A collection of 30 bardic tales you may hear sung in the local tavern or empresses' court, complete with bardic verse excerpts from all 30 tales themselves.
Many of these tales can also be used as quick plug in adventures for Gm's looking for a side quest. (And let the players exploits be turned into the song by a near by bard perhaps?)
Due to the nature of tabletop RPGs, a campaign will often start with a random group of strangers. Here are some ways to get them adventuring together, without resorting to the old Tavern trope.
A list of quick personalities for the many faceless NPCs.
With but a name, these places fill common folk with apprehension and dread
Thirty wenches to pour the beer and feed hungry customers. And do other things as well...
What is a forest’s firm support, yet walks ‘round on its own accord?
What’s possessed of a titan’s might, stands before you, yet out of sight?
What soundly spanks with gnarled root a behind that is not good?
I’m inviting anyone who has a short plot , set in some sort of wilderness, to post it here.
side-quest-ish and open-ended to be sure.
Books of all kinds and purposes, their short summaries as well as wide descriptions, come and enjoy.
A thin, dainty old woman with a love of both gardening and the physical suffering of others.
"And Lo; today Alea Waxes, and she shall blesses us. For soon a great change is upon us, for soon our beliefs shall be hallowed! We as a group, we as a people, we as a religion, shall be acknowledged. Our efforts shall no longer be in vain!"
--The Prophet John, Sermon to the Capitol
Undead are, simply put, among the most horrific things one can think of. Can you imagine anything more frightening than a being which is dead and yet still walks? Can you imagine the horror of being faced by the hollow shell of being, a hollow shell which must feed?
Shrinkstools are a powerfully enchanted toadstool, typically found in enchanted forests or other secluded magical locations. Watch your step.
The result of Vauraki's wrath directed by Axtrami's will. The Sila'Khrysath is the elemental embodiment of the fury of the desert. Woe to those who encounter the Great Sand Wyrm within the Karikun Desert!
So, Lord and Lady Brennan definitely must sit together, but not too close to either of the Fletchers. General Schneider will cause a scene if he gets stuck next to one of those "brownnosed royalists," but his wife will be upset if she isn't next to one of the king's confidantes. I think we'll have to do it this way....
Tauria is a republic, and has experimented with the ideas of democracy. That is, it used to be a republic. Now its a dictatorship, masquerading as a republic, with laws permitting the army to be thugs.
"A demonic plant? Don't be daft, go research something useful to society."
"But-but the p-plant! It's evil! It must be destroyed!"
"Now the flowers bloom all year round thanks to the most holy Spirit of Urban flora. It just takes a little blood."
Mages/ wizards and such use cards (playing cards or tarot cards) as training tools. The patterns created by certain layouts of cards are mnemonic devices to teach key elemental associations and paths. With such interesting names as the Tree of Life, Phoenix's tail, Rythm of Heart, and Balance of the sphere, there pattern represent the matrices used by magic users to focus and present power. Spell processes can be represented by a sequence of cards.
So mages will often be seen handing around hands of cards.
Wizards will have a deck of cards with them. Since cards were used to train wizards in legerdemain, Since they have cards with them, they frequently know how to use them. Guild magic users often have a knack for fancy shuffles, palming cards, and a variety of card tricks and games.