Looking for a plot hook for a city in your fantasy game? Need inspiration for your entirely city-based campaign?
Cities in fantasy settings can actually hold entire campaigns. We tend to think of cities and towns as a resting point for the party. But actually, they can make great settings your game from start to finish.
Here’s a list of 25 plot hooks for fantasy cities. Use them either as a side quest for your game or as the basis for your campaign. If you use one, leave a comment below or tag me on Twitter @RolePlayRespite!
And, be sure to check out the rest of my D&D and TTRPG plot hooks for even more inspiration!
25 Fantasy City Plot Hooks
- People in a specific ward of the city start turning into stone. It happens seemingly at random and there doesn’t appear to be any pattern in who turns. As a response, city officials quarantine off the ward.
- An influential noble family’s estate disappears in the middle of the night with the family inside. Only the young heir escaped due to their sneaking out earlier in the night.
- A mysterious fog blankets the city each night. Anyone caught in it wakes the next morning with no memory of the night before, covering in scrapes, bruises, and cuts.
- A war between two thieves’ guilds wages within in the city. Clashes between the guilds and local authorities disrupts the city and chaos slowly becomes the norm.
- Statues around the city start disappearing and reappearing in unusual places; on top of homes, outside shops, in the middle of streets, etc. They seem harmless until one is found holding the mangled corpse of a prominent local figure.
- A hole opens in the town square. After several hundred feet, initial explorations discover the pit leads to a huge, ancient, decrepit, underground city. It seems uninhabited at first…until the horrors start appearing.
- Reports of mysterious, hooded figures start spreading throughout the city. Nothing has happened yet, but paranoia and fear starts gripping the people. Some to the point of lashing out in eradic outbursts.
- Strange lights appear over the city each night. Then, the disappearances start. One person claims they escaped the “people of the light.”
- Rumors spread of a horrible monster that roams the streets at night. They say whoever encounters the creature dies. The problem is, no unusual disappearances or deaths have been reported. There aren’t even any strange tracks or evidence of a monster. But, the people stay convinced of the monster’s existence.
- The annual fighting tournament is starting soon. Sponsors begin recruiting combatants and teams to represent their businesses and organizations.
- The city stands as one of the few sfe havens left standing. Outside of its walls, horrible monsters roam free. A rogue group threatens the city’s safety as they strive to bring the monster’s in.
- The city starts moving. Each day, the entire city shifts several feet away from its original location. No on knows how orwhy the city moves. Nor do they know where it’s heading.
- The local baron locks down the city for seemingly no reason. Guards are instructed to keep everyone within the city walls with no explanation.
- One day, no one is able to leave the city. Anyone who attempts to leave finds themselves entering from a different street. The streets don’t appear different when looking from within the city or from outside.
- The city exists atop a seemingly endless labyrinth that descends deep into the earth. All who’ve ventured into the maze have yet to return. But, rumors of a great treasure at the end of the structure lead countless adventurers into the labyrinth.
- An enormous tower ascends from the center of the city. A wizard ushers forth a challenge to any who conquers their tower a great reward.
- Tensions rise between the city and a group of druids in the nearby forest. The group starts pushing the forest closer and closer to the city and small skirmishes with the city guard start taking place throughout the city.
- A rebellion breaks out in the city. Small skirmishes and sabotage disrupt daily life.
- A powerful wizard encases the city in a magical barrier. They claim an ancient artifact lies somewhere within the city. But, no one knows what it is or where it lies.
- The city was constructed as a massive vehicle to wander the world. A malicious organization strives to claim control of the city to use as a weapon against the rest of the world.
- The beloved monarch disappears in the capital city. They leave a note stating they knew they would vanish and that the people should stay strong. But, their heirs and many of the noble families turn to subterfuge and betrayal to secure their spot as the new monarch, turning the city into the battleground of a silent war.
- The city gets pulled into an otherworldly realm by enigmatic beings, warping the city in unusual and frightening ways. They claim a specific individual dwells within the city whom they seek. But, no one knows who this person is.
- A mysterious, ghostly white figure wanders the city’s streets at night. They wail about the end of the city coming soon and anyone who approaches the figure become paralyzed with a look of sheer terror on their face.
- Reports of monsters start rolling in across the city. Many of these claims seem to be nothing more than hallucinations until reports of the same monsters start coming in more and more frequently.
- Each night, a massive monster brings destruction and havoc to the city. Then, the following morning, everything returns to normal; destroyed buildings miraculously repair themselves and those who perished return to life, emerging from their homes completely unscathed. But, each and every person remembers what happens and no one knows how to stop it.