1001 ideas for fixers/quest-givers

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1. The spymaster.

"You will operate independently with no communication between us until your mission is complete. Should you be captured or otherwise compromised on your mission, I shall deny any knowledge of your actions, or even your existence."

She works for someone as a covert operative. Whom? Well, she won't say -- and she doesn't want you to say that you work for her either. She has missions which she contracts out to adventurers. When she talks about matters other than her missions, she can carry on a breezy, jovial conversation filled with falsified "facts" attributable to her pseudonymous identity. She makes sure that any actions adventurers carry out on her behest are plausibly deniable. She blocks any divinations which might acquire more information about her. As a front story, she works as, perhaps, a barrister, a diplomat (perhaps in some unassuming third-tier position in some embassy), merchant, or perhaps simply an itinerant noble.

2. The merchant.

"What would a bunch of gnolls do with three-hundred pounds of saffron anyway? Is it an ingredient of fine gnollish cuisine, or do they hope that they can walk into some human town and hawk a bunch of stolen goods? Well, anyway, good job fighting them off -- you can have whatever is on the bodies of the dead ones in addition to your normal pay, as per the contract."

The merchant most likely hires adventurers to escort a caravan or ship, fighting off bandits and pirates. His work takes him to distant locales in pursuit of gold. A mechant interested in hiring adventurers is unlikely to be a conservative, safety-oriented businessman -- risky, reckless, and enormously lucrative ventures through savage lands are more his style, or he most likely wouldn't waste his money on hiring a powerful security force. Some merchants might want their hired adventurers to go beyond fighting off bandits and pirates and help them break through blockades or even illegally smuggle goods, although others might be more rigidly scrupulous in their dealings.

3. The lorekeeper

"Based on the archives, I am confident that the treasure hoard of the Exiled Sultan is in the Valley of Plandir. While I believe that its size has been exaggerated to some degree by a millenium of stories, I have no doubt that it was considerable. Now, if I had some more experienced treasure-delvers to accompany me on the mission..."

The lorekeeper knows things that adventurers would like to know: the secret locations of treasures, information about powerful magic sources, etc. He isn't much a dungeoneer or mage in his own right, and he's not much good in a fight, so he works with adventurers -- he supplies the information, they supply the muscle, know-how, and arcane power.
4. The lazy commoner.
"I'll...um...give you xp to do my chores I don't want to do."
5. Genocidal maniac.
"Kill X creatures Y times and bring me Z body part from V boss."
Resident Piggles Zombie piggy is eatin' your sigs om nom nom (>*o*)>
MTG Card
Front: PigKnight, One Line Poster (3W) Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Vigilance When this creature dies, return him to play and transform him. (2/3) >(5/3)< Back: (Black)ZombiePiggles, Eater of Tomato Sauce Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Zombie Trample, Intimidate B: Regenerate this creature. When this creature is the target of a white spell, transform this creature. (5/3)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/15.jpg)

5. Genocidal maniac.
"Kill X creatures Y times and bring me Z body part from V boss."

Man, we sould totally make a game out of this! wait...


6. The stranger
A mysterious patron, sitting in the darkest corner of a damp tavern. He approches the party with promises of tresure.

7. The high priest
The one who sends the party on quests so he will agree to raise a temmenber from the dead. Usually found in bad campains.
8. The Grand Master
"The god have called us to war! Evil must *not* prevail!"

perhaps it is a crusade. Perhaps it's a secret mission. Perhaps it's another knightly errand, But duty and honor (and faith) call you, and you must go. Your blade and your brothers are all that is with you, be strong.
9. The Railroad Instructor
"Do what I say or die...now can you deliver X to Y or kill Z for me?"
Resident Piggles Zombie piggy is eatin' your sigs om nom nom (>*o*)>
MTG Card
Front: PigKnight, One Line Poster (3W) Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Vigilance When this creature dies, return him to play and transform him. (2/3) >(5/3)< Back: (Black)ZombiePiggles, Eater of Tomato Sauce Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Zombie Trample, Intimidate B: Regenerate this creature. When this creature is the target of a white spell, transform this creature. (5/3)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/15.jpg)

