The first item that went out to the players was this list of adventure opportunities. I just offered several ideas that I came up with without worrying about them too much; most of the work I did in “editing” was to ensure that each opportunity on the table would be a distinctly different play experience, so we ended up with an escort quest, a diplomacy/intimidation mission, an investigation, and an explore/fetch quest. I didn’t have to do any work on these hooks, at this point.
This week, your agency’s street team has brought in the following leads:
- The autumnal equinox is approaching, and so it is nearing time for the annual journey of the Unquenchable Fire of Pelor from the Summer Temple in Abtor Hor to the the Abbey at Sojahan, where it will reside for another quarter-year. The pacifist monks who carry the Fire traditionally hire a guard of heathens to protect them, since the pilgrimage route runs closely past a stronghold of Bane and hostilities between the two cults are almost constantly at a low simmer.
- A bandit leader is rising in the east, plying the coast road used mainly by silk caravans from farther south. He would benefit from knowing what’s good for him.
- Another agency team is being held in a nearby village, accused of banditry themselves. They will need to be investigated; depending on the results of the investigation, either they will need to be recovered or their contracts terminated.
- It’s the hatching season in the Blackspine Mountains several days’ journey north, and drake-hide boots are fashionable in the city at this time. The profits from a decent harvest could be considerable.
After these hooks, the group asked me to make some maps, which is what led to the detailed mapping of the city and a rougher map of the region at large. We settled on running the Unquenchable Fire quest.
My next step was developing NPCs and encounters. For the NPCs from town, as well as the monks being escorted, I used a “three details” method, to give me something to go on when portraying the characters. For NPCs who might be involved in combat encounters, I came up with a detail or two just to make them unique and give me a little material in the event that the players chose nonviolent interactions.
A couple of the NPCs I developed (I don’t want to spoil them all):
- Is a heavyset, middle aged elf
- Missing half of his right ring and pinkie fingers
- Likes lists, acts like he has a mental meeting agenda with everyone he talks to
- Hesitates when he speaks
- Peppers his language with religious references
- Keeps his hands folded as much as possible
- Used to be a knight; still wears his red tabard (Gules, a dragon’s head or)
- Always seems gruff and tired
- Fidgety, his fingers are always moving
After the first session, I’ll be reviewing the NPCs and thinking about what motivates them. I’ll also look over the unaddressed adventure hooks and update them depending on the amount of time that passed.