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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    I was exploring the 1001 Bad Plot Hooks thread, and it got me to thinking something. We've got a lot of threads dedicated to weird plots generally for humorous purposes, but not a whole lot for serious ones. I figured that'd make an interesting project, and thus this thread was born!

    The idea behind this thread is the plot hook that indicates something strange, weird or just plain wrong is going on. Something's amiss, and no one can explain it, calling upon intrepid player characters to investigate. It could be caused by a demonic invasion, the efforts of a mad wizard or god, or just some random person with an odd notion, but it definitely qualifies as unusual, and not in a good way.

    1. Members of a particular race are being found in alleyways throughout the city, alive but missing something that defines them (Example: Elves being found with their ears cropped, or dwarves being found scalped.)

    2. The PCs meet with one of their regular contacts, but he/she doesn't recognize them, acting as if this is the first time they've ever spoken.

    3. People are starting to exhibit plague-like boils and other symptoms, but they don't feel sick, able to carry out their business and lives as normal, and they don't seem to be contagious, the infections happening seemingly at random.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    OK, here's a selection of my odder adventure starts from years gone by...

    4. A known villain runs up to the PCs looking for help, claiming that he is the PCs and has been body-jacked by the real villain, who's right there! <*points at PC*>

    5. PCs discover that they're trapped in a story someone else is telling...

    6. The adventure is actually a dream being had by ONE of the PCs. Everyone else is a figment of their imagination.

    7. PCs discover that they are actually a bunch of polymorphed monsters masquerading as heroes, and the originals are imprisoned by their masters. Unfortunately the Fake PCs have "gone native" due to the effects of prolongued polymorphing.

    8. Rescue a Dragon in Distress from a Fiery Damsel.
    Last edited by Armoury99; 2011-04-16 at 02:22 PM.
    Coming Soon....

    Orbis Terrarum RPG: Gritty heroism in a customisable world of secrets, daemons, and strange ecologies...The historical roleplaying game of a make-believe world. Meet us on Facebook, Google Plus, and coming soon to kickstarter!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    9. Local queen is looking for a consort... and decides that a gladiator tournament will determine the lucky man.

    10. A city's weather turns permanently grey, no sunlight reaching it... enter the undead.

    11. A silver dragon asks the party's strongest combatant to be his second at a duel with a green dragon.
    My Homebrew (Free to use, don't even bother asking. PM me if you do, though; I'd love to hear stories).

    Avatar done by me (It's Durkon redrawn as Salvador from Borderlands 2).



    Nod, get treat.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    12. The local smithy marries a boar. At night the boar sits below the window of a PC and sings about strange forgotten places.

    13. A toothless wizard wants you to slay the unfathomable beast of Klast and deliver it's teeth to him. But not before you washed his laundry.

    14. When defending a caravan from goblins, some of the goblins, when slain, turn into sand.

    15. It is said when you slay 23 ogres (no less, no more) on 17 tuesdays (no less, no more), you will be able to wield the Fabled Sword of List the Opposable, Father of a Thousand Worries. How to find the sword is whole different thing.

    16. Since the fall of Fighter-King Canfold the Nearly-Starved the villagers of a local town will eat nothing except flies.

    17. At the celebration of King Wansmaak the Many-Eyed's fifth marriage (all with the same woman), the king was given a painting of his beautiful daughter. Everyone agrees it's very realistic and lifelike. The problem is that the king doesn't have daughter; as a construct he cannot procreate.
    Last edited by some guy; 2011-04-17 at 05:49 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    18. A strange substance is seeping into a city's sewer system causing strange mutations in creatures such as rats, alligators and turtles.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    19. Some of the copper pieces all over the land appear to be dangerous to ones health. They crop up in small amounts here and there and cause people that have them on them to become sick and eventually die.
    Last edited by Re'ozul; 2011-04-17 at 07:56 PM.
    My first foray into homebrew: The Circuit Mage

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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    20. A King hires you to defy a prophecy and prevent it from coming about.

    21. A dragon asks for your help to slay a Princess with a rock stuck in a sword.

    22. A Demon comes to the PCs and asks if they can teach him to be good a guy.

    23. A gorgan with a blindfold around her eyes want you to go on a quest to make an item that will prevent her turning people to stone, so that she can find her true love.

