When looking into a mystery sometimes the best place to start is in the past. In most games the past is kept safe in either a library or a town hall. Within those buildings one can find sometimes hundreds of books and scrolls that may help shed light on the subject. Research can be boring and most times it can take on just one roll with maybe a bonus based on how extensive the collection of books is, but here are a couple of things that could happen when someone in the party looks through those musty old tomes.
2-While perusing through the tomes you hear a crash of glass. When you go to investigate you see that someone has thrown through a window a lighted torch. The tomes start to light up fast and your most obvious means of escape is cut off.
3-While you are looking through the tomes, you look up and find yourself surrounded by minions of your nemesis. How did they track you here?
4-You found the tome you were looking for, but why is it sprouting teeth? Oh gods, there is a hive of mimics living in here!
5-The knowledge you seek is protected by some serious magic wards. Trying to break them will either harm you, harm what you seek, or both!
6-The library you are searching through is haunted by the ghost of the first librarian who took care of the place. She will not tolerate any loud noises and has no problem with silencing you permanently.
7-You find the information you seek, but someone has put a curse on it. You can no longer speak until you solve this mystery.
8-You find the information you seek, but you also find a terrible secret about the town you’re in. The GM will tell you what.
9-You find the information you seek, but it turns out the librarian/clerk is working for your nemesis and lets them know that you have found what you seek.
10-Just as you find the book you needed a folded piece of parchment falls from the book. It is a map that points to a long lost dragon’s hoard. The dragon is probably dead. Most likely. At the very least, it has to be super old and probably isn’t as fast as it use to be.
11-Within the book you sought was a bookmark placed exactly where you needed to look. This bookmark is enchanted to find what you seek. Whenever you set it down within a library it will disappear and reappear sticking out of the book you need, in the page you need.
12-The clerk/librarian helping you turns out to be a minor god of knowledge. It blesses your search by providing you the exact knowledge you need to see your quest through to the end. The player can declare one fact about what they were looking for. It is now true.
I hope this can make they next library run more interesting for your group. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them. Thanks for reading.