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Random hooks thread 
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Myself I've been going through other campaign settings to see if I could make something out of the local creatures.

I'm in Dark Sun now, will perhaps look into Spelljammer next.

Yeah, I'm aiming for unusual fits first and plan on finding a way to bring in a Giff...


Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:30 am
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Zettaijin wrote:
Myself I've been going through other campaign settings to see if I could make something out of the local creatures.

I'm in Dark Sun now, will perhaps look into Spelljammer next.

Yeah, I'm aiming for unusual fits first and plan on finding a way to bring in a Giff...


You might look into ancient folklore and real life accounts on the hippopotamus for some basis, which is remarkably aggressive given it's a herbivore, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippopotamus

IIRC, after disease-spreading parasites like mosquitoes and humans themselves, hipppotami have some of the greatest kill numbers of humans for animals.


Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Taweret's milk

"How long has it been?" she thinks "No, what is time to a Goddess?"

A few red droplets trickle down her massive jaw onto her robes leaving a barely visible trail, but she hardly sweats anymore.

Godhood becomes her, does it not? Gods do not sweat. Neither Stygian cold nor heat from the great foundry should concern the divine.

This sweat is unbecoming...

-------

Boys and toys, they can't stop playing with them and who has to mend the broken pots?

"No, Garah'm, don't fiddle with that..."

Oh, what's the use... Bruhngah set himself on fire the other day. Haruhgan nearly killed the client while trying to show off his marksmanship. And Teruh, poor stupid Teruh never stood a chance.

This said, they do look impressive in their polished armour...

-------

Why send a man to do a woman's job? Especially when the men are more likely to find themselves in the dead book than their quarry.

Why? Because of these blasted doors.

Touch the wrong stone, step on the wrong tile, SCRATCH YOUR NOSE at the wrong time or place and you're suddenly in the middle of some desert.

--------

Note to self: cave that stupid berk's head in. Junk, all junk. None of these even work here in... wherever here is...

Why does it have to be so hot?

--------

Umm this one almost looks like me...

--------

So hot... I don't suppose anyone will mind if I just sit here...

--------

The little human child was suckling like a babe. How... repulsive...

Yet she was weak, too weak to even throw off a puny child...

So hot... so hot...

-------

Drink child, drink... drink deeply of mother's milk. Be drunk on my bosom's nectar... yes... Good child... yes...

Wait your turn, let mother rest... yes... nourishment... yes...

-------

Her mind was hazy and she saw herself dressed in strange garb. Where had she seen this before?

Unbecoming, simply unbecoming of a reputable entrepreneur such as herself. She spent so many years proving herself the equal of her peers only to be dolled up in some silly human's flimsy dress.

Her head hurt still. She was sweating, too. The characteristic red sweat slid down her smooth grey skin staining the white flaxen garment.

"The humans!" she yelled alarmingly. She remembered them, children. Dirty faced, dark skinned, sullen eyed children. Human children.

They... disgusting things...

------

It took some time for her to regain sufficient energy to explore the area. Fortunately superstitious humans like to brand everything with the effigy of their Gods.

Could she... no... unless...

------

Denizens of the city of doors sometimes believe that what stands between men and Gods is not essence but power. Gods are not born, they are made.

Give a man enough tricks, enough magic, enough knowledge, enough time and he may one day be as a God to his peers.

As a God, for the BE a God one needs belief. Belief in oneself, yes, but the belief of others as well; masses gathered at a man's feet in worship.

She had magic, yes, she had tricks, yes, she had power too.

To these primitives she was indeed of the divine order. She was the Goddess made flesh, an avatar of the celestial.

-------

She purified the oasis' water. What was once unclean was now clear. A small oasis near an ancient monument to an even more ancient figure, almost forgotten, almost buried in time and sand.

Now it is a remarkable place.

From the decanter, an endless flow of crystalline water, and at her side fiery death. What mother gives she may take away.

They flock to her now and revere her. Sometimes, she barely needs those trinkets as the will of her followers makes her as a God...

