Friday, October 31, 2008

Blogging the Dragon: Pest Control

Issue 5 of The Dragon introduces the Ankheg, which has since been a staple of many D&D-derived games. I noticed similarities between the Ankheg and the Bulette, which was featured in issue 1: They both burrow underground, then erupt aboveground to take unsuspecting prey by surprise. So how was I to come up with adventure hook with a creature I've essentially already handled? By amending the original idea.

My hook for the Bulette was a scenario in which the PCs must spring a trap for a Bulette that's been terrorizing a rural community. There isn't much else you can do when it comes to planning an adventure around a monster that doesn't have a lair, and was essentially designed to be most effective as a random encounter. So we can't do much else with an Ankheg, except add it to the original scenario. Here's the hook:
  • The PCs are employed by a monstrous extermination service, which uses creative methods to trap rural pests. They travel from one community to the next, taking assignments through a dispatch.
This can be an ongoing campaign, or a one-shot, in which the PCs are "temps." You could introduce a side plot which has a rival exterminator seeking to undermine the PCs' efforts (I'm reminded of this episode of Saxondale). Let it evolve into whatever possibilities you can imagine.

Crap, now I wish I had the time to try this out in one of my own games.

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