• Justin Handlin

Types of RPG Adventures

Updated: Apr 26




Types of RPG Adventures

Crit Academy discusses the myriad of different Roleplaying Adventures types. Fortunately for us, Martin Rayla over at the Gnome Stew Gaming Blog already tossed a great list for us to delve into. Below is a list of some of our favorite types. You can find the full list from Martin's post here.

  • Assault: This adventure type features storming castles, wiping out or running off hostile groups, tracking down space pirates, and any other scenario where the focus is on the PCs taking the fight to someone else hard.

  • Chase: Someone (or something in their possession) needs to be found or caught, and the PCs are in pursuit; alternately, the PCs can be the pursued, not the pursuers. Narrow escapes, thrilling car chases, redlined starship engines, false trails, and ambushes are the hallmarks of chase adventures.

  • Delivery: A delivery adventure involves getting an inanimate “package” from point A to point B, and features complications en route, ambushes, hazards, inclement weather, and other obstacles that make the journey a challenging one. (Escorting someone? That’s Escort, below.)

  • Disaster: From giant asteroids headed for the Earth, planet-wide earthquakes, and the wrath of the gods to hurricanes, killer viruses, and rampaging monsters, the shit really hits the fan in these adventures (and the PCs are usually in the middle of it).

  • Escort: This type has fewer variations than most, but it’s a classic: guarding a caravan and escorting someone from point A to point B are the main variants. These adventures feature ambushes, situations that endanger the escorted character(s), bonding between escorts and escorted, narrow escapes, and thrilling set-piece chases. (Delivering a thing, instead? That’s Delivery, above.)

  • Espionage: Espionage-themed adventures feature spying, subterfuge, learning or exposing secrets, clandestine activities, conspiracies, skullduggery, and conflict in the shadows. The PCs can be spies (professionals or thrust into the role), spymasters, or unwitting participants.

  • Exploration: A new planet, continent, jumpgate destination, dimension, or sealed tomb awaits! Someplace new needs discovering, or has just been discovered, or someplace lost has been found again, and the PCs must explore this new land, planet, plane, or dungeon.

  • Investigation: Investigation-themed adventures revolve around being presented with a mystery and getting to the bottom of it through detective work, science, research, poking around crime scenes, questioning witnesses and suspects, cracking codes, and similar activities.

  • Morality: Adventures about morality have a message, or they communicate a broader truth like “All people are created equal” or “Revenge is a never-ending cycle of violence.” It’s easy to be too heavy handed with the scenarios, and they don’t fit in many games — but when they work, they can pack an emotional punch.

  • Piracy: The PCs are pirates, thugs, or vagabonds, and they ply the seven seas/space lanes/planar rivers seeking treasure. Alternately, the PCs are privateers or naval officers tasked with stamping out piracy.

  • Rescue: In a rescue adventure, one or more people are in terrible danger, in prison, enslaved, or otherwise need to be saved, broken out, or freed from their captors by the PCs. (If the PCs are the captives, that’s Escape.)

  • Resistance: Resistance adventures involve the underdogs fighting against those in power through subterfuge, raids, guerrilla tactics, underground operations, and asymmetrical warfare — think Robin Hood.

  • Survival: The PCs are in a strange place (or a familiar place, but lacking resources), and they need to survive or help others survive. These adventures feature scavenging, resource management, threats to food stores, hostile people or creatures who want what little you have, living off the land, and struggling just to live another day.

  • Trade: Trade adventures revolve around things like brokering deals, securing trade agreements, wheeling and dealing, smuggling, scams, scuttling deals, mediating trade disputes, and stealing cargo.


RPG PhatLoot Giveaway! A Chase Through the Planes


Twilight at Eventide is a 32-page collection of three short adventures designed for characters of level 1-3. In this product, you will find a description and map of the village of Eventide; a vivid cast of characters in the village; a variety of detailed location maps, including an old mine, an abandoned farmhouse, a decrepit tower, and a ruin; adventures that feature xvarts, darklings, dryads, and hags; and a combination of roleplay, exploration, and combat encounters.


Winner: toibiu

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Character Concept:

Arms Troubadour

In the world of fantasy, nobles surround themselves with retainers. Many of these kept retainers are just simple entertainment or decoration, but some are more than entertaining companions; they are skilled duelists and treasured advisors, deadly warriors never more than a few steps from their patron’s side. In addition to beautifying the noble household with poetry and song, troubadours of this sort often serve as arms instructors and elite bodyguards.


Arms-troubadours are typically well educated, literate, skilled in an instrument or two, renowned poets, and equipped with charm and refinement. Some begin as minor nobility attending wealthier and more important nobles; others are descended from well-off merchants or commoners who set out to

master the courtier’s skills and seek noble patronage.


As an arms-troubadour, you might have a patron whose interests you look after during your adventures,

or you could be between patrons. If so, given your renown and skill, your services might be very highly sought-after.

-D&D4e Dark Sun Campaign Setting


Monster Variant:

Reborn Lich

Origin: Archmage

A lich views the world through a prism of endless opportunity, where time is no longer a relevant concern. It severs ties to its past life, shedding its mortal name to adopt a false title, such as the Lost King or the Diamond Lich. Self-centered and black-hearted, a lich abuses and maims with ease as it collects knowledge and gains influence. But, a reborn lich has yet to make that journey. The lich, just recovering from the dark ritual hasn’t yet had the years of opportunity to grow their power and are still attached somewhat to their past life. Leaving their personality mostly intact. At least for a little while.


Lost features.

Spell List, Becomes undead, no mage armor -2 AC, no stoneskin - loss of resistance to mundane weapons.


