Random Adventure Generator

ThemeEspionage
Espionage adventures are active, grim scenarios involving spying and perhaps other cloak-and-dagger deeds such as assassination or rescue.
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 HookPressing Buttons
As a general story-hook approach, think about the player-character -- his personal goals and his personal dislikes. If the hero is pursuing a specific goal, you have one of the minor villains, as a side-effect of the villain's master plan, thwart the hero's latest step towards that goal. Alternatively, if there's something the hero truly hates to see, have it happen -- and have the villains be responsible.
PlotEvent
For this plot, choose some sort of event -- a tournament, a holiday, a celebration called by the king, a masked ball, or whatever -- and set the commencement of the Master Villain's plan against that backdrop.
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 SettingOn the Sea
Most of the action occurs on the sea -- the heroes are shipborne for some reason, docking in lots of ports. Again, this is good for adventures where the heroes are investigating clues left all over the map, are part of some trading enterprise, or are being pursued by villains.
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 IILegendary Forest
This classic adventure site is the sometimes dark and fearsom, sometimes light and cheerful, always magical and incomprehensible forest inhabited by the oldest elven trives and most terrifying monsters.
Master VillainGod of Chance
Here you have two options. This Master Villain could be a real entity -- an actual god of mischief or silliness, who has intruded in the heroes' lives to cause chaos and have fun. Alternatively, this "villain" could actually be pure chance: The heroes are having a series of unrelated, accidental encounters which cause them fits. No real single villain is involved, although initially it looks as though there is.
Minor Villain IMisguided Moralist
This fellow has been convinced that only by helping the villain achieve the Master Plan can he improve the world. He tends to be encountered all through the adventure's plot, usually escaping from the heroes and taunting them for their wrong thinking. Fortunately, he's no more effective as a villain than he is as a thinker.
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/NeutralCongenial Madman
This fellow is a pleasant, happy lunatic whom the heroes encounter; after the initial encounter, he follows them wherever they go, commenting on their plans, behaving strangely, getting underfoot, and -- very occassionally -- proving to be a real help.
Monster EncounterForeshadowing Monster
With this monster encounter, combat may not be necessary. This monster encounter exists to alert the characters to the fact that something unusual is going on, a foreshadowing of their upcoming conflicts with the Master Villain.
Character EncounterLying Accuser
A captured thief may accuse the character of putting him up to the theft; an abandoned mother may accuse the hero of fathering the child; a reputable witness (working for the Master Villain) may accuse the hero of a murder or robbery. The hero shouldn't know what he's accused of until he's hauled in by the authorities.
DeathtrapRock and a Hard Place
This trap starts out as an Animal Pit, Pit and the Pendulum, or Tomb Deathtrap, but an obvious escape suggests itself very early on. Trouble is, it leads into even worse danger. The hole out of the animal pit may lead to the lair of an even worse animal; it may lead through a succession of dangers (collapsing old catacombs, into an underground river, into a den of zombies) before the heroes reach the light.
ChaseWater
Don't forget the water chase: Whether it's a battle of seamanship between naval vessels, a chase of rafts toward the inevitable waterfall ahead, a contest of canoeing ability, or a chase between the villain and his giant shark vs. the heroes and their dolphin friends, the water chase can be a distinctive and dramatic one.
Omen/ProphesyBirthmark
One of the heroes has a birthmark that pertains to the adventure in some way. He may have a birthmark identical to some NPC -- for instance, some person endangered by the Master Villain. This mystery can give the hero his reason to become involved. Alternatively, his birthmark may mark him as a hero fulfilling 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 Hurting the Villain
For some reason, the heroes cannot afford to fight the villain directly. For instance, what if a demon possesses the body of the child of one of the characters, or a very important child spoken of in prophecy, one without whom the world will perish?
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 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 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.