A plot hook for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons.
By Mark-Alexander Cross
This week is for those who want to have some fun and start off high level, with gold and magical items with the possibility of getting more.
This is also great to carry on a campaign with a new story arc or even a first time meeting.
Players: 3-6 Level: 10 (but adjustable) Goal: Story or campaign launch
Your players wherever alone or together, have come to the Auction of House Gamble and this is a very grand occasion that only occurs once every human generation. Lady Gamble the Elven hostess has gathered the finest magical items in the land and with your players now being accomplished adventurers, an invitation was sent out to them and the auctions wonders are yours to behold.
Character note: Lady Allura Gamble is a Moon Elven mage aged 467 years. Her alignment is Lawful Neutral, possess the natural abilities of a High Elf from the Player’s Handbook and uses the Archmage stats from the Monster Manual.
Left to her ladyship by the late Lord Alfred Gamble is the huge estate that makes up the house. The smallest room is at least a 30 feet square and imagine art and architecture of late 1700’s France. House Gamble has numerous hidden passages and rooms, along with 4 casino areas and a restaurant because Lord Gamble was famous for entertaining guest.
Set out the house as you see fit and use it as a tool for your adventure.
For regular readers of my adventure hooks you know that I like to give an example that hopefully creates ideas of your own. House Gamble is perfect for numerous setups and I shall now provide a few of my own; one of which I have actually ran with my home games:
- A murder mystery where during the auction itself, the lights go out and when switched back on Lady Gamble is dead. A good old fashioned whodunit in vein of Agatha Christie, with an added plot twist that Lady Gamble’s death was actually a distraction for robbery of the artifacts at the auction.
- Ocean’s Eleven the house and set up for the robbery itself; maybe for an evil aligned campaign, be the ones who act out the suggestion above or another movie inspiration is The Italian Job where you exchange Italy for Waterdeep and the challenge is to get away with the goods.
- Use the auction to sell a key item for your upcoming story arc or make it a cursed item that attaches onto your players and drive the party into a situation to try and save their fellow adventurer. To use a popular example with the show Critical Role let’s say one of your player’s buys the cursed sword Craven Edge and it starts to feed on the soul of the character.
Magical items are really fun to play with in Dungeons and Dragons, so maybe use this hook to introduce the players to high level play and throw situations at them that don’t just include hitting armor classes or making saving throws.