Used this in a Forgotten Realms campaign, about 6 months ago. I really liked the whole "river of golden coins in the sky" image, and wanted to include it around Athkatla (the City of Coin) as a visible demonstration of its wealth and power. Unfortunately, one of my players (a big FR fan) rebelled, saying that it didn't fit the setting (why the hell not?). So the next session, the players were told that the coins were an illusion which materialized over the city once a year to commemorate the Festival of Our Lady (a celebration of Waukeen, the goddess of commerce and the city's patron deity). Gave me a good excuse to invent a celebration, and they *still* provided a cool visual effect.
Had intended to use this as just a little side encounter to chew through a few minutes while I was working something else out. I'd forgotten, however, that one of my characters was a druid. Once they tracked down the screaming bird, and I had described it as "something similar to a parrot", the druid decided to speak with it to find out why it was screaming.
Smelling an opportunity, I used the moment to seque into the plot for To Die For Love. Basically, the bird claimed that it was enchanted this way by a wizard who had tried to "help" him escape the bounty placed on his head by his deceased wife. The wizard was able to break the enchantment, and the party had a handy guide into the city as well as a new quest to pursue.
Also used this in my Forgotten Realms game. I'd intended on it being a nice side-quest in Athkatla to keep the party occupied for a session. Instead of trying to track down the killers, however, the party simply offered to take him along with them on their ship to Baldur's Gate. Him and his baby, and the baby's wet-nurse, in fact. Oh, and they made him pay for their passage as well, since they were acting as his "body guards" for the voyage. And so, once again, the party showed its determination to side-step any attempt I made at delaying them in Athkatla while figuring out what the hell I was going to do when they got to Baldur's Gate. *sigh*
The party had come into contact with a powerful merchant who did a lot of shady dealings on the side. They wanted to get some information out of her, so they tried to get her to "hire" them. To try them out, she decided to send them on a series of side jobs that got progressively harder and more dangerous. This list is exactly what I needed to keep the missions coming -- it's both comprehensive and easily adaptable to a GM's needs. Truly an excellent resource, Nobody!
Adapted this to a fantasy setting by making him a famous elven bard. The twist was that I made him the doppleganger of the party's wizard (resulting in a swarm of NPC fangirls once the party entered the city). Second, instead of taking a ride on a ship that belonged to the party, he was leaving on the same ocean liner that the party was trying to get out of the city on. This caused delays.
Of course, one of my PCs decided to sleep with him. Oh, and he had a pet cat named "Frodo" who he claimed could talk.
It's really all been said before. Truly excellent level of detail in this sub. It does make me wonder how my PCs are going to receive training in all of this, however. Perhaps the bard can help . . . or perhaps they will receive coaching from a merchant sponsor who wants them to succeed at court. Spinning lots of ideas, so thumbs up! 5/5