|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.
|Protect 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.
|On some occassion when the hero is out wandering the streets or is otherwise all alone, a dying man bumbs into him, hands him something, says a few words, and dies.
|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.
|Chase 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.
|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 I
|Mansion 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 II
|This is a classic fantasy setting, the residence of travelling heroes and the home of the tavern brawl.
|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 I
|This villain is the one who interrogates the heroes and NPCs captured by the villains. He accompanies the other Minor Villain out into the field and works on anyone captured; he enjoys inflicting pain and suffering.
|Minor Villain II
|Childhood Friend with a Dark Secret
|This Minor Villain is like the character of the same name from the Allies and Neutrals section. However, the heroes find out early on that he's really working for the Master Villain. He may not wish to be helping the villains; his family may be held hostage, or he may just be too frightened of the villain or otherwise weak-willed to refuse. Alternatively, he could actually be evil now.
|Some poor wretch blundered into part of the master villain's plan and saw too much. What he saw drove him crazy. He gibber and jabbers, occassionally uttering clues about what he's seen, but just isn't coherent. He knows enough that the heroes will need to take him along to comment on what they're encountering, though, so he can't just be met and forgotten.
|Some time when the heroes are in a village or city, an animal, probably an otherwise tame or captured beast, is set loose by the villain's minions or driven mad by the Master Villain. The beast goes berserk in the crowds; if the heroes aren't inclined to capture or kill it, it goes after them.
|The Mean Drunk works much like the Belligerent Soldier except that he's not as tough, is of course drunk, and is usually accompanied by other Mean Drunks.
|Pit and the Pendulum
|Actually, we're applying this term to any of many time-delay deathtraps. In this sort of trap, the villains capture the heroes and place them in a trap which will soon kill them -- it operates on a delay, often based on a timing device or a burning fuse.
|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.
|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.
|The villain may have the traditional weakness to a specific holy symbol -- but don't choose just an ordinary one. It may be a holly symbol no longer used by the church, or may be some forgotten variation of the current symbol. (For instance, the cross may not work, but a variation -- such as the Roman cross -- might; alternatively, it might have to be a holy symbol which has undergone some unfamiliar ritual.)
|This option requires that the Master Villain be of godlike power oor possess some sort of artifact. Once the Master Villain realizes that the heroes are on his tail, he uses his powers or artifact and steals the heroes' identities. One day they wake up -- and no one knows who they are. They retain their memories of themselves and each other, but no one else does. (The villain knows them, though.)
|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.
|False 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.
|Mission is a Ruse
|In the course of their adventuring, the heroes discover they have been tricked into performing a mission which helps the Master Villain.
Based upon tables from the Dungeon Master's Design Kit by TSR, Inc.