Looking for something a little different? Here’s my newest idea for a new campaign. Feel free to steal it for your own use (but come on, no publishing it OK).
The party is related to each other in some way - probably cousins. They are all contacted by someone that their mutual grandperson has passed away and left them a piece of the family stable or perhaps inn. As they all return to the ancestral home, they begin to work to at the run down inn hoping to rebuild it to its former glory. Sounds dull? OK, here are some adventure ideas:
* A horse in the stable escaped and the party must go out into the wilderness in the dark of night to find it. While they likely will not encounter dangerous animals, walking around a forest in pitch black is a dangerous thing (traps, holes, branches, streams, etc). They need to get the horse back before dawn in order to avoid the bad publicity of having lost the thing in the first place.
* Rustlers stole the cattle the inn planned to butcher and serve. First the party needs to hunt some game to serve, then they need to hunt thee rustlers.
* A guest turns out to be a werewolf, but how do they determine which one and how do they stop him/her.
* An elderly guest dies at the inn and they bury him, only to learn later that they buried him with an important item that other people are now searching for.
* The barmaid has been kidnapped - was it the jealous boyfriend or the group of bandits nearby?
* Someone left a horse at the stable, promising them that if they could sell the horse, he’d let them keep X%. Of course, the horse was stolen shortly thereafter. Was it stolen? or was the “seller” the thief?
* An escaped slave has found his way to the inn, but the slave hunters are right on his trail. Hand him over or help him hide? If they help him hide, do they become part of an underground railroad that pits them against a major slavery group?
* The ghost of grandpa is now haunting the hotel - how to get rid of him without destroying his eternal soul?
There is a strong part of me that feels that this has a Scooby Doo feel to it. Adventure just keeps finding the poor owners of this hotel, but that is true of a lot of campaigns. No, there likely won’t be any major battles with dragons or flaming broad swords, though of course a dragon could decide to move in nearby and need to be killed or chased off. This could be a very fun campaign. If you need more adventure, have the inn become very close to the battle lines of a major war. Maybe it would become the field HQ for a large military unit, and then maybe a hospital for the enemy after they take the region. The players would likely be caught up in the fighting, but do they want to takes sides or simply try to preserve their livelihoods while the two distant governments fight all around them.
Need more? Know all those “The City Alchemist needs a special ingredient in order to make a special antidote” quests? Now they are “The cook needs a special spice or the special of the week will fail” quests. Quest givers, like the poor woman who lost her husband to the goblins while he was carrying a map of a gold mine, now stumble into the players’ public room instead of a miscellaneous bar somewhere. All sorts of interesting people will pass through, many of which will need help.
Off the wall can often be the best campaigns. Making the characters worry about their home also has a way of anchoring the players to their characters and making them incredibly memorable.
P.S. Sorry for the late post - tech glitch over the weekend. Last time I try an automated update.