The Terra Incognita Online Adventure Starter
The same picked body of Gadgeteers who labored so admirably for untold years to bring you the TI Random Character Generator have once again triumphed. The NAGS Society is proud to bring you the Terra Incognita Adventure Starter!
Call upon this Babbage Engine-powered utility whenever you are mired in a creative quandary or in need of an immediate adventure idea. Ignore the chronological and geographical information if irrelevant to your campaign. And, of course, fudge details as you wish.
You can also try the low-tech version of the Adventure Starter when deprived of electronic access, armed only with polyhedrals.
Some combinations will require a modicum of ingenuity to explicate. But then again, is not that the point of a random adventure starter?
A Random Terra Incognita Adventure
To reverse engineer a work of fiction, let us say the Adventure Starter spits out:
Continent: South America
The Hook: a shipwreck
Scene One: an uncharted island
Scene Two: a laboratory
Climax: the jungle
The Story: The heroes are asked to escape from an animal city. They must contend with a new species while being opposed by a mad scientist.
Here we have the seed for the adventures of Edward Prendick on Nobles Island, better known as The Island of Dr. Moreau.
But, of course, the true purpose of the Starter is to inspire original adventures. This time the output reads:
The Hook: an award
Scene One: a haunted house
Scene Two: a sunken city
Climax: a masquerade party
The Story: The heroes are asked to catalog a World’s Fair. They must contend with a crisis of confidence while being opposed by government bureaucrats.
Right off the bat, I can think of two possibilities for this one. For the first, I move the date forward to 1889 and the Worlds Fair in question becomes the Paris Exposition Universelle Internationale, for which the Eiffel Tower, the worlds tallest structure of the time, was designed and constructed. As a hook, one of the Nags, a Gadgeteer, is to receive an award at the Exposition for a gadget he created at his day job. This gadgeteer and the rest of the PCs are assigned to attend the Exposition and catalog all of the technological wonders being created by conventional science, with an eye towards possible recruits to the NAGS Society.
The second option moves the setting to North America, Chicago in particular, and the World’s Colombian Exposition of 1893. The plot remains the same as the first version, but now the haunted house becomes the Murder Castle of H.H. Holmes (see the book The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson).
Continents: As it stands, the Starter assigns equal probability to each continent save Antarctica (which is half as likely). You can skew the probability by adding your favored continent to the continents array.
Hooks, Setting, Actions, Objects: You can similarly add new elements to the arrays for a custom script. You can also feel free to email your suggestions to me and I can add them to the Adventure Starter.
Inspiration for the TI Adventure Starter came from the excellent Random Adventure Seed Generator by Gareth-Michael Skarka in his game Underworld.