25 Dwarven City Adventure Seeds
Adventure seeds are great. They’re one or two sentence sources of inspiration for any DM to take and create something wonderful out of in their own campaign, and 5 DMs using the same seed will likely create 5 different scenarios with them. It’s also no secret that I love dwarves! So I decided to sit down and think up 25 adventure seeds for a dwarven city for you to enjoy!
As a note, when I was thinking of these my assumption is that the city is underground or in a mountain, but many may be applicable to cities outside of these areas as well! I also took some liberties in assuming the social/political structure in some, but it should be easy to translate to whatever government would be dealing with such a dilemma in your home game.
- The dwarves have found a new ore in their latest tunnel, and slowly the miners who have been exposed are entering into comas.
- The orcs who frequently try unsuccessfully to raid the city have stopped coming recently, but now goblins trying to make peace have taken their place.
- An elvish diplomat has earned the dwarf king’s ear. The nobles are happy, but the rest of the dwarves are frustrated with the changes being made.
- The Runeslab, an ancient magic-infused piece of earth that powers the dwarves’ magic, has gone inert causing all of their magic to fail.
- When called on by the council for guidance, the spirits of the ancestors have been quiet. Additionally, weird noises have been heard around the city’s burial grounds.
- A single dwarf from outside the city has apparently dug his way into the city, and now claims to be the queen’s estranged son.
- The guard captain can beat any dwarf in a feat of strength, and doesn’t look a day over 100. The weird thing is, digging into city records show she’s held her rank for longer than any living dwarf has been alive.
- One by one, dwarves wake up to see another house covered in giant fungi. The fungi only seem to spring up when the dwarves are sleeping.
- In an attempt to get more trade, the dwarves have rerouted a river through a tunnel into their city. Trade is now booming, but the people who lived downstream are struggling to survive without their source of water.
- At the end of a tunnel just dug by the dwarves they found a large chamber that is an exact replica of their city- except there’s not a soul to be found there. Construction as recent as last week in the real city is present in the replica.
- Large cracks have started to show in the statues of prominent ancestors of a certain era, and no one is sure why.
- Someone is painting large X’s on the doors of about 5 houses each day. At night, the inhabitants of one of the houses go missing and are replaced with piles of rocks, and the rest of the X’s vanish from the doors.
- The dwarves have been training hippogryphs to serve as mounts, but occasionally a hippogryph will return from its flight without its rider, with several gem-like growths protruding from it’s body.
- It’s a dwarven festival, but the ale appears to be missing! Weren’t the indigenous gnomes grumbling about a dumb, dwarf holiday?
- A dwarf wizard has come out of a long solitary study with an uncanny control over spiders of all sizes. Many are put off by the horse-sized spider he now rides as a mount.
- The daily, minute-long rumbling throughout the city would signal that it was halfway through the day consistently for the past 50 years, but last week it suddenly stopped completely.
- A young dwarf child kept warning people to stay out of the tunnels but she can’t explain why. The next day, the tunnel flooded with lava, and no one down there made it out alive.
- Earth elementals sprung up all over the city about a week ago. So far they’ve only stood in place where the rose, but today one started walking around aimlessly.
- A would-be bard wants to escape the life of mining decided for him by his parents, but has no way to get to the bardic college. Furthermore, if he just leaves he will be seen as a disgrace, and so wants to fake his own death.
- When the halflings lost their homes in the war, the dwarves happily took them in as refugees. Now, they can’t wait to get rid of the little nuisances.
- The dwarf high cleric has recently lost communication with their patron deity. Rather than admit something is wrong, they’ve started decreeing their own agenda, saying it comes from their god.
- A group of dwarf travelers have recently returned from a trip to a faraway land, bringing exotic fruit and wares with them. Everything seems fine, except the iris of their eyes are lime green and they can’t stop obsessing over the fruit they brought back.
- Having recently opened their doors to outsiders, dwarves are torn between sticking to their traditional values, or adopting some of the ways of others who have visited and challenged their way of life.
- Members of one of the noble dwarven houses have started to lose their ability to see in the dark, keeping lit torches and fires roaring at all times.
- It’s revealed the gargantuan stalactite that sits above the city is actually a dormant monster, finally stirring awake. No one knows its intent, if it speaks, or how it will act.