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First Draft: Roll the Dice With This Guide to Action-Adventure Script Structure Based on Dungeons & Dragons

First Draft: Roll the Dice With This Guide to Action-Adventure Script Structure Based on Dungeons & Dragons

First Draft

Room Four: Climax, Big Battle or Conflict

This room is The Big Show. It’s the final combat or conflict encounter of the dungeon. Use all the tactics you can summon to make this encounter memorable and entertaining.

By this point, you’ve introduced your characters, their world, and the journey they must undertake. They’ve accomplished their first goal by scaling that first hurdle (Room One). They’ve used their knowledge and wits to overcome their next challenge, as opposed to punching or shooting their way through it (Room Two). They thought they found what they were searching for, until it was taken from them in a twist. Now they have escaped the trap and gotten past their latest setback (Room Three).

Now it’s time to really amp things up. This is where the action and adventure is taken to the next level. This is when your biggest contributions as a creative thinker in terms of action sequences and set pieces need to shine bright.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is perhaps the pinnacle example of this in the history of cinema.

Indiana and Marion struggle to get aboard the single wing carrier plane to steal the Ark back. However, things go awry, leading to an action and suspense spectacle with Indiana facing off against a Nazi muscle-bound foe twice his weight as Marion struggles to gain control of the airplane.

More Nazis attack them as Indiana vanquishes the Nazi thug—or at least the propeller does in due time—and Marion takes them out with the airplane’s machine gun.

But it’s not over yet. This leads to a massive explosion that they must escape. When they do, the Ark is taken by truck in a convoy of other Nazi vehicles. Indiana finds a horse and rides his way to the convoy, leaping onto the truck, and fighting his way through to the driver’s seat and beyond.

If that isn’t The Big Show, I don’t know what is.

The film adds even more to this amidst a slight lull in the action to showcase more characterization as Indiana and Marion escape on a ship to transport the Ark back to the United States. However, the Nazis find them. Marion is taken and while Indiana has escaped capture, he must now sneak himself aboard a Nazi submarine to follow Marion and the Ark. He later maneuvers his way to  a position of power as he aims a rocket launcher to Belloq, the Nazi Army, and his Marion, but is quickly convinced that he can’t fire upon them.

He surrenders. He and Marion must now make their way into the fifth and final room.

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