Thursday, February 2, 2012

Adventure Hooks In General and One Hook to Start with

This will be primarily a gaming post.  So, if you're not into D&D, you might want to pass.

A post on the Old School Gamers group on FB, got me to thinking about when and how I started gaming.  It was Thanksgiving of 1978 and a friend's brother came back from Rose Hulman with a little white box that had 4 little brown books in it.  He also had some funny looking dice, a blue hardback with monsters on it, and a thin dark colored hardback with this cool pic of guys prying a large gem eye from a giant stone idol.  We rolled up two characters each and entered his dungeon pyramid.  My fighter character died in at a trapped door 30 feet in.  It was soooo coooooollllll.  I was hooked.

Unfortunately, there really weren't that many miniatures being produced of fantasy characters or monsters.  I looked around for almost a year before finding a little store in Odessa which had some of those gaming books, some dice, and a few miniatures.  One still sticks in my head even though I didn't buy it.  I wish I had now.  It was a female in a fancy dress with long hanging sleeves.  Her arms were up as though casting a spell or warding off a blow.  At that time, I just thought it was interesting, put it back on the shelf and kept looking for my Gandalf-clone character.  But the image kept popping in my head every time I sat down to work on my own dungeons.   Eventually, I got the idea of making the mini into a treasure with a back story.   

But back then we didn't call them "adventure hooks".  They were part of the overall story.  I had her as treasure in every single campaign I've run.  No one has bothered to follow up on her, to learn who she is or why she's in that pose.  Even when I pointed out that she radiated strong magic.  So, I'm going to share her with you all in the hopes someone will use her and can tell her story for me.

Found in a rich man's pocket or in a bag of loot from a thief:  A tiny figurine of an angry-looking woman in an ornate dark blue gown.  Her bare arms are raised as if in supplication or warding off a threat.  Her expression is on of anger and surprise.
        Actually is a real woman mage, Nanzil Starspeladine of Kontal'qiru, trapped long ago by an enemy who tricked her into drinking a potion of diminution then hitting her with a temporal stasis spell.  If freed, she will be enraged at Arch-Mage Anthilar, dead now for over 300 years.  She will be confused by the changes in Tandok and upset at the destruction of her city.  She will do anything to get spell books, preferrably her own which may have survived the destruction.
If you use her, let me know how your players interact with her.  Thanks for reading.

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