log in or register to remove this ad

 

An endless stream of random encounters

Lanliss

Explorer
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:

log in or register to remove this ad

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
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.
 

not-so-newguy

Explorer
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).

[Sblock]
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.
[/Sblock]
 

Lidgar

Adventurer
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 PC’s 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 Master’s 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.
 

NotActuallyTim

First Post
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.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
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?
 

akr71

Adventurer
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.
 

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:

Lanliss

Explorer
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.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
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.
 

NotActuallyTim

First Post
The Hole: The party finds a massive, gaping hole in their path. It's 2d4 miles across from any direction, and any destinations within it have vanished. Is it even real, or merely an illusion?

The Fools Rest: The party encounters a simple Inn on the side of the road. Within it are 5d10 Commoners (and one grumpy innkeeper) who happen to be entertainers of various types, having a wild party. The inhabitants of the Inn are happy to see visitors and give the party, whomever they, a rousing cheer if they walk in. If any of the party can sing, play, tumble or tell tales better than any of the other patrons, their drinks are on the less skilled commoners. If any member of the party speaks to the innkeeper, she will tell them that she's tired of these fools eating all her food without paying what it's really worth, and offers to let the party stay for free if they toss the entertainers out of her Inn.
 

Moltar the sleeping giant

The party arrives at a 40 ft. tall cliff. The rock is smooth and slippery, and looks tricky to climb without the aid of suitable climbing gear. Fortunately a tiny staircase has been carved into the side of the cliff. But an unfriendly giant is sleeping up against the staircase, blocking access to it.

This grumpy and mean spirited giant is called Moltar (Neutral Evil), and he hates having his sleep disrupted. The players can attempt to sneak past him, which requires a Dexterity (stealth) check DC 16. Climbing the steps is also tricky, and requires a DC 12 Dexterity (acrobatics) check to maintain your balance. The players may also attempt to persuade Moltar to let them pass, which requires a DC 14 Charisma (persuasion) check. If the players manage to kill Moltar, or magically put him to sleep, his massive arm will still be in the way. With a DC 14 Strength check it can be pushed aside.

Moltar has nothing but disdain for creatures smaller than himself. If diplomacy fails, he may ask a favor of the party, in exchange for passage. Such favors often involve harm to others that Moltar dislikes, such as another Giant, or a local farm. He will ask for proof that the players did what he asked of them. Fortunately Moltar is not very smart, and can easily be tricked.

If the players choose to instead climb the cliff with what gear they happen to carry with them, they can attempt to do so with a DC 16 Strength (athletics check), as long as Moltar is still asleep. The DM may choose to lower the DC based on how well the players prepare for the climb.
 
Last edited:

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Guy Lyrique, a wandering half-elf minstrel who was attacked by a wolf and has wandered delirious through the forest for days. That was no normal wolf though - it was a werewolf and Guy has been infected with lycanthropy. His change begins at an inopportune moment for the adventurers.
 

Fiddlesticks the Faun

The party encounters a friendly Faun in the forest called Fiddlesticks, who invites them into his home. His home is accessed through a small wooden door in the side of a large tree. Two small yellow windows offer a view inside the Faun's lovely home, which is located underneath the tree. The ceiling is a bit low, so the players will need to watch their head. The friendly Faun will offer the players food and drinks, because he loves company. In fact, he will try to persuade the players to stay as long as possible.

But in a dark twist, time actually moves a lot faster while inside the Faun's home. 5 minutes inside the house, is actually 1 hour in real time. The party can quickly lose several days of travel the longer they stay inside the house. Anyone who gazes through the windows from the outside, will see the people inside almost motionless. People looking outward from the inside however, see people outside moving really fast, if they bother to look that is.

When the players leave the house, they feel very tired as their bodies under go the effect of the time that was lost.
 

NotActuallyTim

First Post
The Tourney Goers: A group of 3d4 Knights are traveling with 3 retainers (commoners) each. They're on their way to a tournament, to participate in jousting and dueling. They're quite happy to travel alongside the party for as long as they're on the same path. However, if the party and traveling Knights and retainers spend the night nearby each other, one of the retainers will sneak over to the party and ask for help delivering a letter, before begging the party not to speak of this to the Knights.

The letter is addressed to a noblewoman on the outside, and the following is written on it 'My Dearest Love, if you are reading this, then I have died of my illness. As such, all my property, my lands and my titles pass to you. If my half brother (insert the name of one of the Knights here) finds out, he will try and claim all of this as his own before a court. Let this then be a written oath that you, and you alone, are the sole beneficiary of my inheritance. (insert name of presumably dead nobleman here)'
 

Hriston

Adventurer
While travelling through an area of uninhabited scrub woodlands, the party encounters 12 ogres*. One of them is the group's leader, wears breastplate armor (AC 13) and wields a large maul (3d6 + 4 bludgeoning damage), and has 85 (10d10 + 30) HP.

