Have the PCs rping Orcs or Goblins or some other race that normally exists only as things to cut up with swords.
The PCs accidently start a fire and are caught by the local law enforcement. Since it was accidental, the punishment for the PCs is to fight the fire. Providing they can put it out before it burns down the town, they will not face any further punishment.
A ghost is haunting someone with a secret-it\'s not that he murdered the person that became a ghost, it\'s that he went into hiding with a new identity to avoid being murdered, whilst the ghost wants him to join her in the afterlife. The ghost is getting stronger and more dangerous each day. Enter the PCs.
A festival once a year where almost everybody gets drunk-indeed on that day it is a religious commandment to get as drunk as possible.
A lizard race that is basicly Good rather then Evil, is being attacked by evil humans that want control of their river.
A wizard has cast a slow action freezing spell upon a PC. The air gets colder around the PC by one degree a day. If the spell is not broken within a few weeks the PC will freeze and die.
Within a kingdom the prince or princess has died or been killed and the Queen has been driven half-insane with grief.What if one of the PC's was mistaken for the dead prince or princess and not allowed to leave? There would be advantages in accepting the role, but would it be worth it?
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".