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Adventure Hook 012 – The Wife

Whoops – I’ve gotten a bit behind due to circumstance beyond my control, so today, in an effort to catch up with my schedule of adventure hooks, I bring you a triple threat – Adventure Hooks 012, 013, and 014 all in one day.



A large city with an underfunded and lack-luster police presence.


A man goes to the authorities and reports that his wife has been kidnapped.  The man is a wealthy merchant that spends lots of time out of town, making deliveries to other towns.  He claims to have returned home 3 days ago to find his wife gone and the ransom note stuck in the wooden kitchen table with a knife through it.


1) The wife was kidnapped several days ago, so the leads may be few and far between.

2) The husband paid the ransom as asked in the note left behind, but is unsure if the kidnappers really received it.  The instructions were to leave it in a specific place on his property and leave for the afternoon.  When he returned, the money was gone.  It was a lot of money, even for a rich merchant.

3) The kidnappers did NOT return the wife after the ransom was paid.

4) The husband is distraught, but his mother-in-law, who lives on his estate, seems unconcerned; when also seems senile.


The players need to

1) Find the wife

2) Bring the kidnappers to justice

3) recover the ransom money (that will be how they collect their fee, but they may not realize this at the beginning)

Things to explore:

1) Why isn’t the mother-in-law concerned?  Does she know where the wife is?  Or is she just senile and so doesn’t realize the danger her daughter may be in?

2) The rich merchant had to borrow money against his accounts in order to pay the full ransom.  He now has to pay that back.  He also plans on using some of it to pay the finder’s fee to the adventuring party that brings his wife back.

3) Maybe the wife wasn’t kidnapped, but ran away from her domineering and heartless husband, faked a kidnapping to get the ransom money, and is long gone (which would explain why the mother isn’t concerned).

4) Alternatively, the husband could have a heart of gold, and not be domineering, but the wife was bored and has run off with someone else.  They took advantage of the husband by leaving a ransom note and coming back later for the money.

5) Another alternative is that someone else (a neighbor or rival) could have seen the woman run off with her lover and decided to take advantage of the situation and plant a fake ransom note, even though he didn’t know where the wife was and hadn’t actually kidnapped her.

6) The wife is dead by the husband’s hand and he made up the story of the kidnapping to have authorities look teh other way.


The party can get involved in this because it has been several days since the initial kidnapping.  The police force has dropped the ball and the investigation has stalled.  A concerned friend of the wife or husband can step in and hire the party.  Or maybe one of the party members knows the couple of the mother-in-law. 

That’s the end of Adventure Hook 012! – the other two will follow within the hour.

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.

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