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120 Urban Hooks
I see this post so often, and I'm amazed that people have trouble of thinking of things to do in an urban environment, so I thought I'd lend a hand. Thanks as always to The Gollicking members, Mimir-ion, Zweefer, RexiconJesse, u/arc_onyx, InfinityCircuit and DeathMcGunz. I've built a lot of cities. I find that its best to categorize.
Arts (Theater, dance, art, music)
Nightlife (Drinking, dancing, sex)
Shopping (Basics and Luxury)
Entertainment (Museum, Library, Zoo, Circus, Auction, Sage)
Sports (Team and Solo, and includes Gambling)
Nautical (Fishing, diving, sailing, yachting)
Here's my personal city encounters lists, slightly altered with worldbuilding details to be more generic and useful. They are yours to take, amend, and discard, with my thanks. There are 6 categories, with 20 entries for each category, giving us 120 encounters. (160 with the comment, below) A d6 and a d20 can dice up a full roster of stuff to do quite quickly. Enjoy!
Free outdoor art gallery with paintings, sculpture, food vendors and musicians. A note is passed to the party from a stranger.
A new play from a famous playwright is debuting at the local theater. The party receives an invitation from an anonymous source via a messenger.
A street band is playing raucous tunes outside the party's lodgings and a crowd prevents them from entering. If they persist, they accidentally start a brawl.
A festival is being held in the city and all citizens and visitors are required to attend and pay fealty to the city's ruler. During the parade an explosion destroys some buildings and kills nearly 100 people. The party is very close to the blast and sees a hooded figure fleeing via rooftop.
A local busker who always recites bad elven poetry is found one morning turned to stone.
A band of mimes have come to the city to perform a series of comedy shows. One of the mimes is a Doppleganger and is here to assassinate one of the party's allies.
A dance troupe, known for their public and surprise appearances (a "flashmob"), starts a performance in and around the party in the street. During the performance one of the dancers lunges at one of the party members and whispers, "Help me" in their ear, before carrying on with the spectacle.
A mysterious sculpture garden has "sprouted" in a main city street, seemingly grown from the very ground itself. All of the figures are depictions of body horror and some spectators have been driven mad or died after looking at them for too long.
Artist paints caricature portraits of passers-by which come to life at night to cause havoc.
There is a sand castle contest at the local beach. While digging a pit one contestant finds a wooden chest. It is sealed with arcane sigils and very dangerous. Inside is a lifeform.
The party is asked to investigate a local art gallery as the last known location of a model that has disappeared. The party finds extremely life like statues of various people, missing model included, and discovers the sculptor is a Maedar, with a pet Basilisk, trying to replicate his dead mate (a Medusa).
The party is invited to a studio for free painting lessons. The paint fumes trigger a spell that sends the party into a collective Dream. They must find their way out and defeat the Artist-Wizard and his pet Nothic before they are bled dry (to fuel a hideous ritual).
An audience-participation theater-event is occurring in one of the parks, and the party is encouraged to join, and are asked to put on some simple costumes. Upon doing so, they are swapped with hidden Clones, who continue the performance, while the party is teleported to an underground prison full of holding cells. There are dozens of other trapped citizens there.
A new popular song is all the rage and being sung by drunken bravos and university students alike. The song has a 10% to transfer an audio-parasite, that will drive the singer mad and ultimately into a catatonic state over the course of 7 days. During this time they will be compelled to sing the “hook” over and over, in the hopes of infecting any nearby listeners.
A master tattooist has set up a temporary shop on the fringes of the city. For a hefty fee, the customer will receive an exquisite piece of personal art, and on full moons, the tattoo will be able to sense the presence of magic, poisons, disease, or creature types (DMs choice). The master will leave after 24 hours, never to be seen again and the tattoo will fade completely after 30 days.
An artist is painting landscapes on the street. She says she’ll paint any place the customer desires. For a fee, she can make the painting a one-time portal to that place. The portals always go to the wrong location (this is discovered after travel has occurred).
A local homeless man, who mimes for money along the Promenade and in the Park, suddenly finds his invisible walls and pretend ropes are real. Passersby run into invisible walls of force left behind by him, people are dragged to him by his invisible rope, and he now hides in a corner of the park, afraid he will hurt others with this newfound power. The local Telekinesis Guild (bunch of filthy impostors and con artists, mostly) are furious that he has what they secretly do not, and has put a bounty on him, paid upon live delivery to their guild house.
