Monday Morning Moments 03 – City Story Hooks

Monday Morning Moments 03 – City 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 003 – City Story Hooks

City Story Hooks

  1. A wanted assassin ‘the nightingale’ is rumoured to be in town for an assassination. A large reward has been offered for their capture. A town surgeon named Gulliver is reputed to know the identity of nightingale but he has gone missing
  2. A trade delegation has arrived in town from a rival city. Whilst tensions are high it is hoped that a trade deal might be struck at last.
  3. A wanted woman ‘Lysinda the Fang’ is on the run having broken out of jail. She is wanted on multiple counts of murder. It is rumoured that in fact she is a werewolf.
  4. The royal gardens are holding an open day next week to celebrate the successful growing of some rare fruits by their head gardener.
  5. A magic helmet has been stolen from the city armoury. A large reward is being offered for its return. No details of its magical properties are being given but apparently it was the personal property of the guard captain and kept securely locked away.
  6. A low-life contact has word that a mysterious collector known only as Ambrose would like to hire a team to steal a certain magical portrait for him. The job needs to be done within the month.
  7. People are saying that one of the statues of a winged Valkyrie in the Temple of Speed has come to life and flown away. It certainly isn’t in the temple any more!
  8. The local Lord is granting audience to anyone with a grievance or complaint. It is expected that there will be some contentious scenes and that there might be a need for someone to investigate the claims and accusations made.
  9. Cellars across the city have been mysteriously flooding overnight. Once a cellar floods it doesn’t appear to flood again but people would like it to stop. Several merchant firms have had stock damaged from the flooding.
  10. A new tavern, “The Kings Seat” has finished being built and is due to open next week.

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.

Monday Morning Maps 01 – The Tower Tavern

  • Orientation
  • Left = South
  • Right = North
  • Fire is on the East Wall

Full Size Map is downloadable at the bottom of the text below

The Tower Tavern is an old and somewhat run-down tavern situated next to the ruined wizards tower that it gets its name from.

The top levels of the tower were destroyed in a magical explosion some years and the lower levels have been inaccessible due to a magic barrier since that day.

Fortunately for the tavern, the barrier extends only a few feet out from the tower and as such doesn’t affect the tavern situation about fifteen feet away. Still, since that day the fortunes of the surrounding village have dwindled, and it is only nearby river trade that keeps any form of commerce coming into the village.

A simple single-story building the tavern only supplies drink and basic food with no rooms to let. A nearby hostel is the only location in the village for available for lodging. (Well, except for Hodgkins Farm but folks that stay there don’t always leave – at least that’s how the rumour goes.)

The Tower Tavern is almost always occupied by one or more local farm hand or fisherman. Without any other tavern in the village, they are drawn here more by necessity than by choice. Ollie, the bartender and part owner of the tavern does try his best, but he is an individual with fairly limited skills of which cooking and cleaning rank fairly low. He serves his customers with more routine than customer service and his bar snacks and food consist entirely of cold meats, cheese and local vegetables and nuts.

Ollie’s story is a fairly common one – at least in how it started. He was a local lad who ran away to become a soldier, travel the world and find his fortune. Where things get unusual is that he succeeded – at least in a small way. Whether through luck or skill he took part in multiple successful campaigns and not long after his 25 birthday he returned home with saddlebags full of silver.

Greeted like a hero he was the subject of much romantic interest amongst the local ladies and business interest by the traders and merchants. Over the years that followed his fortunes waned. His critics would blame his poor judgement including his four wives and multiple questionable investment choices whilst his friends point out that, despite his travels, he is a rather naive individual and he’s been taken to the cleaners by unscrupulous women and rogues.

Whoever is to blame Ollie is now in his mid-fifties, balding and with a beer belly. Currently single, and after his fourth divorce swearing to never marry again, he will occasionally get a little drunk and wax lyrical against the dangers of love.

