Random Encounters


Sometimes as a GM you just need a bit of inspiration to give some excitement to your party’s travel (or simply to buy yourself some extra time to figure out what is going to happen when they arrive since you certainly didn't expect them to go to that town all the way across the map!). Below are tables for all of the common types of terrain your party may travel over for an extended period of time - arctic, coast, desert, forest, jungle, plains, mountains, swamp, and finally the high seas! There is also a table for encounters that might occur while they are visiting a city. Each of these environments come with a d20 table of encounters your players might come across on a given day. These are primarily ways to give small bursts of inspiration to you as the Game Master which you can use to create a much larger hook or adventure.

On each of these tables (except for the city) there are 5 slots dedicated to pure combat encounters. You may notice these all fall into the category of Hard and Deadly difficulty which may cause you concern, but the typical use for these tables is to make a day of travel more exciting and are intended to be the only combat encounter your players have that day. They will likely be using a good deal of their resources, but hopefully it will also make for an interesting fight. Sometimes your players just needs to deal with a good old-fashioned orc ambush after a long session of heavy role-playing.

Along with the 20 random encounters for each environment, they also come with a d10 table of methods to make the combat encounters a bit more interesting. If you dislike the idea of your players having nothing to worry about beyond the enemy and nothing to use in their battle beyond their weapons and spells then hopefully these tables will give you some ideas of extra ways to allow creativity to take hold and be rewarded. These additions to the battlefield may add extra challenges to the combat or it could make things easier for the players if they take advantage of the situation; either way it will make the battle into more than an open battlefield slugfest.


Now your only real choice is if you simply browse through the list and find the option you think looks most fun . . . or do you let the dice make the decision for you?

Arctic Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 Marching through the frozen terrain, one of your players trips and falls in a pile of snow, landing on a perfectly preserved body in the ice. This body is at least a century old and looks to have once been royalty. They have a beautiful silver necklace around their neck with a familiar symbol upon it.
3 The party finds a lost winter wolf pup. It is friendly to the party, but if they decide to take the wolf along the mother will be sure to hunt them down to retrieve her child.
4 The party starts to find beautiful sculptures of ice depicting wondrous and deadly creatures. Following the tracks leading from one of these sculptures via Wisdom (Survival) checks leads them to the igloo of an elvish druid named Nakata who has lived out here for decades.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 One of the party members feels the ground beneath their feet shift uncomfortably. It suddenly becomes apparent that they are walking on a frozen lake and have nearly reached its center. They will need to move carefully or risk breaking through. They can use Dexterity (Acrobatics) to move carefully but if that doesn't go well they will need to use Strength (Athletics) checks to outrun the crumbling ice.
7 The party finds the remnants of a small village that looks to have been raided recently. Within the town are scattered coins and a few minor valuables left behind. Written in blood on one of the walls is the name of the group responsible for this slaughter.
8 The party finds the body of a recently deceased yeti. It looks to have been torn to pieces by some larger, even more powerful predator. They can choose to follow the trail of blood to the beast’s lair if they are looking for a challenge. Make this a beast at least 2 CR over the party’s average level but also have the creature’s body parts be worth a great deal of coin to reward them for their risk-taking. If you have a particularly large group, give it some basic attacks as Legendary Actions. Emphasize the deadliness of this creature!
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 The party stumbles upon an ancient tomb. It is barely visible above the ice and snow and will need to be dug up if the party wishes to enter. Within the tomb are animated guardians and a few decaying books with lore of the area. Fill these books with plot hooks or world information - perhaps there is a magic item left behind with the owner as well.
d20
Encounter
11 The party finds a large herd of elk wandering through the area. They can be quite dangerous if provoked, but if captured they can be sold for profit and their meat is delicious when harvested. If the party tries to capture too many, predators may approach to hunt.
12 Your players find a massive arch of stone and ice that extends over a hundred feet into the air. There is evidence of multiple efforts to climb to the top, but none appear to have been successful thus far. A magic item awaits at the top of this structure with a congratulatory note from a mysterious wizard.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 Growing up out of the ice and snow is a massive tree. It is the only tree within miles, but it seems to be thriving even in this hostile environment. Intelligence (Arcana) checks reveal that this is part of a teleportation network.
15 The party finds a small village of perhaps a dozen folk on the edge of a frozen lake. It is an ice fishing community and they are doing quite well for themselves. Perhaps they have a quest for our heroes or maybe they offer respite from the harsh weather . . . if the price is right. There are rumors of a great treausre waiting at the bottom of the lake.
16 The party finds the remains of an ancient outpost. There are signs someone has been lurking around recently. Inside is a group of bandits that are wanted for crimes in a nearby city - Dead or Alive.
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 The day’s weather is particularly brutal. With windchill it is well below freezing. Continuing to travel on this day is quite dangerous. The party will need to use the supplies they have on hand and the environment to create shelter or be subjected to periodic Constitution saving throws. Failing one of these saves results in a level of exhaustion.
19 A dazzling display of lights dance across the night sky. These represent nearly every color in the spectrum. An Intelligence (History) check reveals that many see these lights as a good omen of things to come and will perform elaborate rituals all through the night when they appear.
20 The party hears the sounds of bells in the distance. If they follow these bells, they find a large overturned red sleigh with a bag filled with goods pouring out of it. On the ground next to the sleigh is a fluffy red suit with the name Nicholas sewn into the collar. This sack functions as a bag of holding. Someone wearing the red suit can reach into the bag as an action and pull out the toy perfect for the person they are currently looking at, but can only retrieve one toy per year per person. If the person being looked at is evil in nature, a piece of coal is retrieved instead.

Arctic Combat Considerations

d10
Arctic Combat Considerations
1 The battle takes place atop a frozen lake. If a creature stands on a single space for too long or if multiple creatures are grouped up in a small space, the ice will break and drop the creatures into the freezing water below.
2 There are large boulders scattered around the area that can be used as cover. The area directly around these boulders is covered in deeper snow that makes it difficult terrain.
3 There are scattered patches of exposed ice throughout the battlefield. Whenever a creature not native to this environment steps into one of these patches for the first time on a turn, they must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.
4 Half of the enemies that are to participate in this encounter enter combat 2 turns later than the others. These creatures are hidden beneath the snow or hiding behind the snow drifts. Increase the difficulty of the encounter slightly to compensate for this delay.
5 This portion of the arctic is crowded with dense pine trees that provide exceptional cover for both the players and the enemy. A fallen tree divides the center of the battlefield and creatures must use half of their movement to climb over it.

d10
Arctic Combat Considerations
6 Just to the side of where the battle occurs is a thirty foot drop off. There is snow at the bottom of this cliff so creatures only take half the normal fall damage. Climbing back to the top required a DC 20 Athletics check if attempted with no equipment due to the ice on the rock.
7 A 15 feet high, 10 feet wide wall of stone runs for nearly a 100 feet. The players will need to choose one side or the other. Some of the enemies will jump down from atop this cliff while the others will flank from the side the player's did not traverse.
8 There is a large stone archway that extends over the party’s path when they are attacked. Loud noise and vibrations will cause large blocks of snow and large icicles to drop onto the creatures below.
9 The combat takes place on the side of a long, fairly steep hill. Whenever a creature is pushed or knocked prone, they must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or slide 1d4x10 feet down the hill.
10 A large chasm splits the battlefield in two. It is over 100 feet long and 15 feet across, but fortunately there is a large tree that has fallen over the gap and allows for crossings to occur, though they will need to succeed on a DC 10 Acrobatics check to do so successfully. Otherwise, they slide down into the chasm and take 6d6 fall damage.

