200 Story-Exploding Character Hooks


This book is no longer available for sale.

200 Story-Exploding Character Hooks

Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard

About the Book

What’s with players afraid to give their characters great plot hooks? Are they trying to provoke us GMs?

This book was born out of a frustration with those dumb orphan-hermit-sad PCs with no great hook to offer the campaign. Rather than put the entire weight of the plot on my shoulders, I give some back by assigning or rolling for a character hook out of this book.

These hooks aren’t meant to be personality profiles, complete background dossiers or player straightjackets.

Instead, they’re grist for our plot mills to help integrate characters into our campaigns and give us a morsel to work with. They’re juicy situations or motivations to get players invested quickly into the games we’re trying to run.

For example:

Fighter: Each of his three brothers was killed in duels. And the victors were all from that same family of bastards. It's time to get out in the world and learn a few things so he can come back and avenge is kin.

Cleric: Once a squire for a proud paladin, he lost his master when an evil knight challenged the paladin to a duel to the death. The knight brought cursed magic to the fight and won handily. Sneering, the knight let the cowering squire live so he could spread the tale. The worst thing is, the character caused the duel in the first place. Poorly suited to a warrior’s ways, he’s now turned to divine methods for exacting his revenge.

Rogue: He had a truly horrifying childhood tending an orchard of blood oranges for his vampire lord. But it was not always terrible. He often played stealth games, trying to sneak past the supernatural senses of his guardian. Three nights ago his lord told him he was going away, perhaps for a long time, and to keep the orchard safe. Then disaster struck—villagers attacked the orchard this morning, burning it to the ground, and he barely escaped alive. Homeless, without his lord, and armed with just his skills and wits, what should he do next?

These hooks always work. You might need to tweak an angle or detail, but when done, the player now has something to hang their sword belt on. And they love it.

Even if they don’t thank you for fleshing their cardboard PC out a bit, you’ll see it come through in the game. Like a grain of sand in a clam that turns into a pearl, their PC with a character hook will take on a cool identity, and the player will want to do something more than just break down the door and steal stuff.

It’s magic.

Same goes with your NPCs. Ever create one that feels boring? Give them one of these hooks and feast upon the inspiration. Let your NPC run with the hook and see where it leads.

Warning: great gaming lies ahead!

About the Author

Johnn Four
Johnn Four

Johnn Four is a veteran RPG author who specializes in helping game masters and their players have more fun at every game.

With credits ranging from the DMG II to self-published award winning-books on GMing, his proudest achievement is the Roleplaying Tips newsletter.

Now almost 600 issues and still going, you can subscribe to get free GMing tips from Johnn and all the GMs around the world who submit tips for sharing to subscribers.

Get your free GM tips here.

Table of Contents

  • 200 Story-Exploding Character Hooks
  • Foreword
  • 50 Wizard Hooks
  • 50 Fighter Hooks
  • 50 Cleric Hooks
  • 50 Rogue Hooks
  • More GM Books & Resources from Johnn

The Leanpub 60 Day 100% Happiness Guarantee

Within 60 days of purchase you can get a 100% refund on any Leanpub purchase, in two clicks.

Now, this is technically risky for us, since you'll have the book or course files either way. But we're so confident in our products and services, and in our authors and readers, that we're happy to offer a full money back guarantee for everything we sell.

You can only find out how good something is by trying it, and because of our 100% money back guarantee there's literally no risk to do so!

So, there's no reason not to click the Add to Cart button, is there?

See full terms...

80% Royalties. Earn $16 on a $20 book.

We pay 80% royalties. That's not a typo: you earn $16 on a $20 sale. If we sell 5000 non-refunded copies of your book or course for $20, you'll earn $80,000.

(Yes, some authors have already earned much more than that on Leanpub.)

In fact, authors have earnedover $13 millionwriting, publishing and selling on Leanpub.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub

Free Updates. DRM Free.

If you buy a Leanpub book, you get free updates for as long as the author updates the book! Many authors use Leanpub to publish their books in-progress, while they are writing them. All readers get free updates, regardless of when they bought the book or how much they paid (including free).

Most Leanpub books are available in PDF (for computers) and EPUB (for phones, tablets and Kindle). The formats that a book includes are shown at the top right corner of this page.

Finally, Leanpub books don't have any DRM copy-protection nonsense, so you can easily read them on any supported device.

Learn more about Leanpub's ebook formats and where to read them

Write and Publish on Leanpub

You can use Leanpub to easily write, publish and sell in-progress and completed ebooks and online courses!

Leanpub is a powerful platform for serious authors, combining a simple, elegant writing and publishing workflow with a store focused on selling in-progress ebooks.

Leanpub is a magical typewriter for authors: just write in plain text, and to publish your ebook, just click a button. (Or, if you are producing your ebook your own way, you can even upload your own PDF and/or EPUB files and then publish with one click!) It really is that easy.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub