100 City Campaign Quest Hooks

One hundred non-combat encounters for your fantasy cities.

1The King commissions the party to clear his castle's large pond of the deadly eels within. His predecessor had them placed to feed traitor's, mutineers, and high-class criminals too. The new King thinks they're distasteful, but has no apparent way to safely remove them while keeping the pond [mostly] intact.
2Four brothers each have their own shop catty-corner to the others. They’re all competing with each other and offer gold to help hurt the sales of the other shops in any (non-violent) way possible.
3A woman begs for help on behalf of her husband, who she claims has been falsely imprisoned.
4A few town guards are harassing some of the smaller shops, the other guards just look the other way. Fighting them directly may provoke the others to come to their aid.
5Old people keep mysteriously disappearing.
6There's a brand-new tavern in town, and it's extremely busy selling a new kind of ale. The Barkeep works alone and no one has seen any shipments of ale get delivered. It also doesn't look like there is very much room for the Barkeep to brew this much ale all by himself.
7Three different churches worship the same god, but are arguing over who is right.
8A library refuses to provide pertinent information because they are too busy dealing with a rat infestation, as well as being abysmally under-staffed. They’ll agree to help if the players can convince the king to increase their income and their infestation is taken care of.
9There is an attempt on the party’s lives. They find a note on the assassins' body which indicates the hit placed, and an emblem which indicates a powerful house in the very same city.
10The head of a Bard's college is looking for something new to play at an upcoming royal event. They mention that one of the previous rulers of the city was buried with music written in his honor, but it's never been heard. He would pay a fair amount of gold, as retrieving something from inside a casket of the royal catacomb is highly illegal.
11A mysterious, and quite large, sphere of light is suddenly found hovering over a temple. Everyone has their own theories and thoughts as to where it's from, but some skilled investigating may reveal the truth.
12A disheveled and frantic man approaches the party; explains he was part of an archeologist group that found evidence the city's main cathedral was built on top of the ruins of an ancient temple that was dedicated to a demon, after reporting this to the bishop all his colleagues have disappeared.
13People from all around come to the city to see the “living statues” in the sculpture garden. Every morning when the gardens reopen all the statues are in a different pose.
14A doppelganger has infiltrated the city. It pretends to be children's parents and lures them away into the nearby forest. Unrest grows as the last thing a parent usually sees is their partner taking their child into the forest, but the partner has no recollection and resents the accusations.
15A local fisherman accidentally brought back a red slaad tadpole cluster in his catch destined for a royal feast. Players must race against the clock to find and cure the infected nobles before they're eaten from the inside and turned into slaad.
16Every month on the full moon the city sprouts mushrooms and plants across the ground and on buildings, and every month it gets worse. A druid circle has linked the city to the Feywild without considering the effects.
17The city gates slam shut around you as the town crier announces a house arrest to prevent the spread of a deadly magical plague caused by an angry hag.
18Local Thieves Guild requests help as several of their members have turned up dead.
19The King's only heir has died suddenly, and rumors are quickly spreading of an illegitimate son. Several factions are racing to hunt him down for their own purposes.
20The party returns to the inn they are staying at, only to find all of its prior occupants and staff missing. Only the people are gone, any items or personal affects remain untouched.
21Children are disappearing on their birthday, many think they're being kidnapped and taken into the sewers. One child miraculously returned, and they're ready to talk about what happened.
22A local wizard passed away over 20 years ago, leaving his tower locked and warded. The only one with any clue as to how to get in, his apprentice, isn't talking. When others are asked about what they know, they quickly divert the conversation. Those that slink in the shadows may whisper about it, and it sounds like the tower holds things much darker than just books and phials.
23Several awakened rats are impressed with the parties' accomplishments, and seek their assistance. They want help sneaking into a general goods store to steal food, and a few large cheese wheels that just got delivered earlier that day. They will reward the party with a few coins they found in the sewer, and owe the party a favor. After helping, they state they will come to the party's aid while in town, if they but leave some moldy cheese outside a sewer grate and wait for them to find it.
24Several townsfolk have gone missing, and in the city park is a pitch-black sinkhole that mysteriously appeared recently. No sound emits from the pit, even if something is dropped in.
25Counterfeit potions have begun to flood the market, the local mages guild wants to find out who's responsible.
26The priest of an obscure God offers to bless the party if they help gather a crowd for a sermon.
27The party is accused of several murders, by witnesses saying they saw them do it. The party has to be tactful in investigating the murders so they can find out what happened.
28The party returns to their room in the Inn they've been staying at for several days now, only to find the body of a nobleman.
29An annual festival might get canceled, because all the singers are mysteriously losing their voices.
30A new merchant traveling through town is selling bottled memories, among other items. One person, after drinking one, suddenly finds himself with a strange power.
31Sewers are backed up due to an unknown blockage, it hasn't been cleared in weeks because every person sent down never comes back.
32A city is under pressure from nearby wood elves to adopt more sustainable logging practices. While in the city, the party stumbles upon a dead courier, he was carrying a letter containing a hit on the leader of the wood elves.
33A society of intelligent creatures live in a vast cave system that connects with the city's sewers. One of their kind ventures into the party while collecting information on the surface. If pressed, he tells of an upcoming plan of rebellion, an uprising to 'level the playing field'.
34A gentle fog descends upon the city, becoming slightly thicker over time. When it lifts the next morning, most people have no memory of what happened, and every bank vault in the city has been looted clean.
35The city's black market has recently regressed, quite significantly. The King himself has tasked the party with restoring it.
36A city official has held a position of power for an unnaturally long time. They appear to just be a normal human, yet no one in the city finds this the least bit odd.
37A young man who was recently knighted, goes around town offering to take on any challenge to those in need. He is woefully under qualified and quickly starts getting in over his head.
38A local wizard unexpectedly died, leaving behind his tower where he lived and worked for years, if not decades. Strange sounds have been heard from inside, but no one has yet been brave enough to investigate.
39A group of half-orcs have started helping members of the tailors guild in all sorts of ways, for no apparent reason.
40A nearby colony of gnomes have been uprooted due to a flood. A little investigation reveals the city's dam has been recently modified, which diverted a large portion of the river right through their home.
41Grub Grub the orc has finally accrued enough capital to open his meal delivery service: Grib Gub Hub. However, he needs delivery people! If you deliver 3 meals across the city, he will reward you handsomely.
42The rats have all disappeared. Such a matter might have been seen as a mysterious blessing, but even the animal companions and familiars have vanished.
43The King is on his deathbed, and those next in the line of succession have been turning up dead, all with a dead songbird clutched in their hands. Is the King's younger brother responsible? His strange son? The leader of the temple? Or perhaps it's a curse?
44Some people awake with a symbol on their foreheads. Complaints are made, but as the marks are not found to give off any malignant magic, it's brushed off as a prank. But then the bodies appear in the city square, mangled and broken, the symbols now carved in.
45A young boy has lost his puppy. After a bit of legwork, you track it down and discover that Pickles, while adorable, is no ordinary creature.
46A nobleman's favorite bakery has shut down without warning. While weeping over a basket that once held cookies, he asks you to find the baker.
47The princess has run away. The tearful King and Queen beg for you to find her. When you do, you learn that she had an excellent reason to flee.
48The city has noticed a sharp increase in missing persons cases all centered around the local Park (or nearby forest). Upon investigation, the party discovers the plants are carnivores! What’s worse, an arch fey considers these plants his/her beloved pets. Will the party negotiate with words or steel?
49Someone is spreading Discord Bottles everywhere. A wedding broke out, and 3x as many people as normal died!
50The city museum is hosting a Para-natural History Exhibit of ancient monsters. A necromancer is on the loose.
51A new cult has emerged, claiming to cure terrible diseases, and people who join are disappearing.
52It's market day and all the pigs have become awakened. They've gathered weapons and have started a revolt.
53A large demon is asleep in the center of the market square. All the townsfolk are seemingly oblivious to its presence.
54The markethouse has become invisible and no one has been able to get inside to find out how and why.
55The city's university has offered a competition to it's students, last man standing in a Color Burst war wins priority registration. A rich student has hired the party to disguise themselves as students and help them win in exchange for teaching the party the Color Burst cantrip + gold reward.
56Someone broke into the local bards college building, but it seems nothing of value has been stolen. Days later, people start to hum and whistle a common tune.
57A merchant accuses a group of goblins that live in the sewers of stealing a family relic. Upon investigation, the heroes find the goblins. They excuse themselves that they only wanted to protect the city from what's to come.
58A building on the outskirts of the city collapses in a tunnel. People blame the nearby dwarven mines as more and more buildings collapse. While the local authority is happy to blame the dwarfs, someone approaches the heroes and asserts that these are certainly no mine caves.
59On a market day a dirty and confused man runs on the market place and claims to be the real king. He gets captured by the town's guard and it is ordered that he gets executed publicly the next market day. Despite that, an adviser and friend to the king hires the group to investigate.
60A mischievous group of fey have taken the town's favoured tavern as their personal clubhouse, they refuse to leave and use pranks and twisted tricks to turn back anybody that attempts to evict them.
61The city has been kidnapped! Some entity or force has plucked the city out of its landscape. It now floats in a desolate landscape. Can the party find out what happened? And can they return the city to its home? What will the people do in the meantime? Some will no doubt seek to take advantage of this new, strange circumstance....
62Multiple copies of a wanted poster sprout up over town. The bounty reward is a hefty sum. The wanted individual has an unrecognizable name, but the drawn portrait is the spitting image of a PC.
63A budding necromancer is practicing animate dead spells in the graveyard, and his subjects are wandering back home, going about their normal routines.
64Two shopkeepers are rivals, and belonged to opposing adventuring parties back in their glory days. A wants B out of business, but B wants A dead.
65A merchant that was procuring silvered daggers for a weapons dealer was found stabbed in an alleyway in a shady part of town, and the silvered daggers were stolen from his inventory. Clues lead to a gang of wererats hiding out in a squatters' den.
66A merchant's adult daughter was kidnapped from their home. He suspects foul play, but neighbors think there was no kidnapping.
67Someone is sabotaging wells throughout the city and dying the water red. But, one well seems to actually have blood in it. Misdirection to cover up a heinous act?
68The watchmen are planning a coup against the local lord, over a wage and working rights dispute. The lord is planning to raid the craftsman with his few knights, believing them to be stealing from the citizenry. The craftsmen plan to oust the watchmen, sick of them abusing their authority. Which side will the players take?
69Graves are being robbed of their contents, though strangely valuables are ignored. A local scholar is attempting to learn necromancy to bring back their SO. The mayor has desperately posted a large bounty, as his guards have proven incapable of finding the graverobber.
70The local lord hired a mercenary band to keep the peace after a recent war depleted his guards. The mercs have taken over the town and are keeping all taxes and still demanding payment from the lord. the lord requests subtle aid, wishing to avoid a battle in the streets.
71The lord's child has been kidnapped and the PI hired to investigate hasn't checked in. His secretary has posted a bounty looking for adventures to investigate his last known location, the chapel undercroft...
72Two shopkeepers are involved in a friendly prank rivalry. Unbeknownst to each other they both have approached the party to aid them in 'the most hilarious prank ever'.
73A butcher has noticed his meat is rotting days earlier than usual and he suspects a competitor is using sorcery to push him out of business.
74The party overhears a drunk halfling who says they heard from a friend of their uncle's that there's a revolution forming to oust the mayor and bring freedom back to the city.
75A local merchant wants you to intimidate their competition out of town.
76A prince wishes to see what the world is really like and using a disguise kit they aim to blend in. The party will serve as protection.
77A farmer is losing livestock to a menacing griffon who, when investigated, is feeding its young.
78A druid requests that the party save his only friend from being executed in the center of town. It turns out to be the last standing tree within the city.
79A beggar claims to be a lost heir and pleads with the party to help him prove his case.
80A group of hooded, shadowy figures takes the mayor's son at knifepoint and disappears into the sewers.
81A local firebrand calls for war against a neighboring nation, based on what the party knows to be lies. The public seems to be on board, but the firebrand is only trying to seize power for themselves.
