Friday Favourite: Adventure Hooks – Warrior Needs Food, Badly!

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on May 29, 2015

On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From April 7, 2014, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: Adventure Hooks: Warrior Needs Food, Badly!.

Very few games I’ve ever played in or run spend much time worrying about what PCs eat, how frequently they eat, or where they get the food that sustains them. It’s not usually an interesting part of the game so we gloss over it. Obviously every living creature eats, but we just assume that meals happen behind the scenes. Food is not usually an important part of D&D. But it can be if we make it so.

I gave up trying to track rations back in AD&D 2e. We just assume PCs have what they need to survive or buy it or hunt for it. Yet, whenever the DM presents the party with a chance to have a meal in-game most players have their characters participate. They recognize that life on the road likely means terrible food for their PC. When the party finally arrives in town they usually look for a soft bed and a good meal. It’s during these times that the DM can make food fun.

Today we share new adventure hooks to inspire DMs. They all revolve around food in some way. If everyone eats then anything that threatens the food supply will be seen as a big deal by most. It shouldn’t be too difficult to get PCs to bit on these hooks and then bite on some delicious food.

Adventure Hooks: Warrior Needs Food, Badly!

1. Just can’t get enough

The PCs are hired by a retired adventurer with exotic tastes. During his days on the road he acquired a taste for Dragon steaks. His adventuring party specialized in Dragon slaying so he always had plenty of meat. When he retired he had lots of meat and sufficient gold pieces to feed his hunger. However, his personal supply of Dragon steaks has dwindled and he must resort to hiring adventurers to get him more.

2. Exotic tastes

Visiting diplomats from all across the land are coming to a special banquet. The lord hosting the event wants to present dishes from each dignitary’s home land. Unfortunately many of the items are only available in those lands. The PCs are hired to find everything on the chef’s list in time to serve it at the feast. There’s not enough time to travel to each location so the PCs will need to improvise and find creative solutions.

3. Mystery meat

In a large city a new restaurant is all the rave. All dishes contain a special meat that people can’t get enough of. It’s become so popular that people are travelling to this restaurant from other towns and villages just to try the food – few are disappointed. Other restaurateurs in the city are frustrated and curious. They’re losing considerable business. If they can’t figure out how to compete with this new restaurant their business could fail. The PCs are hired to find out what’s in the stew.

[Two Trolls are chained in the basement. Each day the chef carves away sections of the creature’s bodies and serves the meat to his customers. The Trolls regenerate quickly giving the chef and unlimited supply of meat. There’s nothing harmful about eating properly cooked Troll flesh, but the customers would likely be disgusted to identify the mystery meat and identify the supplier.]

4. A dish best served cold

Word of the PCs’ heroics has spread far and wide and they’ve gained a reputation throughout the land. To mark the one year anniversary of the time they did that awesome thing, they are invited to a banquet in their honour. While in town they are treated like royalty and don’t have to pay for anything. The banquet is an all you can eat feast where select townsfolk get a chance to dine with the heroes. As the night progresses some of the PCs start to get a bad feeling.

[This set up can go in any number of directions depending on what best suits your campaign. In all scenarios the banquet was set up by someone who wants to see the PCs harmed. The food served to the PCs is laced with hallucinogenic drugs. Once ingested the drug distorts their perception. When something happens during the banquet that requires the PCs to act they think they’re attacking monsters when in fact they’re harming innocent people. Only when the drugs effects wear off do they realize their mistake. Alternatively the banquet is an elaborate trap to have the PCs killed (think Red Wedding). Mid-way through the feast the PCs may notice that the servers now have weapons at their sides and are wearing armor under their uniforms. Likewise most guests are wearing armor. The PCs are not.]

5. Where’s the beef?

The PCs are hired by a local rancher to find and stop some local cattle rustlers.

[I’ll admit that this is a pretty straight forward adventure hook, so let’s give it a D&D spin to make it more interesting. The rustlers were hired by a large figure shrouded in shadows. He pays well so they don’t ask too many questions. The mystery man is a Minotaur who is appalled by those who eat the flesh of his brethren. When he gets the cattle from the rustlers he purifies the animals in a ritual to Baphomet. The animals are unharmed but their flesh is rendered inedible in the process and they are branded with Baphomet’s mark as a warning not to eat them.]

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1 Benjamin Hagen May 31, 2015 at 1:19 am

These look like they could be a ton of fun to play. One of the campaigns I was in, long ago, centered on the comings and goings of the city they were in. Some of these hooks would have worked quite well I think in that campaign.

However, I think these might be difficult to pull off for a couple reasons. People might not care enough for food hooks. I know I generally aim to get a ring of sustenance so I don’t have to worry about food. Some campaigns I have played in, and am playing in, have us travelling all over the place, rarely, if ever, going back to any city we might have picked up a quest in. And then there’s the campaigns where were are spending every waking moment trying to prepare for some big bad to show up. We barely would have time for anything else.

That being said, trying to work some of these into campaigns could give the party a needed break from all the doom and gloom. A talented DM might be able to connect them to part of the story arc. I would be interested in seeing how they played out.

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