Homebrew An endless stream of random encounters
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  1. #1

    An endless stream of random encounters

    Alright everyone, I am sure I am not the only one who has a lack of creativity sometimes, so let's start an archive. Just throw up random encounters, and some relevant information that might come into play (ie. Random encounter is a flying young Dragon, info is that there happens to be a tree nearby you can climb, as well as a horn that will amplify your voice should you choose to talk to the Dragon) I will kick it off as best I can.

    Encounter: cliff overlooking a massive forest, split by a waterfall with a bridge in front of it. Three shady men halfway across the bridge from the party.
    Note: One of the men is a caster with fireball, and will use it on the bridge if the party chooses to attack. Decide for your own game if these men are actually bad, or if they are just unfortunately-shady-looking but good hearted men.


    Encounter:walking through the woods you happen across a band of monks with wagons fending off attacking bandits, who won't seem to stop coming.
    ​Note: total of 30 bandits hiding in the trees. Might be bargained with, or intimidated.
    Last edited by Lanliss; Saturday, 1st October, 2016 at 03:56 AM.
    XP Ed Laprade, Satyrn, Jeremy E Grenemyer, Miladoon gave XP for this post

  2. #2
    On well-trafficked roads, it's always good to throw in a few mundane encounters, even windfalls. My favorite is a merchant selling discounted wares.
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  3. #3
    Here's my random encounter list that I developed here on Enworld. Unfortunately it was eaten by the Purge Monster (along with tasty xp points).

    Spoiler:

    D12+ D8

    1. XXXXXXX
    2. Will-O'-Wisp (1) 301
    3. Manticore (2) 213
    4. Fire Beetles (20) 325
    5. Ogres (3) 237
    6. Troll (2) 291
    7. Hell Hound (3) 182
    8. Hill Giant (1) 155
    9. Axe Beak (10) 317
    10. Stirges (12) 284
    11. Gnolls (8) 163
    12. Griffon (4) 174
    13. Centaurs (8) 31
    14. Kenku (8) 194
    15. Bugbear (8) 33
    16. Gargoyle (3) 140
    17. Shadows (6) 269
    18. Peryton (3) 251
    19. Ettercap + Spider (1) 131 + (4) 328
    20. Efreeti (1) 145





    1. XXXXXXX
    2. Reroll while ignoring the following results: #2, #4, #9, #10, #13, #20. The wisp will try to lead the party to this (these) monster(s). If a battle ensues, the Wisp will turn invisible and hide. It's waiting for a party member to go down, so it can use its Consume Life ability. If the wisp survives the encounter, it will continue to appear in the distance. If event happens during the day, the party stumbles upon a battle of Bugbears and Gnolls.
    3. The Manticore will hang back and use their spike attack from 100 feet away, then engage in melee when the spikes are depleted.
    4. Carnivorous Fire Beetles swarm from cracks and crevices and attempt to devour the party. Creature could be potentially subdued, captured, and used as a light source.
    5. The Ogres will be waiting near a narrow pass with high defensive positioning. When the party gets within 100 feet they will hurl Javelins (disadvantage for distance) as a warning. If the party has horses, one of them will demand two horses and they will leave the party alone. If there's no horses, their henchman will do.
    6. Decaying carcasses of partially eaten creatures will be found scattered in the area including, but not limited to; Gnolls, bugbears, mountain lions, and wolves. Signs of other destruction can be found: Rending claw marks on trees, scraps of meat and clothing clinging to branches of the trees or bushes, green steaming troll feces, etc. The party can track their lair where 1d4 more trolls will be found (Random treasure table time!)
    7. Unless cornered, the Hell Hounds will whimper and run away. Mr Grieves, the quasit familiar of the party's warlock, will telepathically say to the Warlock "The master sends his regards." Unbeknownst to the character, but not the player, is that she gets her Warlock powers from the trickster arch demon Fraz-Urb'Luu. The demon is trying to usurp the power of Orcus in the area.
    8. The hill giant will be enjoying lunch/dinner/late night snack. Several unconscious Axe Beaks will be strewn around. The party can hear the loud squawk and crunch the Axe beak is ground between the giant's teeth. If the party is discovered, it would prefer the party's horses over Axe Beak. If no horses, how about the henchman and the two dwarves?
    9. Yummy, tasty Axe Beak! These creatures can be seen all around the area. If this encounter occurs, then the party has unwittingly gotten too close to a herd (flight?) of these flightless fowl. They don't like it when you get within a hundred feet of them.
    10. The Stirges are feasting upon a dead Ettercap or other local denizen that the party hasn't seen yet. They will not attack, unless the party attacks or gets within 80 feet.
    11. These are a hunting group from the Faceslasher Tribe (Symbol: Skull with three diagonal slashes across it. Also the tribesmen have facial scars identical to this symbol. They are hunting for bugbear tribesmen. Now that the party gets a good look at a Gnolls up close, they vaguely resemble some faded murials seen in an earlier adventure...
    12. The Griffin are after the party's horses. If they heeded Pyotr's advice, then they should have a spare horse to leave behind. If they heeded Masha's advice, then they don't have any horses and the Griffin will ignore them. (Btw, mistreating a horse will make dealing with Loshad much more difficult when the time comes. Purposely sacrificing a horse to Griffin counts as mistreatment in Loshad's opinion)
    13. These Centaurs are searching for the party on the part of Loshad. They will give each member a potion of Long Rest. [After eight hours rest, the imbiber gets the full benefits of a Long Rest regardless of location.] They also tell the group that Kuzma has contacted Loshad and to talk to her when they return. The Centaurs are otherwise disinterested in the group, doing this as a favor for Loshad. They will leave when the task is done. Encounter happens only once. After that Gnolls (8) 163 or [b[Bugbears [/b] (8) 33
    14. The sounds of a battle can be heard, then the cries of a woman screaming at the top of her lungs "My baby! Don't kill my baby!", then a heart wrenching wail, then silence. If the party listens for longer than thirty seconds, then they'll discover that these sounds repeat verbatim. If the party rushes forward, they'll head into a Kenku ambush.
    15. The Bugbears are fleeing the Dymrak Forest after learning that the three goblin lair's had been plundered by the adventurers. The Bloodbears are trying to stake a claim in these rugged hills. They are usually covered in the decaying blood of their fallen enemies and reek something awful.
    16. The Gargoyles are guarding a forgotten Hutaakan tomb, long since plundered. They will not attack unless the party gets within 120 feet of the tomb entrance. There is nothing inside except broken stone. Faded frescoes of the Hutaakan are within these walls. Stars constellations are painted on the ceiling.
    17. The shadows appear only at night, they vaguely resemble the Hutaakan. If encountered during the day, the party encounters six burial mounds and broken headstones.
    18. The party will be warned of the Peryton before hand. Telling the tale of a Traladaran Tribal queen who ate the hearts of his husbands lovers. Her off spring became Peryton, while she became a Hag of Dymrak Forest; a being of terrible powers and evil disposition who resides outside the borders of this adventure.
    19. The party will spot web strands covering a forested area they are heading through. They can circumvent the area. The detour adds 3 hours to their journey and another Encounter Check. If the party continues, light becomes an issue as the the web covers the forest canopy and torches must be lit. They Ettercap will wait until the party is in an area covered by web, then spring the ambush. The party will suffer difficult terrain movement from the webbing during the battle.
    20. A pillar of flame will erupt from the ground and the Efreeti will step forth from it. He points at the party and says "One among you will betray my ward." This Efreeti appears as a dark angel wrapped in fire. He is Elijah's guardian angel. He then turns, steps into the pillar of flame and disappears. (Elijah is an Oath of Vengeance Paladin PC) Encounter happens only once.

