45 D&D Story Ideas

Are you looking for your next campaign side-quest or one-shot idea? Read ahead for a list of fun and engaging plot ideas to get your party on their next adventure!

This is part of a Dungeons and Dragons writing series we’ve published. You can find more here with our D&D character writing prompts, D&D backstory prompts, and other D&D inspiration. Stay tuned for more on the way….

Here are the D&D Story Ideas

  1. Your party comes into contact with someone who asks for their help to solve a string of cold cases within a village.
  2. A whodunit-style one-shot campaign set in an upscale manor.
  3. There’s a sign on the tavern job board asking for help to find a missing turtle—who is actually a young student whose polymorph went terribly wrong.
  4. A Minotaur will only grant you passage through the gates if you defeat him in a battle… a dance battle!
  5. Your villain is a necromancer growing an army of the undead.
  6. A race against time to diffuse an explosive set to destroy the castle.
  7. A one-shot where your party plays as the sidekicks of a previous campaign’s party.
  8. A bard NPC joins your party and annoyingly sings every move your players make.
  9. An elite member of society believes their home is haunted. Your players investigate and find something much more sinister.
  10. A corrupt guard is helping a group of smugglers sneak goods out of the city. Your party is tasked with stopping them.
  11. It’s up to your players to clear the name of a guard who has been accused of killing a local tavern owner.
  12. Your party meets an NPC who seems to be helping them but is actually leading them to their potential demise.
  13. A group of thieves steal from the wealthiest family in the city.
  14. A young witch accidentally unleashes a terrible curse upon her village. Your party must figure out how to reverse the curse.
  15. During the town’s annual festival, a woman goes mad and insists someone is out to get her. Your players are to help her get to the bottom of it.
  16. Center your session around the birthday of a player or their character.
  17. Your party encounters a djinn, and one wrong roll could leave a player regretting their wish.
  18. A miner follows an apparition deeper into the mines. Your players are hired to find him.
  19. An arena one-shot, with your players pitted against each other.
  20. Your players must pull off the perfect bank heist—but the vault is guarded by a BBEG.
  21. Your party is given a map to the city of Atlantis. They must find it before another group of adventurers does.
  22. When a dragon is slain in its cave, there is a race to claim its treasure.
  23. A list of ten names is posted in the local tavern. One of your party members’ names is on the list–and the first three names are crossed out.
  24. Two young villagers have somehow brought their freshly built snowmen to life—and the snowmen are on a rampage.
  25. An earthquake triggers a chain of mysterious disappearances.
  26. Your villain is a young child with unmanageable powers.
  27. No matter what your party does, every success eventually leads to the success of the villain.
  28. After a night of blackout drinking, your party all wakes up in a different party member’s body.
  29. Your party makes an unlikely ally.
  30. One of your magic users loses their abilities and your party must figure out why.
  31. A young scholar approaches your party and asks for help exploring ancient ruins outside of town.
  32. Guarded relics are stolen in broad daylight.
  33. A young king hires your party to pretend to be his friends for an upcoming social engagement.
  34. A librarian hires your party to track down missing ancient texts.
  35. A race against time to prove the innocence of someone facing death.
  36. You find a trail of unicorn blood in a dark forest.
  37. A young NPC joins your party, but they’re not who they seem to be.
  38. A wanted poster appears in the tavern, with the face of one of your players on it.
  39. A maze with two exits: one that leads to treasure, and one that leads back to the start.
  40. Your party is tasked with figuring out why children keep disappearing from a local orphanage.
  41. Your adventurers are asked to expel an evil being from a nearby well.
  42. Have a D&D holiday party in-game.
  43. The livestock of a local farmer are all slowly turning mad.
  44. A village stumbles upon a body and is accused of murder. But one of your party knows who really did it.
  45. While out at sea, your party is attacked by undead pirates.

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