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  • Writer's pictureZoe Franznick

Quest Posted: The Notice Board

Updated: May 8, 2022

Need an idea for your new campaign? Want to freshen up your current one? Why not be inspired by medieval literature? Here's a list of campaign ideas we've found throughout our episodes.

The Small-Town Tournament: (Ep. 1) A local Reeve has offered his daughter, Tyb, in marriage along with a sizable portion of his estate. The catch? The local lads must fight in a makeshift tournament for her hand in marriage.

This idea would make a perfect opening or low-level campaign hook. Not only can your players watch in the tournament, they can compete if they so wish! Be sure to include the boasts of each of local boys, including stealing others' horses, kidnapping Tyb, or fighting until being knocked down three times. Armaments can include flails, harrow shields, bowl helmets, and rat-hide banners. Tyb herself can be arrayed in a 'garland of bones,' just like in the tale. Possibilities of marriage, rivalries, and a sizeable reward abound!

Coppeld, the Emotional Support Chicken: (Ep. 1) Also featured in our Bestiary, Coppeld would be a great animal companion for a druid, ranger, or NPC. How this chicken behaves, or whether it has any special abilities is up to you.

She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named: (Ep. 2) Have a warlock in your party? Take a page from Sín's book and make their patron's name unmentionable. If your warlock does say their god's name, use the Wild Magic table to roll for consequences, or make up your own! Get creative; perhaps, like Sín, the patron god has multiple names your player must avoid.

Lost Fir Flatha: (Ep. 2) The king has lost the favor of the gods, and thereby has lost his king-wisdom. Now at the whim of two rival religious sects, the king must somehow regain control over his kingdom, and he's asked the party for help.

Perfect for a mid-level quest, your players can investigate the king's court, the politics within, and the rival religious groups to find out just who the king should trust - if anyone at all. Feel free to include the hallucinations if the players eat poisoned food, and the geasincurred on the king should the other side not get their way.

Curse of the Blood Sigil: (Ep 3) A high ranking NPC or Player has done something seriously wrong in the eyes of their patron god, and now hides a bloody sigil on their body. Can the party help them get rid of it? This hook is great if your paladin does something a little too evil, or if your warlock angers their patron.

Prophecy of the Talking Deer: (Ep 3) Your players come across a talking deer (or other, usually benign animal) who foretells of a terrible fate. Can they stop it from happening, or is this a self fulfilling prophecy?

Wanted for Patricide: (Ep 3) While your players walk into town, they spy a new posting on the notice board with the description of a man called Julian. He used to be a local hunter, but now is on the run for killing his parents after going mad (he did claim that a deer talked to him, after all).

Clerics Without Borders: (Ep 3) In a world filled with conflict, why not add some levity and charitable works? Pop some hospitals up like Julian and his wife did and start a Clerics Without Borders organization in your campaign. These infirmaries would be great outposts for supplies, or starts for side quests.

The Slippery Priest: (Ep 3) Every small-town parish has one, yours should too! Use this NPC to make your players wonder whether there might be something more going on in the local temples.

Sisters of the Sword and Shield: (Ep 4) For some additional quirky characters, include a troupe of traditionally dressed nuns who protect the less fortunate by serving others- and bashing the heads of those who would harm them.

Fight Club Moms: (Ep 4) For a different sort of travel encounter, have your players run into two women fighting over custody of a child. Or, better yet, let them encounter some serious PTA mom fights at the local magic school's bake sale. How will your players deal with two fist-fighting moms?

Delivery! (Stork Not Included): (Ep 4) If you're looking for another travel encounter, consider plopping an infant in your party's path. What will they do with a child, particularly if the child starts developing demonic qualities? Will their decisions come back to bite them? That's up to you!

The Flying Priest Gag: (Ep 4) You can only pull this once, but if one of your players does something incredibly holy, perhaps a person falls from the sky, released from their torment in the Nine Hells. What consequences will that action have?

Lions, Tigers, and Were-bears? Oh my!: (Ep 5) Why not use the story of Bisclavert or Tiodel in your campaign? Consider having your players encounter a cursed bear or wolf in the court of the king. Will they free him? Can they find the hidden clothes so he can become human again?

