I follow Johnn's gaming eZine and most of the time it's no big deal since I rarely if ever have time/group to game with anymore. There are quite a few things that have tickled my muse and made me want to write something for it, even if it never panned out.
Challenge 1: The Genial Monster
Write an NPC from a traditional monster race, and that NPC is a non-combatant. Johnn's example is a group of murder-hobos who befriended a gelatinous cube. The monster needs to be a monster, and not a friendly humanoid or demi-human, so orcs, ogres, trolls, etc, are right out. Crack open the Monstrous Manual and actually find something weird or ridiculous, like a grick, grell, mimic, cloaker, etc.
Challenge 2: Skill Items
The item adds to a specific skill, such as boots for stealth or tracking, a hat for spot checks, and a saddle for riding skill. The obvious stuff is too easy, and things that add to murder power or armor class should be avoided. For more interesting items, the item in question is known, so no one is surprised when the guy with the hat embroidered with the third eye finds things. Why you wearing a thief hat? I like it man, suits my face. Yeah, a thief face
Challenge 3: New Location template
A. Method of Defense
B. Style of Governance
C. Local Economy (what does the location do)
D. Local Legend/Interesting Hook
D2 - add name of nearby point of interest related to hook, rumor, or gossip
E. Resident (who lives there)
E2 - sample resident