--------

Nyuhrmana is a Giff, a large, hippopotamus-like humanoid of planar origins. Far from home, to say the least, she found herself in Sebua after accidentally triggering a portal in Sigil.

She brought with her a handful of magical trinkets, payment for a contract.

She was smarter than most of her kin. She believes it's a matter of gender. She holds a low opinion of the male Giffs, possibly since her company seemed to attract particularly dimwitted ones.

She was a born organizer with a big mouth, strong, self assured demeanour, and a keen mind for diplomacy. She understood power and knew how to best position herself and her men in the competitive world of hired muscle.

Now she is an avatar of Tawaret, a fertility goddess worshipped by the natives of the western part of the Amber Wastes.

The wild children of Sebua saw her sitting half naked in a structure devoted to the Goddess and thought of her as a physical manifestation of Tawaret.

Due to the unrelenting heat and her own desire for respect and power, he has come to embrace the role and uses the various magical items to simulate divine powers including purifying a small oasis near the structure. She is slowly convincing herself that she IS and was always meant to be an avatar.

Others have since then come, adults who heard stories of Tawaret's return. As the worship grows, so do her powers. She even finds herself able to conjure up minor clerical incantations on certain days.

Nyurhmana isn't cruel, but then neither is she truly benevolent. She is still, despite herself, as flawed as any "mortal" and remains a mercenary leader at heart. The role is, however, softening her up and she does care about the wild children... a little... but only because they worship her... of course...

The ancient dead lords of the Amber Wastes are likely to eventually notice her and may choose to put a stop to this heresy.


Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:26 am
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Thanks to Lesser Evil for the inspiration.

I'm pretty proud of myself for managing to fit so many odd creatures of various origins into RL. This said, I'm not sure I could find a way to make something out of a Flumph or that wolf with rainbow coloured wings.


Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:35 am
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Zettaijin wrote:
Thanks to Lesser Evil for the inspiration.


I'm pretty proud of myself for managing to fit so many odd creatures of various origins into RL. This said, I'm not sure I could find a way to make something out of a Flumph or that wolf with rainbow coloured wings.


You're welcome, and nicely done!

The flumph is relatively easier for me than the giff. I would describe them as UFO shaped and have them flying in the skies inspiring legends of strange flying ships from beyond. (perhaps their gaseous propulsion produces a strange glimmer at high speeds?) I would basically describe them as UFO-like, pale disks with tentacles and the vicious jagged spikes underneath. (I might come up with a name for them other than flumph, though.)

They could be mysterious, alien information brokers (like the will 'o' wisps of the Ultimate games, albeit with a Lawful Good bent) or (like in Pathfinder) misunderstood but well-intentioned doomsayers of some impending apocalypse (perhaps they are escapees from Bluetspur?) In any case, they could offer a neat variation on the "alien abomination menaces humanity" by doing a role switch- with the humans taking the role of the alien abomination against the flumphs.

Remember, like celestials, Good doesn't always mean understandable (from a mortal perspective) or nonmenacing. might be helpful to think up some alien psychologies for the flumphs that are in tune with Lawful Good but would make a normal person quiver.


Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:06 pm
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
I believe I'll set a new challenge for the thread: one hook for every domain and one for every MC appendix.

I'll check past hooks and make a checklist to see what's been done.


Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:38 am
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Taking into consideration only those domains deemed canon in the 2nd and 3rd edition line of products, with an exception for novels, we have covered quite a few domains.

Here's what's left (red text denotes that a recent hook using this domain was added):

Blaustein

Castle Island

Demise

Ghastria

Hazlan


Isle of the Ravens

Lamordia

Liffe
(Claveria)


L'ile de la Tempete

Isle of Ravens

Markovia

Mordent

Necropolis

Nocturnal Sea (Nebligtode)

Sea of Sorrows

Shadow Rift

Sithicus

The Deep

Valachan

Vechor

Carnival

House of Lament

Avonleigh

Odiare

Sanguinia

Shadowborn Manor

Saragoss

Timor

Vorostokov


Wildlands

Staunton Bluffs

Scaena

Davion

I'Cath


I admit, some ideas could just as well be anchored to a flexible core domain, say Lamordia or Mordent, but perhaps it'd be best to find something closer to their particular nature.

