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Published by: Christian Eichhorn
With the recent releases of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, many DMs are looking for supplemental material and content to help flesh out the city of Waterdeep. “Notice Board: 42 Quests for Waterdeep and Skullport” provides a large variety of excellent story seeds, ideas, and side quests perfect for big city adventures.
The 16-page montage of mini-quests consists of 32 notice board quests designed for Waterdeep, one of the biggest cities in the Forgotten Realms, and 10 for Skullport, a lawless, pirate haven located a few levels beneath the city in Undermountain.
While this makes it perfect for a Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign, most of them could be easily suited to any large urban setting.
Each quest is presented with flavorful descriptive text designed to be seen and read by the players themselves. In fact, the DMs Guild product comes with an impressive set of player handouts that uses every single quest in an aesthetically pleasing notice board layout, complete with multiple font styles and formats.
There’s also the option to mix and match your own notices with blank templates and backgrounds, letting you choose your favorites and present them like an actual notice board in the city – very cool!
Beyond the flavor text, each entry consists of a single paragraph. I wasn’t expecting full blown quests out of each notice board entry, but due to the large variety of content, some of them feel very complex and vague compared to others. Investigate the Tower involves journeying into a magical deathtrap dungeon to confront a mysterious rogue who guards a portal to the Shadowfell, while Gond’s Relic Stolen tasks the players with chasing after a planeswalker all the way into the Elemental Plane of Fire.
Those are neat ideas, but maybe a bit too ambitious with only a single paragraph of information to go with. Thankfully most of them fit the mold of notice board quests much smoother, such as a fetch quest in the nearby swamps, searching for a missing flag from an embassy, protecting a group of rallying protesters from violence, and exploring a ghostly ship that shows up in the harbor.
Most of these quests lean more heavily toward exploration, social encounters, and skill checks rather than combat, and that’s a big plus. There are certainly opportunities for combat, such as busting up a drug den or rooting out spectators from the sewers. But if I’m looking to fill out an urban campaign with some fun filler material, I’m generally not looking to run too many more combat encounters.
While the author does warn that the DM should take care of level scaling and rewards, I wish there was at least an attempt to organize each entry by level. Obviously I can see that busting up that drug den of bandits is easier than the journey into the Elemental Plane of Fire. But it would have been very helpful to see the quests organized at least by Adventure Tier, with maybe some idea of monetary rewards.
- Over 40 interesting story seeds that range from simple fetch quests, to potentially spinning off into entirely new campaigns.
- The Waterdeep quests are thematically tied to big city environments, while Skullport’s are appropriately concerned with pirates, thieves, and slavers.
- Includes nine player handouts, each containing 4-5 quests in a fun notice board aesthetic, as well as blank templates and single notes to mix and match your own.
- No level ranges and few rewards are provided, instead relying on DMs to determine difficulty and reward scaling.
The Verdict: “Notice Board” includes a welcoming variety of mini-adventures, story seeds, and side quests for any urban-based campaign.
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