25 Campaign Starting Adventure Seeds

Picture Credit: Dungeons & Dragons cartoon

New Year, New You… New Campaign? Whether you’re rolling up a fresh character or reviving an old favorite, the start of a campaign has a certain magic to it! And with this month’s Adventure Seeds I aim to give DMs a jump start on how to start off that sometimes awkward first session.

I thoroughly enjoyed coming up with these Adventure Seeds- my only problem now is I want to run them all! Some of them focus on a story element that could translate into a larger story arc, while others provide easy ways to suddenly make the group work together!

Only assumptions this time around is that it’s Session 1 (or 0!) at your table and you want to kick things off with a bang! Also, in some of the seeds it may refer to people in general, such as survivors of a shipwreck. It’s up to you if that is just the players or if any NPCs are along for the ride as well. And as an added tip, I found it sometimes helps to tell players while they’re creating their characters what the initial hook is. Saying that they already agreed to help the merchant may be a little railroad-y, but it gives them time and agency to decide why they would help. It’s worked well for me in my recent campaigns!

And lastly, if you enjoy our Adventure Seeds, why not upgrade from 25 to 30? Starting this month and every month going forward, when we post our monthly Adventure Seeds article we’ll post an additional 5 seeds over at our Patreon as a small way of saying thanks to those who support us!

And now here are the adventure seeds:

  1. All the silver in city is going missing and just last night a guard saw some rats skittering around with silver coins in their mouths and heading for the sewer. When they sent someone down to investigate they claimed a large, bipedal rat was commanding and controlling all the rats.
  2. A roadside temple has been vandalized with the bodies of the clergy strewn about and graffiti in some eldritch script marking the outside. One of the bodies uses their dying breath to warn of a dead god’s resurrection inside.
  3. Dangerous booby traps are being set up at night around town, springing on the unsuspecting citizens in the morning. After a near casualty, tracks looking like kobold feet were found near the site of the trap leading out of town.
  4. Shortly after arriving in town it becomes known that people are randomly disappearing in the night, seemingly kidnapped right out of their own homes. The victims are seemingly random and clues are scarce, but the mayor desperately needs people to look into it and find the missing people.
  5. After uncovering plans to take the king’s life, the palace is in a state of distrust. Only a small group of people are free from suspicion based, and it falls to them to uncover who is behind this dastardly plot.
  6. Chained in groups of 2 or 3 and sold to the gladiator pits, death seemed certain until an enraged ogre smashed through the walls of the arena, freeing caged beasts and opening a path out. The time to escape is now or never it seems!
  7. A merchant caravan has offered a decent sum of gold to those who would stand guard and come along with them on a relatively safe route. On the road they hear rumors of animals growing gigantic, and just now some very loud buzzing seems to be getting closer.
  8. A young acolyte was banished from his temple and town after it was discovered he was conducting unsavory experiments on the recently deceased. He swore vengeance, and now sounds of bones rattling in the catacombs means that adventurers may be needed to stop him.
  9. A loud flash and bang occured at the Wizard’s tower in the dead of night, waking up most of the town. Knocking on the door yields no response, but growling and sounds of agony can be heard within.
  10. A noble lord is on trial for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. As most of the town have allegiances to either the lord or the rival noble house those passing through the town have been asked to render judgement.
  11. An attack on the capital city by an unknown army causes chaos on what was going to be an ordinary day. As the siege commences, an old woman opens a hidden doorway so that people can find safe passage out of the city through the catacombs.
  12. The peace treaty signed with the lizardfolk has proven to be beneficial to both sides as there is less bloodshed and more trade. People who have been dealing with the lizardfolk now are coming down with a deadly disease and the subject of asking the lizardfolk to stay away is one that could destroy the treaty.
  13. Mysterious invitations have been sent out inviting the recipients to be guests at the manor of someone who claims to be a relative of theirs. Once they get there all seems normal enough until dinner is served and the smell of rotting flesh takes over the room.
  14. Animals that are normally docile or stay away from town have become more aggressive with some even coming into town to attack. After the last attack a tall humanoid shape was seen on the outskirts of town, running toward the forest.
  15. A famous archaeologist known for uncovering some of the biggest lost treasures is looking for adventurers to go ahead of her excavation team in an old tomb. They are promised a cut of the profit in exchange for the safety of her crew.
  16. A treasure map fell out of an old book while the librarian was reorganizing the shelves. The scribbles are mostly unintelligible, but the countess is looking for those who wish to take the map and see what they can make out of it.
  17. The courier for a wealthy lord is trying to round up would-be heroes to help take down the lord’s insidious rival. What the courier doesn’t tell these heroes is that the rival is a young boy who has had power for less than a year since his parents passed away.
  18. After it became known that the blacksmith in town has been holding onto an ring that improves strength, a group of bandits were seen on their way to the town presumably to take it. The blacksmith doesn’t want to see his family hurt and pleads with anyone to help protect them when the bandits come.
  19. After perusing a traveling art exhibit, some of the nearby patrons were sucked into a painting, finding themselves in a colorful world. With no clear exit in sight, the painting turns dark and sinister and creatures made of ink begin stalking those within.
  20. A fortune teller is stumped as she tries to see the future of certain customers; she says that she cannot see anything clearly and can only make out a dim light in a sea of darkness. Immediately afterwards a loud, monstrous screech could be heard off in the distance.
  21. A warrior of legendary renown has returned to town victorious but infected with a magical disease and neither the clerics or the mages have the spells or ingredients to cure his ailment. The only shot at saving him is to get feathers from a rare and dangerous bird that lives in the mountains and he offers a handsome reward for anyone who does so.
  22. Discord suddenly erupts in the crowded marketplace as a friend is suddenly killed and the assassin starts running away. They are seen scaling buildings and trying to misdirect any who follow and the guards are no match to keep up.
  23. After pleading their innocence after being falsely accused of a crime, the accused have two days to prove their innocence as is custom. They cannot leave the city and must be escorted by guards at all times, including one who seems to be hindering them purposefully.
  24. A giant portal opened up in the sky, swallowing and entire city. When the survivors come to, they are small in number and find themselves amidst the ruins of the city strewn across some strange world.
  25. A group known as the Thrillslayers has been placing ads for new members. They explain that they’re a group of monster hunters for hire, and that the first job they have for new recruits is to recover troll blood.

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

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