10. The grizzled veteran

You see this scar? Yeah, take a good, long look. That's what lives out west...
11. The Prison Gaurd
Help X has just escaped and is headed for Y, please capture him.
12 The lesser of two evils

Yeah, so you hate working with assassins, we've established that. However, I can guarantee you, you'll hate what the Cult of Orcus is up to a lot more

The lesser of two evils is someone the PCs would normally consider an enemy. He might be a corrupt noble, a mad spellcaster of the leader of a local theive's guild. However, this person has managed to uncover something far worse and has contacted the PCs for assistance in dealing with the threat. Can the PCs trust him, however?
13. The Crazy Prophet.
You four are the chosen ones, you must destroy the (insert evil quest item thingie) or the realm will perish.

I will be impressed if we get to 1001 ideas without repeating ourselves.
14. Your Pact Lord

The Fey are strange and unpredictable by mortal standards. Knowing this, you are hardly surprised when you you pact lord demands that you retrieve a certain flower from a certain grove. Of course, he failed to mention that this grove is sacred to a fierce tribe of Shifters who would regard your intrusion upon this place as an act of blashpemy. What he did mention was that if your refuse this quest that he will not only punish you but your companions as well. Better get packing!
15. A Sign
"Lookingeth fore three-eth warriorse ofe lighte."
Resident Piggles Zombie piggy is eatin' your sigs om nom nom (>*o*)>
MTG Card
Front: PigKnight, One Line Poster (3W) Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Vigilance When this creature dies, return him to play and transform him. (2/3) >(5/3)< Back: (Black)ZombiePiggles, Eater of Tomato Sauce Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Zombie Trample, Intimidate B: Regenerate this creature. When this creature is the target of a white spell, transform this creature. (5/3)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/15.jpg)

16. Desperate Refugees
Our homes have been ravaged by the orcs! All we have with us is a few valuables we took with us when we fled - but if you can help us, we can give more!
(With a little twist, you have the villagers from Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai!)

17. The Colonist
You want some land? A safe haven for you wild adventuring and arcane research? I can arrange some help for you. You see, we've been hoping to build a keep and town at this place called Illithid Pass. Clear the place of whatever lurks there, and I can make you barons.
The Father

"My son, when I was your age I dreamed of doing fantastic things! The stories I heard of long-lost hordes, of incomprehensible treasures, of mountains of gold... And the women... Oh, son, the women! But, those days are lost to me now. Let's go bring in the harvest, since with a mere sword and a suit of leather you've got nothing better to do..."

A PC's father (or uncle, grandfather, or even a female relative as we're not sexist here) retells tales of his youth or of legendary tales to hook your adventurers. Obviously, the humble farmer will not join the group on adventures and his information is sketchy, but it does lend itself to an awesome moment when the PCs are in trouble, cornered by a dragon or some-such, and dear old dad appears, a huge axe in hand and gives a "Hey, ugly. Get the #*<& away from my kid!"


The Professor

"Well, well. Another A+ for young Dorn. That's very good, but the books will only take you so far. Your next assignment is something of a field-trip. It is a strict pass/fail assignment. If you live you pass. A failure... Well."

A professor is one who teaches, and in the ever-dangerous life of an adventurer a teacher can only teach so much in a classroom. Sending students out to study the natural habitats of the Wyvern, to retrieve spell components off the back of a shambling mound, or to clear out a new training facility currently occupied by a colony of Drow. The professor himself could be of any discipline: Wizard, Soldier, Priest, whathaveyou. The point is that they are specifically training and teaching the youthful PC.
20) The master manipulator.

