Thursday, 26 November 2015

RPG Hook #32

RPG Hook #32

The Pure are a sect of worshippers who follow the Healing God's teaching in the strictest manner possible, denying themselves any luxury and decrying those who partake in such inpurities. Chief amongst the Pure's myths and legends is their promised land, a land of incredible bounty set aside for them by the Healing God to escape the impure. The promised land was thought to be a fiction by most until recently, when the Pure's Archbishop found a map believed to lead there, hidden amongst his predecessor's journals. Before risking the lives of his followers, the Archbishop wishes to send adventurers in to determine what dangers lie on the trail to the promised land, offering what few treasures the Pure have in order to entice the party on this most glorious mission.

GM Tips

The journey to the promised land will take the PCs through strange lands devoid of civilisation, forcing them to learn how to survive on their own, whilst pitting them against strange beasts and alien plant life. Do spells work differently in this promised land? What about the PCs connection to their own gods? Are the Pure the only ones looking for the promised land? Perhaps greedy individuals want it for themselves, or other religions believe it belongs to them? What if there's already someone there?

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

RPG Hook #31

RPG Hook #31


Priestess Cate Weaver believes that a local chapel, claiming to honour the gods of hearth and harvest, is in fact a front for a diabolist cult. With no clergy willing to shut down the seemingly-innocent chapel without evidence to support her belief, she turns to adventurers in the hopes that they might be able to infiltrate the chapel and discover the evidence she needs.

GM Tips


How will the adventurers gain access to the chapel? Do they plan to break in, sneak in or even pretend to be potential converts? Once they're inside the chapel, what risks will they have to face as they hunt for diabolic evidence before they're removed or the evidence destroyed, what traps and foes await them? Is the Priestess withholding information, could this all be a ruse to discredit the chapel and the adventurers whilst the Priestess runs her own cult?

RPG Hook #30

RPG Hook #30

A secret society is flourishing in the upper echelons of the nation, with magistrates, generals and nobility amongst the members. Centred around the worship of "Toros, the Bull God", the society (named the Horned Shrine) applauds the acquisition of wealth and displays of power, and seems to be exerting its influence in society at large. The Royal Chancellor, allegedly acting on behalf of the King and Queen) wants the Horned Shrine broken before it gains too much power and becomes a threat to the throne.

GM Tips

Who is the Bull God? Baphomet or Mephistopheles would be apt choices, or perhaps even Tiamat. Who is the Chancellor working for and how does the disruption of the Horned Shrine benefit him? How do the PCs plan on disrupting the secret society's influence?

Monday, 23 November 2015

RPG Hook #29

RPG Hook #29


The Cathedral Atop The Mountain was once the bright centre of worship in the region, but centuries of war and neglect have left it in ruins, with undead and other horrors roaming within it's walls. Eager to recapture the glory of previous centuries, the archbishop has offered a sizable reward to any group able to clear the monsters from within the ruined cathedral and re-consecrate the holy ground. 


GM Tips


How do the PCs plan to reach the cathedral, and what threats might lie along the way? What can the PCs learn about the manner of calamity that befell the original temple? Is there an antagonist out there who wants to prevent the PCs in re-consecrating the grounds, and why? Perhaps some manner of powerful undead, a vampire or lich, has made their home within the cathedral and doesn't wish to removed. How deep will the PCs have to travel in order to purge any taint from the area.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

RPG Hook #28

RPG Hook #28


The marriage of Duchess Amarie and Duke Beorn promises to be the political and social event of the year, however the interference of Bishop Gelf could ruin the entire thing. Deeming the wedding sacrilegious because of Beorn's previous marriage, the Bishop has refused to perform the ceremony or allow any member of his clergy to be involved. Duchess Amarie has put the word out that she's looking for someone to convince the Bishop to ratify the marriage, or replace (violently, if necessary) the Bishop if no other option remains.