Coast Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 The party finds message in a bottle washed up upon the shore. Within is a plea from a shipwrecked crew that are stranded on a nearby island. If the party takes the time to rescue them, they are greatly rewarded.
3 An obvious trail of shells leads from the beach off into the nearby forest. This trail continues for nearly a mile before finally coming to a tiny pool of water. At the center of this pool is a faintly glowing spiral fossil that is nearly a foot in diameter. There are legends of such a fossil awakening an ancient sea creature that only appears to those who are worthy when they are in need.
4 A beautiful bird of paradise soars overhead and lands on a nearby tree. This bird performs an elaborate dance that sends off sparks of electricity. This bird has been gifted by the spark of a sorcerer and if shown a display of lightning will follow the party as a new companion.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 A massive sea turtle rests in the center of the beach, smashing itself against a nearby rocky outcropping. There is a harpoon pierced through the turtle’s shell that it is clearly trying to remove. It will lash out at players that come close, but if they persist and help then the turtle will shake off the damaged portion of its shell which falls to the ground and immediately turns to pearl. This shell fragment is worth a large quantity of gold.
7 The party spots a bullywug scavenging the shores for “valuable” objects to prove its immense wealth. Upon seeing the players, it will attempt to trade the players for any shiny objects they are wearing. If the players refuse, he will run away to alert his tribe.
8 The party finds a portion of land that only becomes exposed at low tide. It extends hundreds of feet out into the ocean via a ten foot wide path completely surrounded by water. At the end of this path is a 30 foot wide circle of sand with a trident impaled at the center. It is a magical trident and removing it from its location causes the pathway to immediately collapse with the party far from shore.
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 There is a small fishing village along the coast. When the party arrives they see that some people are acting strange - they speak monotone, don’t laugh or understand sarcasm, and seem to always be slowly moving their arms for no reason. These strange people have a parasitic leech latched onto their neck which is hidden by a thick seaweed “scarf”. Reward the party with fishing supplies, rations, and gratitude if they can help free these people.
d20
Encounter
11 Your players come up on a gigantic conch shell, standing at nearly fifteen feet tall. There is a campfire out front and decorations throughout the area - clearly someone lives here but they are not home at the moment. It actually belongs to a hag and if the party takes any of her property she will hunt them down and curse the items they took to bretray the party at just the right moment.
12 The players find a massive sand castle constructed on the beach. It is 15 feet wide and 10 feet high and is decorated with seashells and polished stones. If the party waits here the creator returns, a young boy whose family lives nearby. He builds the castle to escape from his abusive parents.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 Washed up on the shore is a stranded whale. It is still alive but cannot make its way back to the ocean. If the players can find a way to help the whale back to the water, it fires a geyser of water into the air and causes light rain to begin to fall in the entire area. As long as your players are in this rain, they are under the effects of the Bless spell.
15 On this day, a rather powerful storm rolls through the area. Massive waves crash against the shore at regular intervals, but when one of these waves recedes there is a strange book left sitting in the sand. The party must move quickly to retrieve this book or it is swept back into the ocean. Fill this book with interesting lore or a quest hook.
16 As the party moves through this area they begin to see evidence of multiple shipwrecks. The shores are filled with scrap wood and cloth from destroyed ships and the remnants of some of these ships are still visible further out. There is a Crabstrosity nearby (See Nerzugal’s Game Master Toolkit for details of this terrifying monstrosity.)
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 A friendly sea lion begins to follow the party around, mocking their movements and occasionally splashing them with water before bolting back to the ocean. If the party gives the sea lion food, he will stick by their side until they leave the coast. While the sea lion is around, it will warn the party of danger when it approaches.
19 On the side of a rock near the beach someone has drawn out a rough map of the area. There is a large red X drawn off in a cove and next to it are the words - BEWARE: Betsy, The Saber-Toothed Catfish.
20 The party finds a grove of coconut trees that are growing out of the shallow waters of the sea. Some of these trees lean far over, weighed down from the immense number of coconuts each of them seems to hold. These coconuts have soaked up some of the natural energies of the ocean and drinking the water from one of them grants the ability to breath underwater for a short time. These trees are unfortunately surrounded by a large pack of electric eels.

Coast Combat Considerations

d10
Coast Combat Considerations
1 There are a few hidden traps lying along the beach. These are basic pitfall traps with no spikes at the bottom. A creature falling into the pit takes 1d6 damage and falls prone. A trapped creature must succeed on a DC 13 Athletics check to pull themselves out of the pit without assistance.
2 On the second round of combat, a particularly powerful set of waves rolls in as a result of a far off storm. Any creature within 15 feet of the waters edge must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone and pushed to the edge of the wave’s reach.
3 This portion of the beach is covered in large pieces of driftwood. Enemies will use this for cover and as a place from which they can launch an ambush. Hanging from the end of one of these pieces of wood is a large fishing net that seems to be in fairly good shape.
4 A river delta is the location of this combat. The party must cross a series of short outlets to the sea - not very deep but roughly 15 feet across. Moving through these is considered difficult terrain and aquatic creatures may lurk in these waters awaiting prey.
5 A few large palm trees hang out over the water at extreme angles. A rope swing is attached to one of them and a hammock to another. A third tree has a few dead bodies hanging from it with bloodied weapons still laying on the ground nearby.

d10
Coast Combat Considerations
6 Large rocks are scattered across the beach. These serve as excellent cover for both the players and the enemy. They are small enough that a creature can scramble atop one fairly easily.
7 There are many incredibly sharp seashells scattered in clusters across this portion of the beach. If a creature moves across these seashells, they take 1 piercing damage for every 5 feet of movement expended.
8 An entire school of jellyfish seems to have been washed ashore by a recent storm. Much of the battlefield is littered with their bodies. Stepping anywhere near these results in 1d4 lightning damage.
9 During the encounter, half of the enemies join in after two rounds - approaching from the ocean. These creatures may not be friendly towards the other attackers. Make this encounter one difficulty rating harder than listed to make up for the delayed attack.
10 The supplies from a ship have washed up on shore in this area. This includes casks of ale as well as large containers of oil that are highly flammable and will explode if hit be a fire spell or torch. There are also some spare weapons lying in the sand, but they are a bit rusted.

Desert Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 The party finds a field of cacti that expands miles in every direction. Going around will delay travel greatly, but going through makes any additional encounters much more difficult to maneuver. Some of the larger cacti at the center are aggressive and will lash out at nearby creatures, but they guard an ancient treasure.
3 The party finds a huge funnel of sand in the center of their path. There seems to be sand constantly dropping into a ten foot wide hole at its center, but it disappears into darkness and out of sight. If players drop down they will land on a large pile of sand in a sandstone cavern filled that was once a hideout for bandits (or perhaps still is!).
4 The party finds a set of massive bones jutting out of the sand. They look to have belongs to some sort of monstrous creature that has been dead for some time. The rib bones are covered in paint from local creatures that worship the remains. Harvesting some of the bone can be used to make armor or potions.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 The party comes across a portion of the desert that is almost perfectly flat and extends for many miles in this fashion. Far in the distance they spot a figure shrouded in black. Sometimes it appears to grow closer, other times it shrinks to only a tiny spec, but it is always there. If they move towards this mysterious object for at least two hours they find a cloak hanging off of a dead tree. Wrapped in the pocket is a note that reads, “I’m going to die in this hell.” If anyone wears this cloak they occasionally dream through the eyes of this long-dead adventurer.
7 The party comes across a sign out in the middle of the desert that simply reads, “If you can get it, it’s yours” Just beyond this sign is a rather large, jagged area of rock that is roughly 200 feet across. Sitting at the center of these rocks, half-buried in sand, is a chest with a magic item of your choice inside. Seems easy enough, except under each of those rocks is an entire family of snakes. The party must fight, distract, frighten, or magic their way to the center.
8 The party finds a herd of camels (4d6 total). Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks can turn these creatures into mounts if the party does not already have them. Otherwise, they can be captured and sold, killed for their meat, or left alone to go about their way in the desert.
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 The party comes across an abandoned village crafted primarily of red clay. It contains a dozen buildings and can be used to provide some respite from the heat. One of these homes is much nicer than the others. Successful Intelligence (Investigation) checks within the home reveals a secret underground passageway. Fill this passageway and any connected chambers with world history, additional quest hooks, and perhaps some treasure.
d20
Encounter
11 The party comes across a massive portion of stone that juts out of the desert. It is roughly 100 feet high and at the top it is clear there is a gargantuan bird nest. Within this nest are three Roc eggs. These are known to be incredibly valuable . . . but mother will not be happy.
12 The party comes across a large lizard laying out on a warm stone soaking up the sunlight. This lizard also has two heads which is certainly abnormal. This lizard seems to be much smarter than ordinary lizards and could be used as a party pet or sold to a collector of exotic animals for a high price, but of course only if it is captured alive.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 The party finds a field of intricate stone carvings of various desert creatures and even a few humans. The humans are all reeling in terror. Success on a DC 13 Intelligence (Nature) check reveals this is likely the work of a basilisk, but a fail and that person will think there must be a gifted sculptor living nearby in the desert.
15 The party comes across a twelve foot diameter, perfectly round stone. Upon it are strange runic symbols and some blood stains. The corpses of desert creatures lie on the ground nearby. An Intelligence (Arcana) check reveals this was used to summon some sort of demon or devil rather recently.
16 A powerful rainstorm rolls through the area. It is an unending torrent for a full twenty-four hours. During the storm, any sand-covered areas are considered difficult terrain, powerful rivers form and black pathways, visibility is impossible past 15 feet, and subterranean creatures swarm to the surface.
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 The party finds a field of massive flowers. The field itself is quite small, but each of these flower’s petals is close to four feet in diameter and is solid black with accents of purple. They give off the same aroma as a rotting corpse. The bulb at the center of these plants is filled with a potent poison that any assassin would love to have, but touching any of the petals causes awful pain (necrotic damage appropriate for your party’s level) and paralysis on a failed DC 13 Constitution saving throw.
19 The party finds a solid silver statue of a hedgehog sitting in the sand. It is nearly two feet tall and sitting on a base of steel. The spines of the hedgehog are incredibly sharp and the statue weighs over one hundred pounds, so carrying it is quite difficult. The statue is surrounded by medium sized rocks and dozens of small tunnels. When the party moves close to the statue, hundreds of hedgehogs emerge from hiding to see what these invaders will do to their shrine.
20 The party comes across a lush oasis just as the sun is at its highest in the sky. The pool of water here is crystal clear and ice cold. The trees flourish here and fruit even grows on them. It seems too good to be true. Sitting in the sand near the edge of the pool of water is a solid gold lamp with traces of magic lingering. Within it is the trapped spirit of a djinn. If the party can complete an elaborate quest and free the djinn from this lamp, it will grant them a single wish.

