Sunday, January 15, 2012

So You Need an Idea for an Adventure

Yesterday one of my friends suggested we play some D&D over skype later in the evening.  So, naturally I agree before thinking and then the "oh shit I need an adventure" hits me.  I created this table a while back, mostly for writing purposes, but thought, what the hell, I'll give it a go.  After a few random rolls I was able to come up with a pretty good adventure for the group.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to play after all, because one of my friends got ill later on that night.

Here is a link to the table (hosted on Google Docs).  Now, the original chart only had the first two tables, which I used last night to make my adventure.  I added a third table on the chart this evening.  Basically all you do is pick up a d100 roll it and consult the first table.  Roll it again, consult the middle, then roll it a 3rd time and consult the 3rd table.  Keep doing this several times.  Write down your results.  If you get something that sounds cool, write it down.  Then go through, pick out the best ones, and you should have some good starting inspiration for an adventure.

I'll give you an example off the first couple of tables, of what I got.  I rolled several times, but eventually came up with these usable combinations:

Sad Prince
Whorehouse of Decadence
Cathedral of the Fatal
Mute Bride
Charming Demon
Verses of Failure
Servant of Fear

Now, the tables as they are leave out the "of"s and "the"s.  Just mix and match the words and let the imagination take over.  When I began I knew this adventure would be city based, so I took what I thought could be most useful of what I rolled for that.  So, out of those useful combinations I came up with the following notes which I scribbled down in a notebook:

"Sad Prince in disguise approaches PCs about rescuing his bride who is mute (now.)  Tracked her down to Whorehouse of Decadence which is being run by a succubus (charming demon) named Absuroma.  But first the PCs must infiltrate the Cathedral of the Fatal and steal the Verses of Failure which contain banishment ritual to banish her back to her plane."

So, a few rolls on the chart, some inspiration, and I have a couple of adventures to last at least 2 sessions.  I added some more stuff as well once the ball got rolling.  Like the fact that the Cathedral of the Fatal is being overrun by ghouls.  Why?  Because their is a priestess in the halls below the cathedral being held in a sleep like stasis because some BBEG harnessed her soul into a garnet stone and put it in a circlet which the priestess is wearing.  So the ghouls are entering the cathedral through her dreams.  Of course, this leads to even more plot hooks.  Who did this to her and why, etc.

Anyway, the chart and tables are useful for brainstorming when the old adventure writing block demon strikes.


  1. That's a useful toy, similar to the Mythic Game Master Emulator. For future use, combine it with the Big List of RPG Plots for a more complete adventure generator.

  2. This sounds pretty similar to the Dungeons and Dominion idea I had a while back.

    It's really astonishing how evocative an adjective and a noun can wind up becoming.

  3. This is some great stuff! Very useful collection, I just came up with two which seem to want to be used in a more humorous fashion: I don't know any better way to describe a disastrous, dignity-destroying, drunken night at a bar than this:

    "Mate, last night, I went down to the Crypt of Vibrant Intoxication, and let's just say I drank a few too many Potions of Fallen Honour..."