One Spot Design: Hooks – The Reeve

Now that we know a bit about our fallen reeve Quentus and where he hangs out, we can start looking at some ways to hook both sides of that equation into an existing game.

Much like with Mr. Hand from Hand’s Goods, Quentus straddles multiple worlds in his pond of existence…

sheriffstarQuentus operates with authority given to him by the city or town, though that appears to be crumbling a bit the further he falls from grace. It’s quite possible he still investigates crimes and arrests criminals for the Traveling Judges to sentence based on the laws of the land. Or he may let his constables (Rokk and Wex) handle that side of his “job.”

He is also operating on the side of the thieves’ guild and we can investigate that relationship more. Beyond gambling in the regular games at the Gilded Stag, is it possible he’s on the take? Could he be accepting bribes to look the other way from time to time? What does he get out of this relationship?

And there’s a hint at some relationship with the Arcanists through the rumors of diabolism in the old Mayor’s house. This is a group who has been mentioned in other One Spots by reputation only. Are they a Mage’s Guild? Are they a cult?

If we dig deeper into more personal relationships, we also see that Quentus’ wife passed away a number of years ago. That offers some intriguing possibilities. Who killed her? Was it someone in the thieves’ guild that Quentus has spent time working undercover to reveal and seek justice or revenge?

There’s also the New Town reeve (originally named Rede, but whose name will likely change). If the town leadership and new reeve have no clue about this possible undercover work Quentus is doing, they’re working in Quentus’ favor to reinforce the cover but may eventually get in the way.

And there’s his relationship with the town leadership, whether it’s a council or a mayor. They want their town image to improve and are taking steps, such as hiring the new reeve, to remove him from office. What’s preventing them from doing so? Does Quentus have some incriminating evidence on the town leadership he’s using to control them?

None of this has been explicitly said yet. And that’s the trick with an open-ended supplement such as the One Spot series. The idea is to offer some hooks GMs could easily embrace in a variety of ways to integrate these locations and NPCs more fully into their own worlds.

You could introduce the reeve a few different ways:

  • The PCs run across tales of a criminal changed by an experience in a small town where he was haunted by a ghost in a prison cell.
  • The PCs are assaulted by criminals and find no help from the Old Town reeve unless they offer him a bribe.
  • The PCs are asked by the New Town reeve or the town leadership to investigate Quentus’ strange behavior over the last few years.
  • The PCs investigate rumors of ritual sacrifices and strange deaths from a group of magical practitioners in the area.

How far should I take these hooks? If you were to integrate the “haunted sheriff office” into your fantasy campaign, what are you looking for? Or the “sheriff fallen from grace”? Or the undercover agent angle?

Curious designers want to know!!

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