Desert Combat Considerations

d10
Desert Combat Considerations
1 Surprise your players with a pair of rattlesnakes hidden beneath a small cluster or rocks at the center of the battlefield.
2 A few massive spires of stone jut out of the desert. These spires are connected by rope bridges built from villagers who lived here long ago. These bridges are fifteen feet above the ground. The enemies could ambush from up here or the players could use these for a high ground advantage.
3 The sands here shift seemingly at random. Every other round of combat on initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), shift each creature 5 feet in a random direction. All creatures not standing on four legs or more must succeed on a DC 5 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.
4 On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties) of the first round of combat, a dust devil spins up and beings moving across the battlefield. This small twister moves 10 feet in a straight line on initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties) of each subsequent round of combat. The area within 10 feet of the dust devil is considered difficult terrain, is heavily obscured, and causes all projectile attacks that would pass through it to be made with disadvantage.
5 The area is obscured with many large, flat rocks. These can be used as cover or stood upon, but are incredibly hot and can even burn someone if they stand on one for too long.

d10
Desert Combat Considerations
6 A few particularly large cacti are scattered across the battlefield. They are quite soft and can be sliced in twain with one attack from a slashing weapon, causing them to potentially fall on anyone standing nearby.
7 A group of vultures circle overhead. As soon as any creature is killed or knocked unconscious, these birds will swoop in for the free meal. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties) they move and any creature lying on the ground that they attack immediately fails one death saving throw.
8 The party must make a group Wisdom (Perception) check with a DC against the enemy’s Dexterity (Stealth) check. The enemies burst from beneath the sands as they attack, getting a surprise round if they had a high enough stealth roll. There are small holes scattered throughout the battlefield which creatures can easily fall into if they are not careful.
9 The battle takes place at the pinnacle of a rather steep sand dune. If a creature is pushed while on one of these slopes, they must succeed on a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check or roll 1d6 x 5 feet down the side of the dune.
10 There is the abandoned shell of a gigantic turtle in the middle of the desert. It is nearly twenty feet across and all but indestructible. The shell is hollow with entrances roughly four feet high where its legs and head once protruded. Enemies await inside for their ambush.

Forest Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 Your party finds a smouldering campfire and evidence that someone was here recently. Wisdom (Survival) checks can track footprints from this location to another adventuring group. They have information about local towns and rumors of nearby quests.
3 Your party can smell a pleasant aroma wafting up into the air. Shortly after there is smoke seen pouring up into the sky. Following this smoke leads to a small house miles away from the nearest village. This house belongs to an old alchemist who can make potions for the party from monster parts or rare plants they have collected.
4 Your party hears some light sobbing coming from just off the pathway. Investing the source leads them to a man curled up next to a log crying. He is covered in blood and his clothes are tattered and ruined. He is a lycanthrope (whichever kind you’d like) and lost control of himself last night. He is afraid of whom he may have hurt.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 A group of faerie dragons begin following the party and playing pranks on them from a distance while remaining invisible. This is mostly harmless, such as making illusory obstacles in the path or snuffing out torches. They are friendly and will even lead the party to a nearby cavern filled with treasure if they treat the dragons well. Unfortunately, that nearby cave is inhabited by goblins/gnolls/orcs (whichever is appropriate to the area and your party’s level).
7 As the party walks through the woods they see a pool of tar in the middle of their path. It is nearly ten feet wide and bubbling. Inhaling the air anywhere near the pit makes someone dizzy and susceptible to horrific illusions if they fail a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. This is the early attempts of a demon or devil to pierce into this world. The pit will beckon forth creatures with telepathy and if they approach a tentacle will burst out and attempt to pull them into the pit.
8 The party finds an old man leaning against a tree playing a lute. His long beard is mixed with leaves and moss grows on his clothing. He calls himself the Keeper of this Forest and when he strums his lute the birds match his notes. He will give them a cryptic warning and/or a clue about the journey that lies ahead before bursting into a spiral of leaves and drifting away.
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 The party finds a metal can sitting near the side of the road with a string attached to the backside of it. This string weaves through the forest for what seems like an eternity. If they hold their ear up to the can, a voice starts to speak to them. The voice demands a tribute of wealth be placed in a nearby chest or they will cut down in their sleep by spirits of the dead. In reality, it is an elaborate ruse by a group of bandits.
d20
Encounter
11 The party meets a caravan of traders on the road. They carry some exotic goods that your players may be interested. Try to think of items relevant to their back stories - a memento of their hometown, a specialty weapon, or simply an interesting trinket.
12 The road passes straight through an old orcish encampment. It has been abandoned (perhaps) for some years, but there are still many wooden signs out front warning of danger. If the party goes within the walls, they find evidence of a group having stayed here recently. It is impossible to tell their race or intent, but there is a trail leading from the village and deeper into the woods.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 The party finds an incredibly intricate treehouse out in the woods. It is forty feet up a tree with no discernible way to reach it as there are no branches anywhere near the base of the tree. If they get a bit closer, they find a rope ladder sprawled out on the ground with the skeleton of a humanoid nearby. There is a beatiful ring with a family crest engraved upon it on the skeleton's finger. Up in the tree is a note, “The rope broke and I can’t get down . . . I am going to have to jump. If I don’t make it, take my ring to my mother, Alesha Traphex.”
15 The party find initials carved into a large tree. The first name is that of one of the local kings or queens (along with a recognizable family crest) while the second is one they don’t recognize. Some deeper investigation reveals that there was a childhood romance that was destroyed because of politics. The party can help to reunite the long separated lovers.
16 The party finds a rabbit with its foot stuck in a trap. If they free the rabbit it transforms into a druid. He was testing them to see if they were kind souls, and if they pass the test he offers them a golden leaf. If this leaf is torn in half, he will come to their side (no matter where they are) and aid them in their endeavors for one hour.
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 The party finds a strange stone well out in the woods. It is crumbling around the edges but still in tact. It seems to have a strange aura about it. If they get close, they can hear what sounds like a child crying down in the well, but it is cast in complete darkness. Some demonic force is luring creatures to their doom within.
19 The party spots a massive pit off the side of the road with a sign out front that reads, “FREE FUD” with an arrow pointing down. This pit is fifteen feet deep and filled with spikes. This “trap” is clearly ogre in nature. There is a tribe nearby that has recently begun harassing local villages.
20 At night a dragon squirrel begins raiding the party’s money, making Dexterity (Stealth) checks against the passive Perception of whomever the party has on watch. It hoards their money in the side of a tree where ordinary squirrels might keep food for winter. If the party can track the dragon squirrel with Wisdom (Survival) checks they can find even more wealth than what they lost . . . if they can disable the "dangerous" beast.

