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?