The other day Nerdarchist Dave and I were talking on the phone when he spotted an unusual creature on his front porch. A white toad sat on the railing and over the next few minutes climbed, jumped and scrambled its way around the porch. He’d never seen a white toad before, and we wondered what it could be up to. How did it get there, and what was the motivation for exploring the porch? Could we glean some adventure hooks for D&D through this real world curiosity?
D&D adventure hooks from real life
In Volo’s Guide to Monsters we’re introduced to a terrific new creature for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons — grung. Grung are described as aggressive froglike humanoids found in rain forests and tropical jungles, fiercely territorial and seeing themselves as superior to most other creatures. Their society is a caste system and grung are different colors depending on their caste — green, blue, purple, red, orange and gold.
What if there is a mysterious new white grung?
This very special grung could be on a quest for their tribe, or conversely an outcast from their society because of their odd skin color. The white grung is significant to their culture in some way, and this one is out on its own, far from home. When the player characters encounter the white grung, how will they react? The existence of grung at all could be a revelatory experience, potentially to the white grung’s advantage. (Grung are typically lawful evil, and naive adventurers could be deceived…)
If the party is aware of grung, the white grung could be really intriguing, and curious characters might want to know more regardless of the grung’s motives.
Grung has poisonous skin, and the bog standard variety causes the poisoned condition on contact. But variant grung poison is wildly different and a lot of fun. Some cause creatures to roll around in the mud, make loud noises or compulsively eat. The white grung’s poisonous skin could cause any effect you imagine. Conditions like petrification or blinded, levels of exhaustion or spell effects like geas are all possibilities. On the flip side, the effects could be beneficial, or downright silly. It could have a calm emotions effect, minor healing, or compel a creature to walk on their hands with their feet in the air. Anything goes!
At their heart, adventures are the stories of what the characters do when faced with challenges and problems. How they react to this strange creature could become the basis of a one shot, side quest or entire campaign. Or, encountering the white grung could be a quick round of combat and Bob’s your uncle. YMMV