Return of Hook of the Day! The Book is the Key.

So I have been wanting to bring back Hook of the day for some time now. Well, today is the day! I did not want to just throw you guys out a hook. I wanted to show you some of my methods for creating hooks or in some cases entire adventures quickly and simply for my games. I also wanted to kick it off with something different.

So today I dug out a handful of Roy’s Story Cubes and gave them a toss! So I lined them up and took a few moments and this is what I came up with and here is what I came up with. Feel free to comment with your own “Story Hook” I would love to see how similar or different our results turn out.

The party finds a map giving them the location of a tower in the mountains. The tower is protected by undead beasts. In the uppermost levels, the players will find a book in the library that contains a “KEY”. The only door to the tower is locked. But the key will not open it and the lock is trapped. The “Key” unlocks a secret door behind a bookshelf in the library. Inside they will find a Magic Item. 

 

 

River? Serenity?

One of my Favorite line in the Firefly T.V. series. As a GM it sets the perfect tone for my blog today. In most space based Science fiction games one often overlooked place where most of the game is going to take place is the ship. As a GM it is imperative you give the players a vessel with personality ! Hence today’s Title. Not only was this a great line in the show but Firefly itself embraces the idea that the ship was as much more than a vehicle to move the actors from scene to scene. Serenity was their ship and their home. And over the course of one short session we saw every part of the vessel from inside and out and we ourselves grew to love the ship.
This is a great example of how to use a location and run a scene with your players. Do not make the mistake  of only mentioning the ship when they get where they are going or are in combat. If you give it deep value for your players they will wince with every scratch.

Give your players ship some personality, here are a few fun ideas
The ships Navigation system is an old cranky astromech droid brain from an old R2 Unit.
The entire Com system was programmed in Rodian.
The ship makes odd noises in hyperspace.
The engines are custom, The ship is faster than normal but take somewhat longer to power up due to the drag on the systems at start-up.
The entertainment system only picks up one entertainment feed. Hutt Porn..
The previous owner was a Trandoshan, The ship is decorated with Wookiee fur rugs in each of the crew rooms and entertainment area.
and the list goes on …
Also give them a good-looking ship.. And please even though we all love Han Solo. Give your players a break pick a ship other than a default YT-1300. There is so much out there that can be just as cool and the players get the chance to make it Theirs. not a want to be Falcon.
I leave you with a cool ship or two, hornetfixcopycec_xs_1200_freighter_by_boomerangmouth-d4rlcjf (1)

yt_2400_dauntless_by_thedarkestseason-d33w7pf

The mines of the dreaded Behir

Here is a lovely little side trek for our gamer’s that sure to if run right to be a wild fun game session. Inspired by a silly episode of Scooby doo that I only caught about five minuets of. But sometimes it’s in the brief glimpse of something where we find some of out best inspiration.

All of this will begin in a sleepy little silver mining town called White Hills. A kobold tribe has moved into the upper mines of the region. The miners organised and began to push the kobolds back.
Just when the Little reptiles were nearly rooted out of all of the local caves a Behir showed up and moved into the upper mines. Bringing the chance that the villagers would be able to recover their lost mine all but impossible. Before the town becomes a ghost town they have amassed their resources together and sent request of aid in the form of an adventuring party.

hidden_chronicles_dragon_danceThe players will quickly learn that the kobolds seem to come and go freely in the same cave system that the Behir is said to live in. The Behir is heard from time to time but does not seem to leave the inner cave system. This is all because the Behir is an elaborate ruse. The Kobolds happened upon a Behir carcass and were struck with devious inspiration. They hollowed out the dead beast and draped it in dyed leathers. Then with their love of all things sneaky they tricked this overgrown scarecrow out.
In fact what the player will encounter when they make thier way inside the caves to confront the beast is six kobolds manipulating the Behir Chinese Dragon style ! And a Seventh kobold seated in the head. This is the caster He will use ghost sound to make the Behir seem convincing and Fog or Obscuring mists to make it harder to see through the grand trick before the party.  The six Kobolds will strike  at the players with “Clawed Behir feet” made of dyed leather and hooked blades.  I encourage the DM to ham this up as much as you can. Go big ! The best part about this is the payoff if you are able to fool your players for just a short while before they realize its a scam.
Don’t forget to throw in standard Kobold fare of traps and tricks and some long range sling and spear assistance from the tribe members that are not in the “Behir”.  I leave you with a Image to inspire ! let your mind wander and enjoy the possibility !
If you come up with some other great ideas toss them in the comments ! Thank you and Enjoy !

