"Neighborhoods are run by drug dealers, voodoo priests, or common extortionists."
--Bill O'Reilly, "The O'Reilly Factor"
- Most of the PCs' home city is a nice, safe place, but every good town has its bad neighborhood. Usually the petty thieves and vagabonds that call the city home are kept in check by the city guard, but after a recent attack by a nearby an orc chieftain, a particularly powerful slumlord has gained traction with the commoners by pushing for militarization of the common folk. For about a month he's be arming many of the peasants and giving them rudimentary training. However, the orc threat has been easily suppressed by the city guard and a few hired mercenaries (perhaps including the PCs), so what's the slumlord really planning with his new army?
- The local governor has requisitioned and bought nearly all of the magic items in the city as part of his war effort against a neighboring kingdom, leaving only the most obscure and impractical magical devices in the hands of the merchants. What's more, the merchants' guilds have stopped shipping to the city so as to avoid having all of their commodities taken by the governor's generals. This has all lead to magic items, particularly consumables and weapons, being extremely scarce. Of course, there's always the black market. When the PCs run out of their personal stash of cure potions or want to buy a better longsword, will they brave the shadowy corners of their city? Will they be willing to purchase scrolls inked by cultists in the blood of human sacrifices, potions brewed by drug lords from the byproducts of hallucinogens, or wondrous items from loan sharks acquired from shop owners who were killed after defaulting?
- A criminal the PCs are trying to hunt down has taken refuge deep in the most dangerous part of town, the Bone District. The problem is that the Bone District has its own rules, and the PCs can barely set foot in its borders without being assaulted by its degenerate keepers: Thugs raised by the district's fleshwarpers from birth and are now barely humanoid, trolls with armor grafted directly into their flesh, and aberrant monstrosities that act with their own alien agendas. The denizens of the Bone District rarely bother those outside their dark home, which is how most reason that the district is allowed to exist. However, when the official city guards begin to harass the PCs with orders from the noble council, trying to keep them away from the district, they begin to suspect it's being maintained for more sinister reasons.