A spell for a penny
A new source of power and wealth - a new source of conflict and danger.
The beast within became the beast without; ferocity and might blossoming in corpore upon the flesh.
Whether in pencil-and-paper, or on the computer (Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale), we’ve been plagued by the gnome stereotype of foolish inventor and chaotic law-infringing businessman. I guess it’s time to change that. I’ve decided to throw a bone: help me make the gnomes a race worth featuring in an RPG.
The player characters, experienced and somewhat well known, hear rumors and travelers' tales about a distant area being overrun by dragons (or other terrifying monstrosities). The locals have sent them a message, begging for heroic aid.
When they investigate, they discover that nothing of the sort is going on. It turns out that a group of thieves wanted them out of the way so that they could rob them (or someone who would normally receive their protection).