GM Tips


Perhaps the Bishop has ulterior (financial or political) motives for not allowing the marriage to proceed, or is simply strongly conservative. Either way, the PCs will have to work out how to negotiate, coerce or parley with the religious figurehead, perhaps providing him with something he wants more, such as a rare relic, or else figure out a way to remove him from office and get someone more agreeable into the role.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

RPG Hook #27

RPG Hook #27


The War God's temple is in disarray following the untimely death (some suspect foul play, others claim that thuribles explode all the time) of the former High Priest, Warrick Tenspur. Several different factions within the Temple have put forward their own potential candidates to fill the role, including the Knights of Bloodied Blades and their choice, Ascala Toromor, and the Silent Wardens who endorse Barstan of Highgreave. As the conflict between the factions begins to spill out into the area surrounding the main temple, the local government has put the call out for seasoned adventurers to maintain the peace and bring the factions under heel by helping them to select a new High Priest or Priestess.


GM Tips


This is the perfect opportunity to introduce some intrigue to a campaign, allowing the PCs to interact with the various factions, negotiating and bartering until a conclusion can be reached. When no other option is open, combat (whether initiated openly or stealthily) between the PCs and one or more of the factions can erupt, leaving the PCs to pick up the pieces and avoid further conflicts. 

Friday, 20 November 2015

RPG Hook #26

RPG Hook #26

Paladin Muriel, a devout follower of the Sun God, has spent much of her life singlemindedly searching for an important relic, one that she hopes will revitalise her temple, the Dawn Spear reputed to have belonged to the god itself. Having alienated herself from her order with her obsession, Muriel withdrew herself even deeper into the quest, disappearing in the eastern forests some time in the past few weeks. Concerned about the fate of their paladin, the Temple of the Sun God is offering a reward for information regarding Muriel or the Dawn Spear.


GM Tips

What caused Muriel's disappearance? Is she alive or dead? Did she find the Dawn Spear? Perhaps the Dawn Spear itself, or the tomb or temple containing it, prevents her from leaving the forest. Maybe some other party has captured the paladin in their attempt to find the Dawn Spear for themselves? 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

RPG Hook #26

RPG Hook #26

The clergy at Skald's Lantern, an abbey high in the northern mountains, are concerned. Every year the abbey serves as the first leg of a pilgrimage for would-be paladins, which eventually sees the hopeful knight-priests serve their vigil in the Chapel of Forgotten Heroes, a remote shrine surrounded on all sides by treacherous slopes and fell beasts. After waving off this years hopefuls, the abbey resumed its normal day-to-day running, only to discover that one of the group, Novitiate Alistair Wolfscarred, had been murdered and his body hidden (presumably in a hurry) in a well. Who murdered the Alistair, and do they plan a similar fate for the rest of the questing paladins?


GM Tips

I'd be tempted to increase the drama by suggesting that the remaining paladins are in a similar danger, presumably from someone either stalking the group or having disguised themselves to fit amongst them, perhaps using magic or a cunning disguise to take Alistair's place. What's their eventual goal? Maybe they just want revenge against the paladin order that organises this pilgrimage, they wish to desecrate the Chapel of Forgotten Heroes, or they just want to spread chaos and malice. Catching up to the paladins or tracking down the killer will involve navigating some treacherous terrain in a hurry, living off the land and defending against wild beasts and bandits, providing plenty of challenges whilst the PCs work toward their eventual goal.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

RPG Hook #25

RPG Hook #25

The Ridgewood family have maintained a mausoleum in the mountains for countless generations, but in recent years the tomb has fallen into disrepair, with all manner of fell creatures making their lairs in its depths. With the recent death of the family patriarch, Lord Jonn Ridgewood, the remaining family members have put a call out for adventurers to clear out the tomb and put Lord Jonn to rest. What terrors await those who take on the job?


GM Tips

What terrors lie with the Ridgewood Tomb? Are there undead, perhaps one of the Ridgewood family members decided to extend their life unnaturally as a lich or vampire, ruling over their deceased family from beyond the grave? Perhaps Ridgewood arcanists, or local tomb-breakers, have used this secluded crypt to enact fell rituals and horrific sacrifices? Will the PCs keep their word, setting everything within the tomb to rights and leaving its treasure undisturbed, or will they give into temptation, potentially activating traps and releasing all manner of monsters from their containment?