With regards to the MC and campaign settings, I am aiming for one hook per campaign setting appendix. As such, Dark Sun should receive one for both of its official MC appendix (and have, one being the Dune Runner and the other the Fael). Right now every campaign setting related MC appendix has a critter hook attached to it.

Birthright has no formal appendix associated to it and I'm not sure how it would fit...


Last edited by Zettaijin on Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:22 pm, edited 16 times in total.



Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:26 am
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Piece by piece

The Syndicate of Enlightened Citizens is on high alert. Reports of shambling derelicts would usually not concern them, and local drunkards proclaiming they saw a man emerge from the black river could easily be dismissed as the lingering dreams (or nightmares) of an impaired mind.

These reports however belong to respected members whose critical faculties are without question. They hint at something else, something they thought Lamordia had long since been immunized against - the living dead.

One member says he saw a man throwing something on the earth, and soon enough the body rose, its missing arms slowly and perhaps painfully growing.

The Syndicate are hardly the only one alerted by this sudden arrival of the undead plague. The Seekers of the Spark, Adam's creations, have been recently assaulted by a seemingly mindless corpse which repeatedly threw itself against the walls of the monastery.

They left it to rot outside as they pondered the reason for its presence and attack, yet when they returned it had disappeared.

These corpses are remnants of those bodies that were defiled in the name of creating the Seekers. Their missing body parts regrow as they rise from the dead but those parts are composed of fat, green worms which somehow congeal into muscle and flesh.

They are being raised by a vengeful priest whose own dead body had been raided for parts by Mordenheim years ago to create Adam. His return is a mere coincidence, the result of a stranded Oerthian necromancer's effort and the Dark Powers' sense of humour.

He can raise the dead by spreading unnatural bloated green worms which could, if used on the living, kill and eventually lead to more of his special living dead servants. However, this creature holds no particular grudge against the living instead feeling a constant desire to find his and his servants' lost parts.

He will not raise just any dead, only those he knows have been used to create a dread golem in Lamordia. A little gift from the Dark Powers who probably find the relatively peaceful Seekers a tad boring.

(For the record, that's Lamordia AND the Greyhawk MC appendix via Sons of Kyuss)


Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:43 am
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
The King of Paupers, the Pauper King

"It was his smell that got me. Like rotting meat and the lingering stench of refuse. My stomach quickly emptied in front of him and he didn't seem at all surprised, in fact he paid no attention as he continued his improbable tale.

I've seen beggars, drunkards, vagrants, and all manner of individuals whose fortunes either turned or never existed at all. People living on the very edges of what I'd call civilization.

Most of these have some measure of dignity in them, you know. He almost seemed... proud of his filth...

I thought the informant was having a good laugh at my expense and that sending me to this man was clearly a trick.

A 'king in exile', he'd say to me in a heavily accented Darkonian. Timothy pleaded with me not to leave and to hear his words. I considered leaving them both... more than once...

He'd ramble, then pick his nose or rummage through his collection of broken things and garbage and sometimes stopped to show me some "great treasure" he had acquired during his unfortunate exodus.

A thoroughly revolting sight. I was surprised the elves had not yet ran him out of Sithicus! Hanging around the human trader camps probably did them no favour either.

How long did we spend in his company again? I know I spent some time at a local healer afterwards, scared that I might have caught some terrible disease from being in his presence.

Oh and he kept talking to himself, telling some unseen interlocutor to mind her manners and to let him do the talking. Again, hardly reassuring.

What should have been a quick interrogation turned into an interminable discussion until Timothy somehow found a way to redirect the conversation. I'm not sure why Timothy felt that taking this man seriously and treating him as some exotic nobleman would work, but by Belenus it did.

Timothy inquired about the man's exile and the status of his 'kingdom' in far away Nosos.

We learned that he was once 'king' of what I assume is a small group of scavengers who 'bravely' fought off dangerous feral beasts, which incidentally sounded more like stray dogs and flea ridden cats, and hunted fabulous treasures for their royal liege.

