donjon

Random Adventure Generator

ThemeHorror
This type of adventure is designed to scare both the characters and the players. Just having a monster attack is not enough for a horror theme; the monster must first frighten the characters.
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.
ClimaxThrone Room Duel
This is set up much like the Scattered Duels, except that you don't separate the heroes. It's harder to control whom fights who in this situation... but if it doesn't matter who has the final duel with the Master Villain, this is a classic climax choice.
General SettingTorturous Terrain
The adventure takes place in some sort of unsettled, uncivilized, dangerous terrain; in action stories, the desert and jungle work best; choose one of those two or decide on a setting that is similarly dangerous and exotic.
Specific Setting IDemi-human Community
In wilderness areas, this will be a large community of demi-humans -- elves, dwarves, halflings, whatever -- or intelligent nonhumans such as orcs. If your action is taking place in a city, this could be a hidden community (such as a secret underground dwarf community) or a section of the city inhabited mostly by demi-humans.
Specific Setting IICatacombs
These can be catacombs beneath a living city or a ruined one; they can be long-forgotten or still in use.
Master VillainAvenger
This villain seeks to avenge some wrong he thinks he's suffered. He may be right; he may have suffered a wrong, and this makes him a little more sympathetic than villains who are purely evil. The Avenger uses his organization -- thugs and bribed officials -- to get at the one who wronged him, and will want either to duel (singly) the one who wronged him, or to put the wrongdoer in a deathtrap.
Minor Villain ISingle-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.
Minor Villain IISnivelling Vizier
The Vizier is a throne-room villain. Functionally, he's rather like the Hard-Eyed Advisor, offering tactics and advice to his master; but he's an ooily, sleazy, cowardly sycophant. He's usually brilliant in his field of advice but has no combat abilities.
Ally/NeutralInquisitive Chronicler
This character is a historian who wishes to accompany the heroes to record their exploits. He constantly pries into the heroes' backgrounds, asking questions that are none of his business, as the adventure continues.
Monster EncounterTerrain Monster
Don't forget the simple run-in with the animal belonging to the terrain where the heroes are: Every type of wilderness has its predators and big, nasty herbivores.
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.
DeathtrapTomb Deathtraps
Another classic type of trap is the sort of triggered trap left behind in abandoned tombs, ruins, and catacombs. Here, a hero who touches the wrong step, floor tile, wall brick, torch bracket, mounted gemstone, or other device will trigger some sort of ancient trap designed to kill tomb-robbers and intruders.
ChaseFootrace
The chase involves the characters on foot, probably through such terrain as city streets or the corridors of a palace. One hero may realize that the's being pursued by a party of enemies and choose to run for it; the heroes may have caught up to the Master Villain, prompting him to run for his life.
Omen/ProphesyHero Fulfills Prophecy
This is the most useful sort of prophecy. In the early part of the adventure, one of the heroes discovers that he fulfills some ancient prophecy.
Secret WeaknessLack of Familiarity
The Master Villain, if he comes from the past or another dimension, or belongs to an alien race, might be sufficiently unfamiliar with this world that he essentially defeats himself. How? By making incorrect guesses about human behaviour. One classic error involves underestimating the human capacity for self-sacrifice.
Special ConditionNo Lawbreaking
For some reason, at one point in the story, the heroes cannot allow themselves to break the law -- even when it would help them greatly to do so. For instance, the heroes may be asking for the help of a king whose word is law and whose power is immense. When they arrive for their audience, an emissary of the Master Villain is making a similar plea for help. If the heroes attack and kill that emissary, they will lose any chance at the king's help -- in fact, he may order their execution.
Moral QuandryHonor Quandry
You want to use this on the character with the most strongly developed sense of personal honor -- someone who has lived all his life by a strict code. Toward the end of the adventure, this character realizes that the best way to defeat the Master Villain is a violation of that code. For instance, the character might be a paladin, who discovers that the only possible way for the heroes to defeat the Master Villain is to sneak up on him and stab him in the back.
Red HerringExtraneous Details
When giving the heroes details on their enemy -- for instance, details they are learning from investigations and readings -- you can give them just a few details too many. This may prompt the heroes to investigate the "extra" (i.e., irrelevant) details in addition to the relevant onces, thus losing them valuable time.
Cruel TrickVillain Accompanies Party
In this distressing situation, the Master Villain, in disguise or his secret identity, accompanies the heroes for much of their quest. He gets to know them, learns their strengths and weaknesses, learns their plans, and just as soon as it's most efficient for him, he thwarts their current plans and leaves. Alternatively, the Master Villain might be with the heroes all along, up to the very end; the heroes know that one of their companions is the villain, and the whole thrust of the story is finding out who he is. This is the whole purpose of most Mystery-type adventures.

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