A local street band is performing the show of their life and the music has become magical. Any Bards present will be able to “draw” 1-3 new spells from the performance. All others will be Blessed for the next 48 hours.
An artist has set up a crude telescope, pointing at the ground. For a small fee, you can look through the telescope and see a miniature world, full of tiny blue humanoids in a stone-age environment. The telescope is enchanted with a very detailed Major Illusion spell that allows the humanoids to be seen, and is also Cursed to drive the viewer mad by causing them to see the tiny blue humanoids everywhere they go. The curse will begin 24 hours after using the telescope and will persist for 30 days or until the victim goes mad, or dies. The Curse will manifest the humanoids as watching, then menacing, then threatening, then murderous.
Some Elven sculptors have set up a “Century Garden” - plinths of stone overhung by apparatus with funnels in different angles and locations that drip acids onto the stone - slowly forming the final form of the artists vision. The artist is selling tickets (valid in 100 years) to attend the ceremony.
A local tavern is showcasing a new lager and a spruiker is on the streets handing out "1/2 off" coupons to passersby. The party is given "2 free drinks" coupons on purpose by the NPC. A stranger is waiting inside that wants to talk to the party.
A dance club, on a typical night, has been infiltrated by an Avatar of Bacchus and has caused the party to spill into the streets where it has been pulling in passersby. The party is caught up in the crowd.
An exclusive nightclub has opened, membership only. One of the party’s allies goes missing and was last seen there. The club is a coven of Sorcerers and every night they sacrifice a kidnapped customer to try to summon an Eldritch Horror.
A hot club in town is secretly run by vampires. Cover charge is 1 pint of blood. Thralls being thralls, one of them talks, and a Hunter has gotten wind of the nest. The party will see him interrogating a thrall and escalating to torture.
A drunken brawl spills out of a tavern near the party. The fight is brutal, involving makeshift weapons and ends up overtaking the party. If they do not flee, during the fracas the party notices that one of the brawlers is biting his opponents and swallowing the flesh. If they do flee, they hear the next day that a pile of half-eaten bodies was discovered in the aftermath. A new zombie-master has come to town.
While out drinking, the party sees a Silver Elf enter the tavern, and time slows to 50% of its current speed for all but the party and Elf, who remain at 100%. The Elf asks the party if they would like to play a game of chess. If they say no, the Elf vanishes, and time returns to normal. If they agree they must wager a precious/strong/important memory against the answer to any question. The Elf has an INT modifier of +4 and a +4 proficiency in gaming. Upon the conclusion of the game, the Elf vanishes and time returns to normal. The bar patrons never see the Elf.
While in a tavern, a game of darts among some locals concludes in violence and 2 end up dead. On one of the deceased bodies is a treasure map that leads to a guarded vault in the wilderness.
A particularly virulent STD is going around the brothels. Over the course of 72 hours it turns the afflicted into a receptor for mental dominance from a powerful psion. The “Mind Taker” uses these puppets to rob the afflicted and deliver their valuables to a guarded location. Then the psion drains the puppet of its final mental faculties and stores it as an energy source for later. The bodies are then destroyed using a Rod of Disintegration. One of the party’s allies (or a party member themselves) has come down with a case of “The Threads” (so named for the red lines of infection radiating from the genitalia into the legs and torso.
A dance club has been cursed by a witch to afflict some (30%) of the customers with “Otiluke’s Irresistible Dance”. Some patrons have been dropping dead from it and the club owners are covering it up by secretly burying the bodies in the basement and drugging the witnesses. The party is present for this or one of their allies goes missing.
A man attempting to throw a party so massive he will officially become “the God of Partying” wants the players to help him throw an absolute rager. If they help, he will remember them fondly when he reaches godhood. The party could overrun the region/city.
The party finds a club throwing a rager in the party’s honor. All night, people toast the party members, dance with them, and celebrate. No one in the party has to pay for drinks. The next day, the party gets the bill for everyone's drinks. The tavern was told the event was for the party and would be paid for by them as well.
A new fad in the high-end taverns of the city, catering to young noblemen with too much money and not enough sense, is a drink called The Kiss. One part grain alcohol, one part pufferfish venom - a shot of this causes hallucinations and numbness, in addition to more than the usual drunkenness. Two young men, heirs to fortunes and titles in the court, have died in the last two nights. Word is they drank too many of these. The noble families want blood, and put bounties on all known bartenders serving This Kiss. The guard don’t want a riot on their hands if they interfere with the Mixologist’s Guild, the most powerful multinational trade guild in the world. A representative from the Crown has summoned the party, to discreetly investigate the explosive situation.