Given what I've heard of the area I wouldn't be surprised if this was true - albeit embellished. The man was not very good at spinning tales, but then he was clearly not using his own native tongue.

He'd slip in words from what I assume was his true native language as well as, oddly enough, high Mordentish...

He was quite happy to show me his 'beautiful' crown made of leather and decorated with pieces of metal and scrap. A truly fabulous thing indeed as I wondered how it even stayed in one piece.

His internal dialogue was distracting but he did eventually come around to tell us about this wheelchair-bound rebel who spoke through machines. Apparently some 'fools' were planning to overthrow the governing entity and his people were deemed sympathizers.

He was pushed into exile by his followers who somehow found enough coinage to pay off a Vistani caravan.

Given the man I wouldn't be surprised if he just fled.

He then told us more about his exodus, a grand tale, or so he said, about a brave king fighting for survival in a hostile world.

Then it all came out... The description was precise and the details fit like a glove. A man more wolf than man, hairy and hungry looking. More importantly, the various markings carved into his flesh gave him away.

He's a humble king and a foreigner, no one pays him no mind and so he sees a lot.

Of course, a small contribution to his continuing efforts to build a new kingdom abroad would be welcome... Coins were surprisingly refused, instead he asked for a very specific trinket. An old piece of metal that would have once been a coin, I assume, but now looked more like a bent piece of copper and any remaining markings regarding its provenance were lost to time. It was also missing a small triangular chunk.

I honestly did not even know that this well coin was on my person!

It seemed like the 'voice' was the one guiding his demands this time. Whomever 'she' is may hold some secrets, but for now I think we best be going back for our quarry. The man said he last saw him around Invidia of all places...

How can such an ugly, filthy little man find his way across the various realms and know so much despite being clearly 'touched' is something scholars would no doubt find fascinating."

(Gully Dwarf from the Dragonlance campaign, Sithicus, and possibly Nosos)


Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Dear Esther...

"Dear Esther,

I write to you with hopes that you will grace me with a few moments of your time. I left you a missive and you have yet to respond.

I found this diary, it speaks of you. It praises your beauty, and your charm.

I'm jealous.

I would not dare disobey our lord's orders, but I wish to see you again.

Humbly,
Marcus"

Esther has a large collection of these letters, Marcus was her favourite. Pity she can barely read the language.

Nightly patrols navigate the waters around her little kingdom of stone and rock. Until which time the Lord finds a way to bring her across to his castle, none may lay eyes on her.

Marcus is a rare breed. Clever as well as defiant, but Esther had to hide the letters for the last time Marcus found his way to her little island he burned them.

He's as bad as the Lord that one. He's too headstrong to know that the men who write these letters have since then passed on. Esther figures some from old age, some taken by the hands of the Lord himself, and yet others took their own lives out of despair. It certainly would not be the first time. Remorse still stings her, but the centuries have dulled the pain.

She needs no knight in shining armour, and while she enjoys the little letters and playing around with these silly mortals, she would much rather have a larger kingdom again.

The pirate Lord would have her as a wife and tried in vain more than once yet every time she starts to crumble into dust as her supple skin returns to stone. She warned him "I cannot leave my domain lest I become dust... Such is my curse..."

Sadly, Blaubarb does not understand.

Recently though, a kindly old woman was dispatched by the Lord to teach her the local vernacular. She can see in her eyes that even in her twilight years the lady yearns for the Lord. All the women she has seen do.

Only women come to her island freely, they bear gifts from the Lord. She would gladly offer them to anyone able to find a way to bring her to a more suitable domain.

Recently, she's taken to sending letters of her own. Little paper boats with crudely written messages promising riches in exchange for her freedom.

Sadly, most of the brave men find themselves in dire straits with the jealous lord.

(Stone Maiden from Al Qadim MC appendix, Blaustein)


Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:53 pm
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Let sleeping dogs lie

Madame Salovoz is a notorious figure in Mordent as of late, having achieved no small amount of notoriety thanks to her rather spectacular seances to communicate with the dead of the land whose spirits refuse to rest.

Her heavy accent and claims to distant Vistani blood relations are enough to fool the rich and gullible into spending large sums to procure her services.

