Dungeons & Dragons Online

50 Plot Hooks for Entertainers

No business like show business, as true in your campaigns as it is anywhere else.

Here are 50 plot hooks, ranging from the mundane to the magical, for you to adapt and modify.

  1. The PC’s old theatre troupe has been asked to stage a performance for the Emperor’s wedding, and have called upon the PC to rejoin them. However, the anarchist leanings of some of the troupe bring into question their motivations for accepting the request.

  2. Playwrights, directors, and performers, of every stripe are running scared after a mad cleric resurrected a legendary playwright, dead for almost 200 years. The playwright is not pleased at the way that her work has been adapted, and has turned the magic she once used to put on her shows, to the art of revenge.

  3. A singer so captivating that his voice literally enchants the audience, has fallen foul of the law after telling an obnoxious noble to go to hell.

  4. The PC has been invited to attend an extraplaner exhibition, which boasts “The finest talent in 8 planes”, although once they arrive, there seems to be some confusion as to whether they’re going to perform, observe, or be auctioned off.

  5. A minor noble is enraged at the PC, believing that their latest performance was a satire aimed at them, and is demanding that the PC beg forgiveness, and offer financial compensation for the damage to his reputation

  6. An obscure avant-garde elven performer has almost come to the finale of his 3 year performance, atop a mountain. Invitations have been sent out, but rumours are abound that there may be some other kind of purpose to the production, especially once they arrive, and witness the runic carvings, and the other ‘performers’.

  7. A famed doppelgänger actor has gone missing, and their manager has asked the PC for help tracking them down, before their next performance, ideally.

  8. A critic and commentator infamous for her scathing reviews has been found dead, with the list of suspects being most of the performers in the city, including the PC.

  9. A relatively unknown playwright has come into the spotlight when a passage in one of his plays seems to predict the events of a war some 8 years before it happened, leading to historians and performers, spies and nobles, to rush to determine whether the prediction is really true, and if his other works also contain fragments of the future.

  10. A man approaches the PC for their assistance in putting on an elaborate show of his own writing, in order to propose to his boyfriend. Three problems immediately become apparent. He cannot act, he cannot write, and perhaps more importantly, the boyfriend in question is the high priest of a dark and dangerous god.

  11. A series of increasingly dangerous accidents strike members of the cast in an upcoming production. With opening night quickly approaching, the PC is asked to discover if there is a connection between the events, to discover the cause, and to put a stop to it, while also preventing anyone else from getting hurt.

  12. A virtuoso musician performing at the same venue as the PC has become increasingly convinced that her music is being inspired directly by the gods, and that there is a message being communicated within it.

  13. An extravagantly wealthy patron of the arts has invited the PC to perform for him, as a prelude to patronage. Once they arrive however, it becomes clear that the particularity of his preferences is matched only by the severity of his reaction when they aren’t met.

  14. An aged musician, long past his prime has mounted a comeback tour, and those who have heard him play claim that he’s better than he’s ever been. Despite this acclaim, a pair of his former bandmates have approached the PC, with concerns that something nefarious has changed in their old friend

  15. A strange instrument, acquired by adventurers in the outer planes, has ignited the interest of the art world, but everyone who sees it has a different idea of how it is to be played, or if it’s even an instrument at all

  16. A circus has wowed audiences up and down the coast with the latest addition to their menagerie; a juvenile aboloeth. What could possibly go wrong?

  17. A famed singer has eloped with an influential nobleman’s daughter, and the PC has been contracted to track them both down.

  18. A wealthy patron of the arts is looking to commission a work in honour of the city in which they live, and is taking applications from entertainers all over the land. Competition is getting fierce.

  19. An up and coming bard, that trained in the same academy as the PC, is requesting permission to turn one of the party’s adventures into a performance. She wants to interview them all, in order to properly capture the various characters, but some of the questions she asks are oddly specific, and hint at another agenda.

  20. The fans of two different performers are getting increasingly heated in their rivalry, getting into brawls and attempting to sabotage performances. The two artists in question are doing nothing to calm things down, on occasion even stoking the conflict.

  21. A religious decree has been passed, banning outright all performance and frivolous displays, unless they have the explicit approval of the church.

  22. A recent performance has won the PC a particularly adoring fan, who wishes only to be close to the object of their affections, and will stop at nothing in their pursuit

  23. A con-woman and playwright has a plan to swindle the various patrons of the arts in the city, by having them invest in a production, and then purposely producing the worst, cheapest show possible, in order to insure that a return is never looked for. She asks the PC (and the party), to lend their fame and faces to the production, in order to attract more investment.

