View Full Version : Hooks for my players

Bling Cat
2013-04-10, 09:31 AM
So I'm currently running a low level campaign for three players, and I don't really have anything planned beyond the adventure we're doing now. We're currently running through a module that I've rewritten quite a bit in order to allow them more flexibility in how they approach it, but after that I don't really know where to take them. My setting isn't really worked out yet, so far a mishmash of official fluff and stuff I've got rolling around my head has been used, but my current plan is not to have it ever all worked out, but to kind of make it as they discover it, with it slowly expanding as they explore. One of the reasons I want to do this is so that I can shape the setting around their characters, but I'm having a little trouble coming up with adventures that concern them directly.

My players are a CG Druid (We're playing using the Next Playtest rules currently) who worships Selune and who is part of a circle of druids that is nearby where the first adventure takes place, a NG Fighter who is part of a noble house that has fallen on hard times, and a CN Rogue who used to be a minstrel who wandered from town to town, playing in Inns while robbing the town blind.

The druid is fairly easy, as there's so much fluff about Selune and Shar that I can steal borrow that I'm planning on making the next adventure about stopping a group of Shar worshipers. My problem is that I want to make the other two feel like they have a stake in it as well, without resorting to making it all about how the world will be destroyed if they don't help the druid.

I also want to cater to each of their tastes. The Druids player really likes Roleplay and talking to people, he will always attempt to find the non violent way out of things (Which is great, it means I can set up an encounter the PCs are supposed to fight before realising that they are not their enemy, and it actually works!) and he tends to dominate the conversations. He's fairly aware of this and will offer to let other players ask questions as well and so forth, but the other two are actually fairly content to let him do the talking.

The Fighter's character is harder to get a bead on what they what, but as far as I can tell he likes to be able to do cool things with his character. He likes odd fluff and having things that are a bit unusual but not necessarily useful. For example, he picked the Noble background almost purely so that he could have three man servants, who he gave names and jobs, and then developed his character around that. I'm not sure the best way to make sure he gets the most out of the game.

The Rogues player is the hardest. He likes to Roleplay as well, from what I can tell, but he also seems to like to take a back seat, he's not very forceful. Which is fine, I just want to make sure he isn't being left out due to this. Any ideas on how I can make his character feel useful?

In summary, I want both good reasons for my players to be involved in an adventure, and the best way to cater an adventure around their specific tastes.

Jay R
2013-04-10, 09:39 AM
Use their backstories. Getting the druid involved happens automatically, so have an adventure seed about some sort of attack on the fighter's family (or their honor), and have the rogue recognize the place when they get there, and know have some unsavory but useful connections. (He'd know the local fence, who would very likely know who's causing teh trouble, and why.)

2013-04-10, 10:00 AM
You could "use" the fighter's servants ?
One of them could get a friend/family kidnapped or hurt, or find one in a unexpected place as a hook for a little module (have him being the servant of someone else, who seeks the talents of your PCs).
Also, don't hesitate to talk, even in private, with your Rogue's player, to have a little background on him. I wouldn't use his story the session after talking to him, but maybe implying some little things in the background of your stories before really using it...

2013-04-10, 10:12 AM
Your setting approach is very old-school. What I feel works well with this is centerpiece locations.

Create a big town where they can have town adventures. Create some local landholders and nobility for skirmishes and intrigues. And create a big dungeon - possibly under the big town, or near it, or under a big ruined castle that is, itself, a dungeon - and let the PCs hear rumors of the treasures in there.

A big dungeon works very well in a make-it-up-as-you-go-along game. First, map the aboveground castle (fairly small, probably a few dozen rooms total), and then the first and maybe second levels. Leave room to expand - a new secret door discovered, or other route found, that leads deeper into the dungeon when you've gotten those deeper levels prepared. And so on. Such dungeons can keep getting deeper and bigger almost infinitely, and if you run it as a living environment, the PCs can't really ever permanently "clear out" a level.

Note that dungeoncrawling shouldn't happen in a vacuum. The dungeon could and should be connected to the outside world - primarily through its inhabitants, but also through its contents, history, and possibly its creator(s). (Who may be long dead.)

Read up on Greyhawk, the Undermountain, and even the recent (infamous) Dwimmermount for ideas.

Also, for your campaign model...
20 Questions (http://jrients.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/twenty-quick-questions-for-your.html)

2013-04-11, 05:00 PM
As others have said, I'd focus on hooks related to player's backstories and the town itself.

Here's an example:

A new company has just moved into town (perhaps a mining company that is exploiting resources from the dungeon the player just cleared?) and its presence has begun to cause some dissent. Factions within local druid circles are worried about its potential effect on the enviornment, while others within the area are worried about losing their jobs to the new enterprise. The company does have its benefits, of course. It's been doing a fair bit of hiring, and some local nobles have begun to invest in it, including the fighter's father/uncle/cousin. To make matters more complicated, the rouge thinks he recognizes some of the company leadership, primarily from his less savory days.

The druid will have to try to play peacemaker, the fighter will get a chance to interact with relatives and a noble's responsiblility, while the rouge will have a chance to snoop around and do some problem solving. Throw in some combat (company enforcers, local criminals, the monster that mining companies inevitably unearth, etc...) and you'll have a well-rounded adventure that should interest your entire party.

Bling Cat
2013-04-12, 08:44 AM
Thanks for the ideas guys, especially the mining company idea, which I'm going to totally adapt for the vague ideas I had in my head. The input on stuff for the rogue is also really good, giving him people he can specifically talk to without the druid dominating the conversation, as he's the only one who knows them. The 20 questions thing was also really good, and contributed a lot of vague setting ideas, which work, as it means I have a baseline when the players start to explore there, but still have the ability to mold it to them.