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  4. #4
    Here are some non-combat ones:

    Dwarf merchants.
    A dwarf merchant (veteran) and 2d4 dwarf guards. The merchant has a wagon that is pulled by a mule. There is a 50% chance he has any given item listed under Adventuring Gear and a 30% chance he has any given weapon and armor listed in the Players Handbook. He is willing to sell these items at standard prices.

    Elf scouts. A party of 2d4 elf scouts led by 1 elf spy. The elves are patrolling the area, seeking to slay wandering bands of evil humanoids. The elves do not readily reveal themselves to PCs, instead preferring to observe them from a distance (roll stealth checks versus the PCs passive perception). However, if there are elves in the party, they will approach cautiously to inquire where the party came from and where they are headed. There is a 50% chance the scouts are carrying 1d4 potions of healing, and may be willing to sell them to the party if they express interest in slaying the enemies of elves (such as orcs and goblins).

    Hermit. A wandering human hermit (druid). There is a 50% chance the hermit is mad. If mad, roll on the Indefinite Madness table on page 260 of the Dungeon Masters Guide to determine how the hermit is afflicted. If not mad, the hermit may assist the party if they are willing to destroy any aberrations they encounter. Assistance may include showing them where local water sources are and safe places to camp as well as casting helpful spells.

    Human patrol. A patrol of human soldiers consisting of 1 knight and 2d4 guards mounted on warhorses. The soldiers come from the nearest human city/settlement and will ask what business the party has, where they come from and where they are headed. If treated with respect, and if the party indicates they are willing to slay monsters, the patrol may lend 1d3 guards to assist the party for 1d4 days.
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  5. #5
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    The Ambush: The party is encased by a sphere of magical darkness, as per the Darkness spell (which has in fact, been cast on the party). Roll initiative, and 2d6 bandits led by one Drow (in disguise) will throw Alchemist's Fire into the party's location, before the spell is dismissed in favor of melee combat.

    The Cages: 2d3 Thugs lead 8d6 Commoners trapped in wooden cages loaded onto the backs of 2 carts, each pulled by 2 Horses. The Thugs have no intention of attacking the party. Instead they will happily trade words, items or even services with party members, and only fight if they are attacked.

