Ok, @Shadymutha asked me how I use my StoryCubes to generate an adventure basis. And I promised an answer. I have a TON of StoryCubes and can’t recommend them enough. So, first, I grab 9 random dice (set doesn’t matter) and roll them out (as shown). First thing I do is choose 3 for LOG. We’ll run with fantasy for this example. With everything, I try and apply DEW (Danger, Energy, Wonder)
Location: (house) - The Iron Vaults of the Dwarven Warforge (where magical armor and weapons are made and stored in a high security vault)
Obstacle: (lock)The Vault is protected by a complex series of locks that is nearly impossible to pick. Characters will have to find another way in.
Goal: A suit of magical armor made from the scales of the oldest known dragon and linked with mythril links… do the characters want this suit for themselves? Are they hired? Are they trying to get it before it’s sold to an arch villain? You, the GM decide!
I choose three dice for the three T’s (Timer, Threat, Treat)
Timer: (the “airlock”) - Every so many rounds (d8 timer) the doors open as newly forged weapons or armor are brought, under heavy guard to be locked up, or something has to be retrieved for a customer.
Threat (the grappling hook thing) There are several trapped areas around the vault door that if not detected (“Hey, notice how those Dwarves always walk single file to the door” or roll to notice that the guards press a series of runes on the wall as they pass…etc) - trap triggers magnetic wall sections that pull arms and armor to them and metallic nets to trap intruders)
Treat (the thinking dude): Careful observation can reveal the code when one of the deposits comes along (effort to record the complex code with multiple rounds of patrols coming by and traps to avoid?)
Finally, three dice for the three Ds (Damage, Disruption, Danger)
Damage (the sonic screwdriver): Guards are armed with rods of arcane blasting (magical effort ranged attacks)
Danger: (the flash thing) - Any trap triggered or if a guard in the patrol manages to reach the alarm button, emits an alarm that locks down the vault completely and brings reinforcements in d6 rounds
Disruption (the digging dude): Once the PCs manage to get into the vault and have to find the armor, another team of Arcane Thieves open a portal INSIDE the vault and tries to get the armor first…competition!
So, with these skeletal frameworks, I write up/work up a quick outline or flowchart of the game or one-shot and some basic encounter stats and off we go! I like to use Hank’s “Story Architecture Flow chart” on p.82 of the ICRPG core book (sometimes modifying, adding, etc) and there we go!