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

RPG Hook #24

RPG Hook #24


The annual Candlemeet Festival, marking the change in the seasons, has come to the village of Highbridge. Whilst the villagers clean their homes and prepare small rafts to send candles and letters of prayers to the gods, Rosaline Thatcher, the local priestess is desperately searching for a prayer book that belonged to her predecessor. A rare tome not easily found outside major cities, the book is key to the Candlemeet ceremonies, and it's lack will leave the festival in disarray if a replacement cannot be found.

GM Tips


Where is the book? It might have been buried with the former local priest in his tomb, sold on by accident, or even destroyed or stolen by some malevolent individual with a stake in destabilising Highbridge. Perhaps the party can find clues suggesting its location, or else they might be forced to race to the nearest city in order to try and barter a copy from another source.

Monday, 16 November 2015

RPG Hook #23

RPG Hook #23


A controversial thesis by Galmain of Redgate has emerged, suggesting that the gods might not be the original creators of the universe. Passed between antitheist scholars and subversives, the thesis threatens to destabilise much of the temples' power in the region, and has been declared heretical by a number of ranking priests and priestesses. A reward has been posted for the capture of known "Illuminated Order" members and any remaining copies of Galmain's Heresy, as the thesis has come to be known by mainstream religious bodies.

GM Tips


How did Galmain discover these findings? Is he perhaps In league with aberrations like Mind Flayers or Aboleths, who claim knowledge of the godless eras before the dawn of civilisation? Or perhaps Galmain  is himself an aberration? Which side will the PCs take in the conflict, and how will that colour their interactions with religion in the future? 

Friday, 6 November 2015

RPG Hook #22

RPG Hook #22

The Moonfell Coven have a precious treasure they have kept secret for the last sixteen years, hiding it from the mainstream priesthoods and local nobility. Only the coven know that this treasure is, in fact, a child, prophecied to changed the world. Now that the child has come of age, the coven can no longer keep them, and must send the child to begin the journey, but alone the child is still vulnerable. Will the adventurers aid the coven in escorting the child on the first leg of their long journey?

GM Tips


The nature of this hook means it could stretch on as long as you want, whether a single adventure to escort the child to find a new bodyguard, or begin a new campaign where the adventurers follow this messianic individual on their journey. Perhaps temptation could come from factions opposed to the coven or the child, offering status or wealth in exchange for the PCs abandoning their quest. Perhaps the PCs might realise that the child has some darker purpose and they'll have to subvert or destroy them.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

RPG Hook #21

RPG Hook #21

The Rite of the Golden Orb must be performed once a decade in order to strengthen the magic of the Sun God's main temple, lest those clerics lose their divinely granted abilities. A great paladin is chosen for this quest, carrying a solid gold orb from the temple to the highest mountain peak in order to catch the sun's purest rays. This time, the paladin Garrick Stonespear was chosen, but since leaving the temple he, and the orb, have disappeared. Can the orb be recovered and the rite performed in time to maintain the Sun temple's power?


GM Tips

Has Garrick gone rogue, stealing the orb for himself? Perhaps he's been waylaid by bandits or other hazards, or some other organisation has managed to delay or stop him from performing the rite. The PCs might have to trek through dungeons, search the wildest parts of the world or fight against countless enemies, all bent on plunging the Sun temple into darkness.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

RPG Hook #20

RPG Hook #20

A smaller monastic  sect of the War God's temple, the Children of Bloodied Steel, have established a fortress on the very outskirts of civilisation. Here they offer, to anyone willing to swear to honour the War God, the secrets of their unnatural talent with weapons. They claim that such talent comes from garnering a small sliver of the War God's essence into themselves, become partially divine. Many have come to the Children's monastery to be trained, but none so far have survived.



GM Tips

It would be fair to assume that any kind of power or skill increase will come at a cost, deciding what the cost of the Children of Bloodied Steel's secret training is will be the key to balancing risk vs reward. Perhaps they require a number of fears or tasks to be performed, or several demonstrations of skill. Perhaps the War God's main temple view these monks as heretical, and the training will come at the cost of being marked by the War God's followers as an abomination. The way to the monastery could be fraught with bandits or monsters - undisturbed by the monks, who see them as a useful additional challenge for would-be initiates. - or the ritual itself might be deadly, requiring feats of skilful combat or resourcefulness to survive.

