Adventure Hook: the Archmage’s Favour

An adventure hook for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons.

By Mark-Alexander Cross

I am not going to lie, ever since the announcement of the upcoming Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, I have been bouncing around in excitement and thought I would write a fun hook based on this.

Number of Players: 3-6  Level: Adjustable  Goal: Multiple game types

Read this aloud to your players:

“You have been summoned to the private chambers of the archmage Mordenkainen; a wizard’s study with full bookcases all around the room and stretching up as high as you can see. Sitting behind a desk scrambling through several notes appears to be a man in his late forties, with a bald head and groomed goatee.

You know this to be Mordenkainen and he is clearly frustrated as he speaks to you without looking up from his notes.

‘Blast it all the way to the hells! How am I supposed to get this book finished with all these interruptions!?’”

The wizard is clearly rattled and not just from the notes; if the players ask why a DC 15 history check will reveal tale of a recent adventure in a “very dark place” has affected Mordenkainen and he is yet to fully recover from the mental toll.

A light will then shine behind his eyes.

“‘Oh! You are the adventuring party I asked for, excellent, excellent! Please follow me.’”

Lead your players to a room full of tall mirrors that are around six feet in height each with a swirling vortex moving inside the glass.

“Mordenkainen will speak again, ‘After recent events in my life, I thought it was time to put together a tome based on powerful enemies and threats from across the multiverse, do you know what the multiverse is? Ah it doesn’t matter! I need you to jump into one of these portals and report back to me on whatever evils you might encounter.’”

Barter potential rewards with your players that will make then want to take on such a mad expedition all over the planes.

So where are they going?

The honest answer is wherever you want the players to go from a series of boss rushes, to dungeon crawls, one shot adventures or even a campaign. My personal favourite is to set up a series of ideas and have yourself or the players roll a D6 to see what option they get. You can even use Mordenkainen to tease what each option is but he won’t give too much away for the wizard is a difficult man to deal with.

Some D6 option examples:

  1. Barovia: Mordenkainen has managed to open a temporary portal to the demiplane of dread. Your players have 3 hours in real world time to sort out the mystery within or be trapped there forever.
  2. Chult: Upon hearing news of the demilich Acererak recent activities, send your players to Chult and have them deal with the undead hordes.
  3. Homebrew: Defeat a custom dungeon or maybe use a written dungeon you have always wanted to run.

Help Mordenkainen build his book and have a whole multiverse of adventures at your table… what could possibly go wrong?

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