Forest Combat Considerations

d10
Forest Combat Considerations
1 Thick thorn bushes divide the battleground into three distinct sections. These bushes are five feet thick and tall. Moving through them requires 10 feet of movement and causes 1d4 piercing damage.
2 There is a large pool of water in the middle of the battlefield that turns into a stream on one side. This pond is 20 feet wide but the stream is only 5 feet across. Both are shallow enough to wade through, but it is considered difficult terrain to do so.
3 The trees above this portion of the forest are particularly dense and the area is cast in dim light. Because of this, many plants cannot survive on the ground level and they crunch loudly underfoot. All Dexterity (Stealth) checks are made at disadvantage in this area.
4 There is a large tree near where the combat begins that looks as if it could fall over at any moment. A player can attempt to knock this tree over, making a check appropriate to their method to see if they succeed. On a successful check, any creature in the tree's path must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 5d8 bludgeoning damage and become restrained as the tree lands on them. A trapped creature must use their action and succeed on a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check to struggle out from under the tree.
5 A large hollowed log, ten feet in diameter and forty feet long, runs down the center of the battlefield. The only entry points are on either end, but there are a few portions along the edges that are rotted away enough to allow projectiles to pass through unimpeded. A creature can smash through the side of the fallen tree by succeeding on a DC 13 Strength (Athletics) check or dealing at least 10 damage to it in a single round.

d10
Forest Combat Considerations
6 One of the creatures attacking the party throws a torch on the first round of combat. This causes the dry leaves at the party’s feet to go ablaze. The fire spreads rapidly if it is not dealt with immediately.
7 A wild beast is watching from the trees and decides to enter the fray as soon as the first creature is killed or knocked unconscious. Adjust the difficulty of the encounter to be a bit harder to make up for the delayed entry of this beast.
8 This portion of the forest is incredibly dense. Trees are so tightly packed together that vision is completely blocked past 15 feet. The enemy will weave between these thick trees to keep the players on edge and to try to force them to split up and be picked off one at a time.
9 This forest is still lined with various traps from local trappers. Scattered across the battlefield are 2 bear traps, a large snare trap, and a disguised pitfall trap. Any and all of these can be used by the players or by their enemies. If you wish to make things even more exciting, have a vicious animal trapped at the bottom of the pitfall trap that will attack anyone who is unlucky enough to stumble down.
10 Whenever a creature is killed in this part of the forest it is immediately consumed by the flora. Grass, mushrooms, vines, roots, and all other similar plantlife move at highly unnatural rates to wrap their body and pull then into the ground. Whenever this happens, all ground within 5 feet of the corpse is considered difficult terrain from the newly overgrown plants. A creature absorbed by the forest in such a way cannot be revived by normal means.

Jungle Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 A set of vines seem to slither across the jungle floor as if it were a snake. If a player cuts the vine, it will recoil in pain and attempt to slither away. Following this vine back to its source, they find a massive ancient tree that towers above the others and pierces through the canopy into the sky above. Druids or other such classes can commune with the tree for knowledge and climbing it can reveal their location with more detail.
3 A set of eight-foot tall stone heads with rotating bases are out in the middle of the woods. There are arranged in a hexagon pattern, each spaced twenty feet apart and all looking in a random direction. There are six in total and their eyes are gemstones that represent the primary and secondary colors. Each of these statues has a rotating base, but they are difficult to turn regardless. Let your party solve this “puzzle” until they come up with a solution you see fit, at which point a map on a stone tablet rises out of the ground at the center of these statues.
4 The party finds a ravine in the forest that goes down a hundred feet into pure darkness. Many vines have crept down over the edge and can be used to help in the party’s descent. At the bottom of this ravine is exotic flora that can only survive in the rainforest climate but also in total darkness. These can be used to make interesting potions. Creatures that venture down here and eat these plants may also experience strange effects that could indicate to the party what these plants do, or simply make them stronger.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 The party comes across a beautiful river that is filled to the brim with wildlife and plantlife. As it continues, the water begins to flow faster until finally ending in a 70 foot tall waterfall. At the bottom of the waterfall is a swimming area, but in the mud off to the side of this pool of water are markings of something hastily scrambling out of the water and clearly injured.
7 The party finds a sloth clutching to the side of a tree. As they move past it watches them with great curiosity before holding out a claw to the party. The party can approach the sloth and take it as a pet, though it will be useless in any sort of combat encounter.
8 The party comes up on a machete embedded deep in a petrified tree. Along the blade of this rune is a quote written in Elven, “Only the true lord of the forest can remove this blade.” It is impossible for anyone to pull this weapon from the tree or to chop the tree down, even through magical means. The party must perform a heroic feat to save this forest from a deadly threat to be deemed worthy, at which point they will receive this legendary weapon.
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 The path suddenly becomes void of all plant life except for a cluster of scattered leaves. If the leader of the party has a passive Perception of 15 or higher they notice this anomaly, otherwise they walk straight into a pit of quicksand. The party must band together to save them. Have them make checks appropriate to their method of rescue.
d20
Encounter
11 The party comes across two trees that are twisted together and spiral up into the canopy. This strange combination of trees appears to be growing a strange purple fruit roughly the size of an apple. The only way to get the fruit is to climb this spiral tree high into the canopy. This fruit which is very sweet and will give sustenance for a full day if eaten. These fruit go bad after 1d6 days.
12 The party finds an elaborate carving in the side of a tree just off the main path. It shows a pathway through the jungle and at the end is an X labeled - “Treasure”. Next to it is another note that reads “Not actually treasure.” If the party follows the map they find a bandit camp.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 A powerful rainstorm hits the jungle. Water pours down off of leaves in the canopy in huge streams and causes the lower grounds to flood. Subterranean animals and insects swarm to the surface which also causes the predators to go on the hunt. All visibility during the storm is slightly obscured so it may be difficult to notice a tiger sneaking up behind them.
15 The party is berated with insults by a parrot that escaped its owner. It will call them idiots and in the heat of battle will mock their outfits and battle tactics. If the party ever attacks the parrot it will swiftly fly away with a cackle.
16 The party finds a set of footprints that leads off the path and deeper into the jungle. If the party chooses to follow these footprints, they find a set of wooden bridges that span high up in the treetops. Around trees are wide platforms with homes built upon them. These homes belong to a tribe of individuals that wished to leave city life behind long ago and settled out amongst the canopy. These people have information on the jungle and its wildlife . . . if the party can earn their trust.
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 Off the path sits a giant venus flytrap at least 5 feet in diameter. At the center of this plant’s maw is a massive golden orb. A DC 15 Intelligence (Nature) check reveals that this is a valuable ingredient for alchemy or for gourmet cooking, but as soon as the flytrap snaps its mouth shut it will crush the delicate orb and ruin it.
19 This encounter occurs at night. The party spots dozens of tiny faces glowing in the darkness just a few inches from the ground. Closer inspection reveals these are rare Tiki Ants. They carry around small bits of wood with faces of luminescent paint drawn upon them to scare away potential predators. They are often rumored to have an inherent ability to find treasures.
20 The party spots a humanoid walking off in the distance. If they call out or attempt to alert this figure, it takes off running into the woods at full sprint. The party can take chase and if they keep it up for ten minutes they find a home crafted into the side of a large fallen tree. This is a famous adventurer who was said to be dead by the name of Alfred Renown (yes he awas born with that name). He faked his own death because there are powerful people who want him dead and would hurt his family. If the party helps him, he will lead them to a temple that holds great wealth.

