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So recently I have found myself trying to write my own adventures. With little bits from other games and such I have found myself able to write the adventure, encounters, and everything else, but I cannot start it off strong enough to keep most of my players interested long enough to get into their characters and the game. So I was wondering is there any good way to introduce this scenario?

Players are semi experienced, level 5 tenth campaign or so. They are going to be minding their own business and such but a local religious group is going to get a "message" from their god telling them that the only way to true peace and salvation is basically through an Inquisition/genocide of all non believers. It's gonna be a whole big thing with some super powerful demigod that they need to kill with the help of the real god who was imprisoned and replaced by the impostor. also this thing kinda comes out of nowhere like this is the god of the mountains and metals. He's considered a good god and is well respected. You know things like that. I may have rambled and I apologize but is there a better way to like introduce this? I'm having trouble with getting the party together without like forcing them together and I'm having trouble with getting this whole shabang started without it being "and then suddenly riots/murders.". Any help would be much appreciated.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If I understand this correctly, this will be the first adventure you'll be DMing? \$\endgroup\$ – Joninean Aug 29 '15 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ The term "plot hook" or "adventure hook" describes that part of the adventure. It should be a useful term for finding information about this in Google. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 29 '15 at 13:26
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The beginning of an adventure is usually the hardest part to write. Obviously "you're all in a tavern..." is cliche, but the truth is that a lot of introductory adventures are no better. "You all get a letter from a nobleman that wasn't previously in your backstory." "You're all hired by a group that has no reason to know about you." The end result of all of this is that six people who have never met each other end up becoming lifelong compatriots?

The key thing is to give them a thread to pull.

Don't try to jump straight into the main plot, because main plots tend to be so big that "form a small squad of strangers to go solve this problem" doesn't seem like the right response. Rather than have the adventure just happen to the PCs, let them react in such a way to begin the adventure.

I"m currently 3/5ths of the way through the Pathfinder adventure path Rise of the Runelords, and it's rapidly turned into this massive, epic storyline. It started with all of us just being in town (which is a requirement on the character but a small one) that got attacked by some goblins. Since we were the ones who defended ourselves during the attack, it was natural that we investigate it. Rather than feeling like the PCs were selected by the story from the start, it felt more like we had just asserted ourselves out of the crowd, and we could naturally pick up a small plot that led us to the big plot.

Gradual Revealing of the Plot

For instance, presumably this priesthood won't actually just go off and immediately start rioting and murdering people en masse. This will require preparation both physical and spiritual --stockpile weapons, organize the faithful, etc. A process of radicalization will have to occur.

Maybe priests who aren't comfortable with the new direction the upper echelons are heading need to be purged. It can start with a small murder of a local town cleric, or perhaps theft from the town armories, or trouble among local miners who presumably are highly represented in the church. As the PCs investigate this due to their links with various interested parties in these small plots, they can slowly discover that the people behind this plot are actually the good church. At first, they'll probably link to the conclusion that this is some cultish infiltration.

By the time they realize, no, this is the actual religion now, and as far as anyone can tell it's all totally officially sanctioned, Big Trouble can have already started and the PCs will just naturally be the unit responding to it.

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