D&D: How do I Create Great Adventure Hooks?
Updated: Feb 20
How do I Create Great Adventure Hooks? In Dungeons & Dragons an adventure hook is a powerful tool used to drive the players and their characters into an adventure, gather their party, or anything else set out like a fishing line to "hook" the players into the story. Today we share guidelines for creating great adventure hooks your players won't want to miss out on.
Great Hooks Grab the PC’s Attention
A great hook can make a character stop in their tracks and address it
PC’s are abruptly interrupted by a noble and asked to be his guard.
PC’s hear a shout in the distance “THIEF!”
Weak hooks may not stand out and thus get easily missed by the PC’s or they may not care.
Great Hooks Clearly establish why the PC’s care
Offer something to compel the PC’s to pursue the hook
Currency reward is most common
Unique service or access
Relate the problem to the PC’s
The PC’s were all raised in an orphanage, and it was attacked
Merchants aren’t coming to town due to ambush by bandits. Food and other shortages
Offer a solution to a problem they have
A close friend or mentor was murdered or has gone missing
You see a man with a large battered cloak with hawk images on it. A piece of cloth with a similar image on it was found at a crime scene.
Great Hooks Creates a Call to Action
If PC’s don’t take the bait on the hook, they may need a bit of a push
There have been threats on a noble’s life that requested the guarding is on fire.
More and more people are being robbed, now the PC’s find their own articles missing.
A call to action may be a result of inaction
The noble who wanted to hire them goes missing.
The thief is now leaving behind victims wounded or worse.
Great Hooks Mix and Match Different Types of Hooks
The old, you’re in a Tavern and are approached by a weird looking person…gets old.
The PC’s are called upon by someone.
Someone or something goes missing.
A small village or town is attacked.
PCs stumble upon a corpse.
Great Hooks Give the PC’s choices when possible
Players strongly dislike being forced into a situation that they have no control over.
If you must do this, do it sparingly.
While players won’t take all your hooks, it’s good to have 2-3 set up.
This gives them multiple choices and still gives you a bit of control as to where the adventure may go.
You can reuse those hooks later that don’t get picked up
Source DnD 4th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide
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