A known immortal traveling with the PCs kills an attacker, and is arrested and charged with murder, since immortals cannot kill in self defense, being immortal.
A large bamboo like plant grow on a shoreline. Rather than growing round like conventional bamboo, this type of grass is shaped more like celery, and mature stalks just need the ends trimmed for ready made canoes.
The players see a small shrine to the local nature deity just of the trail. Before they even approach it, they can smell the foul stench of rotting meat. If they inspect the shrine, they can see it has been desecrated by rotting organs in the last few days. There is no mistaking it for an obscure ritual, the organs are thrown everywhere, not left in specific places as in sacrifice.
If the players try to clean the shrine, they will soon find it has been boobytrapped to fling sharp splinters covered in the rotting gore in every direction. While only doing a few points of damage, they injured players will likely take sick soon unless they get medical attention.
As the players travel along the trail, they notice a bear in the woods, following thier moves. It does not make any agressive moves, but neither does it leave. As daylight fades, the players need to decide what to do. Is it a spirit guide, or gaurdian to the forest; is it a lycanthrope, or being controlled by evil spirits; or is it just a curious bear?
For those familiar with cantrips, you know they are minor acts of magic that have hardly any noticable effect on the world. For example a cantrip to make your food taste better won't heal you any more, or be any more nourishing, just won't make it so hard to get it down. A light cantrip certainly won't be able to blind or even distract anybody, but you might be able flash it to signal someone looking at the right spot.
What if children's nusery ryhmes were a form of cantrip? Like the "Rain, Rain, go away, come again another day." One child singing it wouldn't do more than spare her house a couple raindrops, but what if the whole village got together and was chanting in unison? Each one doing just a bit might actually be able to divert a whole storm...
A race of beings actually IS invunerable while in adolecence. They age, but cannot be killed. A miniority of the race (1 in 20) does not become invunerable, but rather becomes immortal at some point in thier adolecence, and ceases aging while being vunerable to death in all the normal ways. Another minority (also 1 in 20) Permanatly becomes invunerable after adolecence, but ages twice as fast as the race normally does. There is no known way to test for which of the three traits an individual manifests and the three traits cannot mix, as they are tied to the same gene, as it were.
A culture has a tradition of wearing animal pelts as a sign of status or job. Carpenters might wear beaver skins, Masons have a moleskin hood to their cloak, Gaurdsmen might have badger pelts. Done to show the culture's respect for nature and how much of nature is equal to each other.
A possible answer to what happens to spells when a mage dies. If the spell is strong enough, say and enchantment or other permenant effect, part of the mages spirit may become lodged in the magic. It may be a way for items to gain some kind of intelligence, but a mage who has knowledge of this fact would be very hesitant about enchanting anyone or thing. He might have other plans for his afterlife than counting the change in your bag of holding.
Preists, I think, would have this sort of thing covered.
A magician develops a new way to make scrolls and can sell more powerful spells for cheap. Problem is, whether the magician is aware of it or not, the spell's power comes from spirits trapped by the magic that makes the scroll. Once used to power the scroll, the spirit is driven mad by the forces that have ripped through it's being, and often develops a homicidal thirst to destroy the one who tormented it. The spell the spirit was used for may have left some residual power in the spirit to give it more abilities than it ever used to have.
A certain type of demon cannot not be hit by ranged weapons or attacks. Attacks have to be made up close and personal for the damage to mean something. Ranged attacks are to impersonal.
Possibally a way to make the ranged attacks more meaningful would be to coat the arrow head or what not with the shooters blood. Of course, they'd better be a good shot, otherwise they're wasting arrows and already bleeding to boot.
Spells: wizards might have half or no effect, preist might work due to divine intention.
Weapons or equipment that is heavily relied on can be "named". Then the equipment begins to gain abilities beyond those of normal equipment. They might siphon off some of the experiances of their owners (1 to 5%) and level up on thier own. Could be an unintenitional way of creating artifacts. Ships could become sturdier or seem to just barely outrun the worse of a storm that would have surely sunk another vessle, swords could fumble less or resist dulling more, a farmers plow could turn stones aside easier. Anything that is depended on as much as an inividual can depend on as much as another individual could be "named".
Bag on a Stick
Very simple gag but a great one, since it can be used multiple times over, even in the same adventure. Great for tribal natives gone restless and humanoids, but anyone can have set this up. Just what the header says, a simple bag over a stick stuck in the ground or floor.
As GM you can place the bag on a stick anywhere, in a floor crack the heroes have passed before, outdoors in a clearing or path, or at the edge of the PCs' encampment the following morning, what have you. Place anything on the stick - a coiled yellow viper angered by the bag removal, mini crossbow w/poison, transdermal hallucinatory drug dusted on the bag, yellow mold colony, an NPC ally's head, a weapon, scroll tube or satchel, what have you.
The idea is to build tension and/or stall for time/distract the party. Provided it's used properly, you'll be amazed at how paranoid players will get from this simple gag.