Tag Archives: adventure hook

Rumor Card Draws for a city tavern

There are three things that make for a good tavern; strong drinks, a skillful bard, and the patrons’ gossip regarding local happenings. But, sometimes even the best of Game Masters can get caught off guard when it comes to the more inconsequential aspects of a gaming session, like alehouse rumors. The next time your players ask what their characters overhear while enjoying a round in a city tavern, just draw the top card off your deck and provide them with the rumor that corresponds to the card’s value:

Ace = Mysterious figures, clad in gray robes with purple sashes, have been spotted recently throughout the city. No one knows who they are or what they are doing in town.

2 = The Thieves’ Guild has been training ravens to steal keys and coin purses from people shopping at the bazaar.

3 = The statue in front of the Magistrate’s citadel is no statue at all, but actually a magically petrified criminal.

4 = A chandler sells candles that burn for three times as long as those made by others because he uses tallow rendered from the carcasses of a particular species of monster.

5 = If you look at the sundial in the central plaza under the light of a full moon, strange symbols become visible on its surface.

6 = The notorious highwayman that has been robbing merchant caravans headed for the city is the Duke’s illegitimate son.

7 = Unusual gold pieces from a foreign land have been circulating recently and become especially sought after, the foreign coins contain slightly more gold than domestic coinage.

8 = The holy relics of several temples have disappeared, sometimes during the middle of ceremonies and worship.

9 = The Magistrate plants to impose heavy taxes on all sellswords in the city who are not members of the Adventurers’ Guild.

10 = A spectral watchman can be seen at night, patrolling the alleyways of the city’s slums.

Jack = There’s a blacksmith renowned for the quality of the weapons he creates and for his massive stature. He will make a masterwork quality weapon for the price of finely crafted one, but only if the customer can best him in a feat of strength.

Queen = A horde of giant rats lives in the city’s sewers. They come out at night to feed and are responsible for the recent disappearances of several beggars & vagrants.

King = If you see a watchman with a dagger sheathed on the right side of his belt, it means he works for the Thieves’ Guild.

The Game Master may use these as nothing more than drunken canards to add ambiance to a session or decide there is some truth to the rumors and employ them as adventure hooks. Even the most innocuous rumor can be developed into an adventure. Take #4; perhaps the chandler hires the characters to slay some of the monsters he needs to produce the tallow for his candles. Or, a less scrupulous rival may employ the characters to steal the chandler’s tallow recipe or force him out of business.


Of Lights and Little Men: A Cards & Quests Adventure

An adventure outline for the Swords of Kos setting.

The characters are spending a leisurely afternoon at the Four Winds Bar in the city of Kos when they witness an unusual sight. An elderly woman hobbles through the tavern doors to the bar’s notice board, where she pins up a small placard and hobbles back out. Overcome with curiosity as to why an old woman would need the service of sellswords, the characters examine her note. It reads that she has seen “lights and little men” at night in the abandoned warehouse adjacent to her home in the Slum Quarter. Concerned, she reported it to the town guard, who haven’t looked into the matter. She offers to pay 3 gold pieces and a hot meal to anyone willing to investigate. While most of the bar’s patrons laugh off the old woman’s note as senility, the players either have their curiosity piqued or take pity on her.

The old woman is not senile and the “little men” she has seen in the warehouse at night are goblin operatives from the Tetrarchy of Anatolia. They’ve slowly been tunneling through the floor of the abandoned warehouse down to the sewers, which open into the Bay of Kos, to create a concealed pipeline into the heart of the city. If the players manage to take any of the goblins captive, they will initially claim to be smugglers, but their finely crafted equipment and weapons will betray them as military agents. Further interrogation will reveal that these goblins are part of a group based in Pserimos, which is ripe for the characters to raid.