Using TV Plot Lines For Adventure Ideas

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0989

Struggling to figure out a plot?

RPT GM Kelly N sent me two great examples of using TV Shows for our adventure building inspiration:


Here’s another interesting idea of where to find inspiration. These are some of my adventure plot lines from this method:

  1. The party returns to [town 1], the place they grew up, to make up for past sins. On the way, they save the people of [town 2] from the warlord [villain]. Their actions attract the attention of a young person called [npc], who decides to follow them in the hopes of a more exciting life.
  2. While defending a small and peaceful settlement from a vicious warlord and his son, one of the PCs is shot with an arrow. The wounded PC is cared for by a local family while the remaining PCs are left to defend themselves in the local tavern, which is filled with thieves and cut-throats.
  3. The party goes undercover after learning of a ransom put on an infant who is prophesied to one day take the throne from a powerful king.
  4. The party is forced to pretend to be their old selves — a money hungry band of brigands named [bandit group name] to save a young princess. However, along the way they are pushed to their limits when one of the PCs discovers an old lover is working for an arms dealer.
  5. One PC is mistakenly put on trial for killing a group of townspeople, causing [villain] to be delighted with a plan he has enacted.
  6. [npc] reads an incantation from a script that releases three [magical monster]s from a stone tomb. [npc] convinces the [magical monster]s they are a god and has them perform helpful tasks for a small village nearby. However, the [magical monster]s soon start to suspect [npc] of lying, so they turn on the town and threaten to destroy the town for good.
  7. The PCs join forces to free [captive npc]. However, [captive npc]’s reprieve comes with a price….
  8. When ailing [npc king] is visited by the god of death, he holds the god captive. As the god of death is unable to hold their death candle, it quickly begins to melt away, and all of mankind is unable to die — even when fatally wounded. It is up to the PCs, with the help of a new friend, to rescue the god of death before the candle burns out.
  9. Someone tries to start a war between [npc faction 1] and [npc faction 2], which the PCs try to prevent after a dying [npc faction 1] princess leaves one of the PCs her right of caste.
  10. [npc king] arrests a group of villagers and demands they surrender the mysterious “Black Wolf” and followers. The PCs arrange to be arrested to help them escape.
  11. The PCs arrive to [city] during the [name of war] War when one of the PCs are met by an old friend, [npc 1] of [city]. While the PC tries to win the war, another PC meets [npc 2], his/her ex-fiancé, who now works as a mercenary for [city].
  12. One of the PC’s auditions to attend the [city] Academy to train as a bard — but others trying for the few open spots include [npc1] and [npc2].
  13. The PCs join two men of doubtful reputation (including one PC’s ex-fiancé) to find the Treasure of the [ancient lost race] and prevent the wrong hands from getting the most valuable treasure known.
  14. Someone is trying to kill Princess [npc], so the PCs have to protect her. Since once of the PCs and [npc] are physically identical, they exchange their roles so the PC can discover who the killer is.
  15. One of the PC’s dead love [npc] appears on Earth to tell them the underworld has been taken over by mad [villain], who has confined the good souls to [campaign hell] and given evil the run of [campaign heaven].

Can you guess where these are from?  If not, just click the link below:

Link to plot line inspiration

Try these:

  1. To stabilize a severely injured humanoid, one PC must volunteer his (essence/mind/body).
  2. The remaining PCs are in chaos when one PC and their mother are kidnapped by the [villain faction].
  3. The PCs suffer an outbreak of violent mood swings when they receive a visitor (with mental affecting abilities).
  4. The PCs are forced to negotiate with a trader for a rare and unstable (magic item/substance).
  5. The PCs are thrust into a face-off with the [villain race] over a new (magical creature).
  6. One PC’s holiday is rudely interrupted by [mercenaries] from [kingdom/plane/city].
  7. One PC is thrust into a battle for their family’s honor.
  8. One PC finds themselves suspected of murdering a respected [loremaster/scribe/soothsayer].
  9. The PCs receive an unexpected visitor — a mischievous [demon/devil/elemental].
  10. The PCs get caught up in a civil war when one PC is abducted by a terrorist group.

Link to inspiration