Jungle Combat Considerations

d10
Jungle Combat Considerations
1 Some of the plants in this area are just as vicious as the creatures. There is a large violet flower in the center of the battlefield. Whenever a creature moves adjacent to it for the first time, it releases spores into the air. Any creature within 5 feet of the flower must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become paralyzed until the end of its next turn. There is also a large black flower that does the same thing except it inflicts the poisoned status instead.
2 There is a dried out riverbed that runs through this area. It is ten feet deep and drops off at a steep angle. Climbing out of the riverbed requires success on a DC 8 Strength (Athletics) check. There are a few larger boulders along the edge of the riverbed that could be rolled down at any creatures that have decided to jump down or were pushed down.
3 There is a large pit in the center of this area. Down at the bottom is a writhing mess of vines and other plantlife. Falling down into the pit is not painful, but landing on these plants causes a creature to become grappled as they are tangled in vines. Any grappled creature must use their action to make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check, breaking free on a success. They can use some of the many vines that line the pit to climb back up to ground level.
4 The battle takes place at the ruins of an old temple. The walls and roof have almost completely crumbled, leaving massive slabs of stone and stairwells that spiral up to nothing or have trees growing directly through them. This allows the battle to unfold on multiple levels and makes for a great hiding place for enemies that would strike via ambush.
5 There are a runes scrawled on a series of perfectly square stones scattered throughout this portion of the jungle. Each of these runes are a different color and are used to enhance various schools of magic. If a creature stands on one of these stones and uses a spell that corresponds to the element shown on it, the damage for that spell is increased by 1d10 of that type.

d10
Jungle Combat Considerations
6 Some additional jungle wildlife lurks amongst the treetops. Large snakes may coil their way down via the vines or perhaps a giant ant stumbles across the battle and sees an opportunity. These creatures show up whenever there is an opportunity to strike, but make sure you factor in these additional enemies into the overall challenge rating of the fight.
7 The skies open up and powerful rainfall floods over the jungle. The water find its way down particularly large leaves and by the time it reaches the ground it is pouring in massive streams. This causes all areas of actual soil to be considered difficult terrain as it quickly becomes muddy. It also causes vision to be lightly obscured from the mist of water that splashes up all around.
8 This encounter takes place at night. There is a creature in this part of the jungle that has an ear piercing mating cry that it performs only in certain seasons . . . and the group happens to be passing through at just that time. Verbal communication with creatures more than 10 feet away is impossible during this fight and sleep is incredibly difficult.
9 This encounter takes place at night. Beautiful luminescent moths fly throughout the area, but unfortunately the light they cast is incredibly disorienting to those that can see in the dark. Creatures with darkvision make all attacks with disadvantage as long as the moths remain nearby.
10 This area is scattered with ancient stone pillars and carvings that provide additional cover beyond the dense trees of the jungle. Some of the carvings are still laced with traps waiting to be triggered after years of lying dormant. Stepping in front of one of these spits out a blast of strange black gas in a 15 foot cone. Each creature in this area must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or fall asleep for 1 minute or until they are damaged or a creature uses its action to shake them awake.

Plains Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 The party comes upon a skeletal graveyard of local wildlife. There are remains of hundreds if not thousands of animals that all seem to come to this one area to die. There is something that draws the animals here when their time has come. Perhaps a brave group of adventurers could find out why.
3 A wildfire breaks out and begins consuming everything in flames. The party must move quickly to stay ahead of the flames and the smoke. Many creatures and other travelers flee as well. While running, the party comes across a trader whose cart has a broken wheel. His livelihood is in the cart so he is quite stubborn to leave it behind even as the flames close in.
4 Off the side of the road is a makeshift market stall. It is far from any town and looks to be barely standing. There is a sign across the top that reads, “Gibly’s Great Goods!” This trade stand belongs to a renegade goblin. He ran away from his tribe to become a merchant and has many interesting (but mostly worthless) items to trade.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 The party meets up with a caravan as they travel down the path. There are eight mounted guards that are all heavily armored and look to be seasoned veterans of combats. They are protecting a central wagon that clearly carries someone of importance.
7 As the party walks across the fields, they are greeted by a curious weasel. It runs up to the party and will attempt to steal something shiny exposed on one of the party members. Even if they shoo away the weasel, it will a return and attempt to steal from them again. If they give up an item to the weasel willingly, it performs a war dance in excitement. At this point, the party can make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check to have the weasel follow them as a companion.
8 The party finds a farmstead surrounded by multiple acres of corn and wheat. If they go visit the farmstead itself, they find roughly sixty people live here as farmhands. In addition to the corn and wheat, they also have a large barn full of cockatrice that they breed and sell to high end restaurants to make stonebroth stew.
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 The party finds an orcish ritual site that hasn’t been used in quite some time. Most avoid it because they fear any lingering magics that might still exist, which is why it hasn’t been torn down yet. It turns out these orcs were trying to complete a ritual to infuse their blood with those of a demon to gain extra strength . . . and they were very close. If other orcs find out about this, they will certainly be on their way to finish the ceremony.
d20
Encounter
11 A meteor shower streaks by overhead. One of these does not burn up in the atmosphere and comes crashing into the ground nearby. A Xorn awaits inside if the party is brave enough to seek it out.
12 The party comes across a massive herd of buffalo. There is hundreds if not thousands of these creatures gathered and they block the pathway fairly effectively. If there are any sharp, loud noises made, the creatures will become terrified and begin to stampede in a random direction. The party will then have to find cover or risk being trampled.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 A powerful earthquake hits the area in the middle of the night. The ground does not seem to split open anywhere, but it is strong enough to wake everyone in the party. In the morning there are ten foot tall octahedrons floating across the plains. These seem to be made of a unknown shining metal and is infused with powerful magics. Find a purpose for these - perhaps they power a force field to hold off an ancient, powerful foe or perhaps they signify the coming of some grand natural phenomenon.
15 Your party comes across a new fortress being constructed just off the road. It is still in the very early stages of being assembled, but the groundwork is there. Talking to one of the men there they can find out which nearby lord is in charge of the construction and perhaps the party can help them with a few pesky creatures that have been making construction difficult.
16 As the party goes on their way, they hear the sound of trumpets blasting in the distance. Not much time later a group of half a dozen ostrich-mounted gnomes come charging up. Both gnome and ostriches are heavily armored and they introduce themselves as the 3rd Flightless Cavalry of Territhstrom and ask what intruders are doing in their lands.
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 There is a large beautiful lake that the pathway wraps around. The frogs ribbit in a unique pattern here. If the party repeats this pattern back, the water splits open and reveals a passageway to a dome under the lake. This dome is filled with the hidden texts of a wizard who died long ago. It was his personal study and gives a unique perspective of the world.
19 An area of these fields is particularly flat and seems to be constantly under the assault from thunderstorms. It is known as the Lightning Steppes. Every fifty yards or so is a large metal spire that serves as a lightning rod. Signs line the way that warn against straying from the designated path. A fortress made entirely of stone that is visible off in the distance.
20 The party comes across a mysterious man in black walking down the road slowly. He has a long walking stick and a crow perched on his shoulder. He wears an eye patch over his left eye. He asks the party a series of questions and if they answer correctly he rewards them with a book that will answer one written question every two weeks.

Plains Combat Considerations

d10
Plains Combat Considerations
1 This portion of the plains are covered is covered in incredibly tall grass. It is eight feet high is some patches and makes visibility incredibly limited. There are a few paths stomped through the grass, but they were not all created by friendly folk.
2 This field was the location of a large battle that took place long ago. There are still large craters and debris from the impact of spells that tore up the landscape. A few rusted out weapons are still scattered in the dirt.
3 Scattered across this field are many holes formed by groundhogs. Whenever a creature moves at least fifteen feet on a single turn, it must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, one of the creature’s feet falls into a hole and they lose the rest of their movement for the turn. On a success, they manage to dodge the hole and continue on as usual. On a natural 1, the creature sprains its ankle and has its movement halved until finishing a short or long rest.
4 A small abandoned cabin sits in the middle of the field. The roof is mostly rotted away at this point, but the walls are holding up nicely. There is a stone well out front that still functions as well as a wooden fence around the property that has a few holes in it but is held up well for the most part. The enemies use all of these obstacles to their advantage as best they can.
5 A large river cuts through the area. Fortunately there is a nicely built stone bridge to help people cross without issue, but it also obscures vision of anything that might be lurking beneath.

d10
Plains Combat Considerations
6 This encounter takes place at night. Flowers bloom under the light of the full moon. They have small globes of light at their center that creates a light that seems to causes the mind to calm. All creatures in this encounter make Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom saving throws with disadvantage.
7 This field is filled with flowers that cause allergic reactions in almost all creatures. On initiative count 20, each creature in the combat must succeed on a DC 5 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned until the end of their next turn as they try to keep themselves from going into a sneezing fit.
8 In this field are stacks of perfectly round rocks that seem to serve as decoration or perhaps of markers of some sort. They are scattered every fifteen or twenty feet and stand at four to six feet tall. They can provide cover from most attacks but can also be toppled with little effort.
9 The skeleton of a large hydra still lies in the middle of the plains. From head to tail it is a hundred feet long, so these bones provide excellent shelter for a number of animals that now inhabit the various nooks and crannies of the remains.
10 There is a massive statue off in the distance dedicated to a prominent god of this world. The area in a 1 mile radius around the statue is constantly under the effect of this god’s blessings. All creatures that share an alignment with the worshipped god are considered blessed while in this area.

