Love playing D&D? Need some Dungeons and Dragons campaign ideas to craft amazing worlds or adventures for your players? These 101+ epic ideas are split into 4 categories:
- 25 Quick ideas for inspiration
- 14 Adventures based on the 5e character classes
- 12 Tropes every DM needs to know
- 25 Classic mash-ups: DnD meets Marvel & DC
- 26 Ways to come up with your own Dungeons and Dragons campaign or adventure ideas!
Ready? Let’s go!
25 Quick campaign ideas for inspiration
These first 25 ideas outline complete Dungeons & Dragons adventures in just 37 words or less. Let the games begin!
1. The Forgotten City: A group of adventurers stumbles upon a long-lost city that holds mysterious secrets, powerful artifacts, and an ancient evil just waiting to be unleashed.
2. The Curse of the Lich King: The party must defeat a powerful lich who is threatening to raise an undead army and take over your peaceful mountain village.
3. The Dragon’s Hoard: The group embarks on a quest to find and defeat a fearsome dragon in order to claim its vast treasure trove — everybody loves a classic.
4. The Time Traveler’s Quest: The party is transported back in time by an evil wizard and must navigate different eras to uncover the truth behind a world-altering event.
5. The Lost Temple: The adventurers must fight through a treacherous jungle, solve puzzles to find a hidden temple, and survive escape rooms to claim a treasure of unimaginable power.
6. The War of the Gods: The gods themselves have gone to war. The party must choose sides and fight alongside their chosen deity to restore balance to the world.
7. The Haunted Manor: The group is hired to investigate a haunted manor, only to discover that the spirits within are more malevolent than they could have imagined.
8. The Elemental Chaos: The planes of fire, water, air, and earth are colliding. The party must gather and reassemble ancient artifacts representing each element in order to save the world.
9. The Pirate’s Cove: The adventurers become swashbuckling pirates, sailing the high seas, battling rival ships, and searching for buried treasure.
10. The Underdark Expedition: The group delves deep into the treacherous Underdark, facing dangerous creatures and navigating labyrinthine tunnels in search of a powerful magical artifact.
11. The Feywild Quest: The party is transported to the mystical realm of the Feywild and must navigate its enchanting yet deadly landscapes to complete their mission.
12. The Great Beast Hunt: The adventurers are tasked with tracking down and slaying or capturing a series of legendary creatures that have been terrorizing the land.
13. The Cursed Kingdom: The group explores a village plagued by a powerful curse. They must uncover the source and find a way to break it before nightfall — or risk being trapped by the curse forever.
14. The Celestial Forge: The party embarks on a quest to find a legendary forge that has the power to create weapons of unparalleled strength.
15. The Ascendance Trials: The adventurers must compete in a series of trials and challenges to prove themselves worthy of spending one glorious night in Valhalla.
16. The Shadowfell: The group must venture into a dark and twisted realm, battling shadow creatures and unraveling a mystery that seems to terrify the denizens who live there.
17. The Dwarven Stronghold: The party is enlisted to help a group of dwarves defend their ancient stronghold from an invading army.
18. The Druid’s Call: The adventurers must seek out and protect a rare, mystical artifact that protects the ancient trees of the forest they’re passing through.
19. The Forbidden Library: The group discovers a hidden library filled with forbidden knowledge, and must navigate its dangers to unlock its secrets.
20. The Fey Court: The party is invited to a grand gathering in the Fey Court, where they must navigate political intrigue and solve a mystery that threatens to disrupt the faerie realm.
21. The Vampire’s Lair: The adventurers find themselves in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a powerful vampire lord, as they try to protect a town from his insidious plans.
22. The Elemental Champions: The group must prove themselves as worthy champions of the elemental planes, battling powerful foes and harnessing the power of the elements themselves.
23. The Lost Civilization: The adventurers stumble upon the ruins of an ancient civilization, and must uncover its secrets and solve its mysteries before it vanishes for another thousand years.
24. The Magical Tournament: The party is invited to participate in a grand magical tournament, where they must compete against other skilled adventurers in a series of challenges.
25. The Demonic Invasion: The world is under siege by a horde of demons, and the group must rally the forces of good and lead an epic battle to save 1,000 innocent souls before time runs out.
14 Adventures based on the 5e character classes
These next 25 Dungeons & Dragons ideas are all based on specific character classes for a more personalized gaming experience. Stick to the originals or explore all 14 of the 5th edition classes.
1. Artificer: “Inventions and Innovations”
In this campaign, artificers take center stage as inventors and creators of magical marvels. The party will delve into ancient ruins to uncover lost technologies, craft powerful artifacts, and face off against rival inventors. Think magic robot wars in a D&D realm!
2. Barbarian: “The Savage Frontier”
In this campaign that centers around your barbarian, the party delves into the untamed wilderness of the Savage Frontier. They will face off against savage beasts, rival tribes, and powerful elemental forces to discover a dark, hidden truth about the barbarian’s past.
3. Bard: “Melodies of Magic”
Embark on a musical journey led by your bard as the party explores the diverse planes of existence, using musical prowess to solve puzzles, charm enemies, and inspire an entire city. Uncover ancient songs with hidden magical powers and change the course of history.
4. Blood Hunter: “Hunters of the Occult”
Led by your blood hunter, the party takes on the role of supernatural monster hunters. To save a nearby village, they will track down vampires, werewolves, and other dark creatures. As they delve deeper into the occult, they will confront a surprising force lurking in the shadows.
5. Cleric: “Divine Intervention”
The party is chosen by their cleric’s deity to embark on a holy quest. They must restore balance to faraway lands plagued by darkness and corruption. Along the way, they will face powerful demons, undead abominations, and magical artifacts with dreadful powers. Or, if their deity is evil, flip the story on its head!
6. Druid: “Nature’s Wrath”
In this campaign, your druid will be called on to protect the balance of the natural world. The party must confront powerful wizards who are threatening the delicate ecosystem, battling against deforestation, industrialization, and corrupted fey creatures. They will need to tap into their shape-shifting abilities and commune with powerful nature spirits to claim victory.
7. Fighter: “Warrior’s Valor”
Step into the shoes of your mighty warrior as the party embarks on a series of epic battles and quests for glory. From defending a besieged village to participating in gladiatorial tournaments, the fighter class will showcase their combat skills through a variety of unusual weapons and tactics.
8. Monk: “The Path of Enlightenment”
In this campaign, your monk will be called to delve deep into their inner self, seeking spiritual enlightenment while honing their martial arts skills. The party will navigate treacherous monasteries, face off against rival martial arts schools, and uncover the dark magic that threatens the ultimate source of ki.
9. Paladin: “Holy Crusade”
Led by your paladin, the party is chosen to serve as the champions of justice and uphold the tenets of your paladin’s oath. They will embark on a holy crusade against the forces of evil (or against the forces of good), facing demons, undead, and corrupt tyrants (or joining forces with them). Along the way, they will find powerful relics and forge alliances with celestial beings in the ethereal plane.
10. Ranger: “Explorers of the Wild”
In this campaign, your ranger takes the lead as a seasoned wilderness explorer, venturing into uncharted territories and uncovering ancient ruins. As masters of survival, they will track down elusive creatures, navigate treacherous terrain, and introduce your party to the secrets of the wild.
11. Rogue: “Shadows of Intrigue”
Following your rogue, the party operates in the shadows, navigating a world of political intrigue and daring heists. They will infiltrate noble courts, steal valuable artifacts, and outwit cunning enemies. The rogue’s agility and stealth skills will be put to the test as the party unravels hidden conspiracies.
12. Sorcerer: “Bloodlines of Power”
In this campaign, your sorcerer will embrace their innate magical abilities to expose the powerful magic secrets of their bloodlines. The party will encounter ancient dragons, tap into forbidden arcane knowledge, and face off against rival sorcerers. As your sorcerer’s powers evolve, they may accidentally rip the very fabric of reality.
13. Warlock: “Pact with the Unknown”
To protect your warlock, the party must form a pact with powerful otherworldly entities in exchange for magical abilities. They will experience the dangerous realms of the fey, battling against their patrons’ enemies and fulfilling mysterious tasks — but for what purpose? By the time they find out, it might be too late.
14. Wizard: “Arcane Chronicles”
Inspired by your wizard, the party embarks on a quest for knowledge and power. They will search for long-lost spellbooks, decipher ancient arcane texts, and face off against a powerful magic of mysterious origin. Does the wizard know more than they’re letting on? Give them shocking secrets to reveal at each step of your twisting plot as they explore age-old mysteries that span beyond the mortal realm.
12 Tropes every DM needs to know
Whether you’re stuck at a certain point in your current campaign or want to start a new one from scratch, these 12 classic D&D tropes are sure to get your plot moving.
1. The Unfinished Business: Draw on previous adventures or the backstories of your party members for a campaign hook that combines epic adventure with the best elements of role-playing.
2. The Dragon Heist: What could be a more challenging experience than stealing from a dragon? The dragon stole an ancient artifact of divine magic, and a cursed village needs it back. Your epic adventure awaits!
3. The Evil Wizard: Who can resist an evil wizard plot? Dark magics and evil essences are sure to keep your party on its toes.
4. The Mysterious Mentor: Does your party need to uncover a key piece of information to keep the plot moving? Send in a village elder. These wise locals possess all kinds of riddles, lore, artifacts, and ancient prophecies that can keep your party guessing or supply them with that mysterious item they’re going to need.
5. The Famous Humanoid Chief: Need a horde for your party to fight? Look no further. Your local (in)famous humanoid chief is the perfect way to draw them into battle.
6. The “Random” Encounter: Has your party gotten off track? Do you need them to go left when they’re trying to go right? Drop in a mysterious stranger with a cryptic message. Does it work every time? No. No, it does not. But sometimes it’s your best bet.
7. The Unbeatable Boss: Need your party to turn around? Put an unbeatable boss in their way. But watch out — if your players are craftier than you expected, they could end up with loot that’s way above their pay grade.
8. The Trapped Treasure: Here’s a fun one — put traps on every treasure along the way, but leave the final trove completely untouched. Watch your party argue for 3 hours over how to approach this final “challenge” when all they have to do is open the chest.
9. The Useless NPC Guide: Give your party an NPC “guide” who loves giving vague or misleading directions. It’s annoying and entertaining at the same time, adding an element of unpredictability to your adventures.
10. The Legendary Location: Include a mythical or legendary location that’s shrouded in mystery and filled with ancient treasures or powerful entities. Whether it’s an ancient temple, a lost city, or the halls of Valhalla, these reliable trope-based adventures never fail to entertain.
11. The Treachery Among Allies: Sudden betrayal (or the appearance of betrayal) within the party can lead to unexpected plot twists and create tension among the players, adding a delicious element of unpredictability to your campaign
12. The Moral Dilemma: Presenting players with tough decisions that have moral implications can create impactful and memorable moments in your game. These dilemmas force the party to consider the consequences of their choices and can lead to fascinating character development and group dynamics.
25 classic mash-ups: DnD meets Marvel & DC
This set of D&D campaign ideas involves mash-ups that splice D&D with your favorite comics. Incorporating comic-book heroes, villains, artifacts, and plotlines into your campaigns can ratchet up the fun in any game.
1. The Masked Stranger: Introduce a superhero-inspired character as an ally or quest-giver. You can even ditch the superpowers and just keep their personality for some fun NPC roleplaying.
2. The Origin Story: Create an adventure inspired by a superhero’s origin story. Did someone kill that young, rich, brooding lord’s parents? He might be willing to pay for his revenge.
3. The Superhero-as-Artifact: Incorporate iconic superhero abilities, such as flight or uncanny spider-like senses, into magical items or spells.
4. The Disguised Comic Book Setting: Design a mysterious island paradise around Wonder Woman’s Themyscira, or introduce your party to a school for the magically gifted — complete with a psychic guardian to watch over them.
5. Create Your Own Subclasses: Use superheroes as inspiration for new, unique player character subclasses. Does that uber-rogue have unusually sticky fingers? You bet she does.
6. Disguise the Villain: Don’t forget about supervillains! Is that evil wizard laughing a bit too much? Is the evil artificer sporting a few extra arms? Drawing inspiration from supervillains is a great way to incorporate new elements into your boss fights.
7. Just Add the Artifacts: Have some fun when your players discover powerful artifacts like a golden “rope” of truth or a ring that can only cast green illusions.
8. Organize the Bad Guys: Create a secret organization or cult of dark wizards that resembles Hydra for your players to run into on a regular basis, creating a long episodic campaign with a persistent story arc.
9. Head Off the Beaten Path: Let your party encounter characters who resemble lesser-known superheroes or villains from the comics. The less famous they are, the less you’ll need to disguise them to keep your party from catching on.
10. Explore Mystical Societies: Incorporate a secretive order of mystical monks tasked with protecting the current timeline and the very fabric of the universe. (Does this one seem oddly specific? What can I say — I’m a fan.)
11. Invent New Races: Add alien encounters to your D&D campaigns without “breaking” the fantasy setting by inventing new races for your world. This opens up inspiration from Star Wars, Star Trek, and a whole host of other sci-fi settings.
12. Raise the Stakes: Comic books are famous for putting entire worlds in the balance. Design a campaign in which the players have to prevent a catastrophic event that could destroy the entire mortal realm.
13. Maybe the Vigilante Is the Bad Guy: Superheroes are known for taking justice into their own hands. Add a plot twist by creating a city plagued by a masked vigilante and send your party out to arrest them, leaving clues as your players investigate the vigilante’s true identity.
14. Bring on the Comic Relief: When you’re thinking about comic book characters to bring on your D&D adventures, don’t forget the comic relief! Hmmm, does that half-orc NPC sound suspiciously like Drax?
15. Don’t Forget the Sidekicks: If your party’s going to pal around with an NPC, have some fun by incorporating the personality of your favorite superhero sidekick or manga companion.
16. The Masked Heroes: Introduce the concept of secret identities, allowing players to take on dual personas, especially in city adventures.
17. Draw from Manga & Anime: Many popular manga and anime series have enough fantasy elements that they could easily be incorporated into Dungeons and Dragons. From weapons to armor to the characters themselves, there’s a whole world of elements to explore.
18. Incorporate a Superhero Lair: Add a disguised superhero lair, or give it a twist and make it into a supervillain’s hideaway instead. Is that evil artificer extremely wealthy? Your party just might discover an armored suit that flies and a heart-jewel power core as they wander through the mansion.
19. Bring on the Team-Ups: Put together your own version of the Guardians of the Galaxy or the Justice League. If you don’t want them to be overpowered, focus on their personalities. Role-playing is at least half the fun!
20. Include That Catchphrase: Use iconic catchphrases or one-liners as dialogue for NPC heroes or villains. Or add your own twists and turn them into puns to make your players groan.
21. Incorporate Dangerous Cosmic Artifacts: Create powerful cosmic artifacts that heroes and villains are vying to possess. These artifacts could grant incredible abilities or even have the power to reshape reality.
22. Multiverse Adventures: Explore different dimensions and alternate realities within your campaign. Players can encounter alternate versions of their everyday reality to spice up your game.
23. Supervillain Heists: Design exciting heists where players have to stop powerful villains from stealing valuable artifacts or technology. Take inspiration from the Joker trying to rob a museum or Doctor Octopus attempting to steal a powerful experimental device.
24. Superhero-Themed Quests: Design quests centered around superhero tropes, like stopping a city-wide catastrophe that’s being plotted by a powerful, evil villain.
