Mad Lib Template for Hook, Line & Sinkers - Roleplaying Tips

Mad Lib Template for Hook, Line & Sinkers

The other day I talked about a classic GMing technique called Hook, Line & Sinkers. Use this three-part method to generate encounter skeletons fast.

I remember first coming across this method in the Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine. Each issue would have a few to inspire your game.

Victor Diaz recently posted about them, and that reminded me about this great format.

I have a GM Challenge for you today. It’s not what you think. You might expect I’d ask you to try out the Hook, Line & Sinkers method and create some for your fellow game masters.

Nay, dear reader. I have something even more challenging for you! Here’s the gauntlet I throw down at your feet.

My first thought Monday after creating the Campaign Logger stat block for this method was, “Hey, a Mad Libs template for these would be cool. Just fill in the blanks for even faster prep!”

Mad Lib Template

For example:

Hook: The PCs are travelling to _______ [destination] when they stumble across a _________ [creature/object].

Line: The _________ [creature/object] has a map where X marks a spot that’s nearby! If the party follows the map, they find ________ [discovery].

Sinker: Unfortunately, the _______ [discovery] is a trap because the map is fake, created to lure the foolish to this place. A _______ [danger] waits to ambush treasure seekers.

Hook, Line & Sinker Example

And here’s our Mad Lib template filled out:

Hook: The PCs are travelling to Greyhawk City when they stumble across three bodies filled with arrows like porcupines.

Line: One of the corpses has a bloody map clutched in its hand where X marks a spot that’s nearby! If the party follows the map, they find a dark cave entrance.

Sinker: Unfortunately, the cave is a trap because the map is fake, created to lure the foolish to this place. A group of bandits armed with bows wait to ambush treasure seekers.

Your Challenge

Create a Mad Lib style Hook, Line & Sinkers template.

One good approach is to create a Hook, Line & Sinker first. Make it somewhat generic. Then replace nouns with blanks. Then add a prompt in square brackets beside it so we know what kind of info you expect in the Mad Lib.

This is a tricky challenge. It tests your ability to create encounter hooks and seeds, and then it tests your abstract thinking when you create the Mad Lib.

A true designer challenge!

This is good practice for learning how to adapt materials from one source into your campaign. It’s the same process of abstracting and changing the values in the blanks to suit your needs. Share your Mad Lib template here.