I am a happy DM right now. My wife’s 17 year old brother lives with us and we have decided that we are going to play a one-on-one game of Dungeons and Dragons. Since I live with him, there isn’t a lot of prep in getting a session going. That has been one of my biggest problems with playing since my daughter was born (Shaylee is 1 year old now, as of this past Friday!)
One thing stands in my way: I am having a hell of a time coming up with the hook. I have the basic plot of the campaign and some of the major players. If you read my blog you are at least a little familiar with my homebrew game world named Verdenheim.
|Malcolm Reynolds in his|
If you are not familiar with it, Verdenheim is a completely homebrewed world for the Fourth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Verdenheim is a flat world, where the sun revolves around the world first from one side of the world to the other. On the “topside” of the world is where the mortal races of man and elf reside. The “underside” is home to the magic of the world and the elder races such as the Eladrin. Although I do not refer to it as such, the underside of the world can be seen as the Fey Wild of Verdenheim.
The center of the world, under the ground near the topside surface belongs to the Dwarves, while the underground closer to the underside is the home of the Goblins and other dark creatures of magic and faerie.
Anyhow, the campaign I am planning will focus around the machinations of The Sorceress Queen. The Sorceress Queen, as her title suggests, is both a magic user and the queen of her realm. The character will slowly be introduced to the Sorceress Queen and her nefarious plans, first meeting a lieutenant in the Longcoats. The Longcoats are the private paramilitary force loyal to the Sorceress Queen and none other. They can loosely be described as a cross between Those Wacky Nazis and The Badass Longcoat tv tropes.
|Mining Vehicle from Avatar|
There will be a Steampunk feel to the game with machines being built using both physics and magic. Among the various mechanical anachronisms will be the focus of the campaign. The Dreadnaughts. The Dreadnaughts are huge personnel carrying vehicles, large enough to crush a house, similar looking to the minging vehicles in James Cameron's Avatar. They are powered by mass quantities of magic and are fed that magic by large cables that syphon magic from the underside of Verdenheim.
Since my brother-in-law will play either an Eladrin or an Elf, involving him with the Longcoats and the Sorceress Queen will be fairly easy but coming up with the initial hook is driving me nuts. I don’t think I want to start with the prototypical “You are sitting in a tavern, when…” beginning.
So I bring this question to you, my readers. What hooks have you used? Which ones were successful? Which ones weren’t? What advice do you have?