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Adventure #19

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 Enemy
Story Hook
This is a straightforward story hook; the hero learns that his oldest enemy is back and is very active in the
campaign, up to something. The hero will naturally want to investigate and will walk right into the story.
Series of Villains
This is a very dramatic plot, and very well-suited to oriental campaigns. In it, the heroes have undertaken a quest,
usually the finding and defeat of the Master Villain. They may have to travel to his citadel, or head off in another
direction to find some artifact capable of defeating him, or run away from pursuing villains until they can figure
out what's going on. All along their route, they are set upon by villains -- each villain has a name and distinct
personality, and each encounter is life-or-death for the heroes and villains; the villain never escapes to safety if the
tide turns against him, he fights unto death.
Scattered Duels
In this climax, the heroes have gotten to the end of their quest -- they may have broken into, sneaked into, or
escaped from imprisonment within the villain's citadel, or have marched into the little town where the villain is
holed up -- and they become separated. You can separate them by having traps and tricks break the party apart, by
having them see two or three things they must resolve (such as danger to innocents or the appearance of minion
villains) pop up simultaneously; they'll have to run in all directions at the same time or suffer failure. Once the
party is broken down into bite-sized chunks, you confront each individual or small group with the enemy or
enemies he most deserves to face -- his personal enemy, the monster which defeated him before, etc. -- for a grand
series of climactic duels.
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.
Classic Dungeon
Specific Setting I
This would be the standard monster-filled labyrinth; perhaps it's a nesting ground for the master villain's monster
Classic Dungeon
Specific Setting
This would be the standard monster-filled labyrinth; perhaps it's a nesting ground for the master villain's monster
Master Villain
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.
Hard-Eyed Advisor
Minor Villain II
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.
Ingenue in Distress
The heroes must protect some defenseless young innocent who is in danger from the villains. This person, perhaps
the sheltered son or daughter of a nobleman or merchant, has no abilities at all but is sweet, charming, and in great
need of help.
Beast Amok
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.
Character New Enemy
Encounter 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.
Animal Pit
This is a classic trap of the adventure genre: The heroes (perhaps just one hero) are dropped into a pit filled with
dangerous animals -- snakes, lions, bears, whatever. They must either fight the beasts or delay them until they can
escape -- climb back out, open a secret door, break down a wall, have a rope lowered by friends above, etc.
Special Terrain
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.
Innocent Fulfills Prophecy
An innocent could fulfill a prophecy -- one which endangers his/her life. This innocent might, for instance, be the
one who is supposed to slay the king, but is not a mighty adventurer able to protect himself from the king; the
heroes may find themselves sheltering and helping this poor dupe.
Secret Weakness
The Master Villain possesses the "weakness" of genuine affection or love -- probably for some NPC, though it
could 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
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.
False Path to the Artifact
Red Herring
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.
Wanted by the Law
Cruel Trick
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 on tables from the Dungeon Master's Design Kit by TSR, Inc.