A group of drunks stumble towards the party and push through/past them. During this, the party will each be subject to a Pickpocket attempt (+8 Sleight of Hand). If discovered, the “drunks” are a pack of rogues who “own” this territory. If challenged, they will flee and return with a number of Thugs equal to the number of party members.
A grifter comes up to the party and bets that they can guess “where you got your boots/shoes”. The answer is “on your feet” (where the footwear currently is). The grifter will demand a small amount of cash after this, and will become hostile if denied or hassled.
An avatar of Bacchus/Dionysus appears in the area and begins a Revel. Those who hear the music or see the dancing/drinking must save vs Wisdom (DC 20) or join in. The Revel will last for 72-96 hours and leave partygoers with 3 levels of Exhaustion (and be many miles from where it started).
A Dwarven “thrashgnome” band is throwing an impromptu concert on the roof of a local tavern. The noise is deafening and a large brawl will erupt after awhile - during the fracas an object will find itself at the feet of one of the party members. It is a powerful Fetish that was stolen from a Witch (who has been seeking it, and is nearby).
The party enters a tavern to discover their money is “no good” and they are suddenly crowned “Lager Kings/Queens” for the night, and feted and welcomed by each individual tavern patron. The party will, as the sun rises, be poisoned by the insinuative poison that was in each successive drink, and if they fail a Con check vs a high DC, they will be magically Sleep’ed and find themselves strapped to a basement altar for a hatchling Gold Dragon to feed upon. If they succeed on the check, they are very ill and considered Incapacitated for the next 24 hours.
A new tavern has appeared in the area, and will vanish after the night’s festivities to appear in a random location in the world the next night. The tavern patrons are all Fey, and this is the “Wandering Druid Pub”.
A dealer is handing out “free tokes” of a new narcotic. The narcotic is powerful and hallucinatory, but harmless otherwise, except for the addiction rate, which is near 100%. A Con check vs a high DC is required. If failed, the user must take the drug again in the next 24 hours or suffer 2 levels of Fatigue. Every day without the drug thereafter confers another level of Fatigue. If the check is passed, they will become violently nauseous every time they take the drug again.
A group of Gnomish Brewmasters have set up a tasting booth on the street and are giving out free samples of “Old Brown Mare” - a powerful stout that has a tiny side effect - 10% of the imbibers are shrunk to Gnomish height for 24 hours.
(OPTIONAL) - A cadre of bound Incubi and Succubi have escaped from a brothel and are desperately seeking an escape from the area. They will make any deal possible to make this happen.
While looking for weapons, a party member "accidentally" activates a sentient weapon, who declares the party member as "master" and demands to know what has happened since it was "put to sleep".
While shopping, one or more of the party members is pickpocketed by a young kid who is part of an "urchin gang". This gang is an arm of one of the more powerful rogue guilds in the city.
A street vendor is selling “gag gifts”, guaranteed to ensure the perfect prank. All the objects are cursed, and the vendor reveals this as if they were joking, as part of the shtick.
Upon purchasing a normal mundane item, it is found to be hollow, with an unknown substance hidden inside of it. If left undiscovered, the person who sold it will try to get the item back, by negotiation or violence, it depends on the party’s willingness to part with it.
A certain type of plush toy is all the rage in this city, and the party will acquire one upon their next purchase - all the merchants were paid to distribute these as “customer incentives.” The toys act as scrying focus for the local thieves guild. The party’s lodgings will be robbed within 24 hours obtaining the toy.
An extraordinary amount of the richer folk of the town have gathered on the plaza. Gregory’s Golden Garments has arrived back in town from one of his far-off trading junkets. He brings the most exclusive textiles and materials to town, and the auction has started (dragon-skins, silk, etc.). During the auction, someone purchases a rare bolt of material and the party finds it in their room later, with instructions to hide it. If they don’t, a group of Assassins come looking for it. If they do, they will be contacted by a mysterious agent who asks them to transport it far away for a hefty fee.
An Annual Food Festival kicks off with much fanfare. However, someone has poisoned the foodstuffs and half the city is sick with nausea and other vile emissions. The organisers, afraid to lose their heads, have set a hefty bounty for finding the culprit(s), and one of these pamphlets is pushed on the party.
