For you to have a near-death experience, Death must have a near-YOU experience. Take care to treat him well, and you may be rewarded... eventually.
Telepathically linked twins that have the ability to switch places. Literally. They've learned to exploit this 'tag-team' throughly.
Somehow, someway, a band of gnomes learns how to be ninjas. In fine gnomish style, they open an academy to teach this art to other gnomes. Wacky Hijinks ensue. Or the gnomes become some of the finest assassins in the land. Or both.
What if the sources of precious metal in the realm all failed, so that the only sources for gold and other precious metal were hostile foreign lands? Gold coinage might become increasingly rare, resulting in hoarding. Player characters that appear with masses of treasure might be suspected of being in the pay of foreign powers.