Quarantine Brainstorm Time: Non-standard plot hooks

For those of us that don’t just run the modules verbatim. What are your best off-the-wall Dark Sun hooks you’ve used or wanted to do? Weirder the better.

Anyone? Is the site dead? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d hesitate to say dead, but I think everyone’s a little preoccupied right now. Give it a week or two and we might get some more traffic. I for one hope to get my Whales of Athas writeup finished and posted up here in the next few weeks.

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I almost never run the official modules, especially as is, but I don’t have any crazy ways of introducing plot hooks either.
I guess the craziest was having the spirit of a dead man show up and ask for the group to return his body to Tyr. He promised them a “mountain of silver,” but that was a lie, of course.


Ran a campaign arc where the PCs came across a devise created by one of Rajaat’s defilers. It transferred the party back to the Green Age shortly before the start of the Cleansing Wars. The devise not only transported them back in time, but changed their races to ones that only existed during that age. The mul was turned human, the elf into a standard D&D elf, and the dwarf became hairy and bearded. What made it worse was they were chasing down a dray who was turned human so it was near impossible to locate him due to having no idea what he now looked like.


A simple noble vs noble conflict; the PCs are connected to a noble-house and are pawns in their games of power and glory. How they are connected depends on their characters; gladiators, thieves etc.

One such story takes places centuries before; it’s a conflicted between a settlement of Dwarves vs. Halflings of the Forest-Ridge in the Ringing-Mountains. Characters are two Muls with human fathers(drunks) living in the Dwarven Town.


Also, I am reading a book about deserts and mountains: geology/nature books. Should give me lots of ideas!


Not sure what counts as ‘standard’ Darksun plot hooks.

In a recent adventure the PCs were asked to deliver some etched and painted erdlu eggs to a merchant house in Urik. As they were leaving the city gates a richly robed figure riding in an inix howdah rode up to them telling them he was the owner of the cargo and would like to accompany them on the journey to keep an eye on his goods.

The PCs didn’t know that the eggs were filled with “lich-dust”.


Something they made one of my group laugh and RP intense as a starter game campaign:

Ok, yes, they were slaves (kinda not original). BUT, I started them as lumberjack slaves owned by a Nibenese Noble (Wood factory). The game starts with them in the Crescent Forest, at sunset, watched by guards and overseers.

While working, I tell them they have a hard time breathing and they sweat a damn whole lot more than usual (forest humidity vs desert). A few whipping here and there have them work hard without having too much time to take care of themselves. Although, I inform themselves that they constantly feel itchy and that several small red circles appear on their skin. Once they are stopped for the night, they start to feel several small pinches on a regular basis. At some point, someone is going to ask if it’s mosquitoes and of course it is. They had to acts as if they didn’t know what it was.

From this moment, they started to plan (of course they are PCs…) an escape and tried to grab as many slaves as they could convince, while not getting caught by overseers or not denounced by other slaves.

But still, you are in a forest and you’ve never been in a forest. While trying to escape, they got caught between their Nibenese masters and a small group of Gulg Halflings and managed to flee.


Huh. Only just noticed this one today. Sorry.

If I want a long dramatic campaign, I’ll go to the modules and adapt something. But if we’re looking for something more picaresque (which some players find a nice break from high stakes drama), here are some examples of a few fun ways you could start an adventure:

  • One of the PC’s contacts has a lead on a particularly rare and valuable treasure with magical properties, that’s ripe for stealing (either from a noble house or a monster lair).

  • One of the PC’s hirelings has pissed off the wrong thug in a gambling debt, and obviously it had to be true that this thug’s dad is the High Bloody Templar for this City State! So now you have to go convince him not to murderize your guy, and he has decided to punish the PC’s by asking them to do a ridiculously hard errand for him.

  • An earth drake just plowed your farm into the ground (but not in a good way). You investigate what set him off, and it seems something horrid has been building up an underground colony. So now you have to go zombie bug hunting…

  • Your contact in the Elven merchant guild needs some hired muscle for a dangerous mission. They’ve arranged a hostage exchange near Thaylithor with the Thri-Kreen army. It seems one of their trade missions was attacked a bit too near the Battle Wall, and the survivors were rounded up by the Thri-Kreen nation to be brought back and eaten. So it’s up to you to protect the elves from the might of the Thri-Kreen war machine.

  • You’ve been tasked with carrying a fruit tree between two franchises of the Veiled Alliance. Yes. That’s right. A fruit tree. That happens to grow Potions of Longevity. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who knows it’s being transported tonight…

Is this what you meant?


I like anything that goes outside of the standard tropes and modules. I also have two play-by-post 2E games running and like to steal bits that seem fun for my campaigns. My games are open world and I’m constantly throwing plot hooks at them, so even if I don’t use an idea, it’s generally because my players find something more to their liking to pursue. Kind of throw a bunch of ideas against the wall and see what sticks, but that means I’m constantly writing. Any ideas are good to get the brain firing.

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