    24. you join an adventurers guild, do all the missions that the paranoid drow sorcerer who-hates-spiders guildmaster tells you to do.

    25. a skeleton comes up to our heroes and asks them to find a way to kill him cause he wants to join his family in celestia, but because a necromancer raised him, he can't get himself to die for some reason. go into dungeons with this skeletal tagalong to find something in them to kill him!
    My Fan Fiction:
    To Catch A Mew
    A Kalos based pokemon fan fic. Now up to Chapter 25! I'm also on discord as "raziere".



  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Fiery Diamond's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by Armoury99 View Post
    OK, here's a selection of my odder adventure starts from years gone by...

    4. A known villain runs up to the PCs looking for help, claiming that he is the PCs and has been body-jacked by the real villain, who's right there! <*points at PC*>

    5. PCs discover that they're trapped in a story someone else is telling...

    6. The adventure is actually a dream being had by ONE of the PCs. Everyone else is a figment of their imagination.

    7. PCs discover that they are actually a bunch of polymorphed monsters masquerading as heroes, and the originals are imprisoned by their masters. Unfortunately the Fake PCs have "gone native" due to the effects of prolongued polymorphing.

    8. Rescue a Dragon in Distress from a Fiery Damsel.
    I wanna know what happened with #4 here. What happened with the villain and the PC?
    I'm currently writing a story, titled "Zenith: Another World Saga."

    It's a fantasy/adventure story. Here's the summary:

    When I opened my eyes, I was in a fantasy world. I quickly discovered that it functioned off of game-like rules (levels, EXP, skills, and so on). Taking the name Zenith, I decided to make the best of my new world and live as an adventurer aiming for the top together with my new best friend Rozenskye. And I might be functionally immortal? An Isekai-style story.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    26. Every night the PCs have the same dream about a forlorn mountain and the mysterious/ominous ruins/temple/castle on top of it and the dreams increase in intensity until they visit it.
    Last edited by rayne_dragon; 2011-04-17 at 09:43 PM.
    Melusine-esque Avatar made by the awesome Akrim.elf!
    Genderbender Week Yuan-ti Avatar by Bisected8.

    Xe/xyr are my favourite pronouns, so feel free to refer to me as such instead of she/her.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by sengmeng View Post
    11. A silver dragon asks the party's strongest combatant to be his second at a duel with a green dragon.
    Quote Originally Posted by rayne_dragon View Post
    26. Every night the PCs have the same dream about a forlorn mountain and the mysterious/ominous ruins/temple/castle on top of it and the dreams increase in intensity until they visit it.
    These aren't very strange, they are, however, awesome.
    Last edited by Hiro Protagonest; 2011-04-18 at 01:35 PM.
    Avatar of George the Dragon Slayer, from the upcoming Indivisible!
    My Steam profile
    Warriors and Wuxia, Callos_DeTerran's ToB setting

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    27. People in the city are somehow fattening up overnight, going to sleep perfectly normal and then waking up obese in the morning. The victims have no idea how it happened, due to being asleep at the time, and people who stayed up during the night to observe it say that nothing different occured. The victims just started expanding while they slept. It's getting worse, with more people falling victim to it each night. The PC's have been called in to investigate, but can they solve the mystery before the entire city's affected? And more importantly, how can they prevent it from affecting them?

    28. All the members of a certain race have dissapeared from a local area (all the elves are gone, all the halflings are gone, all the humans are gone, etc.), apart from the PCs, who have just arrived there. The PCs are called upon by the remaining races there, who are surprised and frightened, to try and figure out what caused this vanishing.

