Monday Morning Moments 02 – Dungeon Story Hooks

Monday Morning Moments 02 – Dungeon Story Hooks

Have some free story hooks from us at The Grinning Frog.

It’s always handy to have a few of these lying around in the back of your DM notes. That way you can throw in a tantalising side trip for the players or simply enrich the world in which they are moving through. After all, their adventure is not the only one happening!

In whatever way you use them we trust they will enhance your game!

You can download a pdf of the storyhooks by clicking here: Monday Morning Moments 002 – Dungeon Story Hooks

  1. A deadly new dungeon has been identified recently. It was found by a shepherd girl who stumbled into it looking for some missing goats. Since its discovery five parties have entered but no one has yet emerged. Some local scholars say it is the fabled Dungeon of Naz’gar – a secretive wizard who lived several hundred years ago.
  2. There is a magical statue in a nearby dungeon that has so far resisted all attempts to understand. It is believed that by performing the right action the statue will animate it and in doing so the secret exit from the room it is contained within will be revealed. The statue is of a warrior woman holding aloft a sword. Her left arm reaches out to the side and her hand is open but empty.
  3. A coven of witches has been discovered to operate out of a local underground series of caverns. The local authorities are keen to find their exact location, so they can be dealt with.
  4. The rumours are that a new dungeon complex is being built by order of a mysterious undead crime boss. The construction is rumoured to be extending out from one of the cities catacombs. So far, people have not been able to locate which one.
  5. Swarms of vicious giant beetles and other insect life forms have been coming out of the old tunnels under the town and attacking people. They were known to live down there on the scraps and offal that went into the sewers and they have never come up above ground before. The locals are terrified. The attacks take place mostly after sunset.
  6. A group of adventurers went underground to locate a fabled golden egg said to be located deep in a dungeon complex. They haven’t been heard of since. They left a month ago. Their sponsors are willing to pay for a team to investigate their disappearance and ideally return with the egg.
  7. A single surviving member of a recent adventure party made it out of an old dungeon complex. He has babbling about giant killer mushrooms and mushroom people just before he died. After death, his body sprouted red pustules which looked like they were going to burst. The body was incinerated by a wizard who happened to be in the vicinity.
  8. Several young children have been kidnapped and taken into an old mining complex. It is thought that a group of troglodytes led by a mountain giant are behind this.
  9. Inside a nearby cavern complex a detailed model of the local mountains and plains has been discovered. Various stories are now being told about this model – that it can show the way to hidden treasure, that it can predict natural catastrophes or that it can show the movements and locations of monsters and evil creatures. Oddly, no one who reports seeing the model can exactly pin point where they found it in the complex.
  10. A local castle has collapsed into the ground. It appears that something big has been tunnelling underneath the building causing it to collapse. The local lords want this thing tracked and killed. No one is saying it out loud but the idea that the creature might be under the control of someone is terrifying the lords.

Sneak Peak – 20 Seashore Magic Items

In Britain, we have a real tradition for rushing to the seashore when the faintest glimmer of sun peaks out from behind the clouds.

In fact, I was there last weekend – suitably wrapped up against the bracing wind that was blowing off the north sea! Ah well, it was sunny and the fish and chips tasted good!

With a summer theme running in my head I have put the final touches to the next publication to come out from The Grinning Frog:

20 Seashore Magic Items!

I mention in my introduction, in the publication, that I think this is a sometimes neglected terrain location to run adventures in. And what a shame that is. The ocean and seashore is a rich source of the fantastical and wonderful – and that’s in the real world, never mind dungeons and dragons!

I have taken some real effort to ensure that there is a wide range of magic items from simply helpful to out of this world powerful!

At the more common level, we have items such as the Shell of Messaging which enable you to magically record a message into a seashell. It can then be set to play the message at a specific time or in response to a specific trigger such as a specific person picking up the shell.

I’d like to think that it might be handy to use when leaving clandestine messages when spying, to share romantic notes with a particular loved one or be a means to give a story clue to a party who stumble over a recording made by someone they are investigating.

At the other end of the spectrum is the God Stone. Now, this is, as the name might suggest, a stone which literally, (if you are high enough level and preferable in the right location) lets you summon either the avatar of a god or a god itself!

If the god, or its avatar, appears (there are no guarantees with this item) then you suddenly have some real firepower at your side and for any high level aquatic based adventure it’s going to make for a really cool quest objective or be a very powerful ‘get out of jail card’ for when the players really need some help.

The help isn’t guaranteed of course and you need a little luck and ideally to be in the right location to activate the most powerful aspects of the stone. If you are a dwarf, down a mineshaft dug into a desert a hundred miles from the nearest coast line then it’s going to be a lot harder to summon a god of the sea. That reality is built into the summoning table. And yes, being a different race can affect the likelihood of your ability to summon a sea god …

So, here’s a glimpse of the inside of the publication – I have to say I am really pleased with how it looks and I think it’s my favourite cover that The Grinning Frog has produced so far!

