D&D 5E Generating a list of random enemy actions


He / Him
Hey all, I had a few wonderful experiences playing Ironsworn. In the tradition of PbtA games, the enemy's "actions" are not, by default, decided by the GM (if there even is a GM). They are usually reactions to the choices that the characters make.

However, Ironsworn does provide a list of random enemy actions that can be rolled on for inspiration.

I was thinking this would be a fun thing for me to use in my 5e games. I enjoyed the way that the Ironsworn narratives twisted and turned in directions I didn't expect, especially in combat. Enemies would suddenly target an NPC, or destroy an important building, or summon allies, all when I never expected it to happen.

Now of course I could just use the Ironsworn table in my D&D game. But I thought it would be fun to generate a list of enemy actions on ENworld.

The idea here is that it should be a list that can apply to any enemy, from a kobold to a griffon to a lich. So instead of "cast a devastating spell," an action could be something like "spread the damage" or "shock and awe." I'm hoping these actions could help my enemies use more improvised actions (helping inspire the players, too).

I'm going to start off with a few, but I would love your help too!

1) Seek a more advantageous position.

2) Target the weakest enemy.

3) Intimidate the characters.

4) Steal something important.

5) Summon allies.

6) Help an ally.

7) Make the battleground more difficult for the characters.

8) Retreat and recover.

9) Block access.

10) Take a hostage.

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I'd break it out by "role" - you could get a little more specific or weigh certain actions.

For ex.:

1) Move back and charge
2) Grab a nearby object and throw it at enemy
3) Knock one enemy into another
4) Stomp/overrun the enemy
5) Fearsome bellow, then attack
6) Pull down the roof/bury target in some sort of obstacle
7) Massive focused attack
8) Missed blow damages battlefield creating debris

1) Retreat and call for allies
2) Take a hostage
3) Strike and retreat
4) Seek cover and snipe
5) Create/drop an obstacle
6) Dodge first ranks to strike at second ranks
7) Lure opponent to single combat
8) Dirty tactic, then strike

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