donjon

Beware the displacer ooze

Random Adventure Generator

ThemeEspionage
Espionage adventures are active, grim scenarios involving spying and perhaps other cloak-and-dagger deeds such as assassination or rescue.
GoalProtect Endangered NPC(s)
One or more NPCs are in danger, and the characters must protect them. They might be doing this for a reward, or because one or more of the NPCs is a friend or relative of the character. You need to decide what the characters are protecting the NPCs from. The NPC might be a wealthy or powerful person being sought by assassins or kidnappers. The NPC might be a whole village of peasants who are being terrorized by a bandit chieftan.
Story HookMistaken Identity
The hero could be mistaken by one villain for another villain involved in the master plot. This has good comic potential if the hero and missing villain are in fact so similar that no one can tell them apart. (This is even more fun if they turn out to be long-lost twins.)
PlotAccumulation of Elements
In this sort of plot, the heroes have to go from place to place -- perhaps covering very little area like a city, perhaps roaming the known world -- and accumulate elements to be used against the Master Villain. These elements may be clues, pieces of an artifact, evidence, or allies.
ClimaxPrevented Deed
Here, the heroes have been defeated -- captured by the Master Villain, or so thoroughly cut up by his minions that all believe them to be dead. And the heroes have learned, from the bragging of the villain, loose talk of his minions, or examination of clues, what is the crucial event of his master plan. In any case, the battered and bruised heroes must race to this site and have their final confrontation with the villain, bursting in on him and his minions just as the knife or final word or key is poised, and prevent the awful deed from taking place -- and, incidentally, defeat the master villain and minions who beat them previously.
General SettingExotic Distant Land
The adventure will take the heroes to some fascinating and exotic distant country, where they'll have to cope with new customs, monsters unfamiliar to them, and very colorful NPC encounters; choose one of the more fascinating foreign lands from your campaign world.
Specific Setting IMansion of a Lord
This can be the home of a villain -- the characters may have to break in and rescue someone or steal evidence, or break out if they've been captured -- or of a heroic ally, in which case it may be used as the headquarters for the heroes' plans and activities.
Specific Setting IIShacktown of the Oppressed
Part of the action centers around the tenements or shacks of the worst part of town; perhaps an allied NPC lives here or the characters are fugitives hiding out in the nasty part of town.
Master VillainCorruptor
The Corruptor is the villain who wants to make something nasty out of something that is currently nice. He may be working on a small scale -- i.e., wish to corrupt one character or a few characters, particularly PCs and their favorite NPCs. Alternatively, he may be a big-scale villain trying to change an entire city or nation into a jaded, debased pit of sin, hatred and death.
Minor Villain IMistress with a Heart of Gold
This character is much like the "Lover or Daughter of Villain" type of Mystery Woman from the Story Hooks section. In this case, she usually accompanies the Master Villain, but sometimes goes on missions of her own, where she runs into and develops affection for one of the player-characters.
Minor Villain IISingle-Minded Soldier
This most trustworthy of villain minions is the experienced, competent, persistent soldier -- a field-trained officer who serves the villain with military precision. He is usually encountered in the field as leader of the villain's field operations. He is not encountered directly until the middle of or the latter part of the adventure; until then, the heroes encounter only his subordinates.
Ally/NeutralTalkative Barkeep
This classic encounter is the garrulous innkeeper who has information the characters want; trouble is, they'll have to bribe him to get it, or agree to stay at his inn, or buy a lavish meal, or listen to his incessant stories about his career in the army, or whatever.
Monster EncounterNoble Beast
With this encounter, the heroes find that they have to capture -- but not injure -- some sort of powerful, noble beast in order to accomplish their mission. For instance, to reach a mountain-top aerie, they must capture pegasi and ride them up to their enemy.
Character EncounterTruthful Accuser
This encounter is like the Lying Accuser except that the accuser is telling the truth. Dig through your characters' pasts, uncover a misdeed or two, and, when the heroes are at a critical point in their adventure, confront them with someone they actually have wronged. This person has found them and appealed to sympathetic local authorities. The heroes will have to make good or have the authorities on their backs for some time to come.
DeathtrapPit and the Pendulum
Actually, we're applying this term to any of many time-delay deathtraps. In this sort of trap, the villains capture the heroes and place them in a trap which will soon kill them -- it operates on a delay, often based on a timing device or a burning fuse.
ChaseEndurance
The Endurance Chase is not some sort of climactic chase -- it's a rugged, tiring, persistent pursuit that tests the characters to their limits. In this chase, the heroes and villains are pursuing one another across a lot of territory and they're not catching up with one another very fast. This may be a horseback pursuit across a hundred miles of savannah, a camel chase across several days' worth of desert, or a chase across arctic tundra.
Omen/ProphesyComet's Progress
Events during the adventure may be enlivened by a large and menacing comet which appears in the night sky for several days during the scenario; the locals take it for an omen of doom. The comet may be the result of magic being used by the Master Villain, or the comet's appearance can pertain to an old legend involving the Master Villain.
Secret WeaknessElement
The Master Villain can be banished, dispelled, killed, or otherwise defeated by some of element or item. The Master Villain tries to get rid of all the examples of this element in his vicinity; he doesn't let his minions carry it or bring it into his presence. But he's not stupid; he doesn't announce to the world what his weakness is. He tries to hide his concern within another command. If he's allergic to red roses, for instance, he orders all "things of beauty" destroyed within miles of his abode.
Special ConditionTime Limit
Finally, the most obvious condition to place on an adventure is to give it a time limit. If the Master Villain is going to conclude his evil spell in only three days, and his citadel is three hard days' riding away, then the heroes are going to be on the go all throughout the adventure -- with little time to rest, plan, gather allies, or anything except get to where they're going.
Moral QuandryFriend Quandry
At a critical point in the story, one of the campaign's NPCs makes an impossible demand of one of the heroes.
Red HerringArtifact that Doesn't Work
Often, epic quests against powerful Master Villains require that the heroes find some legendary artifact, the only object which can defeat the villain. If your heroes have had no trouble getting to the artifact -- they've effortlessly sliced through every obstacle you've put in their path and are confidently advancing on the resting place of the magical item -- you can have it not work.
Cruel TrickWanted by the Law
One final complication, one which occurs pretty frequently, is when the heroes are wanted by the law. When they're wanted by the law, they have to travel in secret and very limited in the resources they can acquire.

Based upon tables from the Dungeon Master's Design Kit by TSR, Inc.