101 Unusual Adventure Hooks

Stormonu

Legend
Forget about the standard fare of meeting in a tavern and rushing off to save the princess (or the world). Instead, lay out an unusual, bizzare or off-beat opening scene for an adventure. Don't explain where it's supposed to go from the opening scene or "what's really happening" - just set up the scene and leave it to the folks reading this to determine what they'll do with it.


1) Returning from their latest adventure, the characters find a dead goblin sprawled on the ground, purple-face up in the middle of their room. His swollen left hand, stuck in a glass pickle jar, is wrapped about some crumpled parchment. There's definitely writing of some sort visible on the parchment.
 

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[OMENRPG]Ben

First Post
2) As the adventurers are trekking to or from their latest conquest, they pass by a cattle farm polluted with the horrid stench of putrefied flesh. As they get closer they see a cadre of ranch hands cleaning up the remains of several exploded cows, all in a row. As they look on in horror, other cows spontaneously give birth to a brand new and fully matured cow, causing the impromptu mother cow to explode.
 

Stormonu

Legend
3) As the group is shopping for supplies, from around the corner barrels a treasure chest, scuttling along on four short, squat feet - like some sort of wooden bulldog. The lid briefly flaps open, revealing gold, gems and glittering jewels as it scampers past. Before the party can even react, half a dozen wide-eyed villagers likewise charge past, pushing through the characters as they chase after the scuttling chest.

4) At a crossroads, the characters come across a trio of thick poles set into the ground, just outside the overlapping trails. Crossbeams have been anchored to the poles, and from two poles dangle the bloody and beaten bodies of a man. As a raven settles on the head of one of the still bodies, a faint call for help echos from the other man. However, standing at the center of the crossroads is a road-worn traveler, who keeps the brim of his hat down to protect from the glaring sun. As the group nears, he fondles a set of unusually shaped ebony dice in his hand. With a smirk, he points to the open pole and bids the lead character, "care to try your luck?"
 

Janx

Hero
5) While outside, the adventurers hear a loud crash from over that way (far enough to be out of sight, yet audible). A short while later, they hear a booming voice cry out, "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" If the party investigates, they find an elderly giant has indeed fallen, and he or she can't get up.

6) As the party is walking through the woods, one of the members is about to step into a big pile of dung (roll a DEX check). If they look closely at the pile, they'll notice it has a few gold coins in it. If anybody makes a Wilderness Lore check, they'll note that this is a pile of bear scat, thus answering one of life's mysteries, while revealing another, which is, why is a bear pooping out gold coins?
 

Janx

Hero
7) The place where the PCs keep their stuff (bank, castle, cave, whatever) has been robbed. The PCs discover it when they next go to it, or if there's somebody watching over it (banker, castellan, etc) that person notifies them. In the place of their loot, the party finds a note thats says, "I'll pay it back." The note is signed with a symbol the party has never seen before.


8) The party comes across an ancient derelict ship, sitting out in the middle of nowhere. It is not clear how the ship got here. If they explore it, they will discover the ship's helm a dried and nearly petrified corpse of the helsman. The body is not of a species the party has seen before (big something they've never seen from the MM). In the ship's hold, they find a large array of strange looking oval jars. They are arranged neatly in in rows and columns. One of the jars' top is already open.
 

jonesy

A Wicked Kendragon
9) Out in wilderness the party comes across a far out sight. In the middle of a plains is a huge rock. Gathered around the rock are dragons of all sizes and colours, engaged in an arm wrestling tournament. Nearby them lies the obvious price, covered by a huge tarp with runic markings, guarded by a gigantic gold.
 


jonesy

A Wicked Kendragon
11) A strangely dressed horse courier rides to you bearing a message telling of the death of 'your dear old friend', the king of the land. The message is clearly addressed to the members of the party. Funny thing is, you know for certain that the land hasn't had a king for nearly 200 years.
 

Kaodi

Hero
12) After stumbling across a ruined monastery in the wilderness, the characters enter the courtyard and find next to a sacred statue a neatly stacked pile of severed heads, each with a parchment in its mouth reading, "Please return to owner."
 

Janx

Hero
13) As the party is walking through a well to do neighborhood in the evening/night, they spy a hooded figure of slight build walking briskly, carrying a sack over one shoulder.

14) The party is attending a speech the king is giving (translate to the party hears about this, if they don't attend). the speech is about the kingdom's current situation and the king's plan for the future. Somebody shouts "You lie!" from the crowd.

15) The party is standing on a small grassy knoll, next to the street where the king is expected to travel through during a parade. The sides of the street are teeming with people who are watching. As the king and queen go by in the open carriage, one of the noble man in front seat sprouts an arrow from his chest.
 

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