New D&D Campaign Adventure Hooks

Character Adventure Hooks

In the new year I may get a chance to start a D&D campaign with a new group of players. The game will be based in my home-brew world, in an area that I haven’t yet explored in my previous campaigns. The starting map for the campaign can be found in this post:  The Forgotten Coast
I always like to integrate player character backstories into my campaign setting and include some connection to the adventures to come. Below is a list of adventure hooks I created for my new players. I have tried to create a variety of reasons why the characters might be in the small fishing village where the campaign kicks off. My intent was to make each background generic enough that the players would have plenty of room to customize the backgrounds and make them their own.

In Her Lady’s Service: You are in the employ of The Lady of the Rose Keep, the Baroness Gilda Morain. She has asked you to travel to Silas Cove to determine if rumours of a smuggling operation located in the area are true. Given the meager resources of the Forgotten Coast, shutting down a smuggling operation is an important task.

Rough Seas: You were travelling on a ship sailing along the Forgotten Coast when catastrophe struck. Perhaps you abandoned ship when pirates attacked, or a terrible storm blew in and sank your vessel. Whatever the calamity, you washed ashore in Silas Cove and one of the locals nursed you back to health. Now that you’ve recovered, you feel indebted to the villagers for their kindness. About that, they have a favour to ask…

Born and Raised: You’ve lived in Sillas Cove your entire life. Its mostly boring, though the constant threat of pirate raiders, highway thugs and monstrous incursions from the eastern wilds keeps most people on their toes. You’ve grown tired of small village life and are eager to seek adventure. You’ve always wanted to see if the wild stories you’ve heard growing up are true.

Laying Low: You don’t consider your self a bad person, but someone else definitely does. For right or wrong, people are after you. You’ve fled to the farthest and least interesting place you could think of – the Forgotten Coast. You now find yourself in Sillas Cove wondering if you’ve left your troubles behind you. Where did you come from and why did you flee?

Eyes on the Coast: The Order of the Golden Pheasant is a secretive group operating within the Principalities of Allosais. Few know their true objectives but it is said they look out for their own. Through a strange train of events you’ve found your self recruited into this mysterious group. You have a limited understanding of their motives, but you’ve been sent to Sillas Cove where they’ve told you someone will contact you with further instructions.

Ancient Ruin Seeker: Though the Forgotten Coast is now a rocky wilderness, ruins of past civilizations can be found throughout the region. One such site has drawn your interest and you have come to Sillas Cove to begin your search.

Irrational Journey: Visions of a nameless horror have troubled your sleep and occupied your mind preventing you from continuing with the mundane tasks that had until recently occupied your life. You’ve followed a strange urge and left your home. You find yourself in Sillas Cove, uncertain of why you are here, and wondering about the truth behind the terrible visions you’ve seen

The art at the top of the post is by pechschwinge . A rowdy tavern always seems like a great place to start an adventure. She’s got some great fantasy art on her deviant art page. Check it out.

Posted in Campaign, Character Backgrounds

The Forgotten Coast

Here’s a map I recently sketched for a new D&D campaign I’m hoping to start in the new year. This regional map is based in my larger home-brew campaign world, but in an area that I haven’t had players explore yet. I’m looking forward to uncovering the secrets that hide within these lands.

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Old D&D Sketches

We’re currently doing renovations on our house, which has slowed my posting rate here. However, the relentless moving of stuff within the house has given me the opportunity to sort through some old boxes. In doing so I came across a few rough sketches I made of the characters in the D&D campaigns I ran at the time. It’s been some time since I’ve felt like I’ve had enough time to spend just sketching and drawing for enjoyment. Looking at these old drawings makes me want to pick up the old sketchbooks again.

genie-sketchold_links of the sleeve_sketchlate 90s game

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My Daughter’s Fighter

Last year I ran an introductory adventure for my two daughters and three neighborhood friends. It was a short adventure I threw together – a simple linear quest that saw them investigate a crazed wizard’s laboratory, defeated gigantic mutated rats and explore an ancient false tomb. They had a great time.

Since then however, my daughters have been pestering me to startup a game with the neighbors again, except this time they wanted to make their own characters. Finally our family schedules aligned and I’ve sat down with the kids to help craft their PCs.

My youngest decided to create a half-elven fighter named Normani. I was surprised to discover this great illustration she made of her PC. I think they’re excited to play!

sophies drawing - small

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Jebedda’s Escape

Here’s a little introductory backstory I wrote for two of my players in a 5e D&D campaign I started some time ago. I used much of the Lost Mine of Phandelver, the adventure that comes with the 5th Edition Starter Set, but placed the story in my own home-brew world. This short story was meant to give a little explanation of why the PCs met up with the rest of the group to start their adventure.

The brightness of the morning burned at the gnome’s eyes as the dwarf hurried him down a back alley. The dwarf pulled the small figure along, urging the groggy gnome to keep up. They threaded there way through bustling city streets but their progress was slower than the dwarf wanted. The gnome repeatedly tripped and fell as he stumbled behind. The drugs that had kept the gnome obedient for so long still coursed through his veins, sapping his strength. After untold years of dazed servitude, trapped in a sunless dungeon, Jebedda was finally free.

It wasn’t until the sun began to set that Jebedda’s head began to clear. Oban, his dwarf companion, sat across from him at a small wooden table. They occupied a dark corner of a busy tavern. The gnome couldn’t recall how they’d come to be here or how long he’d been sitting at this table. Oban shoved a bowl filled with stew in front of the gnome.

“Stop staring. Eat.”

Jebedda obliged. He eagerly devouring the weak broth, chunks of stringy meat and soft vegetables. Never had he tasted anything so delicious.

