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Adventure Hook 006 – A Heck of a Hangover!

Welcome to day six of my personal Adventure Hook challenge.  Hopefully these are amusing and/or useful to you.  My goal is to provide inspiration or offer a quick side story for your game when something unexpected happens and you need a small plot with which to run…



Small village with a large tavern.


After a night of hard partying, gambling, and much debauchery, the party awakens to find the village deserted.


1) It appears that no-one is in the village.  Either they left overnight, or something more nefarious has happened.

2) The village looks like it had been deserted for years.  The buildings are dilapidated, there is a thick layer of dist everywhere.  The village was just populated the night before!

3) Their are creatures lurking in the shadows of the village, waiting for the confused PCs to get closer…


The players need to

1) Figure out what happened to the villagers

2) The party must fight off any attacks that may happen as they try to solve the mystery

3) The party must figure out how to get out of the area

Things to explore:

1) The party has unknowingly walked into a ‘dead-end’ – the name given to a place where there is a rip in the mortal plane and a small pocket of altered reality exists.  In this place, creatures from the mortal plane can co-mingle, but the creatures from the shadowfell/nine hells/plane below/feydark/whichever aberrant place you want are usually much more powerful than the creatures from the mortal plane.

2) The party may find that the village is still occupied by some knowledgeable creatures (ghosts that may offer clues to the location’s past).

3) You can describe very strange environmental effects – places where the light fades in and out, small areas where the air is extremely hot or extremely cold, unbearably arid, or so humid that the PCs can barely breathe.  You can describe times inside buildings where the walls seem to morph and shift in front of the PCs eyes.  When they blink and focus, it all seems normal again.

4) The party could find a hidden library library where there is a planar shift scroll (to get them out of there.  Or they could find an actual mortal hiding out (afraid of the creatures) who may have an idea how to get back (a ritual or spell).  Or, and this may be the most likely scenario, depending on your players, they may think of an innovative way to escape the village.

5) After they escape the area they can find further clues and truths about the area by talking to people in other towns and researching in libraries (if your world has such a thing).  You can play this two ways, either it is a well known ‘disappeared village’ or no-one really believes the party.


I recommend allowing the players to be innovative and thin-outside-the-box about this particular predicament in which they find themselves.  Make sure you have a viable way for them to escape though, just in case you need to prod them along and help them out (it’s never a good idea to put them in a position in which they are unable to escape).
Also, I recommend having some encounters set up here where the PCs realize they should retreat.  For example, if an they are vastly, obviously overpowered.  Make it so that they can escape this certain death relatively easily.  If done well, this will teach your players that it is okay to retreat sometimes, and in fact, it actually builds better teamwork, since they usually have to assist each other in escaping.  Another way to achieve retreat is to make the encounter win-able by fighting, but place it in a very small room or an awkward shaped room that is extremely inefficient or dangerous for them to commence battle.  When they retreat have the creatures let them go without pursuit (or play it up, but have the creatures not catch them).  [Caution – to pull this off you have to know your party well and walk a fine line between hinting things to the players and simply telling the story and letting them decide.  Proceed with caution!]

That’s the end of Adventure Hook 006! I hope you are enjoying this series – post a comment and let me know what you think of them!  Are they helpful?  Is there something you wish I would address?

Until next time, I wish you good gaming!

~DM Samuel


DM Samuel is the Editor-in-Chief here at RPG Musings as well as the podcast editor for The Tome Show. He is also a host of the gaming podcast Play on Target. He plays all manner of role-playing games and boardgames and continues to learn new games all the time (and new things about old games, too). Sam lives in Upstate New York with his wife and their game collection. You can follow him on twitter @DMSamuel.

One Response to “Adventure Hook 006 – A Heck of a Hangover!”

  • Love this one! And this is the first one that I clicked. I’m seriously considering this if I end up running a mini-campaign set in the shadowfell!