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Adventure Hook 008 – Pet Defective

In my ever evolving quest to bring you an adventure hook per day, here is #008, Pet Defective:



A town large enough that a rich noble/wizard/benefactor has a permanent home there, and is old enough to have a demanding, pre-teen-age daughter.


The daughter of said rich noble has placed a notice on the local adventure job/message boards to ask for help locating her beloved pet.  This sort of posting would normally be ignored by the more serious adventurers in town, if it weren’t for the fee offering… 5000 gp and the gratitude of a powerful noble go to the first group to find and return the girl’s pet.  The notice describes the pet as a rather exotic type of small monkey-bear, rather like a panda mixed with a koala, cuddly, cute, small, and furry.


1) The girl is convinced that her pet has been stolen, because obviously it wouldn’t run away from such a loving home.

2) The pet, as the party finds out when they go to talk to the girl, was a gift from her Uncle, who travels far and wide and brings back all manner of strange animals.  The ‘monkey-panda’ doesn’t even belong on this continent, so it may not be able to survive very long in the wilderness here.  This puts a time constraint on the party.

3) The large payment has brought all manner of adventurers out of the woodwork to perform the task at hand, increasing competition and making the job harder to perform.

4) The girl has made it clear that she wants her beloved ‘Bobo’ back alive, or she will be crushed (read: there will be hell to pay).


The players need to

1) Find Bobo, the monkey-panda, and return it to the girl, alive.

2) Find out if the pet was stolen or if it escaped or simply wandered away.  If it was stolen they will need to report that to the authorities, who won’t care, and the girl will plead with them to find the culprits themselves.  She will use the money as leverage.

3) If it escaped on its own, they may need to contract with a wizard or other such NPC to have the property warded so that the pet cannot escape again (or they could do it themselves, if they find the right ritual).

Things to explore:

1) The lovely pet, as you may have guessed, is not a true pet, but an exotic beast from another continent.  This beast will not attack the girl, but will attack anyone that corners or threatens it.  The danger here is accidentally killing or maiming it, or actually getting hurt by it.

2) The butler (or some other household employee) let the ‘pet’ escape on purpose.  If found out, he will claim that he was scared that it would hurt someone, and he was trying to protect the household.  you can play this either 1: the butler is being honest and really is scared for the family, or 2: he is scared of it himself, and is also jealous that it gets treated better than himself, so he let it go out of spite.

3) The party will have to decide if they will tell the girl about the butler, which will surely mean the end of his job.

4) The party may have to kill the beast, leading to a very unhappy little girl.  A diplomacy skill check with her noble parent might convince them that the party should still get paid, but it should be very challenging.  Perhaps the butler could come to their defense in this one?

5) A competing adventuring group may get themselves into a pickle and the party may find and rescue them from the beast.  this could lead to a rather fun combat encounter where there is a bit of confusion as to who is an ally and who is an enemy.  They may have to protect the other adventurers from the pet while at the same time protecting the pet from the other adventurers.


This scenario should be run when the PCs are in dire need of cash, otherwise there isn’t a lot of motivation to perform the job.  You could also run this as though the party knows the butler or noble parent, or perhaps the uncle.  Alternatively, the party could hear the uncle bragging about his new ‘gift’ to his niece and they could recognize the gift as a dangerous beast – what do they do then?

That’s the end of Adventure Hook 008!

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?

By the way, my blog will be moving web-hosting services in the next week or two.  I will retain the wordpress shell, so not much will change, but the bookmark you use may need to be updated.  I’ll keep you posted!

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.

4 Responses to “Adventure Hook 008 – Pet Defective”

  • Let me suggestion two other possibilities for the pet:

    1) It is a wizard’s familiar and it has been waiting for its master to catch up with it to return to him. 1a) It was a familiar and can talk and use minor magic, it broke itself out.

    2) It is actually a young member of an exotic, but intelligent, species. It just wants to go home and can communicate, poorly, via writing and gestures but cannot talk.

  • Excellent – thanks for the additions, they are great!


  • A humorous one. I always like problems like this which are made harder by the fact that the party for some reason won’t want to bring the full force of their powers to bear (because they don’t want to kill or badly hurt the “pet”).

    Another option on motivation: Maybe the spoiled brat knows that her pet is quite dangerous and let it out as a bit of a game to see if (1) she could get her father to put up a big reward even though he hates the thing, and if (2) some poor saps would be greedy/desperate enough to attempt to put themselves in harm’s way to apprehend it while treating the monster with kid gloves. In this scenario, if the monster is killed she becomes furious; but if returned unharmed she loses interest in it (possibly leading to more problems about what to do with the dangerous thing).

  • Thanks for the comment.

    I agree – I like putting them in situations where they are possibly not willing to use full power to resolve a conflict. It makes the PCs more 3-dimensional, less hack-n-slash type personalities. It’s easy to go far in the direction of always needing full force, and my group role-plays very well, but it’s still easy to slip into that. Facing a situation in which it may not be beneficial to use full force is always a good balm for that.

    Oh, nice addition to the hook – I like it!