It can be tricky at times to come up with a quest no matter whether it's a main quest or a side quest, especially when one is needed on the fly. So, to help you with that, below you'll find a list of 150 quest ideas. Some will only work in a specific setting (usually high fantasy), but they're all small and simple enough to be adapted to any setting in no time. Note that these are more like prompts and won't contain any major details as to how to run a specific quest, there are too many games to keep in mind for that, but I might do some game system specific quest guides in the future. Other articles with quest prompts like this one may also follow depending on how well this one is received.
But on the topic of more detailed quests, the quest description generator on my other site can provide you with a little more inspiration if you need it. They're not fully fledged guides or quests, but provide enough to get you well on your way. Here's a link: link. Now, without further ado, here's the list of 150 quest ideas and prompts as promised.
A band of annoying pirates is at loose, but all they ever do is swap ships with the ship they capture.
A book is being passed around, but all those who read it cannot stop reading until somebody stops them.
A city is plagued by the sounds of war drums in the distance. Their source cannot be found, but the drums are increasing in loudness and numbers.
A cloaked figure sits in the same spot in the same tavern at the same hour every day. The color of his cloak changes with the days for some reason.
A druid accidentally shapeshifted into a raccoon without being able to shift back, and is causing havoc in a nearby town.
A druid who keeps awakening plants and crops in local fields and gardens is causing a lot of mayhem and destruction. Locals are looking to hire people to stop this druid.
A dying, but otherwise incredibly powerful being is seeking help to find a cure for their affliction.
A floating head can't remember where he put his body, and needs help figuring this out.
A ghost in a nearby town keeps making silly ghost noises, and the townsfolk are beyond annoyed by it.
A giant claims she's the daughter of a local noble.
A group of adventurers approaches the party, the biggest of them walks up to the biggest of the party, and punches them straight in the face. They claim this is their questing territory now.
A group of people are famous in a local town for all their amazing deeds they say they've performed. All those deeds were actually performed by the adventuring party.
A hero was slain in 1 vs 1 combat, and their legendary sword was shattered during the duel. The shards have been used to forge new weapons, but the broken pieces have broken powers.
A king requests the presence of the adventuring party as he'd like to hire them to be his friends for a week.
A large dragon seeks the aid of adventurers to help save her babies.
A large, ancient egg used as the symbol of a nearby city is starting to crack despite having been considered dead for centuries.
A large, but otherwise harmless troll is refusing to let anybody pass a nearby bridge.
A light in the distance is signalling the party through Morse code. The light keeps going further into the distance as the party tries to get closer however.
A local "breeder" of dogs is actually selling people polymorphed into dogs.
A local college of bards is accused of using magic to instigate arguments among lovers, seemingly natural disasters, and even wars so they have more to write and sing about.
A local druid is known for his incredible collection of butterflies in his private grove. Coincidentally, people sometimes go missing, especially loggers.
A local farmer's couple is looking to hire a bunch of adventurers to deal with invasive pests. Only after paying the adventurer's half upfront is it revealed the invasive pests are just a bunch of children, but the farmers insist they deal with the kids anyway, as they've paid for the adventurers' service.
A local found a mysterious, cursed object.
A local gladiator arena has just been opened.
A local known as crater-head has a face full of cysts. One day, while at a bar, the cysts pop and panic breaks out for a moment as the sight is quite grotesque. A visiting doctor quickly reveals the cysts are contagious and deadly to most. How this man has lived with them for so long is a medical wonder, but everybody else is in great danger now.
A local mindreader is causing a lot of problems in a nearby settlement by shouting awkward or embarrassing secrets whenever he finds them in people's minds.
A local oracle who made one man a king through a prophecy turns out to actually be a fraud. The current king, the grandson of the first, refuses to give up the throne.
A local priest is refusing to marry an interspecies couple.
A local tailor is actually capable of sew clothes from invisible cloth. The locals want to put him in prison for fraud anyway.
A local town has come under attack from an organized crime syndicate.
A mage has cast a spell to turn all the nearby pigs into flying pigs because somebody said "it'll happen when pigs fly", but is unable to turn all the pigs back into regular pigs.
A mage is seeking the help of adventurers in reclaiming his tower, which has been taken over by an unknown force while the mage was on a holiday.
A mage living in a nearby town sleepwalks and talks in his sleep, which causes random spells to be cast during some nights.
