Runequest Thursday #119 - Plot Hooks of the Clanking Ruin!

Clint Staples

So, maybe you show up in the Clanking Ruin, or hopefully, in Bayside, the community of scavengers, power-seekers and warmongers that has sprung up to exploit the ruin and each other. And maybe you don't know exactly what you are after now that you ave arrived.

And maybe you're thirsty, and a mite peckish . . .

You might drop by an establishment devoted to the purveyance of such things as sea-beer and bacon-wrapped seaslug fritters, along with room, board, conversation and companionship - a place like the Wheelhouse, or the Seaweed (both conveniently located on the Rotunda), or one of the mainland joints like The Star Sign or The Ragpicker, even Maw's Kitchen if you are a little more adventurous still and don't mind sea-trolls or what they consider tasty.

As you are chowing down, wherever, and draining your fourth sea-beer, and probably seriously considering a trip to the jakes since sea-beer is salty AND alcoholic, you catch a morsel of whispered conversation from a nearby table of ne'er-do-wells:

Roll 1d20:

1. There is a sisterhood of crones who worship Ty-Kora-Tek, Goddess of the Dead, Mistress of rightful burial and eternal repose, who are looking for help clearing out an old mausoleum beneath the Demon's Table.

2. An amalgam man, dressed in rags, and composed of flesh and metal like a manchine, but apparently much more approachable, is looking for help retrieving the bodies of several dead silver Mostali (dwarves) dating back to the time of the Machine City. Mostali bodies are, in whole or part, made of metal.

3. If you don't mind working for the Empire, there is a clerk on Anchor Home offering top coin for a "live" manchine, delivered to Dock Three.

4. There is a metal-man, a construct from the time of the Machine City, who hangs out as the Seaweed, and hires himself out as guide, bodyguard, what-have-you. He is very good at his many jobs, but not cheap.

5. For those who have earned the trust of the Lunar Empire, a certain clerk is looking to hire several someones who are not afraid of Humakti.

6. There is a Death Ray machine that commands any approach to the deeper city via the Canal. The Lunars have an arrangement with the machine.

7. The mysterious but powerful master of the Rotunda, Avorax, has a standing order that it is apparently messy death to flaunt: Any Dragonewt items retrieved from the Clanking Ruin must be brought to him, whereupon he will determine their sale value, and make generous offers on those that interest him.

8. A bunch of Esrolian Humakti have recently taken up residence somewhere on the mainland.

9. A potent vampire has recently come to Bayside.

10. The Lunars have recruited a powerful new ally.

11. Lunar wyvern patrols are a common site, traveling inland over the deeper ruins.

12. A Master of Manchines is creating these monstrosities somewhere in the deeper ruins, with an eye toward conquest of the whole of the Clanking Ruin, or perhaps simply eradicating the infestation of adventurers in Bayside.

13. The Tower of the Devourer is not as ruined as it appears.

14. There is some force in the deeper ruins that sometimes translocates entire areas of the ruin, inhabitants and all.

15. During the Time of the Machine City, many Mostali prisoners, and no few Mostali guards, were taken to the Legion of Purification. None are said to have escaped.

16. A Furnace Demon whatever that is, has been discovered, in the deeper ruins, within sight of the Tower of the Devourer.

17. The Ankeshel Archive, a cabal of sorcerers, is always hiring explorers and guards. Working for them is a good way to get a look at the deeper ruin, and a good way to gain some of the ancient artifacts of the Machine City.

18. A Giant Mechana Behemoth from the previous Age of the World, exists in the deeper ruins. Though scarred by battle and the ravages of centuries, it has been seen to move. Some say that there is another that cruises the waters of the Bay.

19. Swimming in the Bay is discouraged. Some say that the danger is a mechana sea-monster. Others point to the growing number of sea-trolls in the western portion of the Bay.

20. The merfolk who live near the Bay sell magical healing morsels at the Water Market on the Rotunda.


Of course these are rumors. But in the time-honored tradition of RPGs, they are also PLOT HOOKS for your adventurers.

As GM, you can decide which, if any of these rumors, are false. But it is usually more fun if there is at least some truth in them. And they could well tie together.

For example: Maybe the Humakti are here because they are following the vampire, who killed someone close to these particular Humakti. And maybe the Ally the Lunars just acquired is the vampire.

But it doesn't have to go that way. Could be that the Humakti haven't heard about the vamp yet, and would appreciate a heads-up. Could be that one of the PCs IS Humakti, and decides that his god has tossed the news in his lap to see what he does about it. Could be that the New Lunar Ally is the Manchine Master, or that the vamp IS also the creator of the manchines. COuld be a lot of other things, but you get the idea.

The various links will take you stat-blocks, descriptions and fiction which relates to the thing it is linked to. Yeah, I know - Shameless self-promotion . . . but somebody's gotta do it!