In six days I will again be behind the screen.
I have an adventure cooked up to throw at some players, two of which have never played D&D on the table-top before. The adventure is based on the general premise of an old Dungeon Magazine adventure involving an island, some ruins, some pirates, cultists of an evil entity or god, and of course the search for treasure.
Here is how it is being presented to the players:
You have been hired by the Mariner's Guild along with some ship captains and wealthy merchants to go to Gull Cliff Island. They plan to build a new lighthouse atop the highest point of the island, and hired you to clear the island of hazards and find out why the old abbey on the island caught fire three weeks ago. They also asked that you try to locate the first expedition that should have returned a week ago.
The religious figures among you were also asked by an elderly priest of Phaulkon (a lesser sea god) to recover from the abbey an ancient tome, a holy book titled 'Integumentary of Spirit'. You have been given a key with markings he indicates will help you locate the correct location of the text, though he warns it likely is guarded or trapped. He promises to reward you with what he can and that the church will also reward you for recovering this important tome.
Among your party is a sea captain with her own goal on the island. She possesses part of an old captains log with a partial map, and journal entry alluding to treasure and a scrimshaw whale tooth of above average size that is the means to find a greater treasure on another island.
- - - It is morning as you make landfall on the southern tip of the island, but you wouldn't know it due to the heavy storm clouds overhead, the driving rain, and the choppy sea. Two ships crewmen drag lines beyond the tall sand dunes to tie up the three dingies your party arrived in, while a third unloads your supplies at the shoreline. As you don your armor and weapons you hear screams from beyond the dunes . . .
. . . Roll For Initiative! - - -
Being most likely a one-shot or at best a mini-campaign, I want to throw them right into the action so that the newcomers get some immediate excitement and they all get a sense of danger and wonder about the island. The story will progress from there.