The 20 magic items are as follows and you can see the rarity indicated after the item name:

  1. Shell of Messaging, uncommon
  2. Shell of Announcing, uncommon
  3. Octobag, rare
  4. Anchor of Time, rare
  5. Anchor Weight, uncommon
  6. Kiss of the Sea, uncommon
  7. Sand of Revealing, uncommon
  8. Shield of Brachyura, uncommon
  9. The God Stone, artefact
  10. Breast Plate of Many Shells, uncommon
  11. Coral Diadem, rare
  12. Lobster claw gloves, unusual
  13. Pseudomorph ink cloud, unusual
  14. Aquam Amor Staff, rare
  15. Aquatic Rod, very rare
  16. Electric Eel Coat, unusual
  17. Cry of the Gull, uncommon
  18. Saltwater Tonic, uncommon
  19. Turtle Talisman, unusual
  20. Giant Deep-Sea Turtle Talisman, very rare

In the publication are included full descriptions, short narrative histories and stats for the items.

The first two will be available via the free preview just as soon as the publication has been approved and uploaded by the drivethrurpg staff.

I will edit this article and link to the document just as soon as it’s available!

EDIT – Available now with the first two items free via the preview!

So I think it’s time you all took your players off to the seaside!

Enjoy, and until next time; happy gaming!

Stephen Hart
Chief Scribe

Amazons WIP

I will talk about amazons in a moment but let me set the scene for a second – one of the challenges that occurred to me when I started to write and self publish the dungeons and dragons and roleplay supplements were the illustrations. Whilst I have some small skill in drawing I am very out of practice and if I am to write, edit and produce to the volume and degree that I am hoping to I simply don’t have the time to be producing drawings as well.

I figured I couldn’t be the only person with this issue so I went out and did some research … long story* short I am going to use one of my favourite set of artworks to illustrate my upcoming publication on Amazons as a race option for fifth edition dungeons and dragons. As well as a publication on their home island.

Turns out that prior to a certain date art becomes copyright free – having been a life long fan of the pre-raphaelites I am totally excited to be able to use their artwork to illustrate my humble words!

So the above picture can be for the section on the sirens who protect the island from invaders whilst perhaps the follow illustrates the sorrow that such activity brings to the amazons – caring, as they do, even for the misguided people who try to invade.

And then the following might get used to illustrate their contemplative nature.

The potential is vast and I’m very excited to have an excuse to spend hours online browsing some of my favourite artwork!

The Amazons as a race should be ready for release mid-September with their island paradise coming out late September.

Until next time; happy gaming!


*(which I will recount more fully later)

Busy Building the Website

So, here at The Grinning Frog we are working on the website … clearly! What can you expect when it’s ready?

RPG Workshop: Which outlines the work in progress for the RPG supplements I am producing including new creatures, monsters, races, locations, magic items…I’ve probably forgotten a few things but you get the drift. In short, I will be blogging and talking about the creative journey. And, as those of you who do similar things will know – that’s never a simply journey!

On a metaphorical level I think it’s very similar to the typical adventure that our characters go into – they get an idea (sometimes presented to them), go off in pursuit of it, and during that pursuit get a little bloodied and bruised. And then finally when they reach their destination it isn’t always quite what they expected. Sounds like a typical dungeons and dragons adventure to me!

All views (apart from racist, sexist or anything *ist) are welcome!

RPG Reviews: Now, these will, for the most part, be smaller independent supplements and articles. There are plenty of places reviewing the latest hardback from Wizards of the Coast so my thought, at this stage is to stay clear of that. I will also be reviewing miniatures and gaming accessories. I recognise that not everyone uses these when they game but hey, don’t read that review then! Personally, I love miniatures and any accessory that makes the game go faster and smoother is a plus in my book!

Dungeon Master Thoughts: In those blog I’m going to be sharing ideas, opinions and general gaming thoughts.  The focus will be from the dungeon master side of the table but I will also talk about, and to, you players who never DM. This will be the general discussion catagory and I do hope that indeed there will be some good discussions had. BLogging and writing without feedback is pretty grim so anytime you read something you’d like to comment on then go for it – all views (apart from racist, sexist or anything *ist) are welcome!

So, that’s what is planned … time I went off and started on it…but whilst I have to go and work on the website if you have the time you might enjoy browsing some of our roleplay supplements for sale on the Dungeon Masters Guild.

So far we have produced a short range of NPC supplements, a cunning corridor collection for dungeon masters to challenge, confound and hopefully delight their players with and a range of inspirational maps and stories following the adventures of a thief (he’s old school) called Jimmy the Quick. Entertaining, inspirational and in fact you can get them for free if you want!

Here are links to one of each:

Free introduction and corridor via the above link

Free preview and NPC via the above link

Also available: Human, Tiefling, Dragonborn, Halfing, Goblin

Another 41 available … and all on a Pay What You Want basis – so even free!

Right, off to build the website…

Until next time; happy gaming!