What are RPG Hooks?

RPG Hooks are short, one-paragraph adventure hooks to build an adventure or campaign around, and are the daily staple of Too Many Dice, don't forget to subscribe!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

RPG Hook #19

RPG Hook #19

The Festival of the Risen Queen, a feast day dating back centuries that celebrates a major Saint, is  occurring and the local temple is making the usual preparations. Food, spirits (luckily this isn't a dry festival) and entertainment have all been organised and are ready to go within the hour. However, an important figure leading the parade - the Risen Queen, played by Myrna Brookshield - has disappeared, and it will be a disaster if their place is empty. Can the adventurers find the missing parade-leader before it's time, or will they take their place if they cannot?

Monday, 2 November 2015

RPG Hook #18

RPG Hook #18

A preacher holds the town of Swain to her whim, using her natural gift for persuasion and coercion to convert townsfolk to her way of thinking. The preacher, known as Saint Acatha by her followers, is staunchly opposed to magic, declaring it a travesty against the laws of nature, and commands her congregation to bring any mages they find before her, to face the judgement of her merciless god. With hedge mages being burnt at the stake, priceless magical artefacts being destroyed and talk of a holy war, Acatha must be stopped.


GM Tips

This hook could be a simple set of encounters pitting the adventurers against Acatha and her army of cultists, but what about using the hook to explore the variety of beliefs within the religions of your campaign setting. Is Acatha a typical worshipper for the people of your world, or is she part of an outlier group? If a pitched battle is necessary to pacify the cutists, you can find some war or battle quests here. What other solutions might the players explore, blackmail, sabotage, honest debate? What is Acatha's ultimate reason for oppressing mages? Is she a true believer or using those beliefs to follow a personal grudge?

What are RPG Hooks?

RPG Hooks are short, one-paragraph adventure hooks to build an adventure or campaign around, and are the daily staple of Too Many Dice, don't forget to subscribe!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

RPG Hook #17

RPG Hook #17

A friend of yours, Rikhord Valmont, is in prison after being implicated in an attempt to assassinate the Queen and her Court by detonating a powerful explosive in her throne room . The Queen's prosecutor has all manner of proof - documents, witnesses, material evidence - linking Valmont to the supposed assassination attempt. You're not convinced though. Even though Valmont has certainly been embroiled in controversy before, he's not a killer or a conspirator. He's managed to smuggle a few messages out from his cell, including one to you, pleading his innocence and claiming he's been set up. Will you help Rikhord Valmont before he finds his neck on the block?


GM Tips

Who could gain the most from capturing Rikhord Valmont? Whether or not Valmont is innocent is up to you, perhaps he's playing on the relationship he has with one of the PCs in order to escape, or he's genuinely desperate for help. Either way, if the PCs want to help Valmont, they'll either need to break him out of the Queen's prison, trade favours to secure his release, or find some exonerating evidence,  and confront the person that incriminated him in the first place. Depending on how they choose to free Valmont, this could be a short adventure or even an adventure path.

What are RPG Hooks?

RPG Hooks are short, one-paragraph adventure hooks to build an adventure or campaign around, and are the daily staple of Too Many Dice, don't forget to subscribe!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

RPG Hook #16

RPG Hook #16

The city of Stahlhart has suffered a series of horrific murders over the last four nights, each victim was horrifically disfigured and a message left at the crime scene, "They should have left me dead". The victims had no publicly-known connection, a magistrate, a sawbones, a butcher and a constable. Witnesses spotted a figure leaving the last crime scene, clad in tattered black robes and carrying a long-bladed hunter's knife. Who is the mysterious killer and how are they choosing their victims? Will the adventurers stop the killer before they strike again?


