D&D General High Level One Shot Ideas?


My regular group has a bit of a sporadic schedule, and so there are times when only two of the group can actually meet. During those sessions I'll generally run a one-shot for the two of them (it's usually the same two - their schedules are a bit more regular than everyone else). Recently both of them have suggested that we go back to their "retired" high level characters and use them for these one shots to allow them both to use these characters that they barely were able to play at that level before we started a new campaign.

With that background in mind - I'm looking for ideas for high level one-shots that are more interesting than me looking for high level monsters to throw at them. I have plenty of ideas for high level campaigns or high level multi-part adventures, but I'm finding that my inspiration well is a lot drier when trying to think of ideas that would fit into a single afternoon's session time (think a 4 hour convention slot - that's about the time we realistically have). And while I could make multi-part adventures for them that kind of defeats the purpose of these sessions which are really supposed to be single episode one-shots so we don't have multiple campaigns to keep track of (and fail to remember details of from session to session).

So does anyone have any ideas? Or published resources that they know of that would have these kinds of adventures in them? (I have the Pelgrane Press Battle Scenes books for 13th age and there are some high-level one-shots in those that I'm using for inspiration, but I can definitely use more suggestions of high level published short adventures if anyone knows of them).

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Well, based off / inspired by PotA, what about the elemental princes of earth. I forget their names, but there are two brothers that are the princes. One good, one bad. Rather than just defeat one of them, I had my players raid a chalet of the bad one to retrieve a McGuffin for the good one. In exchange they were granted the rights to travel and trade in the good one's land.

An ancient dragon. Its in one of the Beyond Icespire trilogies, maybe Storm Lord's Wrath is the lair of Gnawbones, an ancient green dragon. Her lair is populated, you would need to buff it a bit as it is designed for ~10th level party I think, but it could be good. Again it could be just to kill her, or it could be to try and steal a McGuffin from her treasure hoard. Or even just make it in so that they can parlay with her for something.

Dragon Heist has a lot of good locations, but the encounters are mostly.... too weak, though easily buffed. But there are a bunch for the various faction BBEGs that are designed to be negotiated and not fought. In your case, they could be fought. Specifically, you could use the raid on Xanathar, though that is probably more than a one-shot. The raid on the Maiden's Faire and Jarlaxle might be just about right though.

Their is the outline of a kruthik hive / purple wrm encounter that @iserith suggested for me awhile ago and I used (though slightly different). D&D 5E - Single Nova Tier 3 Desert Encounter
The objective is not to defeat them all, but simple to cross their terrain. BUT, flight or teleportation can make the challenge trivial.

I suspect Storm King's Thunder would have a lot of high level encounters you could poach. But I don't have it, so making assumptions on limited knowledge :)

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