View Full Version : Side quests and plot hooks for a horror/investigation adventure

2010-10-10, 01:33 AM
I have the main plot figured out for the adventure, but I'm looking for ideas for side quests to keep the player characters busy when they're unable to make progress with the main plot. The side quests may involve investigative work (whether related to the main plot or just red herrings), or they may be events that build an atmosphere of suspense and horror.

Here's the adventure introduction:

Riverside was originally a trading post and waypoint for merchants and travelers along the Wilden River. The region was rich in wildlife, which brought in many hunters and trappers. The trading and hunting community remained relatively small for decades, but the arrival of one Aldous Merriweather changed it all.

Mr. Merriweather hired laborers and started the construction of a massive sawmill. He also purchased the surrounding wooded area, intent on making his logging company the leader in the industry. Families flocked in, hoping to find employment in the lumber business.

Everything went as planned, up until the opening ceremony of the sawmill. Mr. Merriweather's speech was interrupted by a village idiot who said that the Merriweather Logging Company would bring about the downfall of Riverside, speaking of old spirits of the forest that are angry with people ruining the wilderness. The man tried to attack Mr. Merriweather, but his bodyguard managed the stop the crazy old man before he could stab him.

Moments later, a distressed mother ran towards the town square yelling "My baby! My baby was stolen!" Despite the search effort organized by the village elders, the baby was not found. All they could find was tracks of an unusually large wolf near the house. They decided it was time to hire external help.

Three days later, the Heroes arrive. You are investigators hired by the village elders, guards hired by Aldous Merriweather, or hunters who are intent on killing the big wolf.

Riverside has about 120 permanent residents and a like number of hired workforce (builders, loggers).

At the river bank
A water-powered sawmill
Aldous Merriweather's villa
Port for travelers' and merchants' boats

Around the market square
Shrine (open to followers of all religions)
Two taverns
General store
Fur & leather trader's shop

Houses (trappers, hunters, builders, loggers)

Storm Bringer
2010-10-10, 08:57 AM
quick plot hooks:

a priest of one of the local religons starts attmepting to monopolise the shrine, angering the followers of other faiths.

A militant group of Duridic elves sets up shop in the woods, lougly proclaiming thier intent to shoot anyone desacrating these "sacred woods"

the trappers come to the heros to ask thier help in breaking a trade cartel being run by the merchants who run the tiver trade. the traders are strong-arming the trappers into selling ruinously low, as they are the only customers the trappers have, so can dictate the prices. the players either need to break the cartel by convincing new traders to stop at Riverside, or for the cartel members to buy at a more reasonable price.

a Leatherworker moves to town, who is on the run form a leatherworkers guild. he wishes to set up shop in riverside, but the Guild wants to stop him (as he is not a a member and doesn't want to pay the hefty guild dues) the players need to protect the tanner from the guild heavies, or work out some sort of deal with them.

a trading party form the goblin tribes deep in the forest arrvies, and sets up camp in a suitable clearing near the town. they are a genuine bunch of merhcants, seeking only to rip you off wholesale in honest haggling, and are willing to sell both valuable herbs gathered deep in te forest as well as the usual tribal jewellry and such, but the locals instandly start blaming every single lost item on them stealing it, and gernally not trusting them an inch. to make matters worse, a genuine thief has set up shop in town, and the locals are blaming the goblins for his acts. the players must both catch the real thief and stop the villagers form pitchforking the goblins (and bringing several hundred angry goblins warriors bent on revenge down on thier heads)