Several months ago I wrote about fifteen adventure hooks for role-playing games that are inspired by the Bible. At that time, I stopped at 2 Samuel. The bible though is full of stories. One of the great appeals of role playing games is that they are interactive stories. The players of a RPG get to experience a story in a truly unique way. They do not passively observe the story. They take part in it, and the actions they take in the context of the game shape and drive the story.
Role-playing games are all about experiencing incredible stories and the Bible is full of incredible stories. I think that the Bible is an interesting place to look for inspiration for role-playing adventures. The goal is not to recreate the Biblical story accurately, but rather use the story for inspiration. The biblical story can create a hook that draws the players in and allows them to explore the narrative on their own. Using the Bible as inspiration for role-playing adventures is not an effective Bible study tool, but it will help the players gain a deeper and more unique understanding of the story.
The books of 1 Kings and 2 Kings are especially ripe for inspiration. When it comes to political intrigue and royal turmoil, Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin have nothing on the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In general the book of Kings can provide a lot of details that could really enhance a role-playing setting. A setting similar to what is found in 1 and 2 Kings could make for an extremely compelling backdrop for a role-playing campaign. This setting would be a small kingdom that is surrounded by hostile kingdoms. A lawful good deity is the patron deity of the people, but the kings keep leading the people in worshiping foreign, evil gods. In response the patron deity sends prophets who preach and perform miracles. All the while the kings have to be cautious of betrayal and assassination from within their court. The tension of nation versus nation, religion versus religion, and royal court intrigue is an extremely story rich environment.
With that in mind here are fifteen more adventure hooks that come straight from the Bible. All of these are inspired by scripture found in 1 and 2 Kings. These ideas are best suited for a fantasy role-playing setting. We hope that these are helpful to you and happy adventuring!
Fifteen Adventure Hooks from 1 and 2 Kings
1. A new king is established after the death of a long reigning, popular king. However, there is much court intrigue as one of the other brothers of the king tries to stage a political coup. In order to prevent this the current king issues a series of killings. The players are assigned this task. The players could carry these orders out without question or try to establish which side is in the right. (1 Kings 2:13-46)
2. A king has rebelled against the patron deity of his nation. At the same time, two raiders supported by foreign powers have been greatly troubling this small kingdom. The players are hired to stop the raiders, but they are told from another source that the adversaries were raised up by the patron deity as a punishment for idolatry. The players must decide to honor the deity or stay sided with the king (1 Kings 11:14-25)
3. The heir to the kingdom has vowed that he will rule harshly and this has caused open rebellion. The players must decide which side they will fight for. Then a prophet urges the people not to engage in civil war. This prophet has won over the players, and the rebellion seems to have succeeded, but did it win over the players? (1 Kings 12:1-24)
4. A king has built a pagan altar, and a powerful prophet has come to claim the altar’s destruction. The king hires the players to seize this prophet. This prophet is righteous and very powerful with the ability to curse and cause disability. (1 Kings 13:1-6)
5. Two kingdoms that once use to be an united kingdom are at constant war with one another. One of the king’s comes up with a plot to get another neighboring kingdom to break a treaty with his enemy and instead ally with him. The players are part of the entourage to deliver the silver and gold meant to secure this new alliance. (1 Kings 15:16-22)
6. Political turmoil reigns in a kingdom and the players are caught in the middle of it. One of the chief army commanders commits regicide, claims the throne, and begins hunting down the remnants of the royal family. When a campaigning army on the kingdom’s frontier hears this they proclaim their commander king. The kingdom is divided and civil war seems inevitable. What do the players do? (1 Kings 16:8-24)
7. An evil king has led the kingdom into worshiping evil gods, but a devout prophet of a good deity has risen to defy this idolatry. After proving the power of his God by having fire come down from the sky, the players join him in hunting down the evil priests and prophets. However, the evil queen who is really calling the shots seeks the life of the prophet (1 Kings 18:16-19:2)
8. A prophet has declared that by divine will the king will die. The king goes to war disguised as a security measure. The players are tasked with stopping the impossible: the death of the king (1 Kings 21:18-22:40)
9. The king is angry with a prophet who has stated that due to a lack of faith the king will die. In response the king has sent men to go and seize the prophet. However, these parties have been consumed by fire from heaven each time. Now, on the third attempt the players are part of this group. Can they avoid the same fate? (2 Kings 1:1-18)
10. The players are hired to track down a man who summoned she-bears that mauled forty two young men. The players discover that this man was a righteous prophet and their may be more here than meets the eye (2 Kings 2:23-25)
11. A prophet led by divine power, anoints an army commander a new king and gives him a mission to wipe out the family of the current king. The commander takes this task on. At first this seems like an evil, rebellious action. However, it is eventually discovered that the true evil is the queen mother who has been manipulating the royal family into wickedness for two generations. (2 Kings 9:1-37)
12. Through a hasty burial that was interrupted by raiders, a dead man was put in the wrong tomb and put on top of the body of a recently deceased prophet. Upon touching the body the dead man is instantly revived. Do the players seek out this power or do they wish to defend it from falling into the wrong hands (2 Kings 13:20-21)
13. The majority of the people in the land the players live in have not been faithful to their ancestral deity for generations. Over the years several prophets have warned that a terrible army was coming if the people did not repent. That army is on the frontier and advancing. How will the players respond? (2 Kings 17:1-23)
14. A kingdom has recently conquered new territory and has begun to colonize it. However, lions and other beasts are attacking the settlers. This is being caused by the the deity that claims sovereignty over the land. The players have to protect the settlers and figure out how to appease the deity. (2 Kings 17:24-28)
15. An ancient religious text that had been lost for generations is found, and this renews the religious zeal of the king. He seeks to restore the lost religious practices which are good and righteous, but to do this he first seeks to destroy and eradicate pagan worship in the land. Which side will the players be on? (2 Kings 22:1-23:25)