I'm not going to do this too much more, but I'm finding it a fun little exercise so I'll keep going just a little longer. I typically hate a lot on "ideas/adventure seeds," because coming up with an idea, to me, is always the easiest part: coming up with specifics, statting out NPCs, and getting an entire plotline together and managing the pacing for it are the lion's share of adventure work, and an idea doesn't do any of that. I would be far more inclined to buy a book of 100 usable NPCs than 100 adventure ideas.
If I didn't know any better, I'd even say that a lot of new RPGs these days are built around the concept of making ideas easier to directly translate to gameplay. I applaud those efforts, but I do believe in the end what it all comes back to is balancing "game" and "story," and an idea is just one tiny drop of either.
All that being said, here we go:
- Fantasy RPG: A horde of wererats has launched an assault on a city from below. The PCs enter the sewers to take the battle back to the rats.
- Superhero RPG: A mutant rat supervillain rises from the sewers and attempts to take over an entire city. He has super strength and intelligence, as well as the ability to summon and control swarms of rats. He can also see, hear, and smell through any rat he’s aware of, allowing him to spy almost anywhere in the city.
- Star Wars: The Rebel PCs must break into an Imperial base and hijack an iconic Imperial vehicle (TIE Fighter, AT-AT Walker, Imperial shuttle, etc.)
- Fantasy RPG: The Walking Dead for D&D...the PCs awaken in a temple after being treated for serious wounds from a previous adventure and discover the entire town they’re in has been overrun with zombies. They don't know why; they just have to survive.
- Numenera: The PCs must escort an Aeon Priest into the heart of an underground complex, where the priest will use a control panel to put up a force field around the town, and protect it from a coming wave of the Iron Wind.
- D&D: To fight a wave of dragons, the PCs must enter an ancient temple, defeat the guardians, and perform a ritual that turns themselves into dragons to face off against them.
- D&D: The PCs are vampire slayers. They must enter a crypt housing hundreds of vampires, defeat their guardians and slay as many of them as possible before the sun sets and they rise. This game would be played in real-time, to make the rush to stake sleeping vampires more intense.
- D&D: The PCs all discover that their memories and backgrounds are false, and that in reality they are all created beings, Frankenstein-style. Illusionary magic allows them to look “normal.”
- D&D: The PCs must go to an exotic location to gather ingredients for the cure to a disease the region is suffering from. The PCs themselves are suffering from the disease, as well, causing group hallucinations as they try and find the reagents needed for the cure.
- D&D: PCs spend half the adventure exploring an abandoned castle...then the other half of the adventure defending the castle they just explored from a marauding army of goblins.
- Star Wars: A Casino Royale-like scenario where the players are involved in a sabacc tournament, all the while trying to accomplish some covert mission at the same location where the tournament is.
- D&D: The PCs accidentally stumble upon a meeting of dragons who are intending to terrorize the region. The PCs, hopelessly outmatched by these dragons, have to convince the king of the impending doom.
- D&D: The PCs, with the help of magic, are polymorphed into orcs to disguise themselves and infiltrate a massive warband gearing up for war. Within the warband, the PCs are to cause as much chaos and dissension in the ranks as possible.
- D&D: The PCs are trying to woo a princess/prince into a marriage. The PCs must face-off in duels of wits against other suitors...and may even have to square off against each other...to win the prince/princesses hand.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The PCs are besieged within a drugstore by the horde. Most conventional items that can be used as weapons were looted long ago, so the PCs must fashion weapons and tools out of whatever they can find to fight their way out.
- D&D: The PCs are a team of fantasy lawyers. They are representing a hero wrongly accused of assassinating the king. The PCs must work together to put forth a defense, interview witnesses, blow holes in the prosecution’s case, etc.
- D&D: The PCs get involved in an illegal underground trade making potions and magic items using forbidden magic. The PCs must deal with things like production, distribution, and competition from rivals.
- Deadlands/Western RPG: The PCs are hurriedly approached and asked to stop a train robbery. The PCs must ride their horses to the train, jump onto the train, fight their way to the front car, and stop the train.
- Superhero RPG: A Skynet-style scenario has happened, and robots mis-programmed to murder all humans have been unleashed. The heroes must stop them.
- Contemporary RPG: A classic King Kong/Godzilla scenario: a massive superbeast is tearing the city apart. The PCs, in addition to coming up with some way to stop the monster, must try and rescue as many people as possible.