RPG MUSINGS Play The Game You Want To Play

Adventure Hook 014 – The Tournament

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.  AH012 and AH013 were already posted, so here is AH014…



Annual tournament taking place at local tournament grounds


A woman has been sold into slavery by her father.  Her new owners happen to sponsor the local tournament and have donated her as top prize in one of the competitions.


There is a man that was planning on marrying the woman.  He is distraught at her situation and wants to win her in the tournament.  The problem is that he is an intellectual person, not a fighter, and so has no hope of winning the competition. He wants to pay someone to win the competition and rescue the woman, letting her choose her own fate


The players need to

1) Win the competition, effectively freeing the woman

Things to explore:

1) The competition could be anything you want.  You can have the woman be the grand prize, so that they players have to win several different types of competitions or you could have it just be a sword-fighting or jousting match.

2) The woman’s ‘owners’ may actually have the competition fixed.  They may ‘sponsor’ the events because they are crooked and make a ton of money by betting on fixed competitions.  In this way they may think they aren’t really in danger of losing the woman, but the party may upset their plans.  They may also lose money if one of the party members messes up their fix.

3) The man, who is so confident of the woman’s love for him, may be surprised to find that the woman chooses to marry one of the competitors instead of himself.  If so, he may refuse to pay the party and there may be a fight.  He may try to force himself on her or he may just be dejected and walk away sad and lonely.  He may then try to convince the party to help him win her back.

4) Maybe the PCs won’t actually win the tournament.  This could set off a whole slew of other activities.  They may then find out that it was fixed and explore that angle.  Maybe someone in the crowd was watching and now wants to hire the PCs, having been impressed with their performance in the competition.  This could lead to many things.


This one could go several ways.  The tourney sponsors could all be crooked and may have to be exposed.  The woman may decide anything the DM chooses about who she ultimately goes with.  The father may have not sold her into slavery at all, maybe that is just what she told the man enamored with her.  Explore these items – it is a great way to have a bit of romance and unrequited love in your story without actually having to force that onto your players.  After all, their PCs could just walk away after the tourney and be satisfied by just winning it.

That’s the end of Adventure Hook 014! – and that was the last one of the day!

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.

2 Responses to “Adventure Hook 014 – The Tournament”

  • Equally, the characters could be approached by some faction seeking to fix the tournament and offer to cut the characters in.

    Their could also be a prophecy that whoever wins the tournament and marries the woman will become a great hero. So all sorts of people have come out of the woodwork to compete.

  • ooh – good additions! Thanks! I like the prophecy idea, it can be worked into a long-term story arc.