Saturday, 8 May 2010

Things to do in D&D when you're dead

Yesterday, I posted a long, long article on D&D and the afterlife (well done if you made it all the way to the end). I did mention that I'd follow it up with some adventure ideas. Here they are, albeit hooks at best. I hope that you can find something in here that you can run with.

All these presume that the party members are dead and have come back in one of the three forms mentioned in the previous article.

 A dead child is resuscitated but did the right soul come back? The party must find out
 The party is offered the job of rounding up recalcitrant souls who show no willingness to move on to the afterlife.
 A person brought back to life by a reanimator tells of a band of souls who were running a spectral protection racket, offering to escort souls on their way to paradise in return for grave goods. But do they deliver or is it something more sinister?
 The party is contacted by law enforcement who are overrun with crime and disorder. They offer to allow the party to feast on the life forces of the criminals they catch.
 A young man who is desperate to recover his lost love decides to enter the land of the dead to find her but needs back up and protection while he is there.
 A party member is killed but cannot move on. The rest of the party don’t know this and are planning his funeral, at which point the body will be cremated
 The party is stuck on the Spectral Plane and is being pursued by something awful and must try to find new bodies in which to live.
 A team of vampire hunters have a troublesome bloodsucker who moves through the spirit realm to avoid his pursuers. He will be vulnerable to spirits whilst in this form but has his own spirit defences
 The party is contacted by the ghost of a man who was murdered by a love rival (or possibly the girl’s father in cahoots with love rival) who wanted his rich fiancée; the ghost now wants revenge or restitution
 The party is approached by a lovestruck man who wants them to ensure that he and his beloved can be reunited in the afterlife or reincarnated to escape their disapproving families
 A party member is brought back by a reanimator but into the wrong body. It’s a very nice life and he doesn’t want to go but the family is starting to suspect that there is something wrong and wants a second opinion
 A man lies in a bed, seemingly comatose. The family wants to know if he is brain dead or if there is a chance of recovery. The party must see if they can find his soul and, if possible, reunite it with his body.
 A prosperous and successful businessman is being stalked by a black hound that only he can see. It is getting closer and he fears for what will happen. Is he the innocent victim of a curse or is there another reason for the stalking, the answer to which lies in the spirit realm?
 A village hit by a terrible plague/disaster still remains in limbo since the inhabitants don’t realise they’re dead. To prevent them from becoming vengeful ghosts, the party must subtly persuade them to move on. However, there will be those who are particularly difficult to persuade.
 A master thief needs someone who is immune to the traps that a merchant bank has installed in their premises. However, the object he needs to steal cannot be lifted by non-corporeal creatures
 Souls in the afterlife are ‘disappearing’. Why? Who, or what, is doing it?
 A suspect is arrested by the authorities; he claims that he has been possessed by a spirit and is being forced to commit his crimes. Is he telling the truth?
 A local temple is being visited by a spirit that claims to be a representative of their deity but some of the priests are suspicious and decide that this needs investigating.
 A reanimator has managed to bring a soul back to its body but suspects that something else has come back with it and is lurking within. Is this the case or is it just the trauma of the reanimation?
 Wizened corpses have been found littering the city, mostly of young and healthy people. The city watch is baffled but the party know that a hungry spirit is draining life force and must be stopped.


  1. Nice hooks! I like things like this, broad enought toe stimulate the creative juices, and vague enough that they can even be sort of mixed and matched.

  2. It's kind of an inverse law that beyond a certain point, the more detail you put into something, the less useful it becomes. I think of Moldvay and the Lost City - a great module but what makes it even better is the scope for the DM to flesh it out and make it individual.

  3. Wow! These are great. You should consider writing your own "Dungeon Alphabet" filled with adventure hooks linked to various concepts (such as (your current example) the afterlife, holidays, sea travel, deception, royalty, whatever, etc...).

    I can never get enough hooks for my adventures, because even if I don't use the actual suggested hook, it sparks tons of ideas.

  4. Thanks RLB - I've been a bit dry of ideas just lately (although I am working on another long post) and this might spark the creative juices. I'll throw your suggestions into the large lump of grey jelly that sits between my ears and see what comes out.