Adventure Hooks: Scoundrels of Skullport Board Game

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on April 22, 2014

a-to-z-2014-sLast week we looked at using quest cards from the Lords of Waterdeep board game as the inspiration for adventure hooks. Today we’re looking at the expansion, Scoundrels of Skullport, and drawing upon 10 more examples.

Throughout April Dungeon’s Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That’s 26 articles over the course of the month. To make things even more interesting the title of each article will begin with a different letter of the alphabet. This year we’ve decided that every article will provide our readers with new adventure hooks. Today “S” is for Scoundrels of Skullport as we use the game’s quest cards to inspire adventuring hooks for your D&D game.

scoundrels-of-skullport-coverScoundrels of Skullport is an expansion for the Lords of Waterdeep and not a stand alone game. It allows you to add a sixth player by introducing new buildings and new quests. There is also an advanced option that introduces the corruption mechanic. This forces players to suffer negative consequences when they get greedy. Some quests are clearly dark and award corruption; others quests are on the side of light and allow players to discard corruption they’ve accumulated through questionable acts. Keep this in mind as you use Scoundrels of Skullport quests as adventure hooks.

Adventure Hooks: Scoundrels of Skullport Board Game

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Bury the Bodies

“This is not what I meant when I said I could work the graveyard shift.”

Normally PCs wouldn’t be involved in such a mundane task as this, which makes you wonder who are they burying and why. This quest provides a lot of points and corruption, more than simple grave digging should provide. Burring these bodies is going to bring the PCs some kind of grief in the near future.


Donate to the City

“When you open a school, you close a prison.”

PCs usually end up with more money than they know what to do with so a donation makes sense. The flavour text for this quest speaks of opening a school. If that advice is taken literally what kind of school? How involved will the PCs be in it’s construction? What about after it’s built?


Improve Prison Security

“Every dungeon can be dug deeper.”

Prison breaks are a common adventure hook in D&D, but what about working with the warden to ensure prisons are secure. PCs could test security measures to identify weaknesses. Or they might be hired on as special guards while a particularly dangerous villain is in custody.


Investigate Thayan Vessel

“What caused the Red Wizards to abandon such a powerful ship?”

The Red Wizards are known for their affinity to necromancy and the legions of undead they control. Could some powerful undead spirit have slipped free of its bonds and forced them to abandon ship? Is it still on board, haunting the ship?


Obtain Builder’s Plans

“A trip to the Map House will get you the floor plan of any building in the city.”

This quest requires 2 Fighters, 2 Rogues, 1 Wizard, and 10 gp. I’d use this to create a complicated break in scenario. The PCs have to bypass monstrous guards, booby traps, and magical wards to get what they need. The huge expense up front might be a bribe to gain details on what to take or where to find it in the archive room.


Plunder the Island Temple

“Here, in days of old, now-vanished kuo-toa worshipped a gigantic, froglike monster as a god.”

The 40 point quest reward is the most of any in the game. This is going to be a complicated and dangerous mission. The need for 5 Clerics could represent the anticipated need for healing, the power to turn undead, and the combined knowledge of divine rituals. The picture shows plenty of treasure which the kuo-toa likely didn’t leave unguarded.


Renew Guards and Wards

“Better safe than sorry.”

It’s not act of renewing the wards that is interesting as much as knowing where the wards being renewed are and why. The benefit of discarding corruption for completing this quest implies that it was the PCs’ fault these wards were disabled or weakened and renewing them is a way to make things right. Work backwards from there.


Resurrect Dead Wizards

“What secrets do the dead keep? Why not ask them?”

When you’ve got access to speak with dead spells why do you need to resurrect these Wizards to ask them questions? The picture has the deceased Wizards is red robes – are they Red Wizards of Thay? Maybe they were on the haunted Thayan Vessel we described above? Completing this quest gives your 3 Wizards which implies that after the Wizards are resurrected they are beholden to you or must perform some service on your behalf.


Steal Gems from the Bone Throne

“Attempts to plunder the Bone Throne unleash its guardian magic.”

The question you have to ask yourself is who has a Bone Throne in the first place? An undead lord of some kind? Given that only Rogues and Wizards are needed to complete this quest it’s more likely that the lord is away and the only obstacles are traps – mechanical and magical. The 10 gp reward suggests a sizable payday.


Wake the Six Sleepers

“The Dwarves drank the wine of eternity, and for a century they have slept.”

Who are these six sleeping Dwarves? Why wake them now? Do they have a particular skill-set you need? Maybe they’re Giant slayers and you need them to help defend the town from the Fire Giants. Or maybe they know the way to a long forgotten location where there’s buried treasure. Regardless of why you’re waking them now, what happens once they wake up? Will they attack, or show loyalty to you or some greater cause?

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