20 D&D Cleric Quest Ideas


This week’s Quest Ideas come from Michael Mallen, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist that has been writing at The Id DM about gaming, psychology, and popular culture since 2011. Michael also hosts two podcasts including Ego Check with The Id DM, which features interviews with writers, designers and other members of the gaming community. His other podcast is aptly titled Childhood Ruined, where he and a long-time friend  thoughtfully discuss how elements of their experience growing up as children of the 1980’s and 90’s is forever changing. He stayed warm enough through the polar vortex to provide 20 Cleric quest hooks. He provides a brief description below before listing the quest hooks.

I previous enjoyed a successful collaboration with Andy on our book of 5th Edition monsters, No Assembly Required, which raised over $3,000 for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. When I was asked by Andy to work on quest hooks, I was eager to get involved though I experienced a significant episode of writer’s block. I enjoyed the idea, and wanted to help with his article series, though I could not figure out how to get started on the project. After days of staring at a blank screen, an idea came to me, and I happily ran with it! I decided to use song titles from one of my favorite bands to inspire the quest hooks, and everything from that point forward flowed easily.

My favorite new band within the past 5-10 years is Dead Sara. I wrote about first hearing one of their songs in 2012, and more recently posted a podcast about seeing them headline a small venue in the Twin Cities. The lead singer is a captivating amalgam of Layne Staley and Stevie Nicks, and their music spans a variety of genres that can equally break your heart or tap into the brain receptors that get activated when Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine starts. Check them out; they deserve your time!

Here are 20 Cleric Quest Ideas to consider as you are planning future sessions with your players. Again, I took a song title from Dead Sara and then let my imagination run wild. Sometimes the quest hook was generated merely from the title of the song, others from lyrics within the song, and a few were just random associations. I hope you can find a home for them within your adventures!

Heaven’s Got A Back Door. You are startled awake in the middle of the night. The textures and shapes of a vivid dream cling to your memory. You recall an angel crying out on this plane of existence in a location that is known to you from earlier in your life. You fear the mission the angel was sent to complete by your chosen god did not go as planned, and the celestial is somehow trapped – unable to return to the heavens. The deva’s name, Dalphos, continues to ring in your ears, and you feel compelled to either assist the celestial – or vanquish it if it has lost its way from your chosen deity.

Monumental Holiday. The town typically celebrates the arrival of the harvest moon, though the mood is currently somber. The people fear a poor crop as the surrounding lands have become suddenly less fertile than previous years, and the current church elder, Priestess Aina, has fallen ill with mysterious symptoms including hallucinations. You have been asked by the local church to cure Priestess Aina, if possible, and provide a blessing prior to the feast to soothe the townsfolk.

Face to Face. A famous temple has a pair of intricately carved statues of Ioun and Erathis. The 3-foot-high jade statues have faced each other at the foot of the altar for centuries, promoting harmony and peace. Last month, the statue of Erathis vanished and wickedness and lawlessness seem to be infecting those that previously worshiped at the temple. You have been asked to find the statue and return it to the temple.

Blue Was the Beautiful You. The normal clear skies and bright sun of the desert realm have given way to hellacious storms and fierce lightning strikes. Religious historians can only point to ancient legend for an explanation of the current climate. The myths indicate a mischievous blue dragon, Argangrath, roamed these lands and shaped it and the people to its will only to rest when it found a suitable home. You and your experienced companions have been asked to determine if Argangrath is once again active and learn what the trickster dragon desires to end the vicious weather.

For You I Am. You have been referred to an old woman, Rozenn, that has been seeking aid from various religious and arcane sources. She describes how she was gravely ill many decades ago and feared losing time with her spouse. She tells you how she came to make a bargain with a demon for renewed health and vigor so she could enjoy her life with family and friends. Rozenn has now outlived all the people she cared for and is ready for her life to be over. However, she does not die – and feels cursed each day she survives. She asks you to help her find a way out of the demon’s bargain so she can die peacefully.

We Are What You Say. A religious cult has been gaining momentum as more followers give up their livelihood and possessions to pledge allegiance to the cult’s charismatic leader, Exalted the Red. The cult’s humble beginnings have blossomed to feature elaborate rituals featuring animal sacrifice, and the cult members have become bolder with recruitment. You have been tasked with investigating the cult and learning the true purpose of Exalted the Red.

Feel Right at Home. You and your companions have been invited to a banquet to celebrate the recent renovation of your god’s place of worship in the city. The benefactor of the renovations is the well-respected Baron Ehsan, who seems thrilled to spread his wealth on worthy causes for the good of the people. This facade hides the fact that he is a vampire that preys on the homeless and other lost souls in the evening hours.

Dear Love. A distraught man, Tomas, is heard speaking with a priest in your god’s place of worship. He laments that he continues to receive letters addressed to his daughter, Oliva, who died months ago. The letters are from her romantic partner who remains unconvinced that she is dead. Each new letter is a reminder of his loss, and it plunges him into a pit of sadness. He is asking for someone to travel to her romantic partner’s town to plead with her to stop sending the letters.

Mona Lisa. A series of grisly deaths have fallen upon villages along the coast. The victims have varied in terms of age, race, and gender with seemingly nothing connecting the brutal murders. The only coincidence is each victim had the same type of painting with whimsical depictions of Asmodeus and devils in their home.

