“Beginnings & Transitions” is the inaugural edition of Plot Thickeners. Each issue will focus on a theme and provide adventure hooks around that theme and each hook will have additional context around it as well as the real-world historicity and cultural significance. Combined, these elements should allow you create more immersive and compelling reasons for your players to get involved in your narrative.
Adventure hooks are a dime a dozen and, if you get down to it, unnecessary. The fact that a dungeon teeming with monsters and treasures even exists may be a compelling enough reason to risk life and limb exploring it for most characters. The adventures of yesteryear often hardly cared why the PCs would venture into a dungeon or the ruins of a castle. Exploration was reason enough. But most of the characters of today prefer more from their adventures and the players behind those characters often seek more meaning in their temptations. This accessory seeks to do for hooks what hooks do for PCs: give the hooks more meaning and significance.
January is a strange month for many people even in the most mundane of times. Some people are scrambling to get year-end reports finalized at their day jobs. Others are mulling over goals for the coming year while simultaneously calling out resolutions as being ridiculous. In the United States, some of us are still reeling from the breakneck pace of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Chrismahanukwanzakah (depending on our faith or lack thereof). But this particular January (2021) is especially stressful for many. A worldwide pandemic has us anxious, stuck indoors, lashing out at family on social media, and—again in the United States—witnessing the not-so-peaceful transfer of power as one Commander-in-Chief begrudgingly leaves office while the next prepares to fill the role.
January is a time not for reflection but for change. Indeed, January is named after the Roman god, Janus, the god of beginnings and endings. It’s a time when we welcome new beginnings and expedite transitions away from less desirable habits or norms. This issue is a salute to change.