A magical being claiming to be a devil appears in town and announces anybody is welcome to come make a deal with him. Souls won't be necessary, but people shouldn't expect bargain prices either.
A magical force locks the gates of a nearby town every day at a random time.
A man in a nearby town refuses to come off of a large, mysterious egg as he's trying to hatch it.
A man with a very long beard came out of a cave and is telling people in a nearby town to get off his land.
A mass beaching of whales occurred at a nearby shore. Many locals try to rescue them, but some whales have already died and others are beyond saving. Their bigger problem is that the dead quickly rise from the dead and attack any rescuers.
A mayor of a local town has been revealed to be a doppelganger who infiltrated this town. However, because the doppelganger is doing a better job than the actual mayor, none of the townsfolk cares.
A meteorite is being worshipped by several different cults and religions who all claim this was a sign of their god(s).
A minotaur is looking to hire people to help him find the centre of his own labyrinth again.
A mourning family is seeking the help of adventurers to fulfill the wishes of their deceased loved one. The last wishes were quite twisted, which is why an adventuring party is needed.
A murderer has been released from prison after sitting out their time. A family member of one of the murderer's victims stages a murder to try and frame the murderer for it to put him back in prison.
A nearby orphanage sacrifices the weaker children so the stronger may gain their powers.
A nearby settlement grants plots of land to anybody who wishes one, but nobody is allowed to leave the perimeters after they've settled.
A nearby settlement is dealing with the consequences of spells that are wearing off because their local sorcerer has died.
A nearby temple seeks to hire adventurers to spy at a different temple of a different god, because they want to know what that god is up to.
A nearby town has somehow lost all of its citizens.
A nearby town is plagued by a fog that whispers annoying messages into everyone's ears.
A nearby town is trying to solve the mystery of a mass murderer. The murderer uses the same methods as a murderer executed 50 years ago.
A nearby town uses sheep as horses, horses as goats, goats as dogs, and dogs as sheep.
A nearby wishing well supposedly works, but requires a huge price to be paid first.
A new warrant is put out for somebody who has been dead for 25 years.
A package is delivered to the adventuring party. Within it are several notes, one for each member. Each note has the supposed date of their death written on it, and for one party member it's quite soon.
A painter in a local town somehow has the power to change people's appearances through his paintings. What he paints becomes true within a week.
A protected species is using a nearby port as a breeding grounds, which causes a lot of mayhem for the local traders and travellers alike.
A protective species has made their nest at one end of the only bridge across a cliff. This species can't be moved due to its protection status, preventing everybody from crossing this bridge.
A pyromaniac is setting fake fires to random buildings every night. The fire doesn't burn anything, but is a huge nuisance to the townsfolk.
A renowned author contacts the adventuring group to write a book about them. The book is supposed to be fairly true to life, but, unbeknown to them, the adventurers are portrayed as villains.
A shopkeeper who sells eccentric and exotic goods is looking to hire people to look after his shop for a few days.
A spider leaves messages in a web for the adventuring party, asking them to undo the curse that turned whoever they are into this spider.
A strange Robin Hood keeps stealing from the poor and giving the goods to other poor people, so everybody just ends up with each other's stuff.
A strange parasite has infested a herd of local sheep. The parasite makes the sheep incredibly intelligent, allowing them to evade being caught and "cured".
A strange person dictates every single move of the inhabitants of a nearby settlement. The inhabitants are willing participants. Some of them just stand in place awaiting new directions, but their director has forgotten about them.
A strange summoner keeps summoning small, harmless creatures. But their numbers are starting to increase beyond what the locals are willing to put up with.
A strange, reverse maelstrom is pushing sunken ships and random sea creatures toward the surface, causing a whole range of objects and dead animals to wash up on the shores of an island.
A strong, powerful being seeks to hire a bunch of people because, for some reason, they're too scared to go on their own.
A travelling apothecary is selling potions that work at first, but have the complete opposite effect after 2 days.
A travelling merchant selling magical potions is actually selling drugs.
A tribe of clumsy beings is trying to make peace with a local village, but differences in culture make this a difficult task.
A water elemental keeps making awkward noises whenever people try to take water from a well, wash clothes in a nearby river, or use any of the other water available around their town.
A weird stranger keeps challenging people of a nearby town by shouting "It's time to duel!", but the duels are always different and a huge nuisance.
A woman who floated in the sea (like all humans do in the right position) is scheduled to be executed for being a witch.
A young person comes up to a party member and claims to be their child.
