Tag Archives: Quests

The Ruins (2008)

Pretty decent trailer, right?

I just watched this last night and I want to do a couple things here since this movie directly relates to something else I want to write about(see bottom). Firstly I’d like to review the movie, secondly I’d like to talk about how it relates to D&D in particular.

I think if you watched the trailer above and your even slightly interested in horroresque type flicks the trailer may peak your interest just a little bit. It did me. It has just about everything I’m looking for in a trailer, mostly because I’m in the mood for some good dungeon delving type stuff. It has intrigue, builds tension, doesn’t let on to to much, has that creepy ass scream. Imho, its just a good trailer. Well done. I will be honest though that I was preoccupied in 2008 and this one slipped by.

The movie stars this guy that looks kind of like this guy, which I think I got some confused by.

I was hoping for Yelchin(who was in Green Room, which is another amazing horroresque movie) but Tucker did a good job all around really. He was the character the movie is based around really and everything bad that happens happens because he suggested it in the first place.

Basically the plot boils down to college kids on a trip and they head to see a Mayan temple that turns out to be more than they first think and the locals get involved and the tourist kids become trapped and a bit of chaos ensues and they need to figure some things out. Roll film. That is about as spoiler free as this can be.

As far as how good this movie is…. I’d give it an over all of not bad. Not the best survival horror movie I have seen but definitely in the not bad category. I don’t know if I will ever watch it again but I will remember it. It has a few aspects that are interesting but I will also be honest in that this really had no dungeon delving which extremely disappointed me but in the realism of the show I don’t blame them for not going in there but it sucks because……


…. this is completely a D&D movie. Completely hands down. The biggest let down for me in this movie is that they don’t explore the ruins but these guys are unprepared regular humans. They are not a D&D party of rangers, fighters, casters. This is a movie worth watching though in regard to getting an idea for a D&D session, maybe even a one shot. This would be best run in something like Dungeon World but I will say everything would be better run in a system like that.

Nice desert oasis on the top there, eh?

The people in the movie do not explore the temple or the ruins because once they actually go inside they learn what they have really encountered in the movie, the big reveal(the monster) is Devil Root. With maybe some Crawling Creeper thrown in the mix. The regular humans can’t go in there because the place is … crawling… with it and they would die like some people have before them. The locals have salted the ground around the temple to keep the devil root contained and when the kids come looking they are forced on to the temple and their fates are sealed. They need to find a way to escape but the locals, who have set up camp around them to contain them also, won’t let them get away. Kind of a kill on site kind of deal going on. The entire temple is covered in the stuff and as you can probably imagine its over grown on the inside also.

So yeah, this movie made me think of and picture an adventuring party happening across something like this in the same way -but- in the D&D version they would actually have to go into the temple and find their way through the temple and out some passage or something. There are a lot of different kinds of plant based enemies that are under utilized in D&D and theres a lot of room for building some pretty cool stuff here. Shit, throw in a Malboro as the end boss for the place. Hell, maybe for whatever reason this temple has a portal opened from the Beastlands where it has been spilling forth since. If that is the case then you could have some real fun.

What are you waiting for? Go make a movie of the mind!

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My own chicken scratch Plots

You know, I try to edit or add to most of the stuff I put up on here as most of this stuff does require good editing for grammar, spacing, formating. All that good jazz. Its usually not straight copy/paste. I do like to put some effort into what I am doing here but this little baby… This little baby is all mine and I have to say I’m going to leave it unrefined to show you what i’m working with here.

These are some old notes from an old app that I used to use to keep track of my notes. The first couple are from my days when i was looking into running Curse of Strahd, which again I was warned not to do it because Ravenloft is a hard system to run. Those are the words I was told. Thats when this whole journey started. I read the books, I decided what i was going to do and to change and this batch of my own plot ideas starts with a couple ideas straight away with Curse of Strahd. To me, this shows where things have come from and where they may go.

Raven-mob atk carriage, crazy guy(took daughter) looking for relic, bury burgomaster(strahd atks),

Raven loft add: add people in town. One points to tavern on way to castle that captures people to feed strahd, ruined human stronghold when stood against strahd. Holy symbol there. Religious following of strahd.

