donjon

Beware the blink dragon

Random Adventure Generator

ThemeRomance
This sort of adventure (rarely played, but worthwhile anyway) has as its central plot the romance between two characters, usually a player-character and an NPC.
GoalSurvive Environment
The characters could end up in a hostile environment which they must cross -- a desert, a jungle, or other hostile setting. In the course of the adventure they'll need to find food and water, resist the elements, and perhaps fight off attacks of the natives.
Story HookOld Enemy
This is a straightforward story hook; the hero learns that his oldest enemy is back and is very active in the campaign, up to something. The hero will naturally want to investigate and will walk right into the story.
PlotA-B-C Quest
This is an epic sort of plot. In it, the heros are given (or undertake) a task to perform: The taking of a city, the rescue of an innocent, the destruction of a monster, the creation of a magical item, the defeat of a Master Villain, etc. But the path to victory is not a simple one. To get to their goal, Event A, they find that they must first accomplish some other task -- Event B. But when they undertake the task of accomplishing Event B, they find that they must first accomplish Event C. This goes on for several encounters, until the heroes accomplish all the obstacle events which prevent them from returning to Event A, their original goal.
ClimaxChase to Ground
First, you have the Heroes Chasing the Villain. The villain, after a series of encounters with the heroes, is running to safety, to some place where he can acquire more power, or to somehwere he can accomplish some dread purpose such as assassination or mass murder. The heroes chase him, have to deal with the obstacles he leaves behind, and finally catch up to him before or just as he reaches his goal. Here, we have the final duel between the villains forces and the heroes. Second, you have the Villain Chasing the Heroes. Often, in a story like this, the heroes have found out how to defeat the villain -- such as getting to a particular temple and conducting a particular ritual. The villain chases them all through their quest, catching up to them just as they're commenciing their ritual; they must, with heroic effort, conclude the ritual while suffering his attacks. Third, you have the Master Villain's Sudden Escape Attempt. This takes place in adventures where the Master Villain's identity is unknown until the end. His identity is revealed and he makes a sudden bolt for freedom; the heroes give chase. This usually results in a dangerous foot-chase through nasty terrain -- such as across rooftops, through the dungeons, or across an active battlefield.
General SettingHero's Home Town
The action takes the heroes back to the home territory of one of them. Note that this usually means that this hero's family or old friends are deeply involved in the adventure.
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 IIDemi-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.
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 ISnivelling 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.
Minor Villain IIMistress 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.
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 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 EncounterOld Friend at the Wrong Time
When the heroes are trying to sneak through a guardpost, citadel, or city where they can't afford to be recognized, one of the characters' old friends recognizes him and loudly renews their acquaintance in full view of the guards looking for the characters. This usually leads to an exciting chase as the heroes must escape.
DeathtrapFramed
One or more of the heroes is accused and convicted of a capital crime -- one for which the mandatory punishment is death. The heroes must escape or die, and they're escaping from the well-built, well-protected prison of the local authorities.
ChaseSpecial Terrain
You can make any chase more memorable by having it take place in a setting to which it is utterly unsuited. For instance, horse chases are fine and dramatic when they take place through the forest, out in the open plains, or along a road -- but they become diabolical when they take place inside the Royal Palace or in dangerous, labrynthine, treacherous catacombs.
Omen/ProphesyInnocent Fulfills Prophecy
An innocent could fulfill a prophecy -- one which endangers his/her life. This innocent might, for instance, be the one who is supposed to slay the king, but is not a mighty adventurer able to protect himself from the king; the heroes may find themselves sheltering and helping this poor dupe.
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 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 QuandrySaving Quandry
Finally, another classic quandry puts the heroes in the position of choosing between a grand opportunity to hurt the Master Villain -- or saving the lives of a number of individuals.
Red HerringFalse Path to the Artifact
Once again, if the heroes have had too easy a time finding the artifact capable of destroying the villain, give them trouble this way: When they get to the place where the artifact is supposed to be contained, they find the coffer or chamber or whatever empty, obviously looted by robbers, who have scrawled such remarks as "Kelrog was here!" upon the walls.
Cruel TrickHeroes Must Work with Villain
If they have to work for the villain, it's due to some hold he has over them -- probably, he's kidnapped one of their NPCs and will kill this person if his demands aren't met. Put the heroes through the encounter where they have to do something they are loathe to do, such as sack and pillage a temple, before they have the opportunity to retrieve their friend.

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