4 Adventure Hooks for New DMs Using the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set
D&D Starter Set Adventure Hooks

D&D Starter Set

Note: This post is written for the “old” 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set.

So, you’ve spent $20 (or less) and picked up a copy of the D&D Starter Set — also nicknamed “The Red Box” — and you’ve played through the Twisting Halls’ dungeon crawl adventure provided in the Dungeon Master’s Book.

Your group of heroes has just reached (or has almost reached) Level 2 and they’re hungry for another adventure after they get back to town and return the artifact… They turn to you, the Dungeon Master, and ask “What’s next?”

And you draw a blank… Don’t panic, here are 4 adventure hooks that will get you started on your next adventure, using the materials in your D&D Starter Set. You can even randomize which ones you pick — just roll a d4:

D&D Rats in Fallcrest1. Fallcrest has a rat problem…the sewers under the city have become much more than “unpleasant” — they’re deadly! In fact, just a few days after the heroes’ return from the Twisting Halls, several rat swarms & dire rats come out of the sewer grates in Fallcrest’s marketplace & attack the townsfolk there — dragging several down into the sewers with them. After this attack, the Lord Warden summons the heroes to his keep & offers them a substantial reward if they rid the sewers from this infestation.

  • The heroes can enter the sewers from the grates that the swarms used in the marketplace
  • Use some hallways & rooms from the Twisting Halls map to simulate the sewers under the city
  • In those sewers, the adventurers encounter rat swarms, & dire rats, which are both among the monsters listed in the Dungeon Master’s Book. Don’t forget about the dire rats’ disease-carrying bites — fighting several dire rats with the swarms should dangerous prove for the group
  • Their explorations of the sewers culminate with an encounter with wererats & zombies, which are also included in the Dungeon Master’s Book. The zombies were created from the townsfolk of Fallcrest that the rats dragged down to the sewers — reanimated by the wererats’ dark magics…

2. A few days after their adventure in the Twisting Halls, a bloodied shepherd runs into town screaming about a pack of wolves that have attacked his flock. One wolf (the alpha of the pack) is the largest wolf he’s ever seen. He is begging for help from your player’s characters, who have already begun to get some fame as heroes in Fallcrest, after their exploits against Malareth in the dungeon are told about in the local inns & taverns.

  • This will lead to an encounter with a pack of wolves (see the Dungeon Master’s Book & included monster tokens)
  • The wolves are led by a dire wolf (also see the DM’s Book & included monster token)
  • You can use the included maps of the crossroads & caves for the settings of the encounters

Skeleton Bonecrusher3. Bodies have begun to disappear from the graveyards in the villages around Fallcrest. Every night for the last week, reports have come in to the Lord Warden & he has become very concerned. He has offered a reward of 1,000 gold pieces to any adventurers who can solve this disturbing mystery.

  • Again you can use the Crossroads map to plot an encounter(s) with zombies & skeletons (the newly risen dead) as they head out to investigate the village graveyards for clues
  • Clues lead the party to a warren of nearby caves, where they face more zombies, skeletons & goblins
  • Concluding with a faceoff with hobgoblins, a zombie hulk & a “necromancer” (simply re-use the stats for Malareth from the Twisting Halls adventure)

4. A band of bandits (several human bandits, led by 2 hobgoblins & a goblin Hex Hurler) are raiding the Trade Road east of Fallcrest.

  • Use the Crossroads map for the first encounter with several human bandits
  • Use the Caves map for the showdown with the rest of the bandit gang
Beginner Box Adventures by Beginner Box Adventures