Plot of star wars, left behind. Party I is mayor friend. Get to know. Then power hungry rival with good face and PR moves against him to take over and it works. Now everyone sees him as a hero but party knows the truth.
[ ] Political dinner party you are alone with a rival rival claims you attack so you go to jail and he claims rivals position
[ ] Rival people discover something that devours magical essence. Dies it create something from it as a release? At owners command? …. What do they do with it?
[ ] Someone hiring someone to kill someone close to them so they can get all the attention – candyman – sweets to the sweet. – investigating then get wrapped up in it.
[ ] Some thing sucking life from locals.  A weak vampire in the cemetery
[ ] Door riddles ‘doors favorite joke: knock knock’
[ ] Traps, trap inside trap, sun beams to mirrors, triggered doors, invisi doors, swinging guilltones, invisible bridge, riddles, floor tile puzzles, music, bleeding door, falling illusory wall
[ ] Live out movie plots. Good plots? Bar scene lotr, bar scene SW, rancor pit idea,
[ ] Chased by corrupt official
[ ] Name after have people like d&d cartoon people and Simon the sorcerer, dirky the daring, etc.  And ideas like karma and jive
[ ] Guy looking to make a Walmart of stores and expand. Goods so cheap closes down other shops. Guy plans to control worlds economy then? Destroy worth of money or become world’s leader?
[ ] Rumor of a guy trying to make a cult.  Named Jesus.  Says his dad is a god.  Religious leader says Your job is to verify, infiltrate and do what must be done.  Ate they a threat? Think OK then find out got weapon. Gonna kill everyone who doesn’t believe in his father.  Double trapped
[ ] Dungeon comic sewer clean. Petty Criminals paying off debt sent to clean sewer system.  Flushed out wrong forced out of town.  Guards sent along.

[ ] During camp night see falling star that crashes down few miles away.  Get there and bug? Creatures are setting up camp. Attack? During fight scouts bringing humans back attack you. Go into rock, Bigger on inside than outside. And?
[ ] come out a portal in to a battle where both sides gang up on them?, superstitous clans. Not sure who side they on. figure maybe gods avatars. Get involved in clan feud that was caused by another party neither knew about (wizards?) it was their form of entertainment.  Two wiz leaders bet on outcome.
[ ] Solomn kane story-find weird bar,hidden cult, need to clear it out, has zombies/ghosts
[ ] Lovecraft house story. Come in guy upstairs,blood drips people go upstairs the house changes the house drains mental energy from people going crazy. Dungeon w family(cultists) remains under house(destroy to get out)
[ ] Hirelings of a dungeon master to help run a dungeon.  Run like corp, doing day to day things ala dungeon comic

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Heros Journey

This is an info graphic of how the story of the Hero’s Journey. The hero’s journey is something based off the works of Joseph Campbell who wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

There is a lot to dig into here because those links above can really be a wall of text but the basics of thise thing and the works of Campbell are kind of well known because a lot of works have been based off his research. The biggest one is Star Wars, the original trilogy. You get the idea that even the biggest wave can start with a small pebble.

Campbell spent a lot of time looking through different cultures myths and found that a lot of them have things in common. So I post this here because honestly its just a good structure to base a hero’s quest on and some of the stages that might be involved in such a quest. Either way, I hope you find it interesting or useful.

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Roll a Plot


GOAL (d6)

1 – FIND a person, place, or object

2 – GUARD a person, place, or object

3 – TRANSPORT a person or object

4 – EXPLORE or scout or spy upon a person or place

5 – ESCAPE from a person or organization

6 – ATTACK a person, place, or organization

HOOK (d6)

1 – HIRED for a reward

2 – CAPTURED and pressed into service

3 – STUMBLED onto situation

4 – FOUND an old book or map

5 – FAVOR requested by a friend

6 – DREAMED or had a vision


1 – Evil SORCERER or high priest

2 – Corrupt government OFFICIAL

3 – BANDIT chieftain or king of thieves

4 – GENERAL or war leader

5 – Supernatural ENTITY

6 – Force of NATURE (storm, plague, etc.)

ALLY (d6)

1 – RIVAL of antagonist

2 – ROGUE adventurer seeking the same goal

3 – Unworldly SCHOLAR with vital information

4 – Disgruntled SERVANT of antagonist

5 – PRIEST or shaman who speaks for the gods

6 – VICTIM of antagonist seeking revenge


1 – Old RIVAL of player also involved

2 – Spurned LOVER of player looks for revenge

3 – Money LENDER comes to collect from player

4 – Phobia or TABOO of player violated

5 – Aspiring STUDENT or apprentice pesters player

6 – Roll on Complication 2 Table instead


1 – PLOT to topple the local government

2 – PLAGUE is spreading in the vicinity

3 – Escaped SLAVE boy or wench begs refuge

4 – Local noble falls in LOVE with player

5 – INVASION or place under occupation

6 – Roll on Complication 1 Table instead


1 – Armed GUARDS or soldiers

2 – ASSASSINS or sneak thieves

3 – RAIDERS or bandits

4 – CONCEALMENT, deception, or secrecy

5 – DISTANCE or limited time

6 – Roll on Obstacle 2 Table instead


1 – Magical WARDS or guards


3 – CURSE (real or pure superstition)