25. Explore New Worlds: Send your players on a grand quest to Asgard, where they’ll assist Thor and other Norse gods in battling mythical creatures and facing off against Loki. Or have them dive deep into the ocean to explore the mysterious city of Atlantis, with a royal half-merman and his allies guiding the players on their quest. With a multi-verse of comic books and manga to choose from, plus the ability to add your own twists, there’s no limit to what you can do!
26 Ways to come up with your own epic DnD campaign or adventure ideas
Speaking of adding your own twists, last but definitely not least, here are 25 ways to come up with your own epic ideas for D&D campaigns and adventures!
1. Start with a Different Genre: Choose a different genre, such as sci-fi, romance, or horror, as a foundation for your D&D campaign.
2. Explore Mythology: Draw inspiration from various mythologies and legends from around the world to create unique and exciting storylines for your campaign.
3. Use Historical Events: Reimagine historical events and incorporate them into your campaign to add depth and realism. (Hey, if it worked for Game of Thrones …)
4. Incorporate Real Locations: Research real-world locations and adapt them into your campaign’s setting to ground your campaign in real-world familiarity.
5. Create a Specific Conflict: Start with a central conflict or problem that the players must solve throughout the campaign.
6. Make It Thematic: Whatever your central conflict is, take your campaign up a notch by returning to the theme of the main conflict at various points in the journey.
7. Twist a Classic Tale: Take a classic story, like Beauty and the Beast or Robin Hood, and give it a D&D twist to create an engaging narrative.
8. Build on Current Events: Use current events or social issues as inspiration to create thought-provoking and relevant storylines.
9. Emphasize Exploration: Create a campaign centered around exploration, with vast unexplored lands, hidden dungeons, and mysterious treasures.
10. Invent Imaginary Politics: Develop a campaign that revolves around political intrigue, where the players must navigate complex alliances and power struggles.
11. Conspiracy Busters: Invent a conspiracy theory in your imaginary world for your players to investigate — will they debunk it or discover the horrifying truth?
12. Create a Mystery: Craft a campaign where the players unravel a complex mystery or solve a series of puzzles to progress.
13. Use Dreams and Prophecies: Weave dreams, visions, and prophecies into your campaign, creating an air of mystery and foreshadowing.
14. Incorporate Technology: Introduce steampunk or futuristic elements into your campaign, offering unique gadgets and surprising technologies.
15. Explore Underwater Worlds: Take your campaign underwater, allowing players to explore sunken cities, encounter mythical sea creatures, and discover hidden treasures.
16. Build a Magical School: Create a campaign set in a magical school, where the players take on the roles of students and navigate various challenges and rivalries.
17. Create a Post-Apocalyptic World: Set your campaign in a post-apocalyptic world, where players must survive in a harsh environment and help rebuild civilization.
18. Focus on a Specific Profession: Design a campaign around a specific profession, such as bounty hunters, thieves, or knights, and delve into the unique challenges they face.
19. Use Artifacts and Relics: Incorporate powerful relics and priceless artifacts into your campaign, each with its own story and abilities.
20. Embrace Multi-Dimensional Travel: Allow players to travel to different dimensions or parallel universes, encountering alternate versions of themselves and familiar characters.
21. Build a Guild or Faction: Create a campaign where players belong to a guild or faction, complete with rivalries, missions, and power struggles.
22. Explore the Afterlife: Set your campaign in the realm of the afterlife, where players encounter otherworldly beings and must figure out how to make it back home before it’s too late.
23. Design a Cursed Land: Create a campaign with a land that’s cursed. Players must find a way to lift the curse while facing various supernatural challenges.
24. Invent New Races: Create unique races for your campaign, each with its own cultures, abilities, and conflicts.
25. Choose Your Favorite Movie: Start with a favorite film and change the elements to make it an (almost) unrecognizable D&D version of the plot — with a few twists of your own.
26. Choose Your Favorite Series: Start with a favorite series, add a little magic, and create an episodic campaign across multiple game sessions. The entire campaign story arc can follow the series storyline.