Stingy Jack: (Ep 5) Adapt the tale of Stingy Jack into your campaign as a high-level rogue NPC. Maybe he's the head of a thieves' guild, a renowned thief, a codename or even just a legend. Small glowing Jack O' Lanterns in windows signify safe places for friends of "Jack" to spend the night.

The Marriage Scam: (Ep 6-7) When a visiting prophetess foretells the two marriages of a local woman, one short but profitable and the other long and happy, the family keeps the prophecy a secret. When they agree to a marriage, does the secret out? What if the fiancé hires the party to kill the woman before the prophecy comes to pass?

The Zombie Plague: (Ep 6-7) When the party takes on a protection contract for a group of settlers to a new land, they didn't expect a plague, and they really didn't expect the dead to come back with a vengeance. How to they combat this problem, especially when they start hallucinating their comrades dead around them? The ships are being eaten by worms and the monopods on land are just as unfriendly. Good luck.

You Meet in a Wheat Field: (Ep 9) The party begins as actual peasants, in a low-level setting, trying to gain some sort of justice against their no-good lord. Feel free to incorporate purveyance, tossing-in-canvas, and sheep theft to fill out those level one sessions.

The Mystery Play: (Ep 9) Looking for a way to spice up Harvest Tide festivals? Add a mystery play, or do one better- add the background. Let the players interact with the actors. Who's really into cross-dressing, and who's sick of being typecast as the idiot? What sort of drama might the theatre guild have that could lead to a quest? Add some real mystery to your mystery play.

Shrine Slime Guy: (Ep 10) Maybe your players need to find an ancient relic, but when they get there, the spirit of the man who got caught inside keeps them from an easy fetch-quest.

Don't Wear Red: (Ep 10) Want to see if your players are paying attention? Why not drop an important travel detail in a casual conversation with an NPC, such as not wearing red in the mountain pass, or else you'll wake the dragons? This detail can seem outrageous, arbitrary, idiotic, or serious. Let your players deal with the consequences of following these directions- or not!

The Hero's Portion: (Ep 11) The Hero's Portion of the feast awaits, if fate favors your players. This magic cauldron dispenses portions to those who stick a fork in it, giving them only what is 'deserved.' Make this a narrative point or leave it to chance with a roll of the dice. Take this Irish ritual and make it your own in a particular guild featured in your world!

Feathery Indigestion: (Ep 12) A peasant's wife has come to the party, begging for aid. Her husband is shitting live birds, and they desperately need a cure, but she must keep her husband's condition a secret. Does the party take her seriously? (Alternatively, you can curse a member of the party with this affliction. Why? That's their job to figure out.)

The Threshold Guardian: (Ep 12) Break the fourth wall a little and make the Hero's Journey really come to life with a threshold guardian! This can be a chance encounter, or a big moment for a player or the party as a whole. Don't forget, there should be a chance at negotiation and soul searching before battle ensues, if it does at all.

The Pickpocketing Priest: (Ep 12) You can have a lot of fun with this one. Have a local priest go through the party's things after they found shelter at a local church. The priest should take inconsequential things, or simply be nosy and not take anything at all. (Alternatively, the priest may deliver a letter to the party, saying he stole it from a bad man who seeks to kill an innocent boy. He cannot possibly leave the church, but would the party stop the murder for him?)

The Cattle Raid: (Ep 13) Why not use Medb and Ailil's pillow-talk as the premise for a quest for your players. Let them go up against the "Distorted One" Cu Chulainn, or have them lead a defense against a power hungry queen who doesn't know the first thing about de-escalation.

Bug-Eyed Prohetess: (Ep 13) Let Fedelm be an inspiration to your religions and cults! Perhaps after their induction, certain prophets and prophetesses develop three pupils in each eye as a consequence of their training or the magic performed upon them. How does your party react? What are the consequences to their perception, if one of these individuals is in your party?

Pepper Snakes: (Ep 14-16) The pepper-guarding corsias are a perfect addition to any game. Perhaps your players roll into a gold-rush style town on the outskirts of a desert, desperate for a bit of coin. A local chef might contract them for a pepper-harvest heist - whether or not they know about the snakes is up to you.