    29. All the local animals have gotten agitated about something. Smaller ones are simply becoming skittish or defensive around people, while larger ones outright attack. Initially the local druids are suspected, but it's soon revealed that the animals are just as hostile to them, and they are equally at a loss as to what's changed. The PC's must figure out the reason for the sudden change in animal behavior. How long can they last in a realm where Mother Nature has literally turned against them.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lord Raziere's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    30. You all meet up in a tavern, however as soon you get out, the ground starts shaking and suddenly the illusion goes away- you are not in a small town at all, you are in fact on a big futuristic ship that immediately rises into the air, the ship then travels into the future, dumps you there then goes back to your time again. Figure out how to get back to your time while trying to survive the future and figure out why that ship kidnapped you.
    My Fan Fiction:
    To Catch A Mew
    A Kalos based pokemon fan fic. Now up to Chapter 25! I'm also on discord as "raziere".



  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    17. At the celebration of King Wansmaak the Many-Eyed's fifth marriage (all with the same woman), the king was given a painting of his beautiful daughter. Everyone agrees it's very realistic and lifelike. The problem is that the king doesn't have daughter; as a construct he cannot procreate.
    You are scaring me.
    I use black for sarcasm.


    Call me Rose, or The Rose Dragon. Rose Dragon is someone else entirely.

    If you need me for something, please PM me about it. I am having difficulty keeping track of all my obligations.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    31. You are in a city under attack by an army of orcs when they finally break through the outer walls and overrun the area. Amidst the chaos you hear the gnomish owner of the local tavern yelling for people to come inside. You make it into the tavern packed with people when the orcish soldiers rush at the door and... are repelled by the wards protecting the tavern.

    "Haha!" the gnomish bartender chuckles as he sees the furious soldiers banging on the invisible barrier protecting the building. "It'll be a long time before an unruly guest breaks into my establishment."

    The little man scuttles to one end of the bar and opens a previously secret panel from which the frightened and startled inhabitants of the tavern can see a series of knobs and switches.

    "Now then, I'll just flip this switch and take us to Stoneswood where you can all get off... then we'll come back and deal with these ruffians." he flips a switch and you can feel the tavern shake a little as it starts to rise into the air.

    "We're... we're flying!?" A frightened woman says, looking out the window as the ground begins to move away... until the building stops with a shuddering halt.

    The bartender stops mid laugh as he senses something wrong. "Um... just a second." he fiddles with the knobs and suddenly the whole tavern drops about three feet before stopping. "No no! The other one."

    The tavern suddenly vanishes and the patrons are treated to the sight of themselves standing over sixty feet in the air above an orc infested city.

    "Cr... uh... maybe..." the gnome flips the switch back and the tavern reappears around them all.

    There is a deadly silence in the room as the gnome looks at the controls to his apparently flying tavern, looks back at his patrons and then discretely closes the secret panel to address the crowd.

    "Um... don't worry folks. Just a little... magical... complication." he looks at the crowd. "Drinks are on the house!". You can hear the screams of humans and orcs alike on the city below before someone discretely closes the front door.


    You and over a hundred people are stuck in a tavern hovering sixty feet above the surface of a city being overrun by orcs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audious View Post
    Randel, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    some guy's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by The Rose Dragon View Post
    You are scaring me.
    Thanks, try this one:

    32. The Puppetlord is pregnant. Can you stop him before his eyes hatch which will release his dark designs upon this world?

    33. There is a dark hole in the ground. Not even darkvision can penetrate it. Any creature thrown in there comes out four days later when the moon is at its highest point. They come out better, but somehow obsessed with building something with objects they throw in the hole and retrieve four days later.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BraveSirKevin's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    34. After a long quest to track down a high level villain, they finally corner him in his evil lair. He's dressed in a simple suit with a white coat and has a surprisingly friendly demeanour. He also refers to them by names that they don't recognise as their own and explains that they are patients at a mental institution. He draws their attention to their wooden weapons and plastic armor, and when the characters take a look, they do indeed find that it is true.