82A goddess of dancing and love arrives in town and her followers clash with the town's existing orthodox religion. A group may be trying to incite violence on both sides for their own aims.
83A famed wizard lives in town, kind but absent-minded. The wizard makes an announced trip to the Elemental Planes, hoping to find gold or gems to help the town end poverty (or some other objectively good goal). While they are gone, the thieves' guild breaks into the wizard's town, activating triggering the wizard's golems who go berserk.
84In the capital of a kingdom, a similarly powerful kingdom has sent a diplomatic envoy to discuss an alliance. The king has left his heir behind, but brought his second son as a sign of trust. While the kings discuss, the party is assigned to protect and entertain the prince, who only wants to drink, gamble, and fight. The parts of town he wants to go to are very dangerous and the noble is an arrogant braggart, just skilled enough in a fight to get into trouble. The party has to ensure he's at the palace for the required balls and ceremonies, while also making sure he doesn't get himself killed.
85A scandal erupts when the largest potion-seller in town is discovered to have nothing but potions of poison stocked. Several adventurers have died on quests, but, even under a zone of truth, the potion maker says they have no knowledge of how this happened, claiming their stock must have been switched.
86A renowned circus has come to the city, known for their dazzling acrobatics and amazing pyrotechnics. They brag that no illusions are used, and onlookers are welcome to detect magic to verify that; evocations only! It turns out that the circus is a front for a cult to a demonic lord of the sun and fire worshipped in a far off desert, and by kidnapping and sacrificing victims, their wizards and acrobats gain their powers.
87A cult of a necromantic death god has existed in secrecy and no one found out! By the time the party learns of it, the dark ritual is already over and the dead begin rising from their graves. After the party fights off the corpses and defeats the cult, they are left with an important question... Why did over a dozen zombies rise up from the mayor's backyard?
88A fully grown false hydra lives under the town, which has caused all sorts of eerie situations. Abandoned shops and property. Portraits in the duke's house showing children he swears he never had - they must be orphans he has sponsored in the past, one supposes. Note - pulling off a false hydra with the full impact requires a good bit of planning. The suggestion is to Google false hydra ideas and then reroll, running the new result while introducing hints about the false hydra's nature during the first adventure.
89The party has been hired by a local merchant to investigate the local gambling hall. Lately, they've been pulling in lots more customers, and the luck of the patrons has been shockingly bad. Why can't the gamblers win? What has been drawing such large crowds? What or who would be in need of such a large amount of gold?
90The local clocktower has been acting up. It won't accurately keep track of time, sometimes moving very slowly, other times extremely fast.
91Mysteriously, townspeople's left socks and shoes have been disappearing. Stolen from the clothesline, from the cobbler, or from the front stoop, no sign of them have been found.
92A young warrior girl will pay, be paid, or compete to slay monsters and hauls away the large amounts of meat. If the players complete a task before she does, she’ll offer to buy the meat (kind of urgently.) What could she be doing with huge amounts of fresh meat, monster and otherwise?
93Ancient gold coins are being left on doorsteps at night. No one has seen anybody doing it. Many of the townsfolk are suspicious, especially those that have not been given a gift, and tales are spreading about the ill fortune that has befallen those that have taken gold left on someone else's doorstep.
94A traveler speaking in a strange, mysterious language pays a large sum of money for a tour guide to show them the city.
95There is a huge wedding in the city. The party is paid to stop all the ex partners from entering, and that includes a noble from a foreign land.
96The PCs are hired as a group of babysitters. However, just when they think it is an easy task, they realize these are no ordinary babies.
97The golden statue in the city square cracked open. Inside is a mummified body.
98A serial killer is lurking in the city. Each time when they kill, they leave a note with a riddle about who is their next target. The party is hired to capture the killer before they strike again.
99A fire breaks out in a part of town where it’s not too hard to put it out before it spreads too much. It’s no accident and while people were busy with the fire someone broke into and emptied the City Treasury, so the City Watch closed all the gates. It seems whoever did it had a person on the inside.
100Love is in the air. The PCs are tasked to resolve a love triangle.