GM Tips

There's plenty of scope to make this hook your own. Is the killer a supernatural being, a wraith or other incorporeal undead, some humanoid monster concealing it's hideous appearance beneath black robes, or a regular humanoid with a taste for murder? How are the victims connected, perhaps they are part of some secret conspiracy, or were connected to the killer in some fashion? Do the adventurers discover the murders by accident, take it upon themselves to get involved, or get hired to investigate them? Perhaps they've received a warning they are to be the next victims, or have avoided an attempt on their lives already.

What are RPG Hooks?

RPG Hooks are short, one-paragraph adventure hooks to build an adventure or campaign around, and are the daily staple of Too Many Dice, don't forget to subscribe!



Friday, 30 October 2015

RPG Hook #15

RPG Hook #15

We need to talk about Meggyn, you see, at first we all thought it was a fox or a wolf getting into the livestock barns. Then Joel the Blacksmith found her by the river, covered in blood up to her elbows. The priest thinks she's possessed, the doctor thinks she's mad, and the trapper thinks she's cursed with lycanthropy. We've locked her in the smithy attic, with the heaviest manacles we could find, but she's broken through one set already. I only hope we can work out what to do before she breaks free and hurts someone.



GM Tips

Meggyn's nature -whether she's a werewolf, possessed or something else entirely - is left up to you, but she should pose a serious threat to her rural home town, and it's up to the adventurers to discover what she is, how to cure or otherwise deal with her, and track her down if she breaks free.

What Are RPG Hooks?

RPG hooks are short, one-paragraph adventures ideas to spice up your game, a daily fixture of Too Many Dice.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

RPG Hook #14

RPG Hook #14

The town of Volamere has been wracked with bouts of uncontrollable sickness for several days, with many citizens suffering seizures, vomiting and more unsightly digestive complaints, gradually becoming weaker and weaker. Many Volamere settlers have seen cyst-like growths develop on their abdomens and backs, which swell at a prodigious rate until they reach the size of a pumpkin. When the pastor collapsed in the town square, his cysts burst, releasing a swarm of baby giant spiders that consumed his corpse, the town sent fast riders in all directions to find aid. Who implanted the citizens with these creatures, and how? Can someone discover a cure before the town births a giant nest of monstrous arachnids? 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

RPG Hook #13

RPG Hook #13

Numerous travelers using the high road have spotted a man standing under a tall oak. Pale, scruffy and undernourished, the man beseeches cart-drivers for rides, or asks to join walking parties as they hike toward their destination, telling them he only needs to reach the chapel in Highgate, explaining (if asked) that he's due to enter the priesthood after having a falling-out with his family. Friendly and talkative at first, the man, who introduces himself as Ash Newford, becomes more withdrawn and quiet as the journey goes on. When the vehicle or walking party reaches Highgate, they discover that their passenger has disappeared, leaving no tracks or evidence of his presence behind. Inquiring around Highgates reveals that many travellers have picked up Ash, only to have him vanish upon reaching the town. Who is Ash, why is he always found under the tall oak, and why does he vanish upon reaching Highgate?

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

RPG Hook #12

RPG Hook #12

A queen, confronted with her own mortality, sought a powerful arcanist to magically prolong her life and ensure her an everlasting reign. Instead the arcanist used the queen's treasury to create a powerful curse that stole the life-force of the kingdom's citizens and condemned them to an eternity as mindless undead, bound to the will of the lich queen. Horrified, the queen commanded her subjects to bury themselves beneath the earth whilst she searched for a cure for their curse. Eventually tales of the kingdom of the dead became nothing more than horror stories to frighten small children. Then the dead began to rise...


Monday, 26 October 2015

RPG Hook #11

RPG Hook #11

Pleasant Valley, a large swathe of once-lush countryside containing a handful of rural settlements, has been experiencing some strange weather over the last few weeks. Jumping from extreme heat - hot enough to bake earth and dry up wells - to extreme cold - blighting crops and freezing livestock - and all weather in between, tropical storms, powerful gales, thick fogs, and so on. The changes first occurred daily, but have become increasingly more frequent lately, with new weather anomalies occurring every four hours or so. Who is meddling with the weather in Pleasant Valley, and can they be stopped before the towns of the valley perish?