Whispers in the Dark: (Ep 14-16) The Donestre are great for any travel encounter, night watch, or any time you split the party. Soothsaying monsters who can speak every language, the Donestre can lure party members into a trap or combat, since they can mimic the voices of friends. Can your players pass the Wisdom check to recognize the voice?

Flaming Chickens: (Ep 14-16) The red hens of Lentibelsinea make an interesting set dressing. Use these combustable chickens as a quirk of a certain town, complete with "Do Not Pet" signs. Allow players to harvest wings, glands, or other parts for their weapons, or perhaps the town sells unusual fire-related items found nowhere else.

The Dragon King: (Ep 14-16) As an alternative to Tiamat, consider utilizing a dragon rat-king as a high-level enemy! How did the dragons become entangled, and for how long? How deep is their collective madness? Best used when your players are less familiar with the concept of a "rat-king."

Sweating Blood: (Ep 14-16) Why not make this strange quirk playable? If a character gets particularly nervous for frightened, have them roll a save. If they fail, their racial ability kicks in and they start sweating blood. Bonus points if it's a curse or pertains to backstory!

The Snake Guy: (Ep 14-16) He's not selling snake-oil, he just really likes snakes. Like, really likes them. Maybe he needs an escort to a location known for its snakes, or perhaps he's researching antidotes to snake venom (or something more sinister). Either way, here's an NPC who just really, really likes snakes.

Kalendars Galore: (Ep 17) If you're looking for a good puzzle or ways to increase your inter-cultural worldbuidling in-world? Look no further! Use the Julian kalens, nones, and ides system to create a calendar system that is familiar enough to please and foreign enough to feel fantastic!

Dark Holidays: (Ep 17) Take a page out of the computer's book and create apocalyptic holidays! Perhaps a local village was tricked by a necromantic cleric and celebrated the holiday feast on the wrong day - now their god is angry with them, and your players are the only ones who can put a stop to there trouble.

Golden Days: (Ep 17) Though we no longer calculate "golden days," your players sure can! Designate major holidays as golden days, or perhaps less fortunate anniversaries as other, lesser desired metals, such as "Tin Days."

The Cursed Child: (Ep 18) Rather than let Cu Chulainn be a hero, make him a problem for your players! Have the party run into a fearsome child, unstoppable and killing folk, and let them decide how he must be stopped or cured from his curse.

Talking Heads: (Ep 18) There's nothing spookier than the walking dead... except the talking dead. Use Irish lore to your advantage and have a decapitated individual (enemy, ally, creepy priest on a pedestal) give a quest or warning to your players.

Heroic Place Names: (Ep 18) As your players become heroic and higher level, why not allow the NPCs to name places after them? This helps your world feel lived in and your players feel like they've had a real effect on the world.

Hey, You, You're Finally Awake: (Ep 19 & 20) Skip the tavern meeting, have the players wake up 300 years in the future like the Seven Sleepers did! This time jumps could happen at any stage of the campaign, leaving your players foundering over what to do. Alternatively, use this twist as a single PC backstory.

Fire and Brimstone: (Ep 21) Looking to spice up your game's religious culture? Use Aelfric as an example and include a street preacher or other religious fanatic who delivers lengthy sermons with gusto. Is he an annoyance to your players or an asset, if only someone would take the time to listen? You decide.

Currency Conundrums: (Ep 21) All players love loot, but why not develop that bag of coins from 300 years ago into another quest? How does currency change over time in your world, and how does carrying around out-of-use currency affect your players? Are folks suspicious, or amazed?

Seat of Judgement: (Ep 21) Why not just pull the skin-chairs right from the Gesta Romanorum? How the leather hides of corrupt judges are portrayed is up to you - are the folk here barbaric for their justice system, or all the better for making an example of their highest officials?

A Weeping Familiar: (Ep 21) When the players notice an old woman with a weeping dog, they might get suspicious. Use the Gesta's explanation of a magic curse, or bad mustard bread, and let your players determine what the truth is.

Howling Helmet: (Ep 22) Pull this helm straight from Cu Chulainn's head and into your game! This helmet was said to echo with the screams of sprites, goblins, and other monsters. Just make sure you maintain a disadvantage on stealth checks.

