The monarch used to have absolute powers until the disappearance of King Henry V. A "temporary" replacement was put on the throne to hold it until King Henry returned, and he would have only one vote on the governing council of nobles and no other powers except persuasion. More then 50 years have passed since then and everyone knows King Henry is almost certainly dead-but the nobles don't want to go back under the rule of an absolute monarch, so the kingship is only "temporary" until King Henry V returns to take back his throne.
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?
In some regions, various occupations might be exclusively staffed by members of a particular race or ethnic group. As examples, a city's butchers might tradtionally have orcish blood, or all the dwarves in an area could be expected to join the miners' guild (even if they personally have nothing to do with mining). Those who violate these stereotypes may find themselves in conflict with local customs or idiosyncratic laws.