    35. Many townspeople have gone missing, one of them being the mayor's beloved wife. While searching the nearby ruins they are attacked by a frightened but fierce group of goblins. All of the goblins seem to have a single pear in their pockets. Each of the pears is in surprisingly pristine condition, without a single bruise or blemish. If a pear is kept and not eaten, the characters may notice that it also never rots. If a pear is eaten, the character who ate it begins to look more and more goblin-like, and can't get rid of the pear that keeps appearing in his pocket.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    36. An immortal plots to give every living creature immortality.
    37. An acidic creature sends the party to get something for him that will enable him to touch things without destroying them.
    38. Creatures reflection in mirrors start to look diffrent, possibly as horrific monsters, or maybe as creatures screaming for help.
    39. A strange new mineral is discovered and an organization tries to hide that for some reason.
    40. A strange mineral is discovered and strange creatures begin to be attracted to it.
    41. Someone kidnapps a prince, and demands as ransom exotic items that are cheap and easy to get. It could be a way to switch the prince with a shapeshifter, or maybe the items hold more value then they sound.
    42. Someone hires the PCs to walk in a certain road, just them, with no further instructions.
    43. Criminals are caught. When they are asked why they committed the crimes, they say it was part of a deal for someone called the forgotton employer, and that`s all they remmember.
    A world behind the mirror (stand alone plane)
    (Wall) passer, a rogue variant
    My not realy extanded homebrewer signature

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    In a world ruled by small birds, mankind cannot help but wonder how this state of affairs came about.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    Relevant.

    Might need to save and zoom in to read.

    WHOOPS THE PICTURE HAD SWEARS MY BAD
    Last edited by SuperFish; 2011-04-19 at 09:16 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    44. Over the past 200 years there have been about two dozen mysterious unsolved cases where particularly famous, strong, or beautiful people have woken up one morning to find that one of their body parts had vanished in the night! Fifty years ago a famous actress found her left hand missing, forty years ago a military general lost a leg, thirty years ago mage lost both his eyes, twenty years ago a barbarian king was found curled up with his entire spine missing, and ten years ago a powerful sorceress awoke to see her right arm had completely disappeared. There was also a case twenty five years ago of a warlord dying in his sleep but it was only after he was mummified that they discovered his heart was missing.

    In all these cases, the area around the missing body part had been completely healed over with skin and there were no signs of scars or pain from the removal (though the barbarian without a spine and the heartless warlord were in pretty bad shape). Nobody was ever able to find out what happened through investigation or magic.

    The local king is holding a celebration for his eldest daughter reaching her eighteenth birthday and its been said that she has the most beautiful face in the land. The king wants to make sure that no ill befalls her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audious View Post
    Randel, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    45. You've gone on a hike and suddenly were clubbed and carried off by mysterious folk. When you came to, you found yourself wearing clothes that weren't your own, in a place you've never been with no clear way of getting home, and people you meet have been calling you by a name that isn't yours, claiming familiarity when there is none and recalling things you don't remember. Try to figure out just who you are and why you've been placed in this role.
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2011-04-23 at 02:05 PM.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    46. One day the party, a normal adventuring party, starts finding many strange personal objects in their inventories.
    A holy symbol of a religion no one in the party holds, a picture of a young girl in a pose as if holding the hand of her lover... who isn't in the picture (there's just blank space), one more bedroll than number of party members, rations containing strangely spiced rice that no one likes.

    Everything points to the party having had one additional person. Thing is, no one recalls that person, including NPCs, and nothing refers to that person directly. His supposed wife/lover isn't in a relationship (but has jewelry she obviously cannot afford).

    Everywhere, all the records and things point to there being a missing person. Just that no one remembers him.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    47: It took a while for the local's to notice their reflections disappearing- most of them couldn't afford vanity- or mirrors. It took much less time to notice the reflections returning, or the fact that each reflection's eyes were now a piercing blue, regardless of what should have been reflected.

    48: Xirrac, the Cannibal City, has devoured part of one of your home.

    49: The Iron Hearts of the Thrice Dead Sorcerer have been stolen- and implanted in the chests of the PCs.

    50: Doors are permanent. Walls, floors, and roofs all fade away or are knocked down, but even when the wood and glass or stone is gone, the fact of the door still remains. So what happens when these doors start to open?

    51: Upon discovering that the mayor was an evil necromancer, the party killed her, burned her body and salted the ashes. So who is living in the mayor's house, carrying out her duties, and sleeping with her wife?

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Blake View Post
    51: Upon discovering that the mayor was an evil necromancer, the party killed her, burned her body and salted the ashes. So who is living in the mayor's house, carrying out her duties, and sleeping with her wife?
    o.O
    Took me two reads to get that but "her wife"?

