10 adventure seeds based on 80s movies

Ideas can come from anywhere, so why not a bunch of old VHS tapes from the 80s?

Here is my list of 10 classic movies from the 80s that you could turn into a great Dungeons & Dragons story.

I’ve avoided any fantasy style movies like Princess Bride and Willow, Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, they’re too easy to spot by your players and too easy to convert.

Die Hard

The players group have been celebrating in a festival at a fortified outpost.

During the celebrations, bandits get in and manage to kill the guards. They take the residents hostage while they hunt for the fabled treasure that is supposedly hidden somewhere within the outpost.

An inspiration point for any one who “Yippe – ki – yaas!!!”


In the seaside village of Slothharbour, the local land baron wants to get rid of his village tenants, to redevelop the land and get some more profitable residents.

The party embarks on a desperate quest to try and find the treasure of the pirate king, who legend tells hid his fortune in the area.

You can even bring in the evil Fratelli family as a local bandit crime group looking to get to the treasure first.


The players are tasked with investigating a small colony of people situated on an island on the outskirts of the kingdom.

When they arrive the colony is deserted, the people missing. After a little searching the players discover the towns logs, that documents how the colonists found the remains of a magical research post.

Apparently the colonists discovers a slaad tadpole held in stasis, by their own ineptitude, the residents manage to set the tadpole free.

By the time the players arrive the town is completely infected, slaads are lurking ready to attack.

Before the players get a chance to try and escape an ancient fail safe at the outpost is triggered, a magical shield seals them in and the countdown to the detonation of a purging fire begins, it’s the only way to be sure.

Weird Science

While their master is away, two teen apprentice mages manage to summon a powerful succubus

She quickly begins twisting the wizard’s tower into a crazy chaotic place, eventually creating a very powerful bomb oddly shaped in the form of a intercontinental ballistic missile.

The players need to get in there and get the situation back under control before the master returns.

Child’s Play

A dying evil mage, desperate to save his own life, transfers his soul into a doll,

He’s attempts to find a suitable vessel to transfer his soul into, one with enough natural magic to make him powerful again.

The mage finds a local child who fits his requirements. Your players have got to try to stop the seemingly indestructible dolls before he can complete his terrible plan.

Escape from New York

The players are arrested on trumped up charges and face potential execution in a corrupt state. Before they can be executed the princess is abducted by magical means to a island prison.

The crown has promised you a pardon if you can rescue the princess from the island before she is killed.

To ensure the players loyalty they’re injected with a poison that will kill them if they don’t get the antidote within the week.

Big Trouble in Little China

A wizard cursed to exist as a phantasm two thousand years ago has to marry a woman with green eyes to regain a physical body.

He kidnaps the daughter of a friend of the party and now the party have to join forces with groups of various factions to infiltrate the underground base and rescue the girl before the wizard can lift his curse restarting his campaign of world domination.

Transformers: The Movie

A giant floating moon sized monster is approaching the planet obviously intent of devouring the land and all life that exists.

Our heroes have to find an ancient magical artefact, travel to the monster, find a way into it’s body, get to it’s heart and use the artefact to destroy the creature in time to save the world.

Day of the Dead

The city has fallen, you’re characters are trapped in a small outpost, you need to survive and find someway to escape, daily raids to the farms and stores to get supplies before all the people starve.

While all the time reinforcing their base and disposing the walking dead at their doorstep.

How far have the undead horde spread? Is any help coming? Are they only ones left?

The Thing

Get the players to roll up multiple characters and get ready to pass a lot of notes.

The party are trapped in a remote snow bound outpost when the find out that a shapeshifter has infiltrated the base and is slowly killing the inhabitants trying to spread it’s infection.

Can the players identify the monster before the snow storm passes and the creature can reach the closest city and spread it’s evil across the world?

So bring a bit of the 80s back to your games table and see how long it takes your players to work out where you got your adventure concept from.

And let me know how it goes.

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