New Features.

New Spell List:

Cantrips: mage hand, prestidigitation, ray of frost

1st level: detect magic, magic missile, shield, thunderwave

2nd level: acid arrow, detect thoughts, invisibility, mirror image

3rd level: animate dead, counterspell, dispel magic, fireball

4th level: blight, dimension door

5th level: cloudkill, scrying

6th level: disintegrate, globe of invulnerability

7th level: plane shift

8th level: dominate monsters

9th level: power word kill


Legendary Resistance (1/Day). If the lich fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.


Necrotic Aura. At the start of each of the lich’s turns, each creature within 5 feet of it takes 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. A creature that touches the lich or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.


Rejuvenation. If it has a phylactery, a destroyed lich gains a new body in 1d10 days, regaining all its hit points and becoming active again. The new body appears within 5 feet of the phylactery.


Paralyzing Touch. Melee Spell Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 10 (3d6) cold damage. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.


Legendary Actions. The lich can take 1 legendary action, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The lich regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.


Frightening Gaze. The lich fixes its gaze on one creature it can see within 10 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or become frightened for 1 minute. The frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a target’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the target is immune to the lich's gaze for the next 24 hours.



Encounter:

Pirate Raid

While the characters are traveling by ship, sky or sea, they are confronted by a 30 person crew of dastardly pirates (noble). The pirate captain (bandit captain) and his crew wear tunics with a skull with silver teeth and crossbones. A character with a successful DC 15 Intelligence (History) or with the Sailor background recognizes the symbol of Theron ‘Silver Tooth’ Dryden. A well-known pirate in this area, while he and his crew have been known to kill any who would cause trouble. Most of the time they are just businessmen. They make an offer, surrender the ship’s cargo, and they will leave peacefully with their booty. If the characters and the crew comply with Silver Tooth’s demands, the pirates transfer the cargo and flee with their booty. As the GM, it is up to you to decide what the cargo is. You can keep it simple, art, gold, and other valuables. Or you can get creative, maybe slaves, or a dangerous and highly addictive opioid.


The characters may attempt to outrun the pirates, if they do, 25% of the crew dies in the escape. Use the below lair actions until the characters vessel is out of range. The pirates ship travels at 3 miles per hour. If the characters choose to fight, you will have a mass combat situation. In order to bring this massive brawl to life, we encourage you to focus on waves of smaller groups with the characters to battle. Treat the chaotic battle around the characters as the following Lair Action.

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties, the pirates take a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the pirates can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:


  • Cannonballs burst around the vessel tossing it back and forth within 300 feet of the pirate’s vessel. Any creature on the target vessel must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 20 feet into the water and knocked prone. The pirates and characters with the Sailor background have advantage on this saving throw.

  • An overwhelming surge of seawater sprays in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on a point the pirates choose within 300 feet of the pirate’s vessel. Each creature in the spray must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be blinded for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. The pirates and characters with the Sailor background have advantage on this saving throw.

  • A barrage of arrows or bullets riddle a target’s vessel within 300 feet of the pirate’s vessel. Any creature on the vessel that doesn’t have full cover must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 7 (2d6) piercing damage or half as much on a successful save. A creature with partial cover has advantage on the saving throw.


Magic Item:

Bolt Flower

Wondrous Reagent, uncommon

This blue and purple flower can only be found atop mountains near the area where a bolt of lightning strikes the ground. When you cast a spell of 1st-level or higher that deals lightning damage, you can add the bolt flower to the material components of the spell. If you do, targets that take damage from the lightning must succeed a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the start of your next turn.


Dungeon Master Tip:

Intangible Favor

Sometimes, heroes seek to call on favor in exchange for less tangible benefit. An introduction to a renowned master, access to a restricted area in the middle of the night, or being assigned a weak first opponent in a series of gladiatorial events are examples of intangible benefits.


Favors of this sort are not easy to assign monetary values to, but sometimes a good approximation is

possible. For example, a party seeking answers to certain questions might be required to reduce the

value of its favor reward by 300 gp (the component cost for the Legend Lore spell). If no suit-able approximation presents itself, deduct 20 percent of the party’s overall favor reward for a request you consider minor and 50 percent or more one you consider major.


Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Roleplaying a Githzerai

The Githzerai value their heritage. It informs their philosophy, their behavior, and their intolerance for githyanki and mind flayers. Unlike the battle-driven githyanki, the githzerai seek inner peace and self-mastery.


While the githzerai are willing to explore and experience the multiverse, they maintain a worldview centered on personal responsibility and accomplishment. Their entire social hierarchy is based solely on merit, and each githzerai must earn a place in society.


Austerity, prudence, tenacity and pragmatism also run strong in the githzerai. Rarely do they own more than they need. They are often people of few brief words. They don’t often let their fiery souls and passion be reflected through a display of strong emotions. Githzerai believes trust must be earned. They have come to expect lack of discipline in weakness in other races, especially the humans who wear the emotions on their face and body.


The githzerai have few solid relationships. Faith, nationalism and even familial loyalties are less important than one's own personal enlightenment. This leads them to constantly seek out new mentors and companions, and they are unwavering allies to those who prove worthy.


RPG Phatloot Giveaway: Twilight at Eventide

Winner: Twilight at Eventide is a 32-page collection of three short adventures designed for characters of level 1-3. In this product, you will find a description and map of the village of Eventide; a vivid cast of characters in the village; a variety of detailed location maps, including an old mine, an abandoned farmhouse, a decrepit tower, and a ruin; adventures that feature xvarts, darklings, dryads, and hags; and a combination of roleplay, exploration, and combat encounters.

toibiu@gmail.com

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