25 Urban City Adventure Seeds

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Artist: lingxiang1982

Here we are with yet another Adventure Seeds, likely the last of the year! We head back to the city, but this time rather than focus on a city specific to a race or location, I picked events that could happen in a large, sprawling city, filled with people of different races, backgrounds, and walks of life.

The challenge for me here was not having a crutch such as “pick something that dwarves would do”, as well as trying to figure out more civil type adventures and conflicts. It was a fun challenge and a good stretch of my muscles as I plan to resume my campaign at the start of the new year. As usual, there are some assumptions I made about the city that you should be able to easily change as you wish:

  • There is a royal family, that acts more as a figure head than a ruling body,
  • The city is run by a council in conjunction with the royal family,
  • The city is divided into different districts based on function, or in the case of domestic districts, lifestyle, and
  • People of all walks of life, race, background, and creed are allowed in. The city doesn’t do much discriminating as all coin is welcome.

And now here are the adventure seeds:

  1. People have started reporting sightings of large rats near the sewers, and some claim that someone lurking in the shadows commands them! The guards have no interest in delving down into the muck to investigate.
  2. An apparently once beautiful manor within the city has been deemed as haunted by citizens now that it is old and decrepit. Some who claim to have been inside say that each time you go in the layout of the house is different.
  3. After announcing some political changes for the city, a poisoned arrow narrowly misses a member of the council speaking to the public. All that was seen of the assassin was the blur of their movement and that their bow was silver.
  4. Fires have been becoming more common in the city, and new reports make it seem as if they are connected. A few fires in, citizens have noticed foreign letters burned into the site of each fire, but no meaning has been ascertained as of yet.
  5. A smuggler of illegal goods was caught and thrown in jail to await trial. He tells anyone who will listen that he was framed and that the real criminal is an invisible goblin who made him do it.
  6. A powerful wizard recently moved into the city and erected a tower for him to practice spells. That was all good, until about a quarter of a mile radius from his tower disappeared in an arcane explosion overnight.
  7. About a dozen goblins halfheartedly run at the town gate, weapons lazily drawn and some dragging. When they approach the guards, they beg to be let in or their orc masters will kill them for their insolence.
  8. Dueling merchants keep lowering their prices in attempt to steal business from the other. Unfortunately, the low prices caused a brawl to break out in the marketplace and now some rare magic items have gone missing from a nearby stall.
  9. A new noble has requested court with the royal family to pay respects, but people are suspicious of his servants- golems made of various materials, including flesh.
  10. A merchant has moved into a run down shop to start selling miscellaneous goods. People are amazed at his low prices and high quality items, until someone realizes that his wares match those that were supposed to arrive on a caravan that got raided coming to the city.
  11. An outbreak of odd rashes on children in a certain part of the city causes a quarantine, and even their parents aren’t allowed to see them. Clerics are baffled as some of their strongest spells are proving ineffective, though anyone who has reached maturity doesn’t seem affected.
  12. A entrepreneurial outsider has come to the city to setup a casino, promising profits that would benefit all. People are split on whether or not this is a good thing, but the council is resistant to turn down the money despite rumors of a shady past.
  13. An actor is murdered during a performance at the theater; it took everyone a while to realize this as they were stabbed in the heart when they was supposed to be killed in the play, allowing the masked killer to escape. All of the other actors, including the one who was supposed to kill them in the play, are accounted for and have alibis.
  14. A new mercenary group fronting as a guild has set up headquarters within the city and are offering their services to those with enough coin. They claim they will take any job, and few who have dealt with them in the past accuse them of extortion.
  15. During the night, a traveling circus that was in the city was vandalized, including a cage holding a magical beast; a doppelganger to be exact. The guards urge everyone to be on high alert as the search for the proverbial needle in the haystack commences.
  16. From out of nowhere the army of a rival kingdom surrounds the city and demands them to surrender. Rather than being led by the old king who signed the peace treaty between the cities years ago, his arrogant son serves as general of the forces.
  17. A retired necromancer has turned to running a farm outside of the city, raising the dead to be his tireless farmhands. While the animals don’t seem to mind the undead handling them, other farmers question the ethics of this and want the farm closed down.
  18. One of the largest banks in the city has put out another search to find and sponsor a group of dungeon delvers. In exchange for funding the gear and supplies of a group, the bank wants to stake a claim of any valuables found on their journeys. Seeing as how their last few groups failed to return, some wonder why they keep trying to entice new business.
  19. After finally being approved by the leaders in the religious district, a priest of an evil god has finally been given the okay to build a temple to their deity. This has started an internal debate of whether the priest’s right to worship should be able to infringe on the civilians’ right to feel safe, and the priest has begun ironically receiving death threats.
  20. A infamous criminal escaped the city prison last week and the manhunt for them has ramped up. A special inquisition team was put together to find them, but as the inquisition becomes more forceful civilians are beginning to complain about their tactics
  21. A wizard has gotten approval from the council to open a zoo, featuring a wide array of magic creatures and plant life. He has been met by protesters led by a druid who claim that keeping the animals in a zoo is inhumane.
  22. Guards can be seen chasing an increasing number of young children around the city after the child steals something of value. In each case, when the child is caught a wisp-like entity exhales from the child’s mouth and the child claims to have no memory of the theft.
  23. A coliseum has opened, allowing anyone brave enough to enter for glory and gold or meet their end. They claim that they only feature willing combatants, but one man who was to take on a lion screamed that he was a slave before being crossbowed by the guards employed by the owner.
  24. Recent bandit activity around the city has the guards at the gates on high alert, causing them the screen everyone who enters. This causes a tough time for a few specific races, sometimes denying them altogether for no apparent reason other than suspicion.
  25. After a particularly rainy week, a grey sludge has risen through the ground and dry, effectively cementing anything within 2 inches of the ground. This includes people, animals, carts, and other fixtures, and understandable people are upset and confused.

As always, please let us know what type of adventure seeds you’d like to see next!


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