Dungeons & Dragons Online

50 Plot Hooks for Sages

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Here are 50 plot hooks, inspiration to puzzle and perturb the scholars in your parties.

  1. A conference has been called, gathering together sages and scholars of every stripe to discuss their latest discoveries. However, an infestation of intellect devourers threatens to disrupt the proceedings, as does the question of who brought them.

  2. News of the PC’s new found wealth have spread throughout the academic community, who come to them with grand designs and audacious plans, all seeking funding for their research.

  3. A demi-plane created and inhabited by scholars has reportedly fallen into a vicious civil war, sparked by an intellectual dispute that spiralled wildly out of control.

  4. A prestigious research institute has requested that the PC acquire a rare and esoteric reagent from deep within the Astral Sea.

  5. An underground library has been discovered, a remnant of an ancient kingdom, filled with texts long thought lost to the eons.

  6. An eccentric and obsessive alchemist has vanished, and the contents of his workshop have been leaking into the surrounding environment, changing and mutating both the wildlife and the people living nearby.

  7. A comet with magical properties has appeared, on a substantially different course than the one that it has been on for centuries prior. Astronomers worry about the effects it may have, passing so close to the world, while other fret about what will happen if it lands.

  8. The PC receives a request for help when the university that they studied in is besieged by the residents of a nearby town.

  9. A wealthy patron of natural philosophy is seeking descriptions and cadavers of beasts and monsters of all kinds, allegedly for a bestiary, but no book, no matter how accurate its diagrams, could explain the noises coming from her estate.

  10. A sage from a far off kingdom has written a comprehensive argument as to why a treatise published under the PC’s name is both inconsistent and inaccurate, inviting them to visit their estate for a demonstration of exactly why.

  11. A fanatic cult of obsessed with guiding the wise to enlightenment has begun to kill the families and friends of scholars and philosophers, in order to rid them of earthly attachments. The PC is their next target.

  12. A mercenary sophist is wrecking havoc in a nearby city, providing dangerously convincing arguments for any position at all, providing someone is willing to pay his fee.

  13. A trickster from the Faewild has been tormenting the sages of the archipelago with an endless supply of inane and frustrating riddles.

  14. A young student has become the target of demonic hunters, looking to learn the secrets of the argument she used to convince a modron to self-destruct.

  15. The PC discovers a mostly inaccurate statue of themselves in a remote town, and soon finds that a piece of their writing is now the basis of a strange way of life.

  16. A Planar astrologer has devised a new theory for the structure of the realms, which predicts the existence and location of secret plane. She approaches the PC, asking them to head the expedition to see if her model is correct.

  17. The sage that taught the PC has taken ill, and requests that the PC travel to the remote mountain that he has sequestered himself, in order to hear his final request.

  18. College’s up and down the coast are sent into disarray when a learned Kobold publishes a proof of a new school of magic, with noted scholars hiring mercenaries to bring the outsider in.

  19. After a successful expedition to the Spring of Knowledge and Inspiration, an enterprising scholar begins to sell the water found there, leading to both incredible discoveries, and fears that the Spring may run dry.

  20. A widely respected sage has taken up residence in an adventurers guild, where he offers practical advice on the specific mechanics and strange interactions between spells. The guild leader wants the PC to investigate where exactly he is finding this information.

  21. The PC’s discovery has been nominated for the first of an annual award, set up by an ancient green dragon, looking to to reform her image.

  22. Four young philosophers, well known for their argumentative skill and passion for virtuous life, have set off for the castle of a vampire lord, convinced that they can persuade him to change his ways.

  23. A powerful archmage has discovered a way to animate a clone before his death, but the debate between the two versions as to who the original is threatens to turn into a magical duel that could devastate the city.

  24. A consortium of Ilithid are offering a serum that leaves the body catatonic, and transports the mind to an eternal dreaming paradise. The only thing concerning authorities across the land more than the serums uptake amongst the desperate and destitute, are what the Ilithids are doing with the bodies.