    Smoke?: The party sees a smoke cloud drifting up slightly off their path. If they investigate, they find a still burning fire, a burnt corpse stripped of all valuables, and an obvious trail leading into the wilderness, made by a living humanoid body being dragged against their will. The Ogre who's responsible for all of this can be found some distance away by an easy Wisdom (Survival) check, with a prisoner trapped under an oversize cook pot for later snacking.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanliss View Post
    Alright everyone, I am sure I am not the only one who has a lack of creativity sometimes, so let's start an archive. Just throw up random encounters, and some relevant information that might come into play (ie. Random encounter is a flying young Dragon, info is that there happens to be a tree nearby you can climb, as well as a horn that will amplify your voice should you choose to talk to the Dragon) I will kick it off as best I can.

    Encounter: cliff overlooking a massive forest, split by a waterfall with a bridge in front of it. Three shady men halfway across the bridge from the party.
    Note: One of the men is a caster with fireball, and will use it on the bridge if the party chooses to attack. Decide for your own game if these men are actually bad, or if they are just unfortunately-shady-looking but good hearted men.


    Encounter:walking through the woods you happen across a band of monks with wagons fending off attacking bandits, who won't seem to stop coming.
    ​Note: total of 30 bandits hiding in the trees. Might be bargained with, or intimidated.
    What stats do these "shady men" have? (I would guess two Thugs and a Mage)

    The Bandits I see, but there are no stats for "monks" in 5E. Scouts with their attacks refluffed as unarmed/monk weapon attacks, perhaps?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotActuallyTim View Post
    The Cages: 2d3 Thugs lead 8d6 Commoners trapped in wooden cages loaded onto the backs of 2 carts, each pulled by 2 Horses. The Thugs have no intention of attacking the party. Instead they will happily trade words, items or even services with party members, and only fight if they are attacked.
    Oh well, I was about to post an encounter almost exactly like this one. ^

    When camping for the night on the grasslands/plains, a group of Ankegs attack the camp. They burrow up and burst from the ground looking for a meal and something to drag back to their colony's hungry hatchlings. Mounts and pack animals make a nice sizable meal and are likely tethered too.
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  8. #8
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    The old watch tower

    A lone dilapidated stone watch tower stands on a hill; a relic from a different age. The tower is 60 ft. high, and a large chunk is missing from the side, exposing the staircase. Perhaps it was struck by a siege weapon a long time ago. The tower houses nothing except a tight staircase, which is exposed to the outside about halfway up the tower. The entrance to the tower is open, and a broken rusty metal gate lies on the ground, swallowed by the vegetation.

    Players can climb to the top, where the tower offers a great view of the surroundings. Nearby tall buildings (such as a church tower), cities, large landscape features and large (and bigger) flying creatures can be seen from a great distance. The players can see in all four directions. If the DM determines landscape features at random, he should roll once for each direction that the players have not yet explored.

    Optionally, the DM may rule that climbing the tower is dangerous. Either because part of the staircase has crumbled, or because of strong winds, or because the tower is slightly leaning to one side. Players must make a strength (athletics) check DC 12 to climb to the top, or risk a 30 ft. fall.

    The Crows Banquet

    Three rusty metal cages hang from wooden gibbets along the side of the road, on a small hill. The ends of the wooden gibbets are shaped like bird heads, and various crows are sitting on the cages. Down below are various bones from previous prisoners. Most of the bones have rolled down the hill.

    In one cage lies a man called Willas Brooker (Neutral Evil), waiting to die of thirst. Willas was sentenced to death because of a murder that he committed, but will lie when asked about his crime, claiming he stole a loaf of bread. Willas will beg the players for water, and also beg them to set him free. If asked, Willas will gladly give the players directions, as long as they give him something to drink first.

    In a second cage lies an old wizard called Conrad Payne (Lawful Evil). The wizard was sentenced to death for practicing necromancy. He will gladly tell the players what crime Willas actually committed if asked, and is honest about his own crimes. He does not feel he did anything wrong. The wizard will also offer to help the players with spells and potions from his shack in the forest, if they set him free, and is true to his word.

    In the third cage is a skeleton, picked clean by crows. A flock of crows is still sitting on top of the cage, waiting for the other two prisoners to die. If the players search the corpse, they can find a pouch containing 20 gp. Neither Willas nor Conrad know who the man was, since he was already in there before they were imprisoned.

    The players can break open the cages with a strength check DC 15, or by picking the lock, DC 12.
    Last edited by Imaculata; Saturday, 1st October, 2016 at 04:19 PM.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    What stats do these "shady men" have? (I would guess two Thugs and a Mage)

    The Bandits I see, but there are no stats for "monks" in 5E. Scouts with their attacks refluffed as unarmed/monk weapon attacks, perhaps?
    I hadn't really thought about stats. You could use two thugs and a mage, but I figured it might differ from one setting to another so I left it open.

    On monks, that would probably work fine, or you can just give them Guard stats, and arm them with swords. I just meant monk in the general sense, rather than a specific stat block.

  10. #10
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    Picket, a halfling scout for the Grimguard being swallowed by two giant frogs in an abandoned camp nearby. She's searching for her captain who disappeared in the forest weeks ago. If rescued, she joins the party to repay the life debt.
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