Every town or city should have a random chart for news, which in turn provides opportunities for adventures. These charts can also be used for gossip rolls, which some adventurers are wont to seek in every tavern large and small. Or really any other time you feel lazy being a sandbox DM
if the Party stays in a certain settlement for a while, more News items should be added to each list.
Each chart should have the same 3 categories:
roll 1d3 per news/gossip
1. GOOD NEWS
2. TERRIBLE NEWS
3. SUPERNATURAL NEWS
Here's an incomplete example for the small caravanserai of PILGRIM'S PASSING:
1. "The new axe in Piku's shop is the finest I have yet seen. I watched him shave Nahvarok with it, and even Nahvarok had to laugh."
2. "The domesticated Carnivorous Goats are breeding rapidly - perhaps too rapidly."
3. "The Trader Jah is in town! O Happy day! He brings always the finest goods from far-off lands, and never gives a bad deal. The young people will be happy tonight when he opens his market in the center square. I've heard Iaello may open one of his most hallucinatory fig wines."
4. "As I came here, I passed a Holy Man of God-Kos sitting by the side of the road. He seemed lost in prayer, but had a small basket in front of him."
5. "Shearing Day is here! It is time for all in the village to help wrangle and shear the female Canivorous Goats."
6. "Today is the Blessing-Day of Kos. We must all go to the river to be re-baptized, to protect our village for another year. Will you come/watch my insane bedridden grandfather/serve as an acolyte?"
7. "Today is the Thirteenth Ide of Io! Free whippings and prostitutes for all!"
8. "The Loe River Clan have their basket-boats in the town harbor. They are offering pearls and other strange things in return for metal."
9. "A minstrel is playing songs in Iaello's drinking house! He appears a well-traveled fellow, and his voice is deep but pleasant. He has an ear for tragedies and great deeds."
10. "Flax Harvest day! Rhynt the Elder has demanded that all women take the traditional role of guarding the men while they harvest the Flax. (or vice versa)
11. "Did you see the Loean Barge at the docks? By the Blank Face, I've rarely seen such riches!"
12. "A Road-Tribe is passing through town. It's always worth seeing their bizarre walking houses, even if their goods are mostly junk."
13. "The Floods have come! Quickly, retreat to the rooftops! Today is a day of partying and celebration!"
14. "A Show-Barge is in town! I always feel like a little child again when the Show-Barges come."
15. "A Harvestman named Logo was gone for a while. We feared him dead, but he returned with powerful objects. He said that he said seen strange things beneath the White Mounds, and was ready to go again."
ETC etc etc
1. "Someone has stolen the Silent Girl!
2. "There is a duellist pacing around in the town square. He says he seeks a worthy foe. Sherriff Dronlan Three-Swords will probably kill him soon."
3. "The handle to my shovel broke! Fah... I'll have to cut a new one. I hate to buy anything from the Wood Tribe."
4. "A minstrel has appeared at Iaello's Drinking House. He is quite handsome and has a fine tenor. I have a feeling there will be jealous men tonight."
5. "I'm worried about Abor the Gong-Man. He pleaded for higher wages, Elder Rhynt denied him. Now, he seems to spend all his time moping at the Drinking House or alone."
6. "It's time for the Flax Planting. All hands are needed - both to plant the seeds and to fight off monsters."
7. "A Toad-Man Bully has shown up in town. He's pushed several people around on the street and hit one man with a broken shovel-handle. Now he sits in Iaello's Drinking House, demanding free wine and picking fights with everyone. Everybody's too scared to do anything about it, and Sherriff Dronlan Three-Swords is in one of his moods."
8. "Rooster the Red Merchant is in town. He always has rare things, but I would count my fingers after meeting him. The mothers had better lock up their daughters."
1. "I saw a Goblin last night. It was in my shelf, watching me. I threw a good blanket over the shelf, but he only watched me from beneath. I sang loudly, blinked three times, and crossed my eyes at him. After that, I could tell he was harmless, but he continued watching me all night and gave me nightmares."
2. "There are far more Ravens than usual. Either Rhialto is planning something, or we're in for bloodshed soon."
3. "A Ghost has inhabited Five's farm! He tried to chase it out by throwing rocks and shouting, but it did not work. Nobody knows what to do - he can't go home."
4. etc etec