While shopping for weapons, a woman approaches the party and asks them to sell a weapon for her, as she cannot. She explains that the weapon is Cursed and will not allow itself to be sold by the owner. If the party agrees, she looks visible relieved and hands the item over. Now the weapon belongs to the party member who took it (and it cannot be sold). The item is a -1 weapon.
A small purse keeps whispering at a player for them to buy it. It remains silent when others are observing it and refuses to talk if it thinks anyone else can hear it. It says it can help them (count money, hide it from pickpockets, and offer insight) if they give it something in return (it wants costly gemstones).
Every store and restaurant the party enters seems to be run by the same person. If confronted, they laugh and say they “get that all the time”, but will profess ignorance otherwise. The merchants are all Dopplegangers and today is their “Day of Pranks”. If two merchants are forced together, they will become violent and the others will run out to join them.
The party finds a flyer shoved under their lodging’s door that promises “75% off all Adventuring Gear” at a local merchant. The merchant is very chatty and inquisitive and will press the party for information about where they are going next. The merchant then sells this information to a gang of rogues who will follow the party and attempt to rob them as they exit the dungeon.
While shopping for clothes, a party member hears a weeping noise. No one around seems to be crying, so if this is investigated, the member finds a top hat that seems to be the source. If the hat is put on, the party member is Cursed with a particularly nasty form of melancholia.
The next time an item of clothing is purchased, the party member discovers that it has a large “Pocket Dimension” concealed within its folds. There is an object already inside the pocket.
A beautiful man/woman approaches the lowest CHA party member and offers to make their “dreams come true” if they will sell their soul. The man/woman will cast a real Wish on behalf of the party member (which works without the usual DM fuckery, but will expire in 1 year, and a group of Devils will appear to collect the player’s soul). If refused, the man/woman will leave, but if confronted, they will flee. The man/woman is a mortal humanoid who simply shills for a Crossroads Devil.
While shopping for arrows/projectiles, the merchant offers the party a “one-time deal” of some special projectiles that are “guaranteed to strike their target every time” and will demonstrate this quality in a shooting lane set up in the back of the shop. The projectile will work as promised within the shop itself, without limit, but outside the shop, the first 3 only will work as promised and the rest will automatically fail-to-hit. If confronted later, the shopkeeper will claim ignorance and claim the party member is lying (even going so far as to call the Watch for harassment).
The city is having a 50% sale, city-wide, for the next 24 hours. Rogues know this too, and are everywhere, preying on the crowds, or following them home to be robbed later.
While shopping for provisions, the merchant says they are looking for “exotic meat hunters”, and will pay top prices for “anything unusual” without limit, provided the meat is delivered dressed.
A new confectionery store has opened and is giving away free samples in the streets. The sweets are mildly intoxicating, and have the added side-effect of making those who eat them very amorous for the next 8 hours. The owners are clerics of the Deity of Love.
An arsonist is burning down merchant shops, by “category”. The perpetrator is a failed businessperson themselves, and is merely seeking revenge. The first things burned are the weapon and armor shops.
While shopping for armor, the merchant offers to show the party a “special selection” of exotic armor. These are all very unusual and very expensive. This is a one-time offer that will never be repeated and if confronted, the merchant will claim ignorance as to the existence of the exotic armors, and if the shop is searched, they are nowhere to be found.
The party receives an anonymous gift of entry passes to an exclusive and private club in the city. At the club, the party is approached by cultists who attempt to persuade the party into joining.
The museum is showcasing some rare artifacts. While visiting, the party is present during the brazen theft of one of the objects - an item of unique and dangerous powers.
Zoo animals have escaped and are menacing the population!
A local sage sends an urgent message to the party about a matter of great importance. The sage, a bit senile, has gotten mixed up and this is not the group he was supposed to contact. He does not realize this and treats the party as if they were hired to retrieve a book from an old, guarded crypt. If the party refuses, the Sage will eventually be foolish enough to try it himself and the party will hear about his death.
A public estate sale of one of the city’s wealthiest families is announced. The prices are high, but the quality equally impressive. In the announcement is an object that the party or one of the party members has been looking for. If they attend the sale, they discover the price is three times higher than they can afford (even after pooling money or getting a loan). The security is strong but not impossible...
The museum is showcasing the preserved remains of a long-dead monster race as part of a traveling exhibition. During a tour, or at night when closed, the monsters are revived by an interested party, and they go on a murderous spree. They attack either the party (along with many others) or one of the party’s allies.