  24. Arriving in a new town, the PC is surprised to be recognised by several people out and about, and upon enquiring, discovers that another entertainer has passed through recently, one that was completely identical, in both appearance, and in the routine that they performed.

  25. While scoping out a rival in the same field, the PC notices a message, hidden within the intricacies of their craft, that seems to imply that they are in some kind of danger. When confronted however, they claim that everything is perfectly alright.

  26. A revolutionary movement has taken up one of the PC’s songs as an anthem, putting them in the crosshair’s of the regime's enforcers.

  27. A paranoid monarch has started rounding up bards and entertainers of all descriptions, convinced that they are a part of a secret network of spies and informers plotting his downfall.

  28. A producer that had previously worked with the PC has recently opened up a gladiator’s arena, and wishes for the party to be the stars of a new series of events. Once they arrive, it becomes apparent that there is very little fighting actually happening in the ring, but despite the miscommunication, the producer pleads for them to play along.

  29. Word has spread of the famed acrobats of a distant and highly secretive city, which forbids travel both in and out. A circus that knows of the PC wishes for them to travel inside, recruit one of these acrobats, and smuggle them out of the city.

  30. Poets, speaking only in rhyming verse. Actors, unable to leave their roles at curtain call. Strong men compulsively lifting. Dancer’s unable to take a step without a pirouette or some other flourish. Entertainers are being subsumed into their craft, to the exclusion of all else, eventually preventing them from even eating. It’s only a matter of time before the PC is afflicted as well.

  31. An obscure performer has accused the PC of not only plagiarising his songs, but of stealing his ability to make music entirely.

  32. An iron fisted ruler has approached the PC, looking to commission them to produce a piece of propaganda, in order to strengthen his reign.

  33. The viewers of the PC’s performances have reported troubling dreams afterwards.

  34. The PCs come across a traveling Kenku, who makes her living imitating the songs and performances of other artists she has heard. At first she asks to listen to the PC, for a small fee of course, but later while listening to her repertoire, the PC recognises the voice of a famed singer, long thought dead.

  35. The god of music has died, and all music is slowly vanishing with them.

  36. A nearby kingdom is inviting entertainers of all stripes to come and perform at the celebration of the city’s founding.

  37. A defective Modron has discovered the PC’s art, and wishes to learn its secrets.

  38. An academy for the arts has offered a large sum that the PC come and teach a class, but once they arrive they discover that the faculty have some strange ideas about how the PC should be paid.

  39. An ancient Brass dragon is assembling a team of performers unlike any seen before, in order to participate in a contest for the fate of the world.

  40. A famed child performer has fled to the PC with allegations about the vampiric nature of their manager.

  41. Rumours swirl of a magical potion that can bring a supernatural vigour to your performance’s, and leave a crowd on the edge of their seats, regardless of your talent before hand. The rumours neglect to mention the equally dramatic side effects.

  42. A powerful Archfae has set out across the land, collecting musicians, actors, acrobats and performers of every kind.

  43. A gnomish entrepreneur has approached the PC, requesting that they advertise his latest products in their next performance.

  44. A dragonborn mage has invented an arcane means of recording sound that has set the community of musicians and singers at odds, with no agreement as to whether this will destroy their careers, or allow for even greater fame.

  45. A necromancer has killed several beloved entertainers, and resurrected them as part of a ghoulish traveling troupe.

  46. Performers from half the kingdoms up and down the coast have been selected to compete in a regional competition. The PC has been chosen for their region.

  47. A song has been found, inscribed on the wall of a cave, with dire warnings as to the fate of those that perform it, but even at a glance, its beauty seems entrancing.

  48. A strange plant from the outer planes has been discovered to produce a magnificent and potent nectar, but only when it is performed too, and its tastes are highly particular.

  49. The party stumbles across an order of eclectic monks on the far reaches of the world, who claim to have been singing the same song for centuries. If the music ever stops, the world will come to an end.

  50. The PC is asked to immortalise a famed hero, by dedicating a piece of work to them.

Read more:  Ever wondered what a gothic horror Curse of Strahd looks like when played by five CoS DMs? Watch Twice Bitten today at 1pm EST/10am PST

Others in the series: Nobles, Guild Artisans

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