4 – RIDDLE that must be solved

5 – Onrushing natural or unnatural DISASTER

6 – Roll on Obstacle 1 Table instead

TWIST (d6)

1 – Apparently mundane is actually SUPERNATURAL

2 – Apparently supernatural is actually MUNDANE

3 – BETRAYAL by ally

4 – Forced to ALLY with enemy or rival

5 – Apparent goal is a WILD GOOSE CHASE (reroll on Goal table for actual secret goal)

6 – Goal is made MOOT by events and new goal becomes survival or escape


1 – LESS wealth than anticipated

2 – WEALTH as anticipated

3 – MORE wealth than anticipated

4 – GRATITUDE of powerful or influential people


6 – Nothing but their miserable HIDES

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Random Quests

These go along with the other random plots, and road encounters and hooks and various other things I have around here.

Recently, there has been mysterious rumors of wild magics and powerful summonings in the area. This obviously has many locals concerned.

Recently, there has been kidnappings of local children. This obviously has many locals concerned. Rumors say it is the work of a powerful legendary wizard, but none know the truth

The heroes must oppose some peasants in a temple(who feel the need to be there(ala Dungeon comic, the cultists who sacrifice themselves), but have to contend with war, and opposition from a former ally trying to build a reincarnated king.

a plot based on a group of religious folk who are setting up council to grow their cult ‘ council of nicea’

Recently, there has been rash of major thefts from the rich and powerful. This obviously has many locals concerned. Rumors say it is the work of a brilliant and ruthless assassin, but none know the truth

A nation’s enemies have a secret base that must be found.

A medusa is constructing a garden of statues using townsfolk. Statues in a large cemetery come to life at night.

Catacombs have opened beneath the city, guarded by ancient undead who let no one pass. – work in the dungeon comic angle of the blasters clearing a subway

An spirit begs for help from an evil party member.

Several of the king’s tax collectors have disappeared after travelling to a particularly dangerous area.

A secret vigilante society is inflicting barbaric punishments on “evil-doers.”

About to be hanged for his crimes, a powerful bandit leader is sprung from his prison by his cohorts.

The king’s ambassador has disappeared while en route to a hostile country and is suspected of being a traitor.

The person the group was sent to meet has been replaced by a doppelganger.

An Sorcerer seeks to uncover a massive ancient construct with world breaking power. The party is sent by the King to stop him. At the end the group must choose whether they should destroy the construction or hand it over to the King.

An old hero in the battle of God vs. Evil will be honored for his deeds by being sainted. The greatest heroes of the current generation are to be his honor guard as he travels from the remote mountain-top monastery where the ancient priest has meditated for decades. But how will they deal with a cleric of almost limitless power who suffers from the dementia of old age? And will his ancient nemesis, whose lich-ritual he foiled, take this opportunity for revenge?

a courtier, a judge, and a laborer a knight, a physician, and a distiller were all found dead in the alleys this morning – killed in the same grisly manner. an astrologer named Cobre is missing.

A crime or atrocity has been committed; the PCs must solve it. They must interview witnesses (and prevent them from being killed), gather clues (and prevent them from being stolen or ruined). They must then assemble proof to deliver to the authorities, or serve as personal ministers of justice.

Common Twists & Themes: The PCs are working to clear an innocent already accused (possibly themselves). The PCs must work alongside a special investigator or are otherwise saddled with an unwanted ally. Midway through the adventure, the PCs are “taken off the case” – their invitation/authority to pursue the matter is closed (often the result of political maneuvering by an antagonist). The climax is a courtroom scene or other arena of judgment. The scale is highly variable for this type of adventure, from a small-town murder to a planetwide pollution scandal.

The PCs are a diplomatic vanguard, trying to open up (or shore up) either political or trade relations with a strange culture. All they have to do is manage for a day or so among the strange customs without offending anybody . . . and what information they have is both incomplete and dangerously misleading.

Common Twists & Themes: The PCs were chosen by somebody who knew they weren’t prepared for it an NPC trying to sabotage the works (pinning this villain might be necessary to avert disaster).

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