  25. An old teacher of the PC wants their helping recovering her notes from the city that they lived in, a city recently overcome by a hoard of the undead.

  26. A fanatical librarian has begun to hunt the PC, for failing to return a book to an extraplaner library many years before.

  27. The people of the town are increasingly alarmed by the psychic messages preaching a bizarre philosophy they are receiving, when against all sense, people start to be converted to the way of life it advocates.

  28. A deceased mathematician has become the subject of an increasingly fanatical cult, but while their rituals are based on mathematical formula that have no apparent magical properties, the things summoned as a result are all too real.

  29. An observatory on a distant mountain sent a psychic message detailing the discovery of a startling new constellation, but all attempts to contact them, or scry upon the location, have since failed.

  30. The PC is asked to bring a well respected doctor, who's lifes work has been dedicated to the prevention of infection disease, to stand trial in a distant land, for supposedly unleashing a terrible plague there.

  31. An old friend of the PC, a prominent sage, is branded a heretic after concluding that the ethical precepts of a god are incoherent and illogical. The PC is pressured by the gods followers to refute these claims, and renounce their friend, with further consequences threatened for disobedience.

  32. An upheaval of the college that the PC once researched at has led to the new leadership discrediting their work and revoking their credentials.

  33. In the wake of successive crisis and poor leadership amongst the various nobles and politicians that run society, an academic that the PC studied with brings to together a group of likeminded individuals, in order to collectively, and subtly, influence society.

  34. With the previous court philosopher dies, the search begins to select the next one.

  35. An anti-philosophy, begun by a gnomish noblewoman, calls for the burning of books, and the destruction of places of learning.

  36. A terrible war across the sea has the wealthy and learned fleeing to institutions that are at less danger of being sacked, bringing with them scientific revolutions in half a dozen fields that threaten to destabilise their new found home.

  37. The PC is asked to travel to the Shadowfell, in order to take readings from a strange device.

  38. A former colleague of the PC contacts them, asking for their assistance on a project to create a devastating new weapon for the republic, with the warning that other nations are already at work.

  39. A world famous university has been engulfed in a plague of insects, that strip the flesh from anyone who attempts to enter.

  40. The academic community is shocked and alarmed when a more vastly more precise and powerful version of the detect magic spell seems to reveal a faint hint of illusion magic emanating from everything.

  41. The philosopher king of an island kingdom has written a riddle. The first to solve it will inherit his kingdom. One of the kings children comes to the PC for help.

  42. When PC’s homeland is at war, a scholar that they had once worked with from the other side of the conflict contacts them, imploring them to help arrange a peace between the two kingdoms.

  43. Four students at a prestigious academy suddenly die, with the last anyone hearing of them mentioning a meeting with a Solar.

  44. After decades of experimentation with anti-magic fields and detect magic spells, a dragonborn professor claims to have discovered the fundamental particle of magic. The PC is asked to travel to the institution, and acquire the research, by any means necessary.

  45. A half-elven professor who studied alongside the PC believes that someone else has discovered the truth of a terrible deed that they committed together as students.

  46. After the old professor ascends to a higher plane of existence, a position opens at an extra-planer research institution, with scholars, researchers and academics racing to fulfil the byzantine and eccentric entry requirements.

  47. While visiting at an event for alumni, the PC begins to suspect that one of the faculty is spying for a rival research institution.

  48. The PC’s aid is requested in the construction of a vast work of engineering and arcane artifice, designed to answer the most important questions about life, the universe, and everything.

  49. The march of history seems to falter. Exciting research gives no results, daring prototypes fall apart despite promising designs, and even long running academic debates fade into nothing. An old research colleague of the PC is convinced that these events are the result of some nefarious plot.

  50. Rumour spreads across the world that an ancient halfling sage has achieved a state of perfect knowledge, able to answer any question that can be answered, and perform any task that can be achieved. The amazement quickly turns to terror when the sage begins to commit seemingly random deeds of an inhumane nature.

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Other posts in the series: Nobles, Acolytes, Entertainers, Guild Artisans, Sailors, Soldiers.

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