. She also makes a deal with Travis for Docholli's life. Either way Docholli and Krantor die and Freedom City is destroyed. Watching her try to explain this plan to her dimwitted Dragon, Jareair is quite amusing.
  • Magnificent Bastard Cyric from Forgotten Realms. This guy has so many different plans going on that even HE doesn't know about all of them sometimes. The guy is a little Axe Crazy. One of his greatest Xanatos Gambits involved pretending to hold the Idiot Ball for years, only to convince the other greater gods that he was useless in his position as Greater Evil God and attempt to strip him of his power. All this ended with Cyric destroying the love of his two greatest enemies, (sort of) regaining his sanity, and pissing off the entire pantheon of other gods, with them being able to do nothing at all to stop him.
    • This harkens back to his first plan where he killed a goddess of illusion with the help of a lesser god, but got off scot free because he knew exactly what the Over God would say. The other gods exact punishment, but Cyric also gets them to remove the punishment through even more trickery and lies. He also binds an Eldritch Abomination to him at the same time. The same one that bit off Tyr's hand, you know, Tyr, the Big Good of the Forgotten Realms? Yeah, and because the Over God says so, Tyr can't do a thing to stop Cyric and his many many plots. Cyric goes on to weave even more plans ending ultimately with Tyr's death, Helm's death, Mystra's death, and the death of many other powerful gods and the complete destabilization of magic itself. He does end up in chains for causing the deaths of those gods, but he is the god lies and trickery... does anyone really think those chains will hold him for long? Especially since we don't even know if that isn't yet another gambit of Cyric's. He could be walking freely about the Realms, using his power as God of Illusion to create a clone to take his place in the chains.
  • Falling astray of a vast mesh of Xanatos Gambits, and thus getting manipulated in a million directions at once until you finally just give up, is a common occupational hazard amongst Shadowrunners.
    • One Shadowrun adventure module has this fate befalling a friggin' dragon, previously the indisputable master of the technique. It's also worth remembering that Shadowrun is, along with Paranoia, one of the few tabletop RPGs where it's perfectly acceptable to turn on the rest of the party.
    • Special note goes to Dunkelzahn's Heroic Sacrifice to prevent the Horrors from invading the Earth. As anyone who played Earthdawn will point out, the Horrors managed to drive a few gods mad back in the Fourth World. So it's even odds whether Big D's plan is going to succeed or not.
  • Survivor: One World had an Either/Or Gambit by Sabrina Thompson. Considered a serious threat to win the million against Kim Spradlin, no less by The Chessmaster herself, she pulled off the Scheherazade Gambit by threatening her with a Genghis Gambit. If she ended up on the jury, she would spin it as betraying an original ally just to piggyback on the sure thing (Spicy Latina Alicia). With the mood of the jury (especially Troyzan) at the Ponderosa, Kim would almost certainly be on the ouch end of a Humiliation Conga. There were no major incidents. Kim took Chelsea and Sabrina to the end and appeased the jury. And Sabrina got the silver for her efforts.
  • Death, from the Final Destination series, does this. And boy, it is a big one! Brace yourselves... Death targets Sam (from Final Destination 5, which is a prequel to the first Final Destination) and Sam and his friends escape. Death, however, had planned for just such a thing to happen and after Candice (a friend of Sam) dies, her boyfriend Peter blames Molly, who survived in the original vision and goes after her; when Sam kills him, (after everyone else except Nathan, Peter, Sam and Molly are dead) Molly escapes Death, thus putting her on the list. So... guess where she and Sam go? Yep! Flight 180. Death later targets them there and blows up the plan. Alex Browning, from the first Final Destination, sees this vision, panics and gets himself and his friends off. As they die off one by one, the people from Final Destination 2 witness their deaths (from offscreen) and they are mentioned in Final Destination 2. As it turns out, by witnessing the events of Final Destination meant that the people (from Final Destination 2) escaped their actual deaths and were targeted on Route 23. Again, Kimberly, the protagonist, panics and gets them all off. Once again, Death has planned for this, goes backwards down the line and kills them all of, including Clear Rivers, the only survivor from Final Destination 1. This is later mentioned in Final Destination 3, and Word of God states that Kimberly and Thomas, the only survivors of Final Destination 2, die five years later, just before the last three people of Final Destination 3, thus sealing the really complicated rift created by their survival.