Eaten The MacGuffin
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Basic Information

A trope where the heroes destroy the MacGuffin to prevent others from using it. A classic example being Lord of the Rings.

For more comic effect, the MacGuffin has actually been eaten by something - usually the team mascot - and is not usable when required. This doesn't destroy it, and is just a road bump in the plot (the diamond in Snatch went this way).



Game and Story Use

  • This trope is nothing but trouble for GMs either way. PCs cannot be counted on to do this when the story warrants it, especially if it involves giving up some very real power. On the other hand they might choose to do this when you least expect and want them to, especially if the MacGuffin is giving them nothing but trouble. You may want to be prepared for this.
    • It doesn't have to be trouble for GMs, though. You just need to realize that the PCs might consider both options - keeping it or destroying it - and make room accordingly. As long as both actions have consequences and you planned for those consequences, you should be fine.
      • Furthermore, this can also lead to some great role-playing. Nothing can bring out debates among the party like a nice moral dilemma.
  • This trope is occasionally referenced in various crime investigation dramas where a murder victim is found eviscerated and turns out either to have eaten the macguffin, or was suspected to have done so.
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