A series of foreign street magicians has entered town and perform solo acts all over town. One of them is near the party, and they need a volunteer for a (permanent) disappearing act.
A street corner storyteller is spinning a tale of adventure and peril to a crowd. The tale sounds suspiciously like the last adventure the party had.
While eating, the party sees a puppet show happening nearby. They find it (magically) difficult to avert their eyes from the felt performers and can see figures moving out of the corners of their eyes. These are Oblique Golems, and can only move when not being viewed. The golems will attempt to rob anyone nearby. The puppets are just puppets.
An Escape Room boasts a valuable prize for any group who can escape/solve the room before the hourglass fills. Several of the puzzles in the escape room align runes and involve magic words of power. If the party manages to complete the room, they complete the spell, finding a portal now open above the building. Demons pour from it into the town, and it cannot be closed for at least 24 hours.
Some fire-jugglers are performing in the street, and they appear to be using magic to create illusionary figures that leap from the burning torches. These are actually Mephits, and the fire-jugglers did not summon them, they appeared on their own. They run off to cause havoc and burn as much of the city as they can.
A local casino is offering big prizes to “Spin the Wheel” - with only a 5% chance of winning, this is mostly a scam, but those who play are Wizard-Marked to be robbed later. The prizes for actually winning are 4-figures.
A pig-racing track has been cordoned off - turning the streets into the racecourse. All are welcome to enter, and whoever wins is offered a lucrative contract joining the “Hog Ridin’ Circuit” - a racing tournament involving half-a-dozen cities and some very shady dealings.
A masked spruiker hands the party an ornately engraved thin metal plaque inviting them to an exclusive event at a place called “The Garden”, and a map is etched on the reverse side. The event, if attended, presents the party with an opportunity to travel to another plane and earn the favor of a powerful, if enigmatic figure.
A group of acrobats are performing feats and stunts in the street. During the performance, one of the party members sees the face of one of the tumblers momentarily change into something monstrous.
A pair of dueling Illusionists is staging an elaborate mock-battle in a nearby park, but neglected to inform anyone of this beforehand and have caused a panic.
A tour group suddenly appears and engulfs the party. The guide is pointing out places where famous adventurers have died, and suddenly points right where the party is standing and begins discussing them as if they were not there! The tour group can not be interacted with (as they are projections from the future) and soon quickly departs and vanishes around a corner.
A street lottery is being held by a local neighborhood social group. The cost is low and any tickets purchased are said to go towards upgrading the local park. There is a 50% that the party wins a modest prize of home-baked goods. The locals will send a message to the party later that their tickets were fraudulent and demand a return of the prize or the equivalent value in currency. This “lottery” is a common scam run in the area on obvious tourists.
During an previous-announced free concert by some famous Bards, a bomb explodes.
A street comedian is inadvertently casting “Tasha’s Hideous Laughter” on audience members. The phenomenon is soon discovered and the comedian flees. Later, he is found dead and covered in a thin slime.
The party receives an anonymous gift of tickets to a local sporting match. If they attend, they are approached by an NPC who says they represent a "person who wishes to remain nameless, but desires to procure your services in a delicate, and potentially dangerous matter."
The party is invited by a local ally to attend a boxing match. At the match both fighters are killed by a powerful assassin who works in secret for a local politician.
The party attends a game of skill and is accused of bribing a ref to throw the game by a rogue (who did actually rig the fight, but now has been caught and is desperate). A few of his crew will back him up and some of the crowd sides with them.
A marathon race has been scheduled to wind through the city as part of a larger season of racing. A number of famous people and some talented locals will participate. During the race, several of the runners suddenly collapse and begin coughing blood. This is the start of a disease outbreak, and will, without precautions, infect over half the city in only 72 hours. The source is magical in nature, and part of a larger scheme to cripple the city by a secret faction.
A bare-knuckle street match has been set up by an enterprising rogue/wizard. A series of ringers are inviting all-comers to challenge for a fat purse. Those who fight are wizard-marked, and followed later, to be kidnapped and bound for a fighting-arena in the Underdark.
An illegal horse race, infamous in the city for causing multiple deaths every year, is about to commence once again. The street the party currently finds themselves in will turn into the aftermath of a battlefield within several seconds. The race has no rules and is heavily wagered upon by the criminal elements of the city.
