Adventure 242

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Content

Adventure #242
Theme

Goal

Story Hook

Plot

Climax

General Setting

Specific Setting
I
Specific Setting
II

Master Villain

Minor Villain I

Minor Villain II

Ally/Neutral

Monster
Encounter

Character
Encounter

Espionage
Espionage adventures are active, grim scenarios involving spying and perhaps other cloak-and-dagger deeds such as
assassination or rescue.
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.
Better Late than Never
Some bad guys have arrived and done some bad guy things. The PCs were none the wiser. The bad guys have now
made good their escape, and the PCs have caught wind of it in time to chase them down before they make it back to
their lair, their home nation, behind enemy lines, etc.
Accumulation of Elements
In this sort of plot, the heroes have to go from place to place -- perhaps covering very little area like a city, perhaps
roaming the known world -- and accumulate elements to be used against the Master Villain. These elements may be
clues, pieces of an artifact, evidence, or allies.
Bloody Battle
This is the best Climax for an adventure involving the clash of mighty armies -- or for any adventure where, toward
the end, the Master Villain and a large body of minions confront the heroes and their own troops. This finale is
characterized by a monstrous clash between the two forces, with the heroes chewing through the enemy ranks to get
at the Master Villain and his elite guards. It's strenuous, exciting, and classically simple.
On 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.
Demi-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.
Craftsman's Quarter
This can occur in either the shop of the master craftsman of a palace or manor, or the guild-area of a city.
Destroyer
This villain is like the Corruptor, except that he likes destroying instead of corrupting. He operates like the
Conqueror, moving in his armies -- often nonhuman or monstrous armies -- and destroying everything in sight.
Again, the Destroyer could easily be an evil god or demon, meaning the heroes wil have to find his weakness in
order to thwart his current plan.
Misguided 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.
Lovable Rogue
This character is like the Master Villain of the same name, except that he has no minions of his own and serves at
someone else's bidding. However, he's very independent, not always working in his employer's best interests; he
often makes fun of the Master Villain's pretensions and may suffer that villain's retaliation because of it.
Grumpy Old Professional
Again, the heroes need an expert in a certain field -- this time a craft or art, such as blacksmithing, engineering,
horse-training, or whatever. The only or best professional they can find is an aged expert. He's grumpy, cranky, and
sharp-tongued; he constantly complains about the food, the weather, his companions, the decline in skill of his coworkers since he was a young man, the road conditions, the rotten pay he's receiving, and so on.
King Beast
At some point in their adventure, the heroes run across a King Beast -- some enormous, intelligent monster (which
speaks the Common tongue) which is the leader of its species. Perhaps it needs help; if the heroes help it they'll earn
themselves a favor which the King Beast will repay at some later time in the adventure. Perhaps the heroes are in
deadly danger and need help; the King Beast can be persuaded to help, but only in return for a deed or favor in the
future.
New Enemy
In the course of his ordinary activies, one of the heroes can make a New Enemy. Hurrying along the street, he can

bump into a disagreeable fighter for whom an apology isn't enough; in a tavern, he can make some innocuous
remark that you deliberately have the irritable fellow misconstrue as an insult. The New Enemy will only exchange
heated words with the hero at this point, but will appear again later in the adventure and will eventually have to fight
the hero.
Rock and a Hard Place
This trap starts out as an Animal Pit, Pit and the Pendulum, or Tomb Deathtrap, but an obvious escape suggests
Deathtrap
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
You can make any chase more memorable by having it take place in a setting to which it is utterly unsuited. For
Chase
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.
Hero Fulfills Prophecy
Omen/Prophesy 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.
Love
The Master Villain possesses the "weakness" of genuine affection or love -- probably for some NPC, though it could
Secret Weakness be very intriguing if the object of his affections is a player-character. The heroes can then defeat the villain by
holding his loved one hostage, or proving that his loved one will be seriously harmed, betrayed, or killed if the
villain keeps up with his activity.
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
Special
to conclude his evil spell in only three days, and his citadel is three hard days' riding away, then the heroes are going
Condition
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.
Friend Quandry
Moral Quandry
At a critical point in the story, one of the campaign's NPCs makes an impossible demand of one of the heroes.
Lying Rumor
Red Herring 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.
Mission is a Ruse
Cruel Trick In the course of their adventuring, the heroes discover they have been tricked into performing a mission which helps
the Master Villain.

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