D&D General Movie plots for your D&D game


What have been the most successful plots you have filched from the movies and made into your own great D&D games/sessions/combats/campaigns?

I am currently thinking of a 2-shot inspired by the movie New Dragon Gate Inn.

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One thing I advise people to study when building their D&D campaign is Veronica Mars. Each season progresses through a series of eventful misleads until resolving the mystery at the very end. You'll bounce back and forth between several potential villains until the final reveal resolves the answer - only to have a post reveal gut punch during the victory lap that can propel you into a new story. Figuring out how to weave these misleads together and lay them out over time can really make a low level game hum (though misinformation begins to get tricky after levels 6 as more and more divination magics become available).


Not such much movies, but more like lines and stuff from video games. Like I'm totally jacking Mega Man Zero 3's "I am the Messiah" followed by evil laughter for one of my BBEGs before the fight begins.


Lord of the Hidden Layer
If your group likes character interaction, Persuasion, and Intimidate, set up the scenario from The Sting. (Play tune The Entertainer before you start the session as a subliminal clue.)


I changed a Tomb of Annihilation subplot from the Fort Bellarian / Liara Porter explore mission. Now became an assassination mission of insane colonel Kurtz in the heart of the jungle darkness. A la Apocalypse Now
I too have based a 3-shot jungle river-boat (-junk) adventure from the essence of Apocalypse Now. I enjoyed DM'ing that one a lot.

I prefer to steal from books (especially older ones), since it is less likely my players have read the book than seen the movie. If I include a movie reference it's usually as a joke.

I have stolen ideas from these books:

The Mysterious Island (Verne)
The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle (Lofting)
Treasure Island (Stevenson) (surprisingly none of my players had read this and had only seen the Muppet version)
Various Conan stories (Howard)
Dunwich Horror, Mountains of Madness (Lovecraft)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (original author unknown)


I prefer to steal from books (especially older ones), since it is less likely my players have read the book than seen the movie. If I include a movie reference it's usually as a joke.
I do the same. Whenever I steal more than just a base concept, I try to keep it something obscure. If the players figure it out too quickly, it often ruins the adventure.


Books: The Black Company (Glen Cook) was a great inspiration for my most successful 90s (2e) campaign.

TV Series: I often see ideas for D&D while watching tv shows. I steal a plot, sub-plot or just a situation and rewrite it to fit in the campaign. Any type of show will do.

Movies: I can't recall any movie that inspired my D&D campaigns except the animated Beowolf with Angelina Jolie


I managed a decent campaign arc from The Count of Monte Cristo. The PCs were caught up in a NPCs quest on revenge. They attended a ball of intrigue and a bandit attack chase scene like in The 3 Musketeers. In the end, the NPC died leaving them a map to his hidden treasure hoard- which was guarded by a water elemental.


Well it's not based on a movie, but I once ran an adventure based on an episode of the Dad's Army TV series that I remember being good fun.

No-one realized where the plot and characters came from but that wasn't very surprising, since the location was shifted from Walmington-on-Sea on the English coastline to a town in a fantasy campaign that's basically a potage of Indian/Chinese/Mesoamerican folklore, media tropes and history. It's not like I had the village bank manager shouting out "Don't tell him, Pike!", which would be a dead giveaway.

However I find literature a far more useful source of inspiration for RPG sessions.


Jaws. A simple one really. Maybe more or a side quest that one could easily blow up into a larger adventure but...

While traveling the heroes see up ahead, in a haze of mist/fog/dust... wagons/caravan that’s wrecked and there’s someone on top of one of the caravans. The person that is waving their arms at the party in distress and as the heroes approach they realize that the person is yelling at them and waving at them in an attempt to prevent them from approaching... “DONT try and help! GO BACK!” Too late!
The Bullette attacks!

I like to do this to low level groups where the Bullette is really nasty. “Fortunately” is he caravan was transporting something flammable/explosive and if the Bullette can be led to that area
“Smile you son of a bleep!”

Also good for a solo adventure I found.

Epic Threats

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