Tidings of Corruption | 5e Adventure Ideas
By Dean Rigdon
Do you sometimes find it challenging to think up the next big adventure for your 5e campaign? Let us help with these five free 5e adventure ideas!
By the way, if you'd like to get instant access to 1000s of free 5e resources, don't forget to sign up for the DM Lair Newsletter. We'll even send you new stuff every week!
Tidings of Corruption
These adventure ideas revolve around the theme of corruption, bringing to light the cracks in the world from which evil claws its way out. Each idea uses diverse monsters to reinforce this theme and present engaging scenarios that can easily be expanded upon.
Tier One (Levels 1-4)
Killed by Kindness
Creatures. This adventure features the following creature: shadow.
Premise. Mysterious killings have spread across a little town tucked away in a valley. The townsfolk are unaware that these killings are caused by a shadow, a malevolent creature spawned by the cruel lord of the village. A woman’s feeling stuck in the tiny village caused her shadow to separate from her body, and it now roams the town, in turn killing the kindest people there. The shadow will kill all in the town if given enough time; something must be done.
Plot Hook. A group of townsfolk approaches the party, offering all the gold they can muster between them and the land the lord currently occupies. In return, they want assistance in overthrowing the cruel lord and help to stop the killings they are convinced are her fault.
A Sensation of Transformation
Creatures. This adventure features the following creatures: decayed commoner*, drow.
*Located in Lairs and Legends
Premise. The drow have wriggled through a crack in the world, seeking to corrupt others in the same way as them. They have spent many years perfecting their wretched schemes but are finally ready to spring those schemes on the world above. The drow’s first target is a city. They grab random commoners off the streets and subject them to a dark ritual, then put them (decayed commoner) back to terrorize the city. They aim to turn the entire city into a mindless decayed army.
Plot Hook. The terrified king of the city has plastered posters on every free inch, offering money, a title, and land to any adventurer brave enough to stop the terror at its source.
Tier Two (Levels 5 -10)
Creatures. This adventure features the following creatures: drider, giant spider, phase spider.
Premise. A drider has its eyes set on an artifact coveted by a town as a lucky talisman. But the drider wants to use the artifact as a focus to summon their goddess. The drider’s army of spiders, including phase spiders and giant spiders have been put to work digging elaborate tunnels under the town to surround the artifact in its underground vault. Guardians of the artifact have heard scuttling and digging while guarding the vault, massive webs have been spun in odd places, and mysterious shapes have been seen at night darting through the streets. The town needs someone to investigate these concerning tidings.
Plot Hook. The leader of the town has offered a huge monetary reward to any adventurer willing to investigate deeper into the dangerous happenings in the town.
Tier Three (Levels 11-16)
Statues in the Forest
Creatures. This adventure features the following creatures: black bear, medusa, satyr, stone golem.
Premise. A medusa, hungry for love, is attempting to build her ideal partner. She petrifies the creatures of the forest and adds them to her precious stone golem, who she hopes to imbue with a spark of life so that it may love her in return. The golem captures elves, satyrs, and even bears to bring back to its mistress, so she can turn them to stone and add to its already impressive girth. The forest is becoming barren, and overrun by other, nastier monsters as the wood folk protectors flee the medusa’s gaze.
Plot Hook. A unit of soldiers encounters the party on the road. This is the queen’s land, they declare, and they need help in making the path safe for travel. They tell the characters of the reward offered by the queen for proof that the beast of the forest is vanquished.
Tier Four (Levels 17-20)
A Conflict of Interest
Creatures. This adventure features the following creatures: mummy, mummy lord.
Premise. A mummy lord in a nearby temple was stolen from by a greedy businessperson who owns the port next to it. The mummy lord wants it back and is taking out every caravan, ship, and crate labeled with the businessperson's symbol. The lord is sending out their mummy minions to ransack the port and surroundings as a show of strength. The port is on the verge of being abandoned, but the businessperson can’t lose their most profitable asset and needs a band of adventurers to protect their interests.
Plot Hook. The businessperson contacts the characters, offering a large monetary reward and shares in their company for assistance in stopping the misfortune that has befallen them.
Get Access to 1000s of Free 5e Resources!
Sign up for the DM Lair Newsletter to instantly get access to our entire library of free 5e resources. We'll also send you new resources every week!