All the cabbages in a nearby farm's field have babies inside of them.
All the local mirrors suddenly stop working, but instead offer a glimpse into a different world.
All the parents in a nearby town claim their children have been swapped with identical imposters.
All the sheep in a nearby town have flocked together on a nearby mountain and are refusing to return to their fields.
An absent-minded enchantress has gone blind due to a magical accident. She needs help to create a potion, but can only describe what the ingredients look like.
An advanced clock of a clock-tower hasn't worked in decades. One day it moves again, points at a specific time and date, then stops again. Locals are sure it marks the date of the end of the world.
An ambassador is seeking to hire people to protect her on her travels to a foreign country.
An eerie looking ship appears floating in the sky. A few days later it stops at a nearby town. The sailors call down for help, they're unable to bring down their ship.
An errant boy quickly hands a wax-sealed letter to a party member, whispers "I'm sorry", then runs away as quickly as he came. All the letter says is "You're next.", written in what looks like blood.
An illusion makes everybody in a nearby town look like orcs, and nobody wants them around as they're too dangerous. A team is being gathered to kill all the orcs.
An inn in the middle of nowhere happily welcomes all those willing to enter. Everything is perfectly fine and normal, but the next morning the inn is gone. All those who were inside are on the ground.
An outsider is seeking the help of a group of adventurers to stage a heroic act, which will allow him to prove his worth to the family of the person he's in love with.
An unusually warm and long summer starts to reveal strange creatures in the ice of a nearby glacier.
Beggar orphan children somehow all end up with a lot of money. Families who try to take advantage of this by putting their kids out on the streets to beg instead of their child taken from them.
Chickens at a nearby farm glow a light blue at night. The locals were distressed at first, but now use them as night lights around town. Some are still concerned however, and seek answers.
Citizens of a nearby settlement are afflicted by some form of magic that forces them to do something random every day at the same time. Some days it's dancing, some days it's standing completely still, some days it's something else. While the timing is predictable, they would very much like to be rid of this curse.
Druids transformed into monkeys keep stealing food from a local market. The locals think it's just monkeys being monkeys.
Ents have started to take the logs part of houses in nearby villages back to the forest.
Every hour or so somebody runs up to the party in fear and desperation, shouts "You've got to save us! Please!", then dies when they reach the party.
Every night, a local settlement returns to its state in time of the previous night, causing it to be stuck in a 24 hour loop.
Every other night a magical being raises a huge pillar of earth near a local town. Somebody else always takes it down the next night.
For unknown reason, a local town is mirrored every new full moon.
Ghosts of dryads demand their sacred tree to be replanted and restored to its original form. The tree was over a thousand years old however.
In a nearby settlement villagers take turns being a scarecrow all day long even though there are no crops growing.
Inhabitants of a local temple have no idea what to do now that their god has told all their followers to stop following them. The followers wonder if it's a test.
Inhabitants of a nearby settlement all pretend to be vampires, but none of them really are.
Inhabitants of a nearby town change sizes at random whenever they sneeze.
Lightning is striking the exact same spot in a nearby town every day at the same time for a week so far.
Local farm animals have turned vampiric and are feeding on the villagers.
Local law enforcement is seeking help in dealing with a tenacious gang of thieves. These thieves act more like Robin Hood than as cruel mercenaries however
Locals are seeking to hire adventurers to help them get rid of a large tree spider plaguing their town. The tree spider is an actual giant tree that acts like a vicious spider.
Locals of a nearby town are committing crimes on purpose in order to be put in prison. The prison is full though, and relatively small crimes are no longer enough to be put in this prison.
Locals of a nearby town are scheduled to execute a mute person for somehow speaking out of turn and ill of their leader.
Locals of a nearby town complain of a being who keeps creating cuts in the bamboo of a nearby field, which creates shrieking whistle sounds when the wind blows at night.
Locals report a garden of statues in a nearby forest clearing.
Locals report hearing chants coming from a nearby ruins.
Locals seek help with a haunted forest, but it's actually just a forest inhabited by a group of druids who play tricks on others.
No sounds are allowed to be made in a local settlement. Life continues like normal, and bands still play music, but none of their instruments make a sound.
Nobles of a nearby town are seeking the aid of adventurers to deal with a reverse Robin Hood. Somebody keeps putting stolen goods on their doorsteps, but the nobles don't want any of that "inferior, smelly poor people's stuff".
