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Earlier I was helping to make a list of side quest ideas. Nothing like "defeat Arthur and obtain Excalibur." More like "rescue damsel in distress." Really simple stuff which is more like side quest categories, actually.

Is there a list online for generic side quests? Not looking for specifics - more interested in broad and vague ideas I can make the specifics for.

Rephrased: Is there anywhere that lists basic types/categories of sidequests? The more comprehensive the better.

Slightly related to this question.

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Thank you for the edit @JonathanHobbs –  LitheOhm Mar 11 '13 at 19:13
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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I haven't found a generator there that exactly matches your needs, but you should look at Abulafia.

Abulafia is a User-Extensible Random Generation Site
Abulafia is a collection of user-contributed random generators housed within a special kind of wiki. That means you can use the pages here to get interesting random names, treasure, plots, and anything else you need. If you think the results could use a little more imagination, click the 'edit' tab at the top of the page and add a few more choices to the mix (keep with the format you see in the edit box & you'll be fine). Refresh a page for more results.

Being a wiki, you could even make a new page for a Side Quest Generatator that generates imperative phrases as in your example, using the site's existing item lists to fill the blanks.

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+1 very interesting. I've never quite seen a wiki like this. I'm more looking for something to define the basic types of quests than a generator, though. Sort of like how any given book will fall into one of thirty plots? –  LitheOhm Mar 11 '13 at 19:12
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Ah! So something more like Plotto, but with a clearer fantasy bent. Yeah, that'd be useful; I hope it exists and someone answers with it! –  SevenSidedDie Mar 11 '13 at 19:49
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You could always look at video games for side quests. WoW is a good example, Diablo, Everquest, Ultima. All of these games have no ends to the types of quests they have.

Things you can look at doing:

  • Search and Destroy Type: Go somewhere kill somebody. Destroy the facility at location x.
  • Courier Type: Take object x to destination y. Go somewhere collect object x.
  • Protect/Escort Type: Protect someone or stand your ground for n amount of time. Ensure NPC gets to destination y.
  • Explore Type: Uncover the map. Find somebody or something. Follow the clues. Respond to hot/cold type messages, Find a certain person, Find a person and battle, Find an item, Find the next town
  • Mission: Village raid, Description: The village is swarmed with bandits....and you have to do like 3 fights killing bandits in the village. Then you get on your robotic medevil horse and chase after the bandit leader who flees. Then its a turn based battle side by side on horses, you could use potions and magic here or just slash at him
  • Obstacle Course
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You could always take a look at The Big List of RPG Plots by S. John Ross for ideas. He's taken a lot of plot ideas from many sources and distilled them down to a list, including twists and turns on the basic plots. For example, one of the plot ideas is "Breaking and Entering", and he includes about 10 different variations on it.

I haven't used this yet, as I just recently downloaded it. While it's not random, it's definitely high quality and free, to boot! If you'd prefer a PDF of it, it can be download from his site via this link.

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Happy Jacks RPG podcast had a "2 Sides 1 Epic"* competition, where they took submissions from people for 2 page "adventures." These run the gamut of all different genres (some of them are silly, but there are some really good ones in there as well (I mostly just looked at the Fantasy ones, but there were horror, sci-fi and modern ones as well).

*Note: I linked to the resources page, in case they do another one in the future.

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Many of the free adventures out there are more like side quests then full on adventures. So I recommend looking through the many free adventures out there

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