The master manipulator is playing a delicate game of spiderweb politics. His master plan is always 3 levels above what the PCs can see. He uses the PCs as but one strand among many. Being a master manipulator he seems to the PCs to be the perfect employer. His goals seem to corrispond to the PCs, his personality amiable. The truth in the end . . .

21) the mysterios package

"Package for (insert PC), just sign here sir." The PCs occasionally receive mysterios packages from an anonymous source. The contents are too compelling just to ignore despite the dubious origins. Only after many quests to the PCs start to see a great design flowing out from the consequences of their missions.
22) Head of Secret Society of (insert whatever)

" . . . yes, when I said circumstances beyond your conrtol, I meant beyond your control. I can deal with these things quite easily . . . for a price. I need . . ."

Pressed into service to escape a terrible situation by a man that might well have arranged the situation in the first place.
23. Treasure Map

who dosent like treasure

24. The Princess/Prince

Please help me i was kidnapped by an evil dragon/wizard/[whatever you want as a DM]
25. The Dragon

"Poachers stole my egg. Now, we have a choice... I can flame-broil the entire kingdom and pick my egg from the ashes, or you can track it down, bring it back, and tell me where you found it, and I'll just char-grill that area. Your call."
26. The Guy that can Beat the Hell Outa You
"Do X or I'm gonna shove my +Y Z weapon into you."
Resident Piggles Zombie piggy is eatin' your sigs om nom nom (>*o*)>
MTG Card
Front: PigKnight, One Line Poster (3W) Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Vigilance When this creature dies, return him to play and transform him. (2/3) >(5/3)< Back: (Black)ZombiePiggles, Eater of Tomato Sauce Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Zombie Trample, Intimidate B: Regenerate this creature. When this creature is the target of a white spell, transform this creature. (5/3)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/15.jpg)

27. the Commanding Magic Item -

"I am (Weapon X), the Instrument of fate! Travel with me and glory will be yours!

They even have their own section in the DMG...
28. A debt to society.

A local lord has tried you for crimes that you have committed against the local populace. The charges may be true, or they may be completely trumped up. Either way, you're guilty. His/her lordship offers you a simple choice: either go to work for him/her as indentured servants for [x] number of [weeks/months/years?] or lose your heads in the public square.

29. Land of the Lost

One wrong turn down a river and pow!, you're in an uncharted valley. It's kind of hard to focus on finding a way back out when you're being chased by giant lizards. Just be grateful the lizardfolk around here seem to be kinda slow - except for that really, really erudite one. But he seems to like you, so it's o.k. Maybe that little hairy fellah ("Is he a shifter?", "It would really be better if he wore pants; a loincloth, at least.") can help you out, too.
Oooh, really like 28.
30. A Bounty
Go kill X for money
Oooh, really like 28.

Thanks. I kinda stole it from "The A-Team" when it jumped the shark and brought in Robert Vaughn as their government "boss."
31. The Emperor's Education

A great leader wants to find out more about the outside world and, to that end, is hiring anyone willing to sign up to take a big boat out into the world and then report back with what they find. If you agree, you work on a ship (probably as protection) for some of the Emperor's scholars and soldiers. Of course... what you find might be pretty unpleasant...

32. The Demon

A powerful Fiend hires you (indirectly, so you don't notice) to complete some task. Why you? So as to not arouse suspicion. But, what happens when you find out more than you were supposed to about the mission and your (ultimate) boss? Good for parties who are already infamous.

33. The Dupe

One of your old enemies (maybe one you don't even realize you have, or one that you thought was dead) really holds grudges (well, you might too if you were dead/almost dead at your hands...) and thus decides to hire you through a third party you trust for a suicide mission. It sounds reasonable enough at the outset--kill some X, collect some Y--but as you get nearer to the ultimate goal there are some clues that things aren't going to end well. Are you smart enough to put the clues together before you fall into a very large hole? Is the dupe really a dupe? Is it mind control, a doppleganger, or just confusion? Can you figure out what's really going on?
34) Internal affairs

While in some wilderness, the PCs are approached by a grizzled, old, illiterate Druid (named Adams)...