    XD Not that I'm against civil unions or anything... but it seems like a touchy subject to include in a game.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by jseah View Post
    o.O
    Took me two reads to get that but "her wife"?

    XD Not that I'm against civil unions or anything... but it seems like a touchy subject to include in a game.
    Know your group, I guess. All the groups I've played with might get a laugh out of it, but they wouldn't take offense.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    golentan's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    Quote Originally Posted by jseah View Post
    o.O
    Took me two reads to get that but "her wife"?

    XD Not that I'm against civil unions or anything... but it seems like a touchy subject to include in a game.
    I less than humbly disagree.

    52. A local noble's cat is on the loose. The last three retrieval teams sent after it were hospitalized with a wide assortment of injuries.

    53. The National Security Chief has hired the PCs to spy on him and report any suspicious activity to himself.
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    My motto: Repensum Est Canicula.

    Quote Originally Posted by turkishproverb View Post
    I am not getting into a shootout with Golentan. Too many gun-arms.
    Leiningen will win, even if he must lose in the attempt.

    Credit to Astrella for the new party avatar.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    54: You all received an invitation to a masquerade ball, but when you arrive find that not only are the host and his frantically dancing guests unmasked, but they have no faces.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    55: Whenever the party sets out on an adventure, they suddenly wake up in the town they started, with everyone congratulating them on their success. However, whenever this happens, the townsfolk only seem to remember the most recent quest. The PCs have no recollection of these adventures.
    Spoiler: Campaign Journals
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    Axinia: My campaign setting.
    Avatar by Elder Tsofu

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    some guy's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    56. The son of Queen Zwelklit the Highly Benevolent is roaming through the country, looking for a suitable girl to be his bride. The party is informed by the Thing of the Forest that if the young prince finds true love, the country will suffer through decades of misery and horror.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Blake View Post
    54: You all received an invitation to a masquerade ball, but when you arrive find that not only are the host and his frantically dancing guests unmasked, but they have no faces.
    Inspired by this?

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    57. When the PCs stop in a small, out-of-the-way village for the night, they are surprised to find their homeland's king standing behind the bar. If questioned, he claims that he isn't the king, and even has the locals vouch for him. Later, when the PCs arrive in the capitol, they meet the king again, who denies meeting them in a village tavern. So is this man truly the king? Is he lying? Under an enchantment? Does he have a twin brother? Is a dopelganger at work?

    58. The local princess recruits the PCs to travel to a distant land and persuade a powerful transmuter to visit her. Once he arrives, the princess reveals that she wishes him to transform her into a dragon.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: 1001 Strange Plot Hooks

    59 The PCs are actually clones of themselves from 100 years ago and only a few important (for the plot) NPCs know that.
    60 The PC's main ally is a dragon in disguise of a human- leading the heroes to acomplish specific goal for that NPC.
    61 There is a time loop in motion (classic though pain in the ass) making PCs stumble upon clues as to what to do to complete whatever they are doing- created by themselves in the future. at one point roles will switch- and the PCs will have to lead themselves from the past to those same clues.
    62 The PCs have nightmares of strange beasts killing them over and over again in their dreams. At one point in the plotline it is reavelled that the actuall PCs are those beasts and are trying to take controll over their own bodies.
    63 All the NPCs will react fearfully to the PCs actions no matter what those will be (they can try to help someone but he will be to afraid to say enything and will always run away). It is then reaveled that "geass" or "curse" was cast on them making them scare people forever. They have to find a mage powerfull enaugh to lift the curse, but he must be undead since only those don't feel fear.
    64 A strange man/women appears, kneels before one of the PCs with his/hers head bowed and tells some kind of oath in an obscure language no one knows. That person then joins the grup and follows it everywhere, nobody knows why, but problems just keep appearing neer that stranger and he/she just doesn't want to go away. Though it appears he/she perfectly understands common he/she refuses to use it.
    65 The local lord is convinced that one of the PCs is his relative and will hold him/her captive if he/she will refuse to stay with him in his mansion. Note: not good solo. Best compared with means to make PCs really want to get away from that place. somthing of significant personal importance.

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