Creating an Adventure with Random Generators in 30 minutes

Today we look at creating an adventure using random generators. A group I knew asked me to run DnD 5E for them as they hadn't tried it yet.

As they were D&D veterans I ran something new for them, and thus was born the Accursed Dungeon of Skulls.

Initial Ideas

To start with I went to a Quick Dungeon generator created specifically for simple outlines.

I ended up with:

"The Accursed Dungeons of Skulls was originally a hidden laboratory and later a guarded or hidden portal hold. It is inhabited by a unique mutant monster. It is a dungeon with 16 rooms and 3 entrances. Main entrance is an animal cave, starting with a passage, 10 ft. wide; t intersection. Another entrance is a portal on another plane. Another entrance is a giant monster skull. Someone wants adventurers to enter the dungeon and rescue a captive"

For a map I visited the Random Dungeon Map Generator at Gozzys.com and settled on one with roughly 16 rooms.

this one

A Rough Outline.

A dungeon is helped by a theme or two, and Skulls was the obvious one here. The unique mutant monster became a skull golem and the giant monster skull was a dragon skull as this is Dungeons and Dragons. As a second theme I decided the hidden laboratory and later portal hold would have been created by the drow, and it was one such wizard who created and lost control of the golem

The PCs would be sent through the portal entrance on a rescue mission, as the Mysteries Squadron, which I use to run one-shots. I. Lastly I placed it in the Redcloud Peaks as I had a random encounter table ready if needed.

Consulting the DMG I found creatures of around CR 3 and picked out

  • A flesh golem as the template for the skull golem, with crab stats for detaching skulls.
  • A flame skull for the wizard creator, served by some ghouls.
  • A wight (with skull head) to look after prisoners.
  • Phase spiders (with skull heads) and bat swarms to populate the dungeon as needed
  • Orcs taken from the local mountains (prisoners and servants of the wizard)
  • Dark elves and quaggoths keeping a watch on the dungeon from below

More Generators

To finish off the preparation, I went to some of my favourite generators and created

This should be enough to fill holes as needed.

Running the adventure

On the journey to running the adventure I came up with a few more ideas

  • Skulls in the area would all try to get to the skull golem.
  • The 4 grates on the maps were originally drainage but were used by drow to access the dungeon if needed.
  • One of the random rooms described a control centre for traps and doors which was placed under the control of minions of the flame skull.

When running the adventure, the loose structure made it easy to add in players comments, and drop things in as the adventure went on.

The actual session was a success and I was asked if I wanted to run more adventures for the group...

What we Have

So using a list of good generators we used them to help create a quick adventure that provided a decent RPG game. Some work was still needed to thread the pieces together but the adventure could be revised and improved for the future.

More details of the creation of the Quick Dungeon are here

Leave a comment or tweet @pie_dragon with your tips for creating adventures or generators to use.