Lozenge Plot
rating: 0+x

Basic Information

William S. Gilbert, the writing half of Gilbert and Sullivan, was fond of a gimmick in which an artificial device alters a character's personality, usually making it the exact opposite. His partner, composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, detested this gimmick and called it "The Lozenge Plot" after one version where the device was a magic lozenge which swallowed had the effect.

They had already done a version of this in their operetta The Sorceror, where the "lozenge" was a love potion which causes people to fall in love with the wrong partners. Gilbert also used similar devices in his non-Sullivan operetta The Mountebanks and his comedy The Palace of Truth, in which a magical castle compells all within it to tell the absolute truth. The Jim Carrey comedy Liar, Liar also played with a similar theme.


Game and Story Use

  • It's probably a bad idea to inflict this kind of personality change on a PC, unless the player enjoys acting the part.
    • Having an NPC change personalities, however, could be fun.
  • The most obvious example of this type of thing in a role-playing game is the venerable Helm of Alignment Change.
  • But then again, we mustn't overlook the traditional love potion
  • Instead of changing a person's character, one version of the "Magic Lozenge" might reveal it, by removing the person's inhibitions and self-censoring abilities.
    • Alcohol can do that sometimes; no magic required.
      • Which is the plot of Donizetti's opera L'elisr d'amore ("The Elixir of Love")
        • Which Gilbert parodied in his first success, Dulcamara, or the Little Duck and the Great Quack. He really liked that plot.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License