Mountains Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 The party comes to a large rope bridge that must be crossed to continue their journey. It is not study and can only hold 2 medium creatures at a time or risk collapsing and sending any creatures on the bridge into a 60 foot deep crag. As soon as the first player crosses the bridge, they are ambushed.
3 Two massive stone statues overlook the path. They are centuries old and built by a powerful empire as an attempt to intimidate any who would wish to cross into their empire. As the party crosses in front of these statues, one noticeably turns as if taking note of the party and a crow goes flying off into the distance carrying a note. This note contains information on the party’s appearance and location.
4 A large shard of glowing crystal juts out of the side of the mountain, but it is up quite high on an incredibly steep incline. Players will need to use their equipment and skills to make their way up to the crystal without getting hurt. When the first player touches this crystal, that person passes out for 1d4 hours as the light of the crystal surges into their body. Have this event be significant to some grander scheme and challenge the players to find the origin of this crystal.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 The party finds an abandoned mine. This could belong to dwarves, orcs, or some other race. There are still bloodstains on the walls and there is an area at the back that has been sealed off. Beyond it is a powerful creature they miners awoke from the depths.
7 Party comes to a fork in the road. One is on the map (if they have one) while the other has no indications of it existing. This new, undocumented path curves off to a large teepee where a stone giant by the name of Bol’Dur resides. He was exiled for setting free human slaves and now helps travelers in the area.
8 Party finds an injured baby goat with its mother dead nearby. There is still a few wolves feasting upon its body as the baby goat bleats for help. If the party saves this goat it will accompany them on their journey but will refuse to leave the side of the person that first picked it up or aided it.
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 The party finds an ancient dwarven watch tower crafted of stone and iron. This has become sort of a waypoint for travelers on this pass. Each group that passes by carves their name on the interior wall and leaves notes or warnings for those that follow. It is a cozy little safe haven but sometimes bandits will take residence here and pose as adventurers as well.
d20
Encounter
11 The party comes across The Frozen City. This was a small village in a small alcove along the side of the mountain. Years ago after nearly a month of non-stop snow an avalanche buried the town under fifty feet of snow. It has been very slowly melting and now the tops of some of the homes are visible but none of the villagers or their goods were ever recovered.
12 Wreckage of a caravan at the bottom of a cliff. If the party makes their way down to help they find one merchant still barely hanging on to life. There was a rock slide and took them right off the path.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 The party finds the body of an assassin just off the path. She has her armor town open by a large set of talons and is missing an arm. She has gold in one pocket and a scroll in the other with an assignment - to kill a specific member of the party. Think of something the party has done that would anger a powerful NPC and put their crest or signature on this contract.
15 A withered man in tattered clothing comes running up to the party. His feet are bloodied and his eyes are set deep in the skull. He passes out at the feet of the party for 1d4 hours. When he awakes he tells them of a slave camp not too far from here. Have the slavers be a type of monster of appropriate level for your party - orcs, giants, gnolls, etc...
16 A gentle snow begins to fall on the party, only a few snow flakes every couple of seconds. A success on a DC15 Perception check reveals that these large snowflakes have images hidden on them - some faces, some homes, some rolling hills, but from a city your players know of. After a minute or two of these snowflakes, they begin to fall faster except now each snowflake has a different letter on it - H,E,L or P. The snowflakes stop as abruptly as they started.
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 Party finds a Giant graveyard. It is quite elegant and many of the items within are likely worth a great deal of coin. Signs along the edges of the graveyard warn that a curse shall be placed on any who disturb those who have passed on. This curse could merely be a false warning or perhaps it allows a shaman amongst the shamans to track those who stole from their dead - the decision is yours.
19 A powerful windstorm rocks the area. Crossing any bridges is made incredibly dangerous and rockslides could happen at any moment. At one point during the journey a particularly fierce burst of wind sweeps over and the party will need to succeed on DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. At the same time they hear a screech as a large eagle crashes into the stone and breaks its wing.
20 The party finds a hot spring with a mystical curative properties. Resting in this spring for just an hour gives the benefits of a long rest. Making potions using this water causes them to heal for their maximum value.

Mountains Combat Considerations

d10
Mountains Combat Considerations
1 The fight takes place on a narrow path along the edge of a mountain. When the enemy attacks, they cause a rockslide to fall down on the party that scattered rocks across the path and may knock creatures off the path and only the slope of the mountain.
2 A series of wooden bridges splits up this area. They are sturdy, but can be cut down with bladed weapons without much effort. A creature can use its action to sabotage a bridge. On the first action, half of the bridge falls away and any creatures still on the bridge must make checks to hold on. On a second action, one half of the bridge cuts away completely and goes falling along with any creatures still holding on (though the far side will still stay attached).
3 On the mountain pass are some weapons fixed to the stone itself - three mounted arbalests. These were used to defend this route back when the area was populated by giants. These weapons still have a few bolts lying in nearby crates and enemies have taken over this area and are using them.
4 Up near the top of the mountain the path is coated with thick ice. The players will need to move especially slow or risk slipping off the path. If a player does not choose to move at half speed, they must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw begin to slide until they collide with a solid object or have moved a distance equal to their remaining movement speed.
5 Near where the combat occurs is an exposed lava spout. This is pouring molten rock over a 15 foot area and deals major damage is touched by any creature.

d10
Mountains Combat Considerations
6 The pathway goes behind a waterfall whose source is high in the mountains. The waterfall is thirty feet wide and doesn’t actually touch the path itself and there is a light fence to prevent people from accidentally stumbling into it. The waterfall is quite beautiful, but if anyone is thrown into it, they are pulled off the edge and down into the water below.
7 When the battle begins, a disgruntled earth elemental begins hurling rocks at all members of the combat from a far off location. Have these scale in damage depending on the level of your party and have the elemental randomly choose his targets. As soon as combat stops (when one side wins), the elemental calms down and sinks back into the earth peacefully unless someone has attacked it.
8 The pathway is blocked by a barricade created from a destroyed wagon and boulders. The enemy may be hiding on the other side of this barricade or waiting on the high ground for someone to come along and be forced to move these objects out of the way to continue their journey.
9 A blood moon rises on this night, which causes some of the creatures that live on the mountain to go mad. Beasts that are ordinarily gentle and docile become highly territorial and will aggressively threaten the players. Use this opportunity to bring together a strange group of creatures to attack the party.
10 This combat takes place at night. Up here in the mountains, heavy fog rolls in and heavily obscures vision. The party will have to be incredibly careful with each step they take or risk tumbling over the edge of the path. Scale down the encounter difficulty to account for this, especially if the party is up against a foe that does not rely on site to detect their prey.