She does seem to have a knack for attracting the restless souls of Mordent as she has minor latent psychic abilities with which she can attract the more harmless dwellers of the ethereal anchored to certain places. Failing that she's an accomplished charlatan with plenty of smoke and mirrors many of which she used under her number of aliases during her "illustrious" career.

Those more aware of supernatural matters regard her as a nuisance and warn the rich against encouraging her, sadly with little result as Salovoz's theatrics are more often than not the real reason for people hiring her. Some are quite content in pretending and playing along for the sake of amusement.

Unfortunately her latest seance awakened a long dormant creature, or rather its spiritual half.

Weak but hungry from the years it spent hibernating, the spirit-like beast lashes fruitlessly at those seated at the table and at Salovoz herself. Misty claws pass with harming a hair n anyone's head and the creature dissipates eventually.

The organizer, one Mr.Edmund Borne, is a wealthy socialite who was looking for a new "trick" for his little soirées with close associates. Salovoz didn't seem that interesting at first as he's quite skeptical by nature, but has found that her parlour tricks are quite efficient at scaring his friends.

The creature's body is in a coma within a now long abandoned basement of his house but its spirit underwent a transformation.

Long ago as Mordent was ripped from its original place of existence a berbalang hid its body in the basement of what was then an abandoned temple. Over time the land was sold and developed with the basement sealed off and forgotten over time. The move to the mists broke the creature's link with the astral plane and sent it into a catatonic shock.

Somehow, the powers decided to allow the creature to once again escape its mortal shell but through a connection with the ethereal instead of the astral plane.

This newfound ability is confusing for it and it found its physical body too weak to accomplish much. It feels hunger and for now at least cannot feed on larger prey and it does not fully understand its new home. Also, it is clever enough to know that it is in no shape to properly defend itself were it to be discovered. Slowly, as the seances grow more frequent, it becomes more bold and escapes afterwards to feed on small mammals around town as it can maintain a certain level of corporeality at will.

Also, the creature finds that it can only exit the ethereal mists after a summoning by the charlatan as the later seems to have some hold on it. Actually, Solovoz found the creature's phylactery (another little trick from the dark powers) and unwittingly uses it to summon the ethereal "spirit" version of the dormant barbalang.

Recently, a guest was slashed in the arm by the ghostly creature showing that it is gaining in ability and strength.

It also appears as though it can keep its more corporeal form longer after the seance.

Its awakening has disturbed the resting souls of the priests who once served the temple. While trying to recover a few forgotten knick knacks from the site, they discovered the dormant body of the berbalang. They thought of it as an undesirable and foul presence but were quickly torn limb from limb by the near invisible astral projection of the creature.

They now appear as bloody, mangled, ethereal corpses and are quite a sight to behold for thrill seekers. Their recent apparition has made Salovoz a little uneasy but Borne's soirées continue to be the talk of the town as a result.

(Berbalang, the first Forgotten Realms MC appendix although it appeared elsewhere before including the FF, Mordent)


Last edited by Zettaijin on Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:11 pm
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Ooh, great stuff, you brought in not only the berbalang but a bunch of irate priest ghosts too! Not to mention what other horrors might dwell in the forgotten basement.

Berbalang's a funny creature, it's actually listed as a possible encounter for Hazlan and (especially strange) for Richemulot.


Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:36 pm
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
I always wondered what the berbalang would do in RL. After all, a big part of their gimmick is the link with the astral plane (blocked in RL), I also wondered what would happen were a berbalang brought in as its astral form hunted. Would it just die?

Hence the little DP trick of allowing it to once again spend its time in hibernation while a ghost form roams.

Interestingly enough, many Japanese ghosts are like this as a person becomes so angry as to force their spirit to exit their body and enact revenge. This was illustrated quite well in the classic Tale of the Genji.


Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:32 am
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
The croc sleeps tonight

As a member of the society of copycats, Albert DeRousselaut's "mentor" is Frantisek Markov, the infamous mad butcher who now lives on a solitary island to conduct his experiments in secrecy.

