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Gambit Pileup / Fan Works

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  • Child of the Storm and its verse have such tangled gambits and schemers that it now has its own page.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: Once Quirrell allows traitors in the combat games, everyone wants to have a secret plot, even if they don't actually want to change their loyalties. Every soldier in all three armies has something going on, though only a few are actually depicted. Harry encourages this for several reasons, the main one being that he knows he can handle the ensuing chaos better than Draco and Hermione. The chaos escalates to the point that aspiring Wild Card Blaise Zabini manages to become a quintuple agent in a war with only three sides, by selling those three sides out to Quirrell and Dumbledore and Playing Both Sides between those two.
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  • HERZ: Misato has a bunch of plans to deal with the huge number of global conflicts and destroy SEELE, SEELE has a plan to destroy HERZ and bring about instrumentality, GEIST has a plan to defeat SEELE for good, and the Children has a plan of their own…
  • Divine Blood has no less than sixteen people pursuing their own, often mutually independent goals with no collaboration between them.
  • Left Beyond Every major and minor faction has an agenda, and except for God's, they all intersect in several ways. At the very end, All the minor factions' plans get preempted by Satan's plan to start the Last War and conquer the Temple, which gets preempted by God's plan to fulfill the final prophecies in the Bible, which gets preempted by the Omega's plan to endlessly duplicate their souls and cause the White Throne Judgement to never complete, thus allowing the space colonists to safely reach Alpha Centauri.
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  • Shinji And Warhammer 40 K takes Evangelion's existing pileup between SEELE's instrumentality and Gendo's plan to bring Yui back, and adds in Kaworu's plan to turn humanity into a Hive Mind and Shinji's own plans to protect Tokyo 3 and being a Spanner in the Works for the other three's plans.
  • In What About Witch Queen? it seems everybody has a plot in place, and not all of them has been revealed yet. And they already start crashing into each other. To list just a few:
    • Militaristic cabal in Arendelle wants to start Arendelle-Weselton war to prevent Arendelle-Weselton & The Isles war.
    • ...but Hunter (and maybe Margaret) starts Weselton-Arendelle war before militarists can do it on their own terms, and it seems he needs war for some goal of his.
    • ...but Elsa schemes to stop both parties from starting the war, and then schemes to stop the war and Hunter.
    • Michael wants to take over the Isles.
    • ...but Hans is doing the same, and he already has a head start.
    • ...but Anna arrives on Westerguard which might put a bit of dent in his plans... or not.
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    • And then there's mysterious smuggler king Felix Drachner who has his own plans.
  • Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns. The first chapters already paint Orzammar as the game of lies, but things keep evolving for real when the dwarven noble protagonist and the other wardens return to the dwarven city to get military aid. And this is not counting the pileup dealing with the main plotline, one in which not just the Wardens and Loghain are involved, but also a Fade Spirit, of all things, and, more recently, probably the Archdemon as well.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction Changelings, Changelings Everywhere. is an unusual case of the trope being used for sidesplitting comedy alongside Double Reverse Quadruple Agent. It blatantly devolves into a parody of the trope at the end due to the gambit-encouraging problems inherent in introducing a race of Voluntary Shapeshifters. Inanimate objects are revealed to be Changelings in disguise, and nobody is quite sure anymore who they're working for, since there's so much backstabbing and Right Hand vs. Left Hand. Queen Chrysalis wants to rule the Changelings, but is opposed by Lord Chitin, who is supposedly a deposed Changeling noble who has a birthright to the throne. But they're both opposed to The New Larval Republic, who want to break free of royalty altogether. Then Lord Chitin makes a deal with the NLR, but not everyone accepts. But some Changelings have a change of heart, and defect. The Only Sane Mare amid the shenanigans is Princess Celestia, and even she doesn't last that long.
  • The Ponies Of Olympus story Atlas Strongest Tournament has this occurring between Luna and Aurelia in their moves and countermoves against each other behind the scenes of the tournament. It's taken to Mind Screw levels at some points.
  • In Chapter 17-19 of Perfection is Overrated, Bachiko and Meiko try to force certain people to fall in love or, failing that, kill the Himes. Ishigami decides he can use them and decides to try to use Yukariko to coerce the Himes into fighting one another. Meanwhile, Nagi, trying to advance his own agenda, tries to manipulate Shiho, who is unconvinced that Yuuichi has truly fallen for her, into killing Mai.