Swamp Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 The party finds a series of trenches and tunnels that span over a large area. This is the location of a battleground from centuries ago, but these defenses persist. Some of them have become flooded with water, some half-filled with thick mud, and others open up into entire chambers. If the party spends time thoroughly exploring these tunnels they can stumble upon old texts or a lost weapon, though they may have to slay a soldier who refused to pass on from this life to claim it as their own.
3 The party comes across a quarter-mile wide cloud of fog that obscures their path. Creatures that move within the fog are considered blinded and lose their sense of direction almost immediately. This fog has acidic properties and staying in it for more than one minute causes pain to start to set in. Creatures take 1d4 acid damage for every additional minute they remain in the fog.
4 The party finds a strange wooden building in the woods. Going inside, it appears to be completely ordinary, like something you would expect to find in the city. Everything is in pristine condition and appears unused and is without dust. A DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals a secret passageway that leads to a laboratory below ground. This lab contains over a dozen exotic creatures that are being held and experimented upon.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 The party finds the remnants of a fort that has sunk down deep into the muck. About 50% of this structure is now submerged, but that still leaves the top twenty feet exposed. Exploring this reveals that one of the towers of this fort leads down with no windows so the lower level and all of its secrets can still be accessed.
7 The party finds a disgusting bog. There seems to be small huts constructed on stilts out in the middle of this muck. As the party moves past these houses, they spot a beak and black eyes staring out at them from inside one of these. This is a Kenku village.
8 The party finds an incredibly large, dead tree. It is nearly fifteen feet in diameter and has a makeshift doorway rotted into the side of it, but beyond this doorway is total darkness. Within this tree are runes scrawled along the wall as part of a ritual. It also contains the skeletal remains of three humanoids. A successful Intelligence (History / Arcana) check reveals this to be the work of a hag or coven of hags.
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 The party encounters an area covered in large bulbous plants. If anyone gets near these plants, they explode and shoot a tar-like substance in a 10-foot radius. This makes anyone affected incredibly sticky and is nearly impossible to remove. Coming in contact with something solid such as a tree or a boulder (or even a monster) requires a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check to pull free.
d20
Encounter
11 The party comes across the Fin, Fur, and Fungus Trading Post out in the swamp. It is owned by a strange man named Barnulbus Figley who has few teeth left and smells awful. He has man jars filled with mysterious “curative” sludges that he will attempt to sell to the party.
12 A tangled mass of thick, black thorns block the path. It is 30-feet thick and spans for nearly a mile in each direction. The party can either take the extra time to go around or cut their way through, incurring damage from the thorns if they are not careful. Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) checks may be required.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 Party starts to find lanterns crafted from bones of swamp creatures hanging from the trees. They seem to converge towards a singular location - an altar sitting up on a mound of mud. Black candles still burn at this altar. This altar is run by a group of swamp-dwelling acolytes who worship a demon of filth.
15 The party finds a large lake with water that is black in color. A small wooden boat is tied up at the shore but can carry no more than two medium sized humanoids at a time. At the center of the lake is an island with a graveyard. Killing the undead that guard the graves allow the party to access one particularly nice tomb that contains a magic item that belonged to the deceased. Consider making this item sentient or cursed.
16 The party is assaulted by a seemingly endless number of gnats and mosquitos for 2d6 hours. Leaving skin exposed during this time will result in 1d4 necrotic damage per hour. Wisdom (Survival) or Intelligence (Nature) checks can help find ways to prevent these bites.
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 There is a glowing light emanating from the center of a medium sized pool of water. It is twenty feet deep at the center and fifty feet wide. Resting on the bottom is a magical item that was once locked away in a lockbox, but that box has withered away with time. This water serves as an antimagic field, preventing any spells from passing through. When someone takes the item, they are immediately blinded and deafened until they leave the water, but once they do they are fine. Give this magic item some historical significance.
19 The party finds a shack just off the path. The sounds of frogs fills the air and is almost defeaning. This building is Randy "Ribbit" Gorhalt's Frog Farm. Quite a strange fellow. He breeds thousands of frogs and sells them off to make frog legs or various stews. He has been having trouble with strange creatures coming out at night and gouging out the eyes of his frog.
20 The party comes across a gigantic crocodile skull - nearly six feet feet tall and over twenty feet long. This is now the home of a maverick lizardfolk shaman who calls himself Zalzanazek and speaks Common quite well. He is excited to see the party and will invite them in so he can read his Bones of Foretelling and predict their future. Use this to drop new plot threads into your world and give your players an advantage in a later encounter.

Swamp Combat Considerations

d10
Swamp Combat Considerations
1 Whenever the enemy dies, a strange dark ooze crawls over to them on the next turn. This ooze takes control of the body and reanimates it. The creature is returned to maximum health and deals half of its damage as necrotic (rounded down) rather than its normal damage type. Once an infested creature has been killed, it will no longer reanimate. Scale down the difficulty of the encounter to factor this effect in.
2 Natural gas vents are scattered about the area. Any creature that moves within 5 feet of one of these vents must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned until the end of its turn. A creature that holds its breath while standing near one of these vents has advantage on the saving throw.
3 There is particularly thick mud in this portion of the swamp. The area is considered difficult terrain. If a creature weighs at least 100 pounds and does not move 2 turns in a row, it begins to sink into the much. That creature must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or become grappled. A creature trapped this way may use its action to repeat this saving throw, freeing itself on a success.
4 This area is covered in strange shrines. Some of these are woven shapes hanging from the trees, some are decorated stones, and others are strange carvings into the trees themselves. All spells cast in this area have half of its damage converted to necrotic damage and all healing spells are only half as potent.
5 Narrow wooden bridges weave a path across a large bog. The party can go around, but it would add a significant time to their journey. As they walk across these bridges, enemies leap from the waters below and attempt to pull victims into the water and drown them.

d10
Swamp Combat Considerations
6 The enemies have particularly sticky armor and/or fur. Whenever these creatures are hit by a melee weapon attack, the wielder of the weapon must succeed on a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check or have their weapon become stuck to the target. A creature may use its action to repeat this saving throw, breaking the weapon free on a success. Scale down the encounters difficulty slightly to make up for this added benefit to the enemy.
7 There is a massive tree that appears to be rotted to the core, but somehow still stands tall and strong. This tree will lash out at any creature that comes within 20 feet of it and isn’t undead. These lash attacks occur on initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties). These attacks are made at a +4 to hit and deal 2d4 slashing damage.
8 Near where combat occurs is a strange green bonfire that burns endlessly. Enemies of the swamp seem to fear it and will keep their distance, but will not give up the opportunity to jump at a group of creatures that move in to investigate. Creatures of the swamp have disadvantage on all attacks made while within 10 feet of the bonfire.
9 Some of the nearby plants release a strange orange vapor into the air. This vapor is incredibly flammable and will explode if exposed to open flame of any sort, dealing 2d4 fire damage to all creatures with 10 feet. A DC 15 Intelligence (Nature) check will reveal the special properties of these vapors.
10 This portion of the swamp is covered in giant lily pads. If a creature spends at least 2 turns standing on one of these lily pads, it sinks into the waters below and never returns. Enemies may use this to their advantage to make the available high ground smaller and more sparse for the players.

