donjon

Random Adventure Generator

ThemeAction/Adventure
This is the most common and straightforward sort of adventure there is. In the Action/Adventure scenario, you present your characters with a task and then confront them with obstacles to overcome in order to accomplish the task successfully.
GoalExplore a New Area
The heroes are hired or convinced to enter an unmapped area and explore it. They may be making a map; they may be trying to find someone who disappeared into this area in the past; they may be following legends that tell of treasure in the unexplored interior.
Story HookLegend and Rumor
In this classic story hook, the hero stumbles across some new or long-forgotten knowledge that promises great treasure or gain.
PlotGeographic Progression
This is the simplest sort of adventure plot. The heroes have an area to investigate or travel through; they have encounters based on where they are. For instance, the traditional dungeon, where monsters are tied to specific rooms or areas. Or, if the heroes are travelling along a narrow valley or through an enchanted forest, they might suffer ambushes and other encounters fixed to various points along their travel plan. The plot, then, is getting to the villain by surviving the intervening obstacle encounters.
ClimaxDivine Retribution
Here, the heroes' goal has been to alert the gods that the Master Villain threatens them or their plans; in the last scenes of the adventure, as our heroes face an overwhelming enemy force, the gods bring down their divine retribution on the villain, causing a massive earthquake, tidal wave, lightning storm, or flood of monsters. This is all well and good, but the heroes are too close and must escape the fringe effects of this awesome disaster. A variant on this is the Natural Disaster. No gods are actually involved, but the Master Villain has been tampering with the delicate forces of nature. He may, for instance, have been powering his master spell with the energies of a volcano. When the heroes attack the scene of his spellcasting, the spell goes out of control and so does the volcano. The villain is consumed in the eruption and the heroes must escape or be consumed themselves.
General SettingOn the Road
Most of the adventure takes place on the road, as the heroes are travelling from place to place. This is especially good for adventures where heroes are investigating a wide-ranging mystery, are part of a caravan, or are being pursued by loathesome villains.
Specific Setting IPalace of the King
The heroes could be here for many, many different reasons: Trying to get a favor from the ruler, part of some nobleman's retinue, members of the palace guard, sneaking in to save the ruler from assassins, sneaking in to assassinate the ruler, thrown into the dungeon for crimes they did or didn't commit, etc.
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 VillainSufferer
This Master Villain disguises himself as some other sort of villain. Long ago, he was given an ugly curse -- he longs for death but can never die unless slain by heroes unaware of his curse. (Naturally, the way the curse works, he has to defend himself when attacked by the heroes.) So this villain works hard to make sure the best heroes in the world have sufficient cause to want to come and kill him. He'll insult them, ruin them, kidnap or murder their loved ones, whatever it takes to bring them against him. Often, he can only die -- his curse can only be undone -- in one specific holy place, so he'll have to lure the heroes to that place to face him. If the heroes are doing research on the villain all this time, they may find out his secret, leading to a sad and painful end to the episode as the unkillable villain has to leave and find someone new to kill him.
Minor Villain IHard-Eyed Advisor
This is the sort of villain whom the heroes see in the Master Villain's throne room. He's hard-eyed and scary; life means nothing to him and he enjoys killing. He's also a good advisor to his master.
Minor Villain IIHard-Eyed Advisor
This is the sort of villain whom the heroes see in the Master Villain's throne room. He's hard-eyed and scary; life means nothing to him and he enjoys killing. He's also a good advisor to his master.
Ally/NeutralAbsent-Minded Expert
The characters find they need an expert in some fields -- pottery, alchemy, whatever -- but all they can find is a somewhat daffy and absent-minded master of that subject. He's useful when around his subject matter, but otherwise absent-minded, incautions, in frequent need of rescuing, etc.
Monster EncounterPowerful Tester
Here, some powerful, intelligent monster with shapechanging ability turns into a human form. When the heroes encounter him, he is in need of help or having trouble. He also obviously can't reward the heroes for their help, and will only serve to slow the heroes down from their quest. If the heroes help him anyway, the Powerful Tester reveals himself in his true form and offers to aid the heroes in their quest.
Character EncounterInquisitive Official
Some local authority has noticed the characters' presence and it makes her curious. She snoops around asking questions all the time. She may be a city guardsman or special agent of the ruler, but (functionally) she's a police lieutenant, asking the rong questions at the wrong time; the heroes have to work around her, sneaking where normally they'd be able to work in the open.
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 WeaknessSecret Embarrassment
Finally, the villain may have some aberration or secret shame that will force him to flee when he is confronted with it. It could be something as simple as the fact that his nose is too big, or that he is a small and nebbishly wizard pretending to be some vast, powerful demonic power. When his shame is revealed, he is too humiliated to continue; this is a good option for comedy adventures.
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 QuandryRespect Quandry
This is much like the Ally Quandry, only at a greater distance. The heroes have been utilizing the aid of two (or more) powerful NPC allies. Now, in the course of the adventure, the heroes come across a task which can be accomplished in one of two ways -- say, through military intervention or by esoteric magic. The problem is, the NPC allies are arguing for different choices, and the one whom the heores choose against will no longer aid them.
Red HerringLying Rumor
This is the worst and most useful type of red herring -- the interesting rumor which just happens to be false. In adventures of this sort, the best Lying Rumor concerns the Master Villain; it gives the heroes some "important" information about him which later turns out to be useless.
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.