  • Children of Time has Professor Moriarty and Beth Lestrade. Moriarty is The Chessmaster; Beth just plans simply and utilizes the Indy Ploy when she has to. Most notably, Moriarty makes a Cloning Gambit and allows his own death to occur, and when his clone pops up in the 22nd century, Beth's era, she has the body of Sherlock Holmes restored to life to aid her and New Scotland Yard. Only to find that Moriarty is now a Villain with Good Publicity, and she and Sherlock will have to discredit him.
  • Death Note Equestria: Given one half of the source material, it shouldn't be a surprise this ends up happening. Twilight and L's moves against each other count from the start already, but then Mer goes off Twilight's script to reach her own ends. And on top of that, not only does Pinkie Pie appear to have set up a Thanatos Gambit before her death, but Celestia is strongly implied to be running her own scheme against Kira as well.
  • Death Note II: The Hidden Note has this happen: A woman shows up at the doorway in a trenchcoat, a fedora and sunglasses. She is apparently the new Kira's conspirator. In her Death Note, she writes down the names of the people she sees and waits for forty seconds. But wait! Near pulls out what he says is the real Death Note and says the one the woman is holding is fake. Not only that, Near accuses KJ of being the new Kira. But wait! The woman reads out the names she wrote and describes how the four people she wrote the names of would die. Each one dies seemingly in that way. Suddenly, The woman takes off her fedora and sunglasses to reveal she's Near's daughter Angela! Everyone is suddenly surrounded by Shinigami. Arik flashes his Death Note in Near's face. Near realizes that the Death note he and Angela have are both fake. Near asks KJ where the real Death Note was. KJ says the first entry he wrote in his journal, which mentions an angel. It is then that Near realizes he held the real Death Note in his hands and put it back. It is at this point he exclaims how it was the Hidden Note.
  • Dirty Sympathy has Klavier and Apollo's plan to frame their abusers clashing with Phoenix's plan of proving Kristoph guilty and restoring his good name and Kristoph's plan of poisoning the Mishams to tie up loose ends.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos. Loads and Loads of Characters, and virtually all of them have their own individual plans and plots. All of them end up falling apart by the end of the story thanks to the interference of Dark Tails.
    • Maledict wishes to defeat the Metarex so he can unleash Tsali on his enemies and rule the universe. He is also secretly controlling the Metarex as part of his enormously complicated Gambit Roulette. He also wants to get the Chaos Emeralds in order to keep them away from the Metarex and is trying to protect Sonic the Hedgehog because he's Maledict's son.
    • Tsali steals Planet Eggs so he has enough power to exterminate the Seedrians and destroy the Metarex. And anyone else who gets in his way.
    • Allysion want to kill Tsali and then launch an attack on the Milky Way to upset Maledict's plans.
    • Jesus sends his servant Tephiroth to see if Sonic would be a useful ally, and recruits Trinity to spy on the Demons and find out what they're up to.
    • Venus the Seedrian is trying to expose Maledict's plan in order to stop him from taking over the universe.
    • Dark Oak and the Metarex are stealing and mutating Planet Eggs in order to keep themselves and their organization alive.
  • The plot of Power Games arises from the colliding agendas of six different factions.
  • Redaction of the Golden Witch has Karl's theory about what really happened in Umineko: When They Cry. In his version of events, all of the Ushiromiya's servants were working for different players in a worldwide conspiracy, all aimed at claiming the family's secret stash of wealth.
  • Weiss Reacts has the constant pranking war going on between everyone that even the staff are players in. And then there's the Great Antic War arc....
  • Kingdom Hearts New Epic The First, by chapter five, already has the plans and counterplans affiliated with Wolfang Richler, the official Big Bad, the President of the Alliance Alric Maynes, the Inverse Organization who has just appeared and who seem to have history with Wolfang, the two immediately apparent members of the Inverse Organization seem to have divergent goals if not means, and then there's the introduction of Summerill, who immediately decided he wanted to try to use and manipulate Wolfang to advance his own plans.
    • Then there's Perseus Sarasho, The Dragon to Wolfang, who wants to use Wolfang to create a war for him, since he feels useless in a world of perpetual peace, and that others like him are devalued.
    • Then there's Doctor Doom, who wants to make use of the wish Wolfang has promised him for something, while also making his own plans. That Loki is also involved guarantees he too has plans in this vein.
    • Then there's the heroes, and the fact the new generation might have plans that conflict with one another's plans as well as creating conflict with the plans of the old heroes (Sora, Riku and Kairi).
  • In Webwork, there are several plans and schemes starting to emerge. There’s Tarakudo’s plan to keep Jade under his metaphorical thumb, Jade’s desire to protect her kits, whatever Chang is up to, the plans of Black’s superiors to reduce their dependence on contractors (namely the J-Team), and Tara planning to overthrow Jade with the help of the Gumo Queen’s ghost.
