Errant Paths: Inspired by Danger

Sometimes ideas come into my brain and I have no idea quite what to do with them… this is one of them.

DangerAs adventurers, we thrive on danger. Whether we are causing danger to others or ourselves or saving someone or something from danger, it’s one of those constant companions heroes have. But what happens if our stalwart party finds itself uninspired to create mayhem on their own?

That’s when you need to kick them in the pants of course.

This collection of tables is a bit rough, but I think you’ll get the idea.

First, you determine whether the danger is coming from an internal source or an external one. Flip a coin or roll a die (odd = tails, even = heads). Heads is external. Tails is internal.

What do these terms have to do with danger? Think of them as scoping where it’s coming from. Is it coming from within (the party, the town, the sewers, etc.)? Or is it coming from outside (an invading army, survivors of a plague, a diplomat with a proposal from afar)? It might also refer to dangers coming from the party members themselves. If you use a character’s connections (family, friends, enemies), you can come from within. If you use outsiders (strangers, beggars on the street, etc.), the danger comes from an external source. It can be openly interpreted how you’d like.

Next, we roll on the External or Internal table to get a keyword. A quick d10 ought to do it…


  1. Invader
  2. Monster
  3. Wild
  4. Nature
  5. Traveler
  6. Diplomat
  7. Transport
  8. Refugee
  9. Survivor
  10. Outcast


  1. Guild
  2. Guard
  3. Merchant
  4. Sewer
  5. Thief
  6. Street
  7. Child
  8. Thug
  9. Beggar
  10. Prisoner

Last, we roll on the Type table to get a final keyword. Another d10 and we have our trifecta…


  1. Betrayal
  2. Harm
  3. Promise
  4. Physical
  5. Mental
  6. Emotional
  7. Medical
  8. Environmental
  9. Spiritual
  10. Magical

Following this pattern, we know where the trouble is coming from, generally what’s causing it (or is in danger), and the type of danger we’re dealing with. So you can quickly come up with a few ideas such as:

  1. Internal/Guard/Promise – A guard in the castle recently resigned his commission unexpectedly but didn’t seem happy about the decision.
  2. External/Refugee/Physical – A riot broke out in the refugee camp on the outside of town…
  3. Internal/Guild/Environmental – Someone discovered a deliberate set of small holes in the beer vats. Sabotage!
  4. External/Nature/Harm – A group of wolves displaced by recent wars in the area have brazenly attacked people on the outside of town.
  5. Internal/Sewer/Magical – A strange gas has been erupting from the sewers causing hallucinations and blackouts in its victims. When they awaken, they remember feeling light-headed and discover small wounds all over their bodies as though they were bitten.

Though these are the barest beginnings of ideas, you might be able to play them into full plots that lead you who knows where in your campaign.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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