Sunday, 25 October 2015

RPG Hook #10

RPG Hook #10

Once a decade, adventurers, gladiators and knights from across the continent gather to compete for the prize of a lordly title bestowed by the royal family. The Trial of Lords, as the contest is known, takes place over seven days in a vast amphitheatre capable of seating the thousands of spectators, and throws the contestants into numerous challenges of combat, guile, knowledge and luck. Treachery is common, with contestants blackmailing others, sabotaging equipment, bribing referees and even stooping to murder to get ahead. Tomorrow the competition will begin, and you're among those who will risk life and limb in the coming days.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

RPG Hook #9

RPG Hook #9

The citizens of Talla's Wharf have been behaving oddly of late. The tavern sits empty all night, the streets are clogged with litter, and other tasks throughout the town are abandoned as they slave day and night to construct some vast funeral pyre, large enough to burn hundreds, if not thousands. Those few that return from visiting the town say that the townsfolk are under some enchantment or curse, whilst the townsfolk themselves claim that a god has come to Talla's Wharf, and he's preparing them for ascension. Meanwhile, fell creatures appear on the outskirts of town, traders and drifters near Talla's Wharf are disappearing, and strange signs light the night sky above the settlement. Who has the town under their spell, and what are they planning to do?

Friday, 23 October 2015

RPG Hook #8

RPG Hook #8

The hoard was lost, that's what they all said, to the ravages of time and consumed by the earth. Sure enough, for generations, the hoard of Farstan the Conqueror, collected through decades of pillage, was hidden with no clue as to where he might have buried it. Over time adventurers lost interest in the fabled hoard, dismissing it as a legend and a fancy of historians and would-be treasure hunters. Then Aisha Delbraith, a historian and arcanist of high repute, found a sign that Farstan's Hoard might truly exist, the first marker pointing the way to the treasure. "The path begins at the castle of seven towers, by the sign of the One-Handed God." Despite her best efforts to keep this discovery a secret, at least between her and the party of adventurers she had hired to find the the hoard, the secret is out. Now every adventurer between here and the sea is out hunting for the legendary cache of gold, relics and knowledge, including you.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

NPC - Sabine the Hordemaster

Sabine the Hordemaster

You hear them before you see them, shuffling, groaning, rattling against their chains. The smell comes next, rotting flesh, damp and old, dried blood. Then you see them, shambling zombies, chained together, stumbling and shoving against each other as they follow a black-robed figure who strides ahead of them, skull-topped staff in hand. She tips her hood back and grins as she approaches, teeth white against her dusky skin, almost-black eyes alight with mischief. "Sabine," she introduces herself, extending a hand gloved in tough, thick leather, "I hear there's work going hereabouts."

RPG Hook #7

RPG Hook #7

Mag of the Oak's arcane library was known to hold many wonders. Relics of lost ages, tomes of magic formulae, powerful artefacts and spell grimoires were contained within. Unfortunately such a cache of wealth, both of knowledge and material value, tempted many would-be thieves to try their luck to steal a piece of the library for their own profit. Most fall to one of Mag's many devious security measures, but the Black Wolf is not your average thief. After navigating through the library's arsenal of traps and guardians, the Black Wolf has taken dozens of dangerous magical creations, and is now using them indiscriminately to cause chaos in the region. The Black Wolf must be stopped before anarchy descends on the land, and the remaining magical relics returned to their rightful place.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

RPG Hook #6

RPG Hook #6

Neighbouring towns and farms have commented on weird goings-on in the town of Red Hook for weeks, mutilated livestock, arson attacks on outlying buildings, outbreaks of violence between citizens, and strange markings appearing on doors, windows and even painted on the side of the local chapel. When you arrive in Red Hook, the town is deserted, though evidence of this oddness still remains, there is no sign of some kind of mass murder or battle, or even a suggestion of a struggle. Food has been abandoned mid-meal, tools have been dropped halfway through a task, and other indications hint that the entire town simply disappeared in the middle of a normal day. Where are the citizens of Red Hook, and who engineered their disappearance?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

RPG Hook #5

RPG Hook #5

You've been in a hurry before, but never like this. It seemed simple enough, get the satchel to your contact and in return you'd be set with enough coin to last you a decade. All you had to do was get on the stagecoach and get to the next town over before the sun sets and your contact leaves. Simple, right? First you overslept and missed the stagecoach, getting to the stop in time to see it racing out of town. Then you found out there was a horse shortage in town, and no-one had one to loan. It's two hours till sunset now and the next town is a three hour walk away through a bleak bandit- and wyvern-infested wilderness. What do you do?