The party is in a lightly wooded area of light foliage. The woods become more dense within 20' of the party and count as an area of dense foliage. The ogres are about 40' ahead of the party in the dense woods trying to be stealthy as they are able to see the party's approach. Areas of dense brush lay within 15' to either side.

*If the PCs are less than 5th level, there are only 6 ogres and there is no leader present.
 

BoldItalic

First Post
Inheritance or Trick?

A speck appears in the sky, which rapidly grows into to flying carpet ridden by a genie. He lands and greets one of the PCs by name (roll randomly to pick one of the PCs). "My Prince(ss), I bring grave news. Your father is on his deathbed and wishes to see you one last time. Come, we must lose no time!" The genie will then try to persuade the chosen PC to ride away with him on the magic carpet, thus splitting the party.

Attacking the Genie The genie has 1hp. If attacked he will not resist and will die at the first hit, whereupon both he and the carpet will vanish, ending the encounter. Ask the chosen player to narrate a wildly implausible explanation for why he or she had been personally sought out - the wilder and more implausible the better - and award Inspiration if appropriate.

Stealing the Carpet If an attempt is made to steal the carpet while the genie is alive, it will turn out to be have been an ordinary carpet. The genie himself does the flying and the carpet is just for show. Continue the encounter.

PC Refuses The genie will look first sad, then haughty and say "Your father the Caliph bids me say that <insert name here> is no true son/daughter. The throne shall go instead to Prince Abanazar the Wicked. You are forever banished from the Caliphate of Asfaras." The genie will then fly away on the carpet. Ask the chosen player to invent a wildly exaggerated description of a wicked prince called Abanazar - the wilder and more exaggerated the better - and award Inspiration if appropriate.

PC Agrees The chosen PC will be out of the game until the next long or short rest, when he can rejoin the party and tell the tale of his adventures. Ask the player to spend the interim preparing a fanciful account of how the PC was whisked away and became Caliph of Asfaras but was betrayed by Abanazar and fled incognito - the royal armies having switched sides - returning amongst great trials and tribulations to find true friends once more. If appropriate, let the player choose a level-appropriate magic item and weave that into his story. When the player rejoins the party and narrates the story, award Inspiration if appropriate.
 

The broken bridge

A wooden bridge across a 50 ft. wide river has collapsed. Down below in the middle of the river lie the remains of a coach, stuck behind some rocks. The horses have drowned. The gap in the bridge is about 30 ft. wide.

Investigation of the foundation of the bridge reveals that erosion due to rapid expansion of the river has caused some of the wooden support beams to slip and collapse. This may be due to recent heavy rain fall.

A successful Intelligence (nature) check reveals that the river is a dangerous current. Swimming across is possible but difficult. If they succeed at a Strength (Athletics) check DC 14, they'll make it across unscathed. If they fail, they are dragged down stream 60ft. each round, and must make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to avoid taking 1d4+1 bludgeoning damage from collisions with rocks, after which they can retry the swim check to reach the shore.

The party can also try to hop across the river, using the remains of the coach as a platform. They must succeed on two 15 ft. jumps. The carriage itself is 10 by 10 ft., just enough for a long jump.

Searching the coach may reveal loot, at the DM's discretion. Optionally, the DM may choose to add npc travelers that are stuck at the bridge as well, who may be able to assist the party.

The forest path

A small path branches off from the road, into the dense forest. The party can take this path to shorten their travel time by an hour, if they dare risk it. There are no signs at the path, and it looks as if it isn't used often.

The forked road

The road splits off into two different directions. An old double sided sign post stands in between, twisted, crooked and leaning to one side. A fat vulture sits on top of the sign, glaring at the travelers. It is no longer clear in which direction the sign post was supposed to point. If the players go left, they go in their intended direction. If they go right, an additional 4 hours is added to their total travel time.

A mending spell will restore the signpost to it's original position. A speak with animals spell would also allow the players to ask the vulture for directions.
 
Last edited:


akr71

Adventurer
The Abandoned Farmstead

This farm looks normal in most respects except for the fact that there are no people. The cows in the pasture are close by the milking shed, lowing in pain (yes, if a cow is used to being milked twice a day - missing a milking is painful). Feeders and water troughs are getting low for all the animals.

The farmhouse is empty. The cooking fire is nothing but warm coals and there is a pot of stew or porridge still hanging above it. There are no signs of violence. A couple of chairs have been overturned at the table as if someone left in a hurry. Outside, a successful Investigation or Survival check (DC 13) reveals to the party a trail through one of the fields - whoever left it, left in a hurry and with no regard for the crops that they were stepping on. The track leads away from the farmstead.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top