Here is a table to make a quick background why your 1st level adventurer wants to risk his life for treasures. Obviously, for one-shots he wants to risk his life so you can have fun, but there is always something behind that.
|RalfHuels (photographer), Anja Arenz, Chris Kunz, Dossmo, Niamh, Paolo Tratzky, Svenja Schoenmackers / , via Wikimedia Commons|
1. DEBT. You owe money. And couldn't get it together. Only way out of this trouble is adventuring, because you have heard rumors of this dungeon where loot awaits for those who take the challenge.
- You or your family (50/50) owes money for (1d6): 1. Tax collector. | 2. Dowry | 3. Landlord | 4. Kidnappers | 5. Wizard who helped with magic | 6. College fees
- The amount of your dept (1d4): 1. 10 x 1d8 GP | 2. 100 x 1d6 GP | 3. 1,000 x 1d4 GP | 4. 10,000 GP (UH-OH!)
2. FAMILY IN TROUBLE. Someone in your family needs the money, or what you can get with it, desparately. Only you are courageous, or stupid, enough to go to "that" dungeon for treasures.
- Some possibilities are, that (1d6): 1. Your family member is sick, and 500 - 1,000 GP is needed for magimedical attention. | 2. Crop this year was awful, need to compensate. | 3. You just want a better life for your family. | 4. You want proper education for your siblings, and that is not cheap! | 5. No more peon life, but freedom of your family costs. | 6. A family member of yours went to trade to far-away Realm and is now in trouble. Maybe he got robbed, or the ship sank. She desperately needs money to get back home safe.
3. MY LIFE IS BORING. There always are those individuals who don't have any proper reason for adventuring, they just go into dungeons and give some hasty reasons why they do so.
- They might be (1d6): 1. Lazy son or daughter who thinks that housework and farmwork are dull and real life is out there. Dungeons is a good start, right? | 2. Noble or highborn, who is sick of too secure environment. Don't run the stairs, that wooden sword is too sharp, all those restrictions. Now it is time to go! | 3. You already have an adventure or two under your belt. Just enough that you opened your barbershop or some other business what you always dreamed of. But that is quite boring in the end and adventuring was more fun. | 4. Orcs, puddings, skeletons, dragons? I want to see all those creatures. | 5. With money I could do so much more - everything. Earning money is slow and hard work because I didn't born silver spoon in my mouth. A dungeon or two should earn me enough to have fun, and it can't be that bad, right? | 6. No one notices me, especially that guy. Maybe if I'd go for an adventure into a dangerous dungeon, he would finally notice me?
4. SOMETIMES REASON IS JUST RANDOM! Do you need a reason? NO! You say. But there is always a reason. Let's ask few adventurers, why they want to go into that smelly dark dungeon with old traps, weird monsters and loot (1d6):
- I am just curious what the dungeons are like and what's inside.
- Sun is too bright and I get sunburns easily. Dungeons, cool and dark, would be perfect for me.
- Being a guild apprentice is so boring. Real experience and education is out there.
- I want to kick ass! Monster ass! Because sheriff said, next time I kick ass in a town it'll be the last time I kicked ass for a while.
- There might be hope with monsters and maybe I could convert them to The Right Religion.
- I lost my special item, and I cannot find it anywhere. I am sure it is in that dungeon.
You can find better version in PDF from my Patreon page! Go download it and check out my other creations!