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Ideas for procedurally creating an entire one-shot?

Content of the article: "Ideas for procedurally creating an entire one-shot?"

Okay DMs; I've got a fun challenge that I'm wanting to take on and could use some help brainstorming.

I've had occasions where people have asked me for a D&D game, pretty much right now, and I usually have to turn them down because I normally have to prep, plan, figure out what scenario would fit my players, how to tailor things to them, and just make sure I'm ready. So…

I want to be able to procedurally create an entire scenario, just long enough to be a one-shot, for new players, off the cuff. Specific challenges to meet include: I want it to be quality enough that new players will want to play more D&D. It needs to be able to be generated on the fly and fast, so that players aren't slammed with constant boring lulls while I figure out the next step in the scenario. And of course, hitting the classic settings such as a town, a dungeon crawl, and problems with multiple solutions, combat and non-combat.

I would love ideas on how to make things run smooth, fast and keeping it interesting, but also keeping it from feeling sloppy. I'm not trying to hide the procedural nature of it, so players can and probably should know what I'm doing to a degree.

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I would especially love to procedurally generate quests on the fly, although I'm not sure how I would go about that and have it be cohesive.

Resources I have: treasure loot cards (so we don't have to waste time with rolling on loot tables), a couple box sets of tiles for dungeons, a couple plastic grided mats with generic stone and grass that I can draw on with dry erase, and nearly every book.

Some ideas I have:

Involving the players in procedural generation by having them make rolls to determine what is next. "John, roll a d20 to see what room you find around the corner. Okay, a 13. You find a large dining room with a horde of…"

Preprinting some cards for NPCs and/or monsters for quick draws of encounters.

Not being as procedural as I'm hoping and prebuilding settings or characters and only leaving a few options up for random rolls of the dice. (Not so easy to do when I'm put on the spot, but I can create a sort of kit beforehand)

What ideas do you fellow DMs have that could help make this happen and have it actually work well?

Source: reddit.com

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