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Adventure #77

Action/Adventure
Theme

Goal

Story Hook

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.
Survive 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.
Old Friend
Another classic story hook is the Old Friend, the childhood friend of our hero, who shows up in one of several ways to drag the hero into the story.
A-B-C Quest

Plot

Climax

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.
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.

Exotic Distant Land


General Setting The adventure will take the heroes to some fascinating and exotic distant country, where they'll have to cope with new customs, monsters unfamiliar
to them, and very colorful NPC encounters; choose one of the more fascinating foreign lands from your campaign world.
Specific Setting I

Classic Dungeon
This would be the standard monster-filled labyrinth; perhaps it's a nesting ground for the master villain's monster troops.

Military Encampment
Specific Setting
This is best used in an episode involving warfare; it could be the good-guy army's encampment, from which the heroes launch their adventures, or the
II
villains' encampment, in which case the heroes might have to sneak in on a mission or escape from it if they're captured.
Master Villain

Advance Agent
This villain is the vanguard of some sort of invastion; often, he is trying to open up a portal to a dimension full of trapped demons and evil gods.
Misguided Moralist

Minor Villain I 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.
Snivelling Vizier
Minor Villain II 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.
Ally/Neutral

Merry Minstrel
This character follows the heroes in order that he might find inspiration for his song and storytelling. He can't be shut up; he sings all the day long and
into the night, is a showoff before crowds, and is far too noisy for a party trying to remain unobserved.

Monster
Encounter

Foreshadowing 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
Encounter

Belligerent Soldier
The billigerent one has just had his ears pinned back by his commanding officer and is anxious to take it out on some hapless civilian. If this is a city
gate, he claims that the hero's papers are wrong or that he recognizes the hero from descriptions of a wanted criminal; if this is the streets, he insults
the hero's lack of military bearing, pretty looks, clothes, smell, companion, or whatever it takes to provoke a reaction.
Rock and a Hard Place

Deathtrap

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.
Special Terrain

Chase

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.

Birthmark
Omen/Prophesy 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.
Element
The Master Villain can be banished, dispelled, killed, or otherwise defeated by some of element or item. The Master Villain tries to get rid of all the
Secret Weakness examples of this element in his vicinity; he doesn't let his minions carry it or bring it into his presence. But he's not stupid; he doesn't announce to the
world what his weakness is. He tries to hide his concern within another command. If he's allergic to red roses, for instance, he orders all "things of
beauty" destroyed within miles of his abode.
Special
Condition

Time 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.
Respect Quandry
Moral 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.
Extraneous Details
Red Herring

Cruel Trick

When giving the heroes details on their enemy -- for instance, details they are learning from investigations and readings -- you can give them just a
few details too many. This may prompt the heroes to investigate the "extra" (i.e., irrelevant) details in addition to the relevant onces, thus losing them
valuable time.
Villain 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.