Adventure Hook: In Sickness and in Health

A plot hook designed for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons but adaptable to other systems.

By Mark-Alexander Cross

A wedding is supposed to be the best of day of your life but I must stress the words supposed to be! Today let’s take things a little more sinister on how far one can go to try and ruin a wedding in high fantasy.

Players: 1-4  Level: 1  Goal: Branching Narrative

Read this aloud to your players but please feel to change the circumstance of how you players came to be at this wedding:

“You have all been hired as personal guard to the wedding of the daughter of Jaycan Malik, a respected fifth generation guild artisan of leatherworking. His daughter Jayway Malik is to be wed to Hilind Goldsworth, son of the local bank manager and is a formidable businessman in his own right.

Both families are concerned for the safety of this wedding because with influence and coin comes enemies. Recent times have seen stirrings of trouble with Rouge groups being refused sale by Jaycan Malik and the Goldsworth Bank almost being a victim of a hostile takeover.

Today is the wedding day itself, so tell me what are you going to do?”

Setting up the Special Day

Set up the wedding venue to tailor your setting but for the instance of this adventure hook. I shall be using the Guild Hall of artisans for the local area. From a top-down view the hall is one-hundred feet vertical and sixty feet horizontal, with support pillars running along ten feet from the wall and at five foot intervals down the entire hall. A long red carpet shall be placed in the centre running right down to the altar which is ten feet wide and twenty feet away from the back wall. Pews will be placed on both sides of the carpet at five feet intervals matching the pillars positioning.

How do you want to do this?

I encourage you to think of ways to be creative with this setting, and spur on your players (especially new ones) on ways to either solve problems and deal with this situation.

I will share a few ideas I would use for this wedding, feel free to use them or come up with something of your own design:

  1. Assassination: Just imagine the horror of Jayway Malik walking down the aisle on a bridal march and all of a sudden she falls face first dead. This would be a great way to introduce players to the skill list and roleplaying as you attempt to locate the assassin if a crossbow bolt is used or investigate in the case of poisoning.
  2. The Objection: Before the words “I do” are uttered, a jealous family member stands up in the crowd and verbally objects to the wedding. I would have a cousin produce damning evidence, either falsified or legitimate that accuses Hilind of a serious crime that could send the players on a quest to either disprove or cover it up.
  3. The Reception: In a change of pace switch over to the reception portion of the big day and have the party in full swing as thugs enter the hall. Jaycan Malik refused to work for this shady group and so they seek payback by attacking the wedding. An opening brawl for the combat centred players at your table, and have one or two thugs escape which hooks nicely into a opening quest to seek and destroy or bring them to justice.

Have fun and remember a wedding day is supposed to be memorable.

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