Ah, my fellow travellers of the land. As I'm sure you've also felt, there is a disturbance in Nature. Griefly enough a man (Croo Magnoo) of our order (The Order of the Hairy Paw) previously a grandly esteemed druid, has gone gold... greedy and selfish and corrupt. Alas, he has sunk so deep that he has become a gardener in the rose gardens belonging to our local Duke (Duke Ellington). Doing Natures work conditionally, say only if you get paid or get laid, is Naturally unacceptable. Combined with such an obvious practice of mono-culture (imagine only wanting roses around!) is nothing less than blasphemy towards the diversity which Nature is. Bring me Croo dead or alive, and you shall have Nature's plentiful gratitude.

Now, during the last couple of years, the local economy has been booming because of the rosebud extract that has been produced with the aid of our "runaway" druid. This means that the number of annoyed parties includes, but is not limited to, the duke, the local workforce, local rosebud wholesalers and even perfume merchants in the capitol.
Thanks. I kinda stole it from "The A-Team" when it jumped the shark and brought in Robert Vaughn as their government "boss."

Also reminds me of "The Dirty Dozen."
Also reminds me of "The Dirty Dozen."

The first thing that sprung to mind when I read it (you know, aside from "damn you for posting the idea I was going to post,") was Lord Vetinari of Ankh-Morpork.

35) Noble on a lark

"Father has always lorded his little foray into the lost temple of Schlubwubbler over me as if it was some sort of rite of passage. I think it's time I showed him I'm a chip off the old blob, don't you? I'm sure we can agree on a sum and a share of the spoils that is appropriate for men of your considerable. . . reputation."

Whether it's to gain the respect of his elders, capture the heart of some other high born brat or to alleviate the boredom that accompanies fabulous, idle wealth, the scion of the richest noble house in the city wishes to employ your party in a capacity that is part tour guide, part bodyguard, and part babysitter. Your task, while not easy, is simple: bear the intolerable little ponce to the bottom of some dangerous, unplumbed dungeon, and return him in one reasonably undamaged piece with a bit of treasure to prove he was there.

For a twist (or if the noble's presence becomes too interruptive to the flow of gameplay,) some unassuming third tier functionary interested in enough ransom money to become the city's second wealthiest noble put the idea in the poor fop's head, and has alerted the dungeon's denizens to your approach. Suddenly the chaperone job has become a high stakes rescue mission, because Daddy knows you to be the last people to be seen in the company of his son, and he's got a long memory, a short temper and a very, very long reach.
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
36. A Note Under the Door

You still don't quite know why you decided to follow the directions on the note that you found just inside your door that one morning. All you know is that you set out from the inn that morning, proceeded to the fountain in the merchants' quarter, found the loose stone, and the instructions hidden behind it. It was a simple task, and you finished it before nightfall. The next morning you found a small pouch with some silver in it and a note that simplyl read "Well done. Be in touch again soon."

From that point on you've gotten instructions in this manner from time to time. No matter how far you've travelled - a note has always found its way to you when whoever - whatever - wrote them wanted you to run a little 'errand' for he/she/it/them again. There were even two that warned you that you were in danger and pointed you to your best way out of it. As time has passed, you've found each task to be increasingly difficult but never overwhelming. The rewards have grown correspondingly as well. Still, you've had a burning desire to find out who or what is sending these things to you. So, one day, you wrote back. The note simply said "When do my companions and I get to meet you." The only word written on the reply was "soon." Is someone just being coy, or has the time for answers finally come?
37. The Sin Eaters