A “Circus Maximus” involving blood-sport, animal fighting, and a “nautical spectacle” is going to be held at the city’s largest stadium. The public is allowed to sign up to fight in one of the 3 events. The purse for winning is generous (5 figures) and is, of course, rigged and being carefully watched by the strongest Rogues Guild in the city, who stand to make a pile of money. If the party participates, they will see that some of their opponents have been enchanted with speed and strength.
An annual Guards Competition is about to commence. They are divided into 4 teams, and the locals have lifelong and fierce loyalties
In one quarter is an annual event - the Endurance Drinking Contest. A group of competitors take a shot, perform a task, take a shot, perform a different task, repeat. The winner gets a trophy, their portrait on the wall of winners, and bragging rights. The tasks range from silly to nearly impossible.
A mounted race is about to commence, and the party runs into a thick crowd along the edges of the route. If the party chooses to stay to watch, they will see one of the riders being assassinated from a position high above the streets by a mage’s spell.
A traveling ball-team is looking for a manager and some bodyguards, and one of the party’s allies has recommended the party, as a joke. The team shows up where the party is to conduct an interview.
A boxing match has resulted in a death and the angry and bewildered crowd has spilled out into the streets in a terrible brawl, hurting bystanders and destroying property. If the body is examined, 3 small holes in the back of the dead boxer’s neck can be found and 3 small projectiles found inside the wound. The trail leads to a mage’s henchman.
Illegal cart-racing has been taking place at night among the city’s youth and an ally of the party is terribly worried about their child’s possible-participation. The racing will soon claim lives.
The Dozens has arrived in the city - a nationwide, very famous content of insults and put-downs. The entry fee is to survive a round-robin of burns during The Throwdown, where hundreds will enter. The prize is bragging rights, a 4-figure cash prize, and the chance to defend their title next year.
An ally of the party has entered a marathon footrace. During the race, the ally disappears.
A Fishing Derby, the 1st of 3 contests each year, is being held by any who wish to pay the modest entry fee. There is only one rule - you cannot use a traditional rod/reel, fly, or net/seine to catch the fish. The Derby draws the inventive and the mad, and lasts over 3 days.
A professional team of Goliath and Dwarven “Chicken Fighters” arrive at the city for an exhibition match in the city’s swimming pool. One of the Goliath recognizes a party member (whether the members also remembers them, or not) and offers free tickets. During the match, one of the Dwarves is hurt, and after a flurry of rules-consultations, its determined that a substitute is allowed. The party is looked at by the Goliath and asked for help.
A ping-pong match is being staged between Royal cousins, to settle a dispute. The match is going to be public, and during it, both Royals disappear and are replaced with monkeys. Uproar ensues.
The party finds out there is an underground avian-fighting event happening below the tavern. When they go to investigate, they find a goose and a rooster on opposite sides of a metal chess board pushing the pieces around randomly. A ref resets illegal moves and pulls captured pieces from the board. The crowd roars wildly, screaming for their bird to win the game. The party is approached by a grifter who says he knows who’s going to win and will sell the info. The grifter’s prediction will prove right 2 times, then wrong the 3rd time.
An illegal blood-sport fighting match has caused the death of a local celebrity and the party has been framed for the murder.
A local ally invites the party on a fishing trip. While on the trip, the vessel is attacked by a desperate band of Kuo-Toa, who appear to be diseased and attack with a more-than-usual savage aggression.
The city is holding a yachting regatta and the party is present when one of the ships catches fire. Many accusations are bandied about and most seem to blame one of the city’s administrators who had a grudge.
A seasonal storm rushes over the city does significant (and costly) damage to the local fleets (and any ships the party might have moored here). Trade and travel is stalled and only a hefty bribe and some forceful diplomacy can secure any movement needs that the party might have.
A local mad-wizard-inventor is launching a submarine and has asked for volunteer pilots and crew. If the party accepts, they are attacked by a great white shark. If they do not, the sub is sunk by the shark. The mad-wizard will try again next month with a new design. If the shark has been killed, this version will find a sunken treasure worth a king’s fortune.
The party is invited to a beach party by an ally. While there, a number of party-goers find themselves suddenly growing gills and webbed feet and toes and a strong urge to enter the ocean. They have been drugged by a Sahuagin Sorcerer, who is trying to build an “amphibious army” to attack the town and destroy it.
A large number of Brachia (Crab-Folk) have surfaced in the bay and are attempting to communicate via the Dream spell (which will manifest as the entire town committing suicide, and this will be dreamed en-masse by the locals). This dream is not a threat, but a warning of what will happen if the townsfolk don’t rid themselves of a recently-acquired magic item (by the party themselves, or by another adventuring group). They have 72 hours to unravel the mystery.