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Expanded Toolkit: Is Meat Relevant In Modern Fantasy?

Today on The Mad Adventurers Society site, I spoke about about domestic animals and the purposes they might serve in a community, including the materials that can be cultivated, extracted or harvested from them, living or dead. Instinctively I avoided addressing the question of whether such harvesting – whether non-fatal products such as wool, milk, eggs, honey, silk or manure, or products harvested from a slaughtered creature, such as meat, bone, horn or leather – is moral or even necessary, particularly when alternatives might be available.

RPG Hook #4

RPG Hook #4

Eveston is a town much like any other, a picturesque group of homes and shops on a hill overlooking a river flowing towards the big city. Nothing exciting or dramatic ever happened in Eveston, at least until last week. It started with the Mayor's son, waking in the middle of the night screaming bloody murder loud enough to wake the whole street, claiming to have seen someone he called "the Pale Man". The next night, whilst the Mayor's son found himself to sleep for fear of encountering the Pale Man, the entire street woke screaming, all having suffered similar nightmares ending with seeing a pale-faced monster. Within three days the entire town had suffered horrific nightmares, and now were unable to sleep. After not sleeping for five days, the town are beginning to see things that aren't there, including a pale-faced monster that doesn't seem to let the fact that he does not exist deter him from killing and maiming Eveston's citizens.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

RPG Hook #3

RPG Hook #3

Lionel Reinhart is beloved by the people for his charm, his looks, his wealth, but most of all for his heroism. Today's the day, decided by the Queen and ratified by every Lord in the Kingdom, that a parade will be held annually in the honour. Everyone will be there. Except you. You don't like Lionel, and it's not because of his perfect teeth, his magnificent hair or the way he can look so at ease with a sword. It's not jealousy because you didn't care about the fame. It's not even about the money he's made from retelling the tales of his heroic deeds. It's because all the stuff that Lionel is really famous for, you did it, only he got out first and painted himself the hero. Today's the day, indeed it is. Today's the day that Lionel's parade comes through town, with himself at the head of it, and today's the day you get even. What do you do?

Saturday, 17 October 2015

RPG Hook #2

RPG Hook #2

You wake up to find a note sitting in your hallway, addressed - in a shaky hand with spindly, spider-like handwriting - to you. "We're sorry," it says, "but there was no-one to accept the delivery of your parcel, so it will be returned to the sender." You don't recall hearing anyone knock. The parcel, you guess, must be a care package from your aunt, who is wont to send you all manner of treats and gifts, but won't be impressed if her gifts turn up back on her doorstep. The only chance of avoiding an awkward family argument - and a viciously worded letter from your aunt, she's deadly with a thesaurus - is to track down the courier and get that package back before they make it to your aunt's house. What do you do?

Friday, 16 October 2015

RPG Hook #1

RPG Hook #1

You awaken with a sharp intake of breath, the cold air freezing your lungs as your eyes snap open. You can't move your arms and legs, something heavy is weighing them down. You struggle to move your head, your joints are stiff and uncooperative, but eventually you manage to turn your head to see what's pinning your limbs down. Someone is laying across you, barely moving. You call out - throat sore and dry - asking for them to get off you, but they don't respond. You turn your head a little further, seeing more and more figures, laying on top of with one another. Then you smell it, rotting, half-burnt flesh, it's in your nose and your eyes. You try and wriggle free from the figure on top of you, panic setting in, as you tilt your head up and lock eyes with the rotting face of a corpse, mouth frozen in a rictus grin. Then you spot the high earthen walls of the pit, and another body is thrown over the side, landing a few feet from you. You've awoken in a mass grave and you don't remember how you got here, what do you do?