Once every decade, the town of Umbra/DM's name for a village engages in a macabre ritual. An innocent - most often, but not always, a child of about 10 - is presented to the village in their central square. He or she is bathed, cleaned, and prepared. After that, a local cleric and his acolyte proceed to tattoo a list of the sins of the entire village onto the skin of the innocent. The process usally takes the better part of three days and excrutiatingly painful. Once completed, the innocent is then sent of to provincial capital where he/she meets with a Tiefling Wizard/Alchemist. By means unknown, the tattoo is then removed and congealed into a thick black sludge that is essentially pure evil. Why this fellow wants is none of the villagers' concern.
All that they know is that this act brings them 10 years of good weather, good harvests, and general good fortune. The only problem is that the capital is a week's journey and the roads can be dangerous. Time is also a factor as even the purest of souls can become tainted by the evils written on his or her skin if they aren't removed quickly enough. Can you escort the innocent to the capital on time? It won't be easy, but the villagers will be eternally grateful and you'll always have a safe haven in this dangerous part of the world.
38. A Town Called Malice

Once you've escorted the innocent to the capital you find that you've landed yourselves into a small city whose decadence rivals that of Mos Eisley. Still, to the matter at hand. Once you've gotten the innocent to the Tiefling, you find him to be a very unusual and subtly disturbing character. He's quite solicitous but never smarmy. When it comes to the procedure itself, he is deadly serious and utterly professional. Although that actual ritual of reversal (call it what you like, DMs) is closed to you, you are pleased to see the innocent recovering. What's striking, however, is how quickly the tattoos begin to vanish and drain through the catheter in his/her arm into the jar set aside for collecting the sins.

Over time, the Tiefling wizard can make an effective patron/conctact/foe. The idea is to have an npc who is knowledgeable and well-connected enough to provide the party with plenty of options. Do they wish to become his right-hand, an occasional information broker or contractor, or do they find what he does to be detestable? If the latter, they should take care, for you see, the wizard is not only an aracanist par excellance but also quite a merchant. The concentrated evil that he collects is almost unbelievably valuable. It is often used as a key component into the performance of profane rituals or the creation of cursed or fell magic items. Angels claiming to serve the cause of the light are drawn to the foul stuff procure the stuff from time to time as part of what they claim to be 'research' into the nature of evil. Devils covet it and often use it in their foul rituals. Many frequently use as a sort of infernal currency, and more than a few savor it for its own sake, finding concentrated evil to be as delightfully intoxcicating to them as wine is to humans and fey. In short, this wizard has managed to corner the market on what is arguably this plane's most valuable commodity. As time has gone by, this has secured the Tierfling's place in the order of things. He has what everyone seems to want, and to move against him is to invite the wraith of many beings fair, foul, or otherwise who wish to see these perverse trade continue uninterrupted.
39. There's No Place Like Home

You've been approached by a noble. Embark on a quest for him and he'll reward you with a cottage and few acres of land. Swear fealty to him and there may be more where that came from.
40. The Compulsive Gambler

"Uh, see, I got this hot tip on the centaur races and, well, gosh, who'd have thought my guy would break all four'a his legs in a freak starter gate accident?"

The Compulsive Gambler is a mostly benevolent authority figure or similar ally, such as a merchant middle management type, friendly spell caster, mayor of a small town or otherwise someone who makes life in the hard world of Dungeons and Dragons a little easier for the people around him(Or her, naturally.). If only he didn't have his little problem...addicted to the thrill of the chance, the Gambler stumbles into worse and worse situations, betting his wealth, happiness, the land he's in charge of, or even his immortal soul for a taste of Lady Luck. It might be for a good reason, like to secure money needed for the town to eat this winter or to convince a dragon to take up other hunting grounds, but the Compulsive Gambler almost always loses when he really, really needs to win. And that's where the PCs come in, big damn heroes that they are...
41. Something Fell

A shooting star was spotted a week ago. It landed near the hamlet of [nowheresville]. Since then, no one has had any contact with the villagers. It could have been that they were overrun by a horde of Orcs spotted in the area except for the fact that they haven't been spotted since that object fell, either. What happened?
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