A number of Were-Sharks are attacking swimmers at night (mostly kids/young adults out partying on the beach). These therianthropes are not aware of their actions, but know something is wrong. While shape-changed, they work as a team, like wolves.
While passing a street they encounter a group of semi-drunken sailors. The sailors start a brawl with the party, for their fun. When magic or weapons are used things will get nasty as the sailors will pull shivs, long knives, chains, and cudgels.
Something has turned the ocean red and fish are dying in great numbers.
A large statue that could be worth a lot is trapped in a cavern in the water. If the party can retrieve it without additional help, they can claim it as their own, sell it, and keep all of the profits. If they enlist any help, the local authorities will take over the operation and claim the statue for themselves.
During a sailboat race, a school of merfolk begin harassing and destroying the boats.
A group of traveling sailors try to sell famous and popular books, paintings, and equipment to the party at a great price. Upon closer inspection, the items appear to be forgeries.
A seadragon is heading for the coast, but rumor has it she will slumber if told a bedtime story. In order for her to hear it, the party must intercept her and shout the story from aboard a ship. But it better be a good story.
An ocean water spirit wants to visit a fellow spirit friend who is further inland. They will make a path over land of water they can travel through. The party can try to convince the spirit to follow their path and plot a nondestructive course, or they can try to stop the spirit from visiting their friend through force.
For three days, no one has been able to catch a fish with a hook and line. Nothing even bites, something just cuts the lines before any fish can bite.
A local surfer has gone missing and only his surfboard is found on the beach, covered in a black slime. Days later, his head (missing the eyes) washes ashore.
An Aboleth has awoken in the bay and starts calling minions to serve it. Some of them are townsfolk, and possibly the Mayor as well.
A waterspout threatens the docked ships in the harbor. It is not a natural occurrence.
A pack of Scrag (Sea Trolls) have started plucking beachcombers from the shoreline.
For anyone thinking about selling vaporizers, ejuice or other "High Risk" items. Research High Risk merchant accounts before starting your business
High Risk Merchant Processing - Sure You Want To Get Into That Niche? I've been spending a lot of time on Reddit lately and have seen a lot of questions being asked about starting businesses selling ejuice, vaporizers and vape accessories, water pipes, coin, and many other products that are considered "high risk" to merchant processors. Most people are probably not even aware there are certain products and industries basically locked out of banking and credit card processing. We've all heard how Medical Marijuana dispenseries have trouble finding banking relationships and credit card processors, however many people don't realize that many seemingly normal and legal products are banned by nearly all credit card processors. These items could be anything from vaporizers or any vaping accessories, anything collectible, autographed memorbilia be it sports or celebrity stuff, coins, currency, drones, any non-tanginble items; ie programs and ebooks, many services, Most credit card processors, as well as third party aggregators like Paypal, Stripe, and others, have a long list of specific items and businesses which they won't allow to use their service. All of them also add a caveat about how they have the right to refuse or terminate any relationship they believe may tarnish their repuation. This essentially means, if they happen to not specifically call out your product or industry or business, that they can fall back on that "harm to them" which basically means at anytime they can decide to kill your payment processing for whatever reason they deem necessary. Some Examples Of Merchant Providers Prohibited Categories Paypal Prohibited Businesses and Products Stripe Prohibited Busineses and Products Square Prohibited Businesses and Products First Data Prohibited Businesses and Products Is It Worth Entering A High Risk Industry? I think most people think hey, I'll start a business, signup for a merchant account and things will be all good. For 99% of merchants this is true but many industries named above have an uphill battle finding credit card processors. These businesses may occasionally find someone to take them on and they may have processing for a matter of days, weeks, or even months; but eventually that dreaded call or e-mail will come telling you that they are terminating their relationship with you and your business; and you'll be left scrambling to find a way to accept credit card payments. The reason for this post is to bring this lesser known issue to people's attention. I've been spending a lot of time in the "Ecommerce" subreddit lately and see a lot of people dabbling with the idea of certain industries considered "high risk". I write this not necessarily to discourage people from entering these industries but at the very least, know what you are getting into. I personally have run a business and sold items considered "high risk". My items were legal and not even really in any way "shady", had nothing to do with vaping, drugs or anything even questionable in nature; however I later learned my products