Murder or Murdrum: (Ep 22) When your players wake up from a hue and cry to find a stranger dead in the tavern, what do they do? Have them solve the case themselves by finding the murderer and avoiding the murmdrum fine.

Round Two: Warp-spasm: (Ep 22) Use Cu Chulainn as the BBEG in your campaign. Just when your players think they've defeated this teenage hero, have him "hulk" out into a second round final battle.

Leech-Class: (Ep 24) Why not create your very own leech class, or adapt a cleric to become a leech? Every party needs a healer, and while magic works, a good old fashioned herbal remedy and invocation can also do the trick! Be sure to track your components!

Hippocratic No: (Ep 24) Take one from the Leechbook and confront your players with a priest, healer, or witch who won't help them. Instead, they give the players a cure, but it's convoluted and up to them to figure it out. Good luck!

Monthly Magic: (Ep 25 & 26) Why not use monthly troubles to your advantage? Create a blood witch character whose powers magnify each month while they menstruate! While not suited to all tables, this class option can provide a bit of mystery and humor to any party!

Stingray Spears: (Ep 25 & 26) Bring the gae bolga to life in your campaign with a barbed spear made from the dart of a stingray! Whether your players choose to create this item or you give it to them, you can reference Cu Chulainn in its legendary history.

Bodiless Babble: (Ep 25 & 26) Are your players just not listening to the warnings they've been given? Bring it up a notch by having a messenger or other NPC decapitate themselves on their shield, then continue to repeat their message, just as Sualtam did.

Trial by Ordeal: (Ep 27) Have your players screwed up? Let them go through trial by ordeal! Except that all the trials are swung to favor the accused or the injured party. Can your players convince the judge to give them the best trial for their case?

The Green Knight: (Ep 28) Just take the entire story. That's it. It's the perfect tabletop adventure! If your players are too familiar with the tale already, decontextualize it in your setting and play with the elements to surprise them.

No-Good Michael: (Ep 29 & 30) Have an NPC with a slight against anyone named Michael. Is it deserved? That's up to you.

An Unfortunate Embassy: (Ep 29 & 30) Perhaps your party is sent to protect an ambassador to a neighboring nation, and the ambassador just won't stop complaining. What will your party do? Who will they side with? Can they keep the ambassador out of trouble?

Riddles in the Dark: (Ep 32) Need some extra prep time in the middle of your session? Throw one of the Exeter Book Old English riddles at your players, be it an encounter or a challenge, and they'll be sure to stop in their tracks.

Bloody Hell: (Ep 38) Incorporate the sword that killed John the Baptist into your campaign! This blade bleeds every day at noon, and becomes a greatsword once pulled from its sheath.

The Party Edgelord: (Ep 38) Use Clamadoz, Lord of Shadows in your next campaign as an NPC. Perhaps his parents were killed by the party murderhobo, and now he's back for revenge.

You Meet in a Hermitage: (Ep 38) While taverns are the usual in D&D campaigns, Arthurian tales tend to use hermitages in place of inns on knightly travels.

Rowing About: Consider giving your players their own puzzle-quest type imramm! Send them sailing around the same islands, each with a unique puzzle. Only if they can connect the dots do they get to the promised land. (Ep 40)

Mimicking Tools: Looking for an unusual NPC or even a BBEG? Consider using the carpenter and his talking tools from the Middle English debate poem. Perhaps the carpenter or BBEG guts his power from his tools... which all happen to be alive and talking. (Ep 44)

Rite of Humiliation: Spice up a cleric's abilities by including the medieval rite of humiliation. Once a day, the player can re-roll a check by shaming their god into being more helpful. (Ep 45)

Lands Uncharted: Don't want to worry about complicated maps? Use Perlesvauss' technique of the Forest of Narrative! The landscape changes based on what your DM decides. (Ep 50)

We do our best to accurately research, source, and cite the works we use, and make them available to you, too! Each episode has a corresponding blog post which includes further breakdowns of the big ideas in each text as well as cites our sources and references. We also have the Maniculum Library, which actively collects resources and recommendations for writers, scholars, and geeks alike! We update our collection of Master Lists after each new episode, so be sure subscribe and stay updated!

Are we missing something? Let us know! We'd love to add more knowledge to our ever-growing compendium. Chat with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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