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DnD Story Hooks to Steal for Your Dungeons and Dragons Sessions

by Hale J. on April 06, 2021

40. Echos From The Well⁠⁠
⁠⁠
A crowd gathers around the village well and murmurs of a crying child are rippling through the small hamlet.⁠⁠
But, a headcount has been taken and none of the children are missing…⁠⁠
⁠⁠
What do you do?⁠⁠


We all get a bit of writer's block sometimes. Maybe we have a session coming up and we're not in the zone, or we're starting an entirely new campaign and just need a bit of inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.  So we've compiled a list of dnd story hooks to inspire you, whether it's a quick one shot session or an ongoing campaign. We'll be updating the list weekly with new plot hooks, so remember to check back regularly!

39. What-nivore?

All the livestock in the principality refuse to eat and are wasting away, they nip and bite at anyone who gets close to them. But one farmer has managed to get his herds eating again, the problem is, all they will eat is meat.
What has changed the animals so strangely?

38. From The Water Deep

An island suddenly appears on the watery horizon of a costal city.
Why has it come?

37. No Silver Lining

A farming community is in desperate straights. A low hanging cloud has blocked the sun from their crops for weeks, gives no rain and is completely static.
Their crops are at the brink of failure which will mean many starving over winter.
What do you do?

36. The Sun Stands Still

The party has fought hard and vanquished an evil foe. But as they travel back to the town they notice: the sun has frozen in the sky!
What has caused this phenomena?

35. A Different Type of Goblin

A band of goblins assembles outside of the city gates. They stand tall and upright, are dressed in linen and silk and speak common with no slur or gravel in their voices. They ask for an audience with the city prefect.
Who are they?

34. You Can Only Die Twice

Your party enter the city to the roar of a gathering crowd. You push through the masses to see an execution taking place. But as you look closer, you see the victim is a previously thought dead party member!
How do you react?

33. Royal Ructions

Two identical people claim to be the king, they both match the description perfectly but the royal court cannot distinguish the imposter.
How do you distinguish the false royal?

32. There’s No Fire Without Smoke

A fierce fire blazes through the local forest but, with closer inspection, consumes nothing in its path.
What is causing this mystical blaze?

31. Happy Death Day?

The city is facing a series of unexplained murders. The only thing that connects them, all the victims have the same birthday.
What do you do to capture the murderer?

30. Frying Pan or Fire?

A small mining town has spread a call for help. A miner had uncovered a group of golems buried in the rock. As they awoke, they cried a warning message of a powerful buried creature. Without the income from the mine, the villagers will surely starve.
What do you do?

29. And Bears, Oh My!

A mass of wild cats are gathering around the local temple. They encircle it as their numbers grow but show no signs of aggression. They only watch.
What are they doing?

28. The Greater Good

A dark rider on an otherworldly mount demands the execution of every third born son. He shows no aggression or malice but claims the fate of the world depends on it.
Why is he there?

27. Hymn from the Deep

An earthquake has torn a crevasse open in the central square of the town. When all is quiet, the faint sound of singing can be heard from the darkness.
What do you do?

26. The Twilight Child

A child, missing for many years, has been seen playing at twilight in the forest. But runs away when approached.
What does this mean?

25. Seeing Red

A distressed family member wakes up in the middle of a bloody murder scene, their family missing. But, upon closer inspection, the blood isn’t real!
Who’s behind this and why?

24. Wouldn’t Hurt a Fly

A kind hearted, soft handed local women has begun to have regular blackouts during which she becomes rabid and will do anything she can to kill a well known member of the local ruling council.
Who’s behind this plot? Or is it something else?

23. The Lesser of Two Evils

Your party uncovers a plot to assassinate a local slave lord. Many slaves could be freed, but the assassins are going to frame a nearby tribal leader. It will result in a war in which many innocents will die.
How would you save the situation?

22. The Ambassador

The party is employed to escort a visiting ambassador through a rough part of town. The task goes without a hitch, but when the adventurers arrive at their destination, none of the hosts recognise the ambassador.
Why don’t they recognise the ambassador?

21. Thick as Thieves

You’re employed by two mutually distrusting criminal gangs to mediate a trade.It does not go well and they both turn on you.
How would you have it go wrong?

20. The Emperor’s Daughter

A kidnapping attempt was made on the emperor’s daughter. The villains were caught and detained but she has been manifesting some strange behaviour.
What weird things is the emperor’s daughter doing?

19. In The Depths of The Mine

A drunken miner shouts to the whole inn about something amazing he started to uncover in the mine. The inn bristles with motion and several groups pay their tabs and leave hastily.
What would you have had the miner discover?

18. Let There Be Light

The party is awoken in the middle of the night by a ruckus outside. They go outside to see what the fuss is about and see the whole town is pointing at a bright light which has appeared in the sky.
What is the light and how did it get there?

17. No Strings Attached

The local bazaar has been regularly visited by an odd-looking merchant only on the fourth day of every month. His wares are unique items which he refuses to take any coin for. He’s due back tomorrow.
What is the merchant up to?

16. Needle in a Haystack

A travelling merchant has been offloading stolen items to the locals. Mostly trinkets and tat, but one innocuous item is incalculably valuable.
What is the item of value?

15. Save the King

An assassination attempt has been made on the vassal King of the local municipality. Although he survived, the assailant is likely to make another effort. Fortunately, he left behind one damning piece of evidence. Your group has been hired to track down the culprit.
What evidence did he leave behind?

14. The Odd Child

A young child has begun to manifest unusual abilities and is causing havoc.
What’s behind this?

13. The Holding of Grandfathers’ Hands

After returning triumphantly to town from their latest adventure, the party finds everyone in the area is completely still, as if frozen in time.
What’s caused this temporal problem?

12. The First Plague

The river running into the city has all but dried up save for a trickle of red.
What has caused this ominous happening?

11. Sweet Dreams

Everyone in a city has had the same dream every night for weeks, except for one child.
What’s special about the child?

10. They Call Him Rod

A storm has been over the village for a while, lightning seems to be attracted to one person.
What did he do to garner such unwanted attention from the heavens?

9. Stix and Stones

A nearby lake has suddenly drained revealing a wrecked ship, mostly intact. The mystery is, it’s hundreds of miles from the sea or any river large enough to carry it.
How did it get there?

8. Freaky Friday

After a night in the inn — a few too many ales to boot — the party wake up to find themselves in the body of another party member.
Was it something they drank or something else?

7. The Monolith

A huge, black monolith appears outside of town but none of the townspeople can see it.
How did it get there and why can’t anyone see it?

6. The Tattoo Paradox

Mysterious glyphs and ancient writings start appearing as tattoos all over the bodies of the entire party. The blackened shapes crawl back into the shadow when exposed to firelight.
How did they get there?

5. Doppelgänger?

There have been rumours circulating about a violent criminal on the loose, the description perfectly matches one of your party.
Would you create a conspiracy or coincidence?

4. Airship Down

A burning airship is losing altitude and heading towards a nearby village.
How would you save the airship?

3. Fear

On entering a new village, everyone is terrified of your party, except for one man with a wide grin on his face who appears very pleased to see you.
What does the old man know?

2. The Letterless Letter

Your party receives a letter that is completely blank except for a signature.
What does this mystery letter mean?

1. A Scar appears on the palms of the entire party

Your party discover writing in scar tissue on the palms of all of their hands. The really strange thing: each one is written in their own handwriting.
What was written and how did it get there?

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