The Tower Tavern is his last investment although he only owns half of it. No one knows the identity of his co-owner and Ollie is surprisingly close-lipped about the matter.

Layout

The tavern faces south and is entered by the oak double doors at the front of the building. Reinforced by iron and magics local legend has it that if closed and secured by the owner of the tavern then no hostile force can open them.

Multiple benches are scattered around the building with stools that fit underneath arrayed around the sides. The benches are of various ages and carve from varying woods. One has been dyed green during an aborted style change a few years ago.

An inlaid wooden box can usually be found on a small table on the right-hand side of the tavern. It contains an ivory chess set carved from some unknown animals tusk. A spell, cast by an old wizarding friend of Ollie’s, prevents it from being stolen from the pub. Any pieces taken reappear back on the table within 48 hours.

The fireplace is kept well lit most of the time. Peat, coal and wood are all varyingly burnt. (As well as demanding legal letters that Ollie gets from his ex-wives from time to time.)

The large bear skin rug that habitually lies in front of the fire is Ollie’s last heroic act (that anyone locally is aware of). Five years ago, the bear had been wounded in a goblin trap and, driven mad by pain and poison, went on a destructive rampage through the local countryside. Getting closer and closer to town it cornered some unarmed fisherman down by the old bridge.

One of the fishermen made a desperate dash for the village to raise the alarm and ran into Ollie who was out purchasing supplies. Without a moment’s hesitation, he followed the terrified fisherman back to the old bridge and charged into the bear armed only with a stout walking stick.

Accounts of what happened next vary (often depending on how drunk Ollie is when telling the story) but regardless of later exaggeration Ollie single-handedly fought and killed an enraged cave bear, saved the fisherman and lived to tell the tale … again and again to anyone who will listen.

In his more philosophical moments Ollie will sometimes refer to the rug as ‘Brutus’ and even salute him with a drink. He also keeps the rug cleaner than the rest of the pub regularly taking it outside to dust it down. (Muddle boots are not welcomed on the rug!)

Franco, the local village elder, is a semi-regular although he isn’t too keen on Ollie thinking him a blowhard fantasist has-been. Ollie, on the other hand, thinks that Franco is a snivelling weasel and only in charge because Ollie was away when they had the vote for the new elder. If Franco is in the pub he will almost have a few of his cronies with him and be loudly talking about and working on “the thing that will put the village back on the map”.

A big iron-bound chest occupies the north-east corner of the pub and dishes, mugs, candles and various supplies for the pub can be found in there. The chest is locked with a sturdy padlock. The key for which lives in a fake bottle under the bar. Pretty much everyone in the village knows where the key is kept!

Behind the bar, along with assorted local beers and wines – most awful but a few palatable, can be found a magically sealed chest that contains the takings from the bar and under the top tray, a number of healing potions and any other valuable items that might have been found on the floor or given by travellers in payment of their bar bill.

The chest opens with a magical gesture (which Ollie has managed to keep a secret) and only he accesses the chest. As a result, there are often loose coins on a brass plate under the counter from the day’s trade which he then deposits in the chest later that night.

The small door at the back of the room leads to a small vestibule with two further doors lead off. One is to a very grubby and seldom used storeroom. It has a volume of broken furniture and old grubby tavern supplies. There is nothing of value in the room.

The other door is to the toilets … equally grubby. Regulars at the tavern tend to nip off home when they need the toilet rather than using the taverns facilities. It is joked by the locals that you can always spot a stranger because they order food and use the toilets!

Illumination

Light is provided by the fire, regular windows, (with shutters against cold weather) and candle stubs on all the tables. There is a chandelier above the centre of the room however the winch mechanism has broken and Ollie hasn’t fixed it yet. (It’s been broken for three years.)

Dimensions

The tavern is 50 feet long and 35 feet wide. The ceiling rises in the middle to the height of ten feet.

Full Size Map

The Tower Tavern Interior

Until next time;

Happy Gaming!

Stephen

Chief Scribe