  • Sudden Contact:
    • In Sudden Contact The Sons of Korhal and the Citadel Council allied together against the threats of the zerg and protoss while defeating the Confederacy. Daggoth is sent to Citadel space and waging war against Sovereign, who in turn is using Liara as his indoctrinated agent to find the Conduit. The protoss reduced to fighting in a civil war. The Magistrate/Illusive Man plotting against the Dominion while Duran is working behind the scene within Cerberus. And finally the newly established United Earth Directorate is preparing to invade the Koprulu sector.
    • In Sudden Supremacy: The UED finally arrives to the Koprulu sector and tries to establish an alliance with the Kel-Morian Combine and Cerberus against the Dominion. ITSA colonies are being mysteriously attacked and its colonists abducted. The protoss have finally ended their civil war and tries to establish diplomacy with the Citadel.
  • Like A Wish features not only Lelouch/Zero's plots against Britannia and Cornelia's plots against Zero, but also Kallen's, Suzaku's, and Nunnally's plots to help Lelouch and/or punish the ones who betrayed him. Further complicating matters is that Kallen, Suzaku, and Nunnally are each unaware that the other two have also been sent back in time. Notably, few of Lelouch's plans go the way he expects because he can't anticipate the three of them and isn't aware Suzaku and Nunnally are even involved in any plotting.
  • Son of the Seven Kingdoms is a crossover with A Song of Ice and Fire, so of course there's plenty of this:
    • First, and most obvious, there's the civil war.
    • Then, the Tyrells' attempts to become The Man Behind the Man via Margaery.
    • Dorne is now trying to get as much as they can from whoever they ally with - notwithstanding the possibility that they may still be banking on the Targaryens.
    • North of the Wall, there's an alliance between the White Walkers led by Alduin, the Devourer of Worlds and the Volkihar vampire clan - which is obviously going to break as soon as either of them finds it convenient - against the combined forces of the Night's Watch and the Dawnguard, plus the Wildlings' desperate attempts to save themselves.
    • In Essos, Daenerys' attempts to reach Westeros lead to her finding much about herself, and potentially find herself in conflict with an unknown person that can use the Thu'um that lives in Volantis.
    • There's also the Mythic Dawn cult, which seeks to bring Mehrunes Dagon into the mortal realm.
    • And finally, it is slowly becoming obvious that the gods are trying to aid mortals as best as they can, as exemplified by Talos himself giving William the words to the Unrelenting Force shout and Valeria Targaryen, the Messenger of Akatosh, helping Daenerys several times.
  • The Jackie Chan Adventures/W.I.T.C.H. crossover Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters has one of these rapidly developing: As per W.I.T.C.H. canon, Nerissa is manipulating the war between Phobos and the Rebellion to her own ends, but at the same time, Charles Ludmoore and his two brothers are doing the same thing, with even more efficiency than Nerissa. Meanwhile, Viscount Servantis is trying to steer Phobos in a lighter-handed, less oppressive rule (and when he's captured by the rebels, his allies in the nobility essentially go rouge, planning to crush the Rebellion themselves without Phobos' oversight), Daolon Wong becomes The Starscream to Phobos and upon the failure of his plans allies with a Jiangshi to regain his lost power, Tarakudo has woken up and taken an interest in events, Nimue is keeping an eye on things, and on the Earth side of things, Chang's Dark Hand is flexing its muscle and is actually manipulating Section 13 as part of its larger plan, with Jackie infiltrating them to bring them down. And then there's also the Cavalcade of Horrors and their master, who are implied to be using all of the above as pawns in a larger plot.
    • Even the arc dedicated solely to dealing with the Dark Hand has one of these. There's whatever Chang's been working towards, the Section 13-backed Chan Clan and Guardians working to take Chang down, Will plotting a secretive side mission with only Jade and Caleb's knowledge, Quentin Ross going rogue out of disgust at Section 13 not going far enough to eliminate the Dark Hand, and newcomer Nyx running her own agenda against the Dark Hand. And there's the Oni watching from the sidelines via Hak Foo's mask, while Nimue eventually steps in to manipulate the Chans and Guardians as part of her own agenda.
  • This isn’t too uncommon for
Total Drama fics, but if one stands above the rest in that regard, it’s probably Total Drama: Legends vs. Nobodies. Almost every player is aggressively pursuing their own plans, to varying degrees of success, alliances last anywhere from one episode to the entire fic depending on the characters, and nobody is safe from the schemes of their peers.

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