had a high risk of credit card chargebacks and it's basically been impossible to accept credit card payments. I was with Paypal for over 4 years. I did over 2 Million a year in sales on Paypal. I paid Paypal over $80,000 a year in processing fees and they still dropped me like a bad habit. Due to my stellar seller performance and relationship with my account manager they were kind enough to give me 30 days notice to find a new processor but not a whole lot of good that did as there really are no other options. I wound up trying a few high risk credit card merchants. Got scammed out of a few thousand dollars, got a merchant account outside of the USA and thought all was good. What nobody tells you is that if you use a foreign merchant account 99.9% of your transactions will be declined by your customers bank for being "suspicious transactions". In order to get the transaction to go through nearly EVERY customer of yours will have to call their bank, explain the purchase, and ask the bank to okay that purchase. A huge headache when your trying to run an ecommerce business. Another thing is 99% of high risk merchant processors are scams. I personally was scammed out of about $3,000 by a scumbag named Tony from Bankcard Services out of Chicago and New York. I personally know people who have lost tens and even hundreds of thousands of Dollars from scammers in the high risk merchant processing industry. I've heard it said for every legitimate high risk merchant processor there's 1200 frauds. If you're considering entering an industry which you believe may be considered high risk, find a merchant provider, and search their website to see if the items you sell fall within the terms of service. It's also a good idea to call the merchant before opening the account. Don't just talk to a sales rep as they want the sale and will lie to you and tell you it's okay, only to have you be shut down weeks later, as all new accounts are typically audited within the first 30 days. Ask to talk to compliance or a supervisor and make sure they are okay with your business and the products you sell. This extensive list below are just some of the products and business categories which are pretty much locked out of accepting credit cards... What Types Of Businesses & Products Are Considered High Risk? Not ALL industries, but it definitely covers a large number of them.
1-800 type chat sites Airlines Airplane charters ALL sexual oriented or pornographic merchants: (i.e. companion or escort services, adult telephone conversations, adult book stores, dating services, online adult membership or matchmaker services, adult paraphernalia or toys.) Amazon, Yahoo or Google Stores Annual contracts Antiques Auctions Automotive brokers Bankruptcy attorneys Brokering “Business opportunities” Calling cards Casino, gambling or gaming Check cashing services Cigarette or electronic-cigarette sales or nicotine cartridges Coins, collectible currency or autographed collectibles Collection agencies Coupons or rewards-points program Credit or debt repair Credit counseling Credit protection Debt collection Direct selling Discount health – medical care programs Debt consolidation Drug paraphernalia eBay Store E-Books (copywrited material) Electronics Event ticket brokers (unlicensed – non registered (i.e. Stub Hub type merchants)) Exporting services (non US based) Fantasy sports websites Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers Finance broker, financial consulting or loan modification services Indirect financial consulting (i.e. How to Save Money by Lowering Your Electric Bill.) Financial planning, strategy or advising “Get rich quick” – books, programs, etc… High average tickets “How-To” type websites (i.e. “Learn How-To Make Money on The Internet”) Horoscopes, astrology or psychic services (i.e. fortune tellers) “Hype” products or services Hypnotists or self-hypnosis International merchants (non US based) International shipping, cargo or import/export Investment firms Investment strategy Investment books Lawyer referral services Life coaching Lingerie sales Lotteries Magazine sales and subscriptions Mail order Membership organizations (over 12 months) Merchants on the terminated merchant file (TMF list) Modeling agencies Multi-currencies Multi-level marketing (MLM) Music, movie, software downloads or uploads (ie. copywrited music, movies or software (i.e. Microsoft office)) Non US citizens Off-shore corp. establishment services Pawn shops Poor credit Prepaid debit cards In-bound or outbound telemarketing services Real estate Replica handbags, watches, wallets, sunglasses etc… (knock-offs) Self defense, pepper spray, mace, etc. Seo services Social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc… Sports forecasting or odds making/betting Talent agencies Telecommunications Telephone companies Telephone order Third-party processing, factoring merchants (i.e. payment processors, vacation rental brokers) Time-shares or time-shares advertising Tour operators Travel services Travel agencies Travel clubs Vacation planners Vacation rentals (unless property is owned by merchant) Vitamin and supplement sales – diet pills, prescription pills, health supplements, pharmacy Voip services Extended warranty companies Weapons of any kind – guns, knives, stun guns, or ammo. Includes any parts of weapons (i.e. butts, triggers, magazines, etc.) Vaporizers Coins Currency Vaping Accessories Water Pipes or Drug Paraphanalia
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