Updated: Mar 23, 2020
I was wondering if it would be possible to take a single event and produce multiple story hooks for it. It was a writing exercise, but I thought the results might prove useful hence listing them below.
First of all, yes, absolutely, it’s possible to come up with multiple hooks around the same event – which rather makes sense when you think about it. What I really wanted to test was - what if you tried to simply reverse some of the hooks. See them from the other side.
Say, for example, someone is looking for extra security – well, doesn’t that present the opposite possibility, and story hook, that there is an opportunity to be criminal. Equally, if one person comes looking for help with their rival then perhaps their rival does the same?
And, for the most part, that does work. It took me a little time to get into it but I think you will see there are mirrored hooks in the list below.
It also occurred to me whilst doing this that such an exercise might well give some fresh perspective on older modules. I’ve been reading through some of the Expert and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons modules from way back in the day. A lot of the time there are no story hooks, or they are really simple.
To add some depth to proceeding try reversing the hooks and see what light that shines on proceedings. It might just be that you uncover some interesting perspectives – in the list below I find Maril and La’Praine an interesting pair. Just which one is really in need and from whom?
An ice sculpture tournament is being hosted by the local fey lord. Contestants can use magic or physical skill to produce their sculpts. First prize is access to the fey lord’s private library which contains extensive books and scrolls on obscure and rare magic.
A fey lord wants extra security to help out at a tournament he is hosting. There are expected to be a large number of magic users in attendance. Whilst his private security is good, he needs some extra eyes and ears to cope with the crowds.
Maril - a wizard has come to the group asking for help. She entering a tournament due to be hosted by a local fey lord. She is worried her arch-rival La’Praine will be attending and she wants some personal security.
An older wizard named La’Praine has approached the party. She wants them to stop a young rival – Marilyon from attending the tournament. She fears Maril means her harm.
The party learn of an ice sculpture tournament being hosted by the local fey lord. This would present an excellent chance to sneak in and poke around. Reputedly his treasure room holds many valuable items.
A fire elemental named X’Brath is offering the party, through a shady intermediary, a small chest of gold if they disrupt the ice sculpture tournament being held by the local fey lord.
There are rumours that a fey assassin has been seen in town. Apparently, their target is one of the contestants at the ice sculpture tournament or possibly the fey lord hosting the event.
A local thieves guild have, discretely, put the word out that they want help breaking into the local fey lords mansion whilst his guards are distracted by the upcoming ice sculpture tournament.
A dwarven sculptor has had his tools stolen ahead of the ice sculpture tournament. He is adamant that a party of elves is responsible, and he wants to hire a party to get them back – by any means necessary.
A representative from a party of elves has approached the party and asked to hire them to prevent dwarven interference. They claim they have been harassed and threatened by a dwarven sculpture who is competing against them in the ice sculpture competition.
Dungeon and Game Masters - you might also find useful https://www.thegrinningfrog.com/post/ideas-to-create-a-winter-theme
Until next time, happy gaming - don't get too chilly!