Finders Keepers

During a bout of terrible weather the party seeks shelter from the elements in a cave overlooking the road they have been traveling on. If the players blindly enter the cave with out scouting first they will find themselves immediately under attack. If the players take a moment to  scout out the location before they enter the cave  they will discover is not abandoned.  Hobgoblins are currently inside the cave and they seem to be guarding a sizable treasure chest brimming with coin.
But the coin is not their own; the weather drew the Hobgoblins here as well where they discovered this unguarded treasure. Who does the treasure belong to ? You have several fun things it could be after your players dispatch the Hobgoblins.
Maybe the adolescent dragon who is only beginning his hoard returns shortly after the party is done with clearing out the Hobgoblins.. Party’s got some explaining to do, or maybe this will be their first dragon kill.
Maybe the treasure is actually a Mimic waiting until the numbers are more in his favor to make a move.
Or maybe this cave that overlooks the road is the hideout of a group of bandits. And they come back that night.

Stable Boy; what stable boy ?

As the players stop for the night at a crossroads inn they are warmly greeted by the inns stable boy. He offers to groom and stable all of the party’s mounts while they stay for two silver per horse. He is willing to be negotiated down to a single silver for the labor.
He takes the reigns and informs the players that they are in luck tonight. Dinner just began and and the local brewer just delivered this new seasons blend of hops.

With that he cuts the small talk and guides the horses to the nearby holding pen to begin his tasks. As the players enter the inn the smell of fresh food and the sounds of revelry is intoxicating. As the players make arrangements for rooms for the night. The innkeeper will inform them that they can stable their horses in the barn and nearby holding pens.  When the party informs the keep that they have given their mounts to the Stable boy he looks confused simply stating.
“Stable boy; what stable boy?”
the party has been the victims of a skilled horse thief..
enjoy

Gutter Rat Raiders !

The outlying villages recently have come under the threat of raiders. Goblins ride out of the darkness mounted on agile dire rats. Wielding crossbow, lance and cleavers.  They are the Gutter Rat Clan.

The adventures are hired to set into the forest and track these goblins down. Only the more the players look the more their leads point them in the direction of the city not the woodlands.

The Gutter Rats are a goblin clan based out of the city’s Sewer’s system.  They are a gang of goblin rouges lead by a nearly medium sized Wear-Rat Goblin called Choppa Boss. Choppa keeps his people to the back allies and is very careful not to draw attention to their tribe. This is why they have begun using the sewers to slip out of the at night and raid the local farm’s for food and supplies. Knowing that at least for a time this deception will allow his people to stockpile enough provisions to go back into  hiding before they are found out.
Choppa has committed nearly enough raids to fill his larders. The players will have only a month to root out the Gutter Rats. The Gutter Rats will leave the city each week for the next month. Once from the North, South, East and the final raid will be in the West. The Goblins use the main sewer exits from the city as a mode of travel in and out unseen to conduct their raids.

When the players encounter the goblins they will be in for a bit of a supplies. Goblin Rats are shape sifters. The Dire rat mounts the goblins ride into battle are actually goblins as well. Any of the Goblin raiders or Dire Rat mounts may shift from one form to the other with a standard action.  Combat with these goblins will be fast paced and tricky.

 

Head of State

The party sets camp for the night and while foraging for food encounters an abandoned sanctuary with pillars and hanging garden structures. Scattered about are exquisite statues in various poses. Oddly the statues are from all classes. Peasant to Noble and Adventure alike. The players have walked into the lair of a Medusa.

If the players survive they will note one of the statues if that of a near by mayor or high-ranking official from a rather large and wealthy city. Returning them could prove worth a hefty reward. Or maybe even a boon for being the Mayors savior.

If you wish to expand on this you could have the party be harassed by bandits that think the statue(s) must be very valuable and wish them for their own.