Octuplets in a nearby settlement are actually just all the same person who keeps changing outfits quickly. The locals play along because of the money tourists spend, but some are demanding their money back now.
People of a nearby town all act like they're ghosts and are surprised the party can see them. They're actually just regular people, albeit a little crazy.
Posters appear around town with the face of a party member. Apparently somebody is looking for "my knight in shining armor", who was lost to them at one point in time.
Posters appear in local towns searching for a party member. A case of mistaken identity have put the blame on them. It's so typical of "them" to say it was an imposter.
Posters of a pie eating contest are showing up more and more. The reward is enormous, but one pie in the contest is poisoned according to the posters. Anti-poison potions are forbidden in this competition, as are other means of magic to aid with eating.
Rumors of a princess in need of a handsome saviour spread around the area. The princess is the one who spread the rumors and is keeping herself in a tower in the hope to find a handsome lover.
Somebody is looking to hire bodyguards to protect them whenever they need to walk very short distances in a peaceful, quiet town.
Somebody is looking to hire people to make a nearby swamp more spooky.
Somebody keeps turning forest animals into people, who then in turn seek answers for the various deeds the inhabitants of a local village have put them through.
Statues in a local town are said to move on their own at night. Locals say they come to life.
Stories of the party's heroic deeds are travelling far and wide, often exaggerated by locals. One person becomes a fanatic fan however, and tries to follow the party wherever they go, including into danger as the legendary party is surely able to protect them, right?
Strange music can be heard in the clouds of a nearby town. The locals don't mind it as it helps them sleep better.
The adventuring party is approached by somebody who needs them to kill her a family member. The family member died 3 weeks ago, but has been lurking around town nonetheless.
The appearances of everybody in a nearby town are mirrored every night, leading to a lot of confusion and mistaken identities, as well as people who take advantage of this.
The banner in a nearby town reads "Welcome to the games!", but no games seem to be played. All the inhabitants talk to the adventures as if they're playing the games too. Questions about what the game is are met with answers indicating it's against the rules to reveal how the game works.
The beloved "holy", eternal fire of a nearby town is, unknown to the locals, actually a demonic fire. Their worship of the fire only fuels it more.
The clothes of people in a nearby town randomly come to life for unknown reason, and when they do, they try to leave town.
The dead and the living in a local settlement swap places depending on the time of day. During the day the dead rest, at night the living sleep in the coffins of the dead while the dead work as if nothing's wrong.
The dead have risen and would like their houses and property back.
The entire adult population of a nearby settlement has mysteriously fallen in love with one of the party members.
The guard captain of a nearby prison has decided it was time to let all the prisoners free.
The king is demanding everybody to leave his kingdom.
The most horrible criminals were disposed of by throwing them in an incredibly deep pit. Unbeknown to those above, a necromancer is raising all their corpses from the dead.
The only available mirror in a nearby town makes everybody look like somebody else, but somebody they resemble close enough. When the party enters this town, some people think they're meeting their identical twins.
The party comes across a list written on a note somebody must've lost. There are 8 names on the list, the first 3 of which have been crossed. The fourth person on the list is somebody they know.
The ruler has been assassinated.
The sewers of a nearby settlement are constantly being clogged by sewer dwelling beings.
The spiders in a nearby town keep making webs with weird messages written in them.
The thieves guild is having a grand auction of goods. The stolen goods were never reported missing because it was too embarrassing for the owners to admit they owned those goods, but the auction can lead to some obvious answers. Among those goods are murder weapons and local law enforcement needs help figuring out who the objects originally belonged to.
There are reports of a ship that's in trouble not too far from shore, because all of the sailors somehow forgot how to sail. Some fear it's an elaborate trap similar to that of sirens.
There are reports of suspicious figures following a group of adventurers.
There are rumors of an almighty sword hidden in the woods. The sword is actually an animated sword that spread the rumor so it may fight those who seek it.
There are rumors of kids luring away adults using a flute. Nobody knows for sure though, but people are definitely missing.
Townsfolk of a nearby settlement are turning into animals, but they seem to consider it to be normal.
Trees in a local forest are awakening and leaving the forest for some place else.
Undead animals are raised by a sprite in an attempt to repopulate a forest.
When a merchant hands a party member change for their purchase, one of the coin gives the party member a strange vision. The merchant doesn't seem to notice the party member's unusual behavior while they're having the vision, and doesn't seem to be expecting anything from the coin either.