What It Takes. Your chosen god’s place of worship reached an agreement with a talented sculptor, Ilse. For a substantial sum of gold, Ilse has agreed to travel to the place of worship to create a masterwork that is certain to draw crowds from across the realm. He has requested a religious escort so that god’s inspiration stays with him throughout the long journey; in addition, he fears he is vulnerable on the open roads because of a disease that resulted in the loss of his legs as a child. You have been asked to travel with Ilse and escort him safely to the place of worship.

Lemon Scent. Recently, local fields have emanated a sweet scent that is bothering residents and irritating livestock. Thus far, no one has been able to locate the source of the smell. The local healer, Brother Stojan, has requested help as his prayers continue to go unanswered. He remains flummoxed about the origin of the odor and has been convinced at times that it is either blowing in from the east or seeping up through the earth below.

One Day We’ll Make It Big. While traveling along a well-traveled road, you come across a pair of young scholars, Jonah and Bedelia. They inform you their horse fell lame days ago while they were traveling to the citadel. They are both bursting with ideas about studying at the university and using their knowledge to advance medicine. Can young people be so earnest and ambitious in times like these? They ask for assistance in completing their travel to the citadel.

Sorry for It All. A necromancer, Michi Vieth, has surrendered himself to your god’s place of worship. He appears to sincerely regret his choices in life and details the number of experiments and spells he has used to control the dead. The origin of his remorse remains unclear, and he speaks of an underground laboratory that he fled as he lost control over his creations. You have been tasked with getting more information from Michi, if possible, and cleansing his underground laboratory.

Lovesick. A young elf, Khishal, is despondent as he cannot find his love interest. He explains in glowing terms how he was swept up in a whirlwind romance with another elf, Jozelfina. He was last with her as they camped in a nearby forest together for several days; when he awoke one morning, she was gone without a trace. He claims to have gone all over town asking for help and no one is willing to assist, so he has turned to your place of worship as a final resort. What Khishal does not know is that his newfound love is a dryad.

Whispers & Ashes. A widower, Lemrand, is asking for help as he no longer feels capable of completing a quest. In much earlier years, he traveled the realm as a Bard along with his spouse, an accomplished harpist. Lemrand had his spouse and his favorite harp cremated into a decorative urn. As he is too weak for the journey in his older age, he asks you to take the urn to spread the ashes at two locations that were special to him and his partner in their young life together. One of those locations has now become overrun with foul creatures.

Something Good. A temple to your chosen god in a bustling city finds itself mostly empty as citizens have given up the faith amidst an increase in crime, poverty, and overall wretchedness. You have been tasked by local clergy to engage in grand, public deeds to inspire the people who religion continues to be a worthy pursuit and answer for contemporary ills. Can you make enough of a spectacle of doing good deeds to bring people back to the faith?

Times to Remember. Usually active in social circles, Queen Mariel has not been seen in public for weeks. Her last known appearance was to the magnificent Church of Corellon, where she was seen speaking in an animated fashion with a priest. The priest introduced a relic to the queen, and the queen excitedly donated a handsome sum to the church to obtain the relic for her private collection. Unbeknownst to others outside her closest advisers, the queen has been asleep since bringing the relic into her home. No one is aware that the relic is imbued with powerful fey magic, which has the ability transport one’s consciousness to prior pleasant memories in vivid detail. The result for one untrained in this magic item can be – intoxicating.

Test on My Patience. Father McCullough speaks with you in private about a matter causing him concern. He speaks of a parishioner in church that continues to ask for the same outlandish blessing each week, “She fears she will drown, and asks for a Cloak of The Manta Ray. There isn’t a body of water within miles! I can only be polite in so many ways to redirect this request.” Father McCullough asks you to speak with the parishioner to see if you can put an end to these specific prayer requests.

I Said You Were Lucky. A halfling, Falco Hoford, has been causing quite a stir in town of late. Previously well-known in town as an affable risk taker, he has taken to gambling with other townsfolk by making outlandish bets. Regardless of how low the odds are of success, Falco continues to win these bets. No one has been able to prove any sort of foul play, though people who have lost a good deal of coin or belongings to Falco complain about him in your chosen place of worship while confessing their gambling sins and lamenting their fortunes. You have been asked to speak with Falco to stop this behavior. Only Falco knows that he was granted this unnatural knack for luck during a recent encounter with a djinni.

Timed Blues. During the past week, a sense of dread and despair falls over the village when the sun dips under the horizon. The sobs and wails from the villagers can be heard for miles throughout the night. However, the melancholy lifts when the sun rises, and villagers feel a renewed sense of joy and optimism. You have been asked to uncover the cause of this nighttime torment and put an end to it.

Because I try to think of everything, I created a Dead Sara playlist in this exact order for your listening pleasure.

I would be happy to hear from readers, and the easiest place to catch me is through Twitter or email: theiddm@gmail.com. You can also catch me on an upcoming episode of Dragon Talk, hosted by Wizards of the Coast. I’ll be appearing on the show Friday, February 8th at 3PM PST.

Last, if you enjoy this content and would like to support my creative efforts, then please visit my Patreon to consider getting involved for as little as $1/month. Every little bit helps with improving the articles and podcasts that I put out into the world for free, and there are some fun ways to get involved.

2 Responses to “20 D&D Cleric Quest Ideas”

  1. Servant of Oghma Says:

    As a fervent follower of a deity I appreciate anything that gives more story hooks about how one mortal can become closer with their god.

    Also, I have returned after an even longer hiatus than this blog has ever taken. Hope you are doing well, A.

    Servant of Oghma (CB)

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