Here is a great adventure generator by OFTHEHILLPEOPLE, who hangs out on the OSH forum and swings by my blog from time to time. He needed a place to hang it up, and I put it with the resources on the Old School Hack page because it is a great resource. Grab your d12 and generate as much plot as you need!
Here’s an example generated by 10d12.
A princess approaches the party to transport the deed to a very important property from her fortress to the mansion of a local hero who works for a duke whose support is crucial for the king. She knows a band of mercenaries bars the way, trying to keep the transfer of title from occurring. She believes they were hired by a local cult that has designs on that property.
She sends a representative with them. What she doesn’t know is that her representative works for a crime lord, and his instructions are to kill the party (if necessary) and steal the document (he has an ambush set up with confederates to help, and a supply of poison; he’ll cook!). The crime lord has similar agents planted among the mercenaries. Turns out the crime lord has deeper pockets than the temple, and better intel. The mercenaries and the party may be well served fighting their way out of the trap together.
The property deed is for territory currently held by squatting bandits. It has a secret diamond mine on it that’s part of the political maneuvering of the kingdom. Whoever holds the deed will be able to be fabulously rich; the crime lord, the temple, or the duke that supports the king. The characters may choose to support one of these factions, and that could make a huge difference; whoever they support, they must be very careful about it, or their patrons may arrange for their disappearance. No way they walk out without any enemies. And if they try to keep it? Well, all 3 factions are furious with them and will act.
They probably won’t find out about the diamond mine; the princess knows, and the duke, and the crime lord, but not the cult. Nobody tells their agents such a juicy fact…
You combine this with a random name generator and the random battlefield generator for when it hits the fan, maybe build the local cult using the church builder in the Portable Pantheon, (or a church from here), and you’re set.
If you have time and interest, you can make the characters involved (crime lord, an agent or two, leader of the cultists) all 1d5 levels each (maybe +2 for the local hero, if you bother to stat him up–he could be cavalry, maybe.) Randomize their classes and talents from Fictive’s Talents and Templates. The rest is minions and guards.
For extra pizazz, you could generate the town with the princesses fortress, and the town they’re headed to, using this. You can also generate a legendary monster that could show up to help or harm their efforts, a random encounter in the dangerous terrain they’ll be crossing.
What kind of terrain? Well, you could always go here. You can even get hex descriptions.
Weaving random results together into a cohesive adventure is pure fun for me. I imagine the process appeals to Old School Hack fans too. Using these tools means you can make up an adventure you wouldn’t have come up with on your own, but it’s still super-fast and delightful. This kind of adventure planning nails the “sweet spot” I’m aiming for: 10 minutes of prep per hour of game. Want a 3 hour game? Spend 30 minutes with these tools and you’re ready.
Thanks to OFTHEHILLPEOPLE for adding another tool to the toolbox.