Albert worships the man and has been communicating with him through a caliban courrier. The latter's gruesome appearance makes him rather unappealing for Markov and besides, while the mad butcher finds Albert to be an annoying simpleton, he recognizes that a few more able bodied subjects is not something he should refuse.

As such, Markov has been inviting Albert to come and show him some of his work and perhaps compare notes.

The starstruck Albert has yet to feel that his work is worthy of his "mentor" and he engages in debates with his own self as he plays the part of Markov. In those private moments, he argues with himself and, as Markov, praises and belittles the would-be mad scientist's efforts.

What indeed could Albert do to impress his mentor?

Inspiration comes at the oddest time. While hanging about a filthy drinking establishment in Pont-a-Museau in hopes of finding some drunken fool to subdue and use as guinea pig he met a duo of strange foreign men. One would talk in an accented and agitated voice, explaining that he and his friend had been to a strange jungle where the animals spoke like men and a gigantic beast almost swallowed them whole.

Too much to drink, Albert thought, although the man's friend would pose a problem. He looked too clever to be fooled, and too sober.

However he couldn't help but notice the strange bird perched upon his shoulder. A crow? A raven? Why did it keep looking in his direction? And why did the creature seem to have such an unnatural gaze?

As Albert left the bar and considered which alley to visit in search of drunken derelicts, the bird appeared on his shoulder whispering "Caw! Do you want to know about the Wildlands? Caw!"

The Simpathetic is not a natural creature. Originating from the lower planes, it is in many ways a dangerous invasive species. Malicious and cunning, it will displace other species to make a home for itself and a flock are trying to make a new life for themselves in the Wildlands.

This particular one attached itself to a wandering ranger who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sensing that the man was a capable woodsman and a survivor, he wondered it the stories about humans, or as the stupid animals call them "hairless apes", could be used for the purposes of his flock.

He helped the man navigate his way through the land and out of King Crocodile's lair. The man lost a few of his friends that day, and only one survived to tell the tale.

The bird has been whispering for so long that the hunter no longer notices that its not quite his own thoughts as much as those of the bird that he hears.

He's been planning a big hunt and a return to the steaming jungle. Licking his wounds, the man is just waiting for a chance to strike it big.

The bird is on the lookout for so-called "hairless apes" to aid in its task of bringing down not only the King Crocodile but representatives of the other animal groups. The hunter was too much of a loner, he has his uses for sure, but Albert is mad enough to put some manner of plan into action.

The bird is patient and long lived... If these men fail, it'll find more. They say eggs from his species grant men the ability to cross great distances through magic. Surely some people may be interested in that, no?

(Simpathetic from the second Forgotten Realms MC appendix, Markovia AND the Wildlands)


Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:11 am
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Post Re: Random hooks thread
Information

"'We want information...' said the first pale man in dark clothes.
'Information...' quickly added the second one, followed by the third.

When Arani tried to leave, the first man grabbed her arm and said 'By hook or by crook, we will find out...' and then left."

"That's strange, when they encountered me, they were much too formal. They kept apologizing profusely and were a little unsettling to tell the truth. I couldn't answer their questions but they'd keep saying 'We apologize! We did not wish to burden you so... apologies truly are in order, we offended you greatly and will find some way to repay your generosity.'"

Their presence has been reported in many places all around Hazlan, although they seem to favour inns.

They always travel together and look almost identical with pale skin, shaved head, and oddly opaque glasses.

Like many in Hazlan, they bear tattoos but theirs is completely foreign in origins.

The nature of the information they seek has left a few wizards perplex and paranoia is starting to spread. Hazlik is unconcerned and no one wishes to bring the matter to him out of fear that they may be his agents.

They ask for names and places, ask for the whereabouts of various individuals which no one seems to know. They murmur to each other a lot and can be quite rude: pushing, pulling, almost threatening. Yet they've also been polite to the point of obnoxiousness.

More curious individuals have embarked on their own investigations regarding the places and people they inquired about, in fact one local wizard claims to have unravelled part of the enigma making him the target of other mages who wish to gain this knowledge.

(Keepers from the second Planescape MC appendix and Hazlan)


Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:04 am
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