“Where are we?” Jebbeda managed to ask between mouthfuls.

Dwarf smiled, apparently pleased that the gnome was finally speaking. “West end. The Feathered Sandal. Cheap but safe. We’ll stay the night and figure where we’re goin’ in the morn.”

“We will be going in the morning?”

“Yup. Away and quick. We gotta get outta here. Outta the city. Folks will be lookin’ fer us.”

Jebedda looked down at his now empty bowl. They were now free, but he was having a hard time remembering where they’d escaped from. With a jolt he recalled that his parents had been trapped with him too.

“My parents. Where are they?”

Oban took a moment to consider before responding, “No way a knowin’. Ain’t seen ’em fer months. Don’t ya remember? Not nothin’?”

Try as he might, the gnome could only recall figments and flashes of his incarceration. Strange magical sigils. Vials of bubbling liquids. Robed figures bent examining unseen objects.

There were only two things the gnome remembered clearly; the hatred he felt for his jailer’s every time he was thrown into his cell, and the embroidered pattern that was emblazoned on his captor’s robes – five spiraling arms surrounding a reptilian eye.

Jebedda’s attention was drawn to a halfling who quietly walked past their table. The halfling discretely dropped a folded piece of parchment into Oban’s lap before disappearing back into the crowded room. The dwarf hastily opened the paper and read its message. His mouth broken into a wide smile.

“Jebedda! Fantastic Luck! Friend out in Tallais could use some help. We’re gettin’ outta here  at first light. Have ya ever heard of a place called Phandalin?”

tavern-sketch-lowsketch by:Javier Charro

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In a dark cavern beneath an ancient tree, a group of adventurers discovered this magical blade. The cave was littered with the bones of countless creatures that had succumb to an undead horror that haunted the dark and cursed place.

The cruel blade was engraved with arcane symbols that seemed to shimmer green in dim light. Wielders of the blade have described an unnatural yearning to hunt down giants and end them by the cut of the enchanted blade.

Magic Weapon (Short Sword), Uncommon (Requires Attunement)

The sword grants a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls. Wielders also gain dark-vision to 30 ft, or increase existing dark-vision by that amount. The weapon glows a faint green when within 100’ of any giant.


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The Three Gems of Brudgepiddle Raddishfoot

Ash is one of the character’s in my Dad and Kids 5th Edition D&D campaign is. We’re currently running through the Lost Mine of Phandelver, but instead of being based in the Forgotten Realms I’ve placed the game in my own home-brew world. Ash’s backstory includes a gnome tinkerer/wizard named Brudgepiddle Raddishfoot who was her tutor as well as a close friend.8caf57e03c77cf71dc7d8b3f8a9bdecd

“Brudge” arrived in her village many years before Ash was even born. He had fled from the destruction of Thundertree, a village from the starter module that I’d transplanted into my home world. Brudge rarely spoke of what happened to his old home or why he and his fellow villagers had to flee. His few words on the subject were usually limited to saying that it was a terrible day and one that he’d rather forget.

Some of Ash’s earliest memories include watching the gnome working in his modest workshop. Though she never developed a talent for magic, Ash loved to listen to his wild tales of dragons and beasts and other mysterious powers that haunted places unseen by men. He would tell her these stories while building practical creations that made life easier in their remote northern village. His contraptions included wind driven pumps, machines of  gears and pulleys to lifted the heaviest of loads, and glorious lanterns that filled the village with a warm glow at night.

Yet for all of these public creations, Brudge secretly toiled away at a single item – a small  figure fashioned from tin and brass and silver. This figure was shaped like a young gnomish woman with a face that was surprisingly soft given its metallic form. Though Ash had often watched the gnome toil away on his secret creation, Brudge had never shared with her why he did so.

Brudgepiddle’s work was meticulous. He crafted delicate springs, fashioned tiny pinions and wove fine wires to allow his creation to articulate and move in a most graceful manner. But for all its beauty and craftsmanship, his creation never truly worked, at least not in the way he wanted.

The gnome was a wizard of modest talent. His enchantments, though functional, were fleeting in nature. To make his automaton function as desired, he needed a source of magical energy that he couldn’t summon, one that wasn’t fleeting but constant. He needed power source that would drive his creation.

So when Brudge learned that Ash would leave their village on a quest, he’d made a request of her. Should she ever pass near the ruined village of Thundertree, he asked her to seek out his old tower. Therein, hidden beneath a flagstone on its lower floor, he’d hidden three magical gems that he’d hoped would one day power his creation.

Ash and her fellow adventures have now reached Thundertree, however, she has discovered that her gnomish friend’s tower has now been taken over by a dragon. I’ve added a few more items to this encounter than are contained in the published adventure, but I’ll leave that description to a future post.

Until then, described below are the three gems with their 5th edition stats that Brudgepiddle hid in his tower so many years ago.

The Green Gem


Attunement Required.

While carried, this gem provides the bearer with a +1 bonus on all Constitution Saving Throws and a Resistance to Poison Damage.

It’s brilliance varies throughout the day, gradually transitioning from a dark forest green to a brilliant emerald and then back again.


fb85a3d2a1038cf5bd43d7b4c70ec53bThe Red Gem

Attunement  Required

While carried, this gem provides the bearer an additional +1 hit point on every hit die rolled to regain hit points. This bonus is gained from any type of healing.

This deep red gem always feels unnaturally warm to the touch.

The Blue Gem071916b06e531490f6131f19f6ff2515

Attunement Required

While carried, this gem provides arcane spell casters with a +1 bonus to DC and Spell Attacks for any spell cast.

This bluish-purple gem hints of mystical energy as faint motes of light dance within.



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