Have your player characters ever seen the above sign? Sitting in a tavern, pinned to the prison billboard, on the way into a new town; adventurers have typically seen the “Help Wanted” sign indicating the beginning of an adventure or quest.
How do the monsters post their bills?
I had this idea for a congress of monsters that all got together to discuss a threat much larger than the human, elf, and dwarf problem. Goblins, orcs, trolls, bugbears, every standard faction that we players have fought against. They realize “the adventuring party” is the greatest threat they’ve typically faced, but now they face a larger threat. Can my enemy become my friend?
So, in order to figure out who the best adventurers are for this task, this congress of monsters (call them what you like) can set up certain tests. Maybe a barn is taken over by goblins, a cave of stupid kobolds needs to be cleaned out, whatever the test, it’s essentially just an adventure.
Then they are approached.
Some monster from amongst the congress approaches the adventurers (possibly disguised) telling them of the greater threat. Now, the threat itself would have to be some huge campaign. Maybe it’s a monster possessed by a crazed god (or the avatar of the god – depending on your party level), your favorite module, or anything you want.
At some point, the players have to find some evidence that they are working for the monsters. The greatest surprise to them should be that so many different factions were able to combine for a common cause. When the adventurers are returning, what should they expect? Will the congress of monsters thank them with a hero’s feast or by barbecuing them?
Either way, the heroes will feel lucky they’d gotten away (there is no way they are fighting their way out of all those monsters). So, depending on how they parted, what happens now? Can the monsters stay united now that the common threat is vanquished? Will they stay together long enough to stage a coordinated attack on the town or city the heroes hail from, splitting the town into quarters after it is conquered?
I see this idea as a game-changer for the players. A greater threat can change the landscape of the entire continent, or the whole world.
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