High Seas Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 Deadly Monster Encounter
2 One of the crew members spots a nearby ship that is actively sinking. The captain is willing to help but doesn’t think their boat will be able to handle all of the additional passengers . . . so some of them will have to be left behind with the hope that another ship arrives in time to save them.
3 The captain suggests a day of deep sea fishing as this area is normally great for catching tuna and other delicious fish. One of the party members fishing manages to get quite the bite. It seems to fight back with incredible ferocity - greater than that of most fish, but when they finally pull it up out of the water it is simply a small black chest. It is magically sealed, but there is an inscription around the outside giving clues as to how it could be opened.
4 The party finds a stowaway hidden on the ship. Perhaps they are a wanted criminal trying to get away from the city. Perhaps they was too poor to afford the cost of the ship ride but desperately needed to get to the destination to help someone close to them. Make this a role-playing opportunity for the party as the captain will certainly throw this uninvited passenger overboard.
5 Hard Monster Encounter
6 There is an island not ordinarily on the route. Either this island has somehow spontaneously appeared or they have drifted far off the planned route. It turns out this is indeed a newly formed island from an oceanic volcanic eruption and it has stirred up both new treasures and new monstrosities.
7 One of the crew members is incredibly racist towards one of the party members (preferably this crewman is human and is targeting a non-human player). Things get heated at dinner after a few too many glasses of rum when he goes on a rant that leaves everyone feeling uncomfortable and on edge.
8 A merfolk trader named Leria appears and offers to bargain with the passengers of the ship for various magical weapons and armor that have been lost to the seas over the years. She will take gold but is also fascinated by simple works of art such as statues, gaming sets, and even silverware. She keeps her goods on the bottom of the ocean to prevent thievery from anyone who might attempt to attack her and take her goods.
9 Hard Monster Encounter
10 A deadly storm rolls in causing massive waves to crash against the ship. The party must spent most of the day helping to bail water off of the ship and repair any damages incurred. Have the players make skill checks depending on how they help, and too many failures will result in the ship capsizing. If they manage to keep the ship afloat, everyone will need to succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or gain a level of exhaustion.
d20
Encounter
11 This encounter occurs at night. There is a spire of stone near this area that all of the captains use as a marker for their location. Tonight there seems to be a bright white light emanating from the top of the spire. If the party goes to investigate they find a large glowing white egg covered in small spikes. What creature it belongs to remains to be seen.
12 This encounter occurs at night. One of the party members or crew members notices something strange about the water - portions of it appear to be blood red in the moonlight. This is an adaptation of a particular type of fish to scare away fisherman . . . but as it turns out the scales of these fish are incredibly valuable because of this mutation.
13 Hard Monster Encounter
14 One of the crew members spots a child floating on a large slab of wood out in the middle of the ocean. The child is on the verge of death and remembers little of what happened except that there was a terrifying sea creature involved and a lot of screaming.
15 The party overhears talk of mutiny from one of the crew members, talking about how unfairly the captain pays them for their work. It seems to be picking up traction among the crew members. The party can tell the captain, aid in the mutiny, or simply let things play out without involvement.
16 One of the party members finds a hidden compartment on the lower level of the ship filled with contraband - perhaps exotic creatures, a deadly poison, or forbidden books. They can take this to the authorities, use it to exploit the captain, or perhaps simply pretend they never saw anything.
17 Hard Monster Encounter
18 The ship is approached by another ship at a rapid and aggressive pace. The captain has suspicions and tells everyone to be at the ready. This new ship is a pirate vessel and they demand a tribute to allow the party’s boat to pass through this area unharmed.
19 A large flock of seagulls lands in the ship and seems to refuse to leave. No matter how much the crew members try to get the birds to leave they come back in greater and greater forces until nearly the entire ship is covered. This is typically seen as a bad omen of things to come on shore - the birds know there is going to be disaster so they remain at sea as long as possible.
20 A massive sea slug seems to have latched onto the side of the ship, the largest any of the crew has ever seen. It is so large that it is actually tilting the ship and sending it off course. The crew will need to band together to take care of these seemingly mindless beast before it causes the ship to capsize.

High Seas Combat Considerations

d10
High Seas Combat Considerations
1 The ship is affected by particularly rough waters on this day. Twenty foot high waves cause the ship to sway wildly. Every two turns, the orientation of the ship is shifted by 90 degrees and any creature knocked prone will slide to the low side of the boat. During this time, all Dexterity saving throws are made with disadvantage since it is so difficult to maintain footing.
2 One of the NPC crew members is knocked overboard on one of the first turns of combat. He is heavily injured and will be beyond saving if someone does not get to him within 3 rounds.
3 The creatures that attack have strange parasitic worms attached to them that seem to be controlling their actions. Their movements are erratic and often nonsensical. They may attack random walls or crates on deck instead of enemies because of this lack of thought. Scale the encounter up in difficulty a bit to account for these lost actions.
4 There is a heavy fog on the sea today. Visibility is heavily obscured, but sound still travels freely. A boat approaches from out of the fog but it is impossible to spot until the last moment.
5 The creatures that attack the ship seem to have a specific goal of destroying the ship’s sail in hopes of stranding the boat out in the middle of the ocean. Enemies will take attacks of opportunities just to be able to move closer and tear at the sail. An attack against the ship’s sail is an automatic hit and if it is dealt at least (10 x party’s average level) damage, the crew will need to mend it before they can continue on their way.

d10
High Seas Combat Considerations
6 The creatures that attack the ship come equipped with Urchin Bombs. These creatures can use an action to throw these bombs and deal area of effect piercing and poison damage. Have the damage of these bombs scale depending on your party’s level. At higher levels have them also give a chance to inflict the poisoned status.
7 In addition to the creatures attacking the ship, there is a large shark circling in the waters below. Anyone thrown from the ship will be immediately attacked by this powerful beast.
8 The combat takes place at night. The creatures stealthily crawl up the side of the boat and hope for a surprise round of combat up on deck. This will hopefully catch some of the players unarmored and unprepared. Scale down the difficulty of the encounter to account for this.
9 Combat initiates on two floors. The enemy managers to break a hole in the bottom of the ship and come through on the lower deck while others jump up over the side of the ship. The creatures below will need to be dispatched quickly and the hole repaired or the ship will sink, but the creatures up top may kill the crew if they are not protected. Force the party to split up to save the day.
10 The combat begins when an abnormally large wave strikes the ship. It nearly takes the boat under and completely covers the deck in water. Anyone on the deck will need to take hold and succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be tossed across the deck and be dealt 2d4 bludgeoning damage and knocked prone. After the wave has struck, the enemy creatures are standing on deck and combat begins immediately.

City Random Encounters

d20
Encounter
1 A thief attempts to snag a few coins from one of the party members. Have the thief make a Dexterity (Stealth) check at a +5 bonus against the targeted player’s passive Perception. On a success, the thief steals 3d4 gold from that player. On a failure, the player spots the thief going for their coins.
2 A nearby building erupts into flames. When the party moves to investigate it, a sorcerer comes stumbling out covered in burn marks before collapsing to the ground. This was the result of a deadly wild magic surge and there are still people still inside the building that need help.
3 The party spots a young child who looks to be living in squalor steal a piece of bread from a baker’s cart. The child looks at them with large, fearful eyes before running down a side alleyway.
4 The party comes across a group of people gathered around a Halfling priest preaching about the end of days. He has a bag of holding sitting on the ground in front of him and is urging people to leave behind their greedy ways and donate their superfluous luxuries to save their souls in the coming dark times.
5 The party is approached by a man in priest robes. He asks them if they have visited the church and spoken to the gods about their actions. He reminds them that every adventurer should be in the good graces of the gods before going out into the wilds, for it is never known if they will return.
6 A young girl stands on the side of the street crying her eyes out. She is alone and asks the party if they have seen her mother. They were separated when the little girl ran off chasing a cat and now she is terrified. Make her the daughter of someone of significance in the city.
7 The party is handed a flier advertising a local tavern. Anyone that speaks Thieves’ Cant can see a hidden message in the flier about the local Thieves’ Guild recruiting new members for an upcoming job.
8 There is a man standing on a crate shouting at the top of his lungs about the unfairness of a local lord and how the people need to rise up against him. The lord seized his farm after the man refused to pay his taxes because the amount was too high. He lost his crops to a blight and the lord did nothing to help and now he seeks vengeance.
9 The party notices some graffiti on a a few buildings as they walk through town. It belongs to an underground organization that marks homes and businesses that have known associations with scandalous activities - drug trade, prostitution, gambling, etc . . .
10 There is a man selling magical items out of the back of a cart. These items are at a large discount and he seems quite anxious to get rid of them. They are stolen and the people they belong to will eventually catch up to this vendor and get him to confess who he sold them to and come after the party if needed.
d20
Encounter
11 The party notices a special deal at a nearby shop. Perhaps they are offering 25% off healing potions or buy 2 get 1 magic item free! Either way, it is their lucky day!
12 The party comes across a large group of people crowded around two individuals. They are shouting obscenities at one another and appear ready to fight. Turns out they are both sleeping with the same woman. The party can let the fight happen or intervene to prevent violence.
13 The party hears a local crier advertising a drink called Slag Ale. It is made with a bit of molten lava and anyone that orders a pint that is not a dwarf must sign a waiver since it can eat through their stomach. Any non-dwarf that finishes the drink is awarded a free room for the night, a free dinner, and gets to add their name to the Wall of Champions.
14 The party comes across a wishing well. It is filled with thousands of copper, pieces but there are a few pieces of silver and gold tossed in as well. It is out in the open and there are beggars abound, but everyone seems to respect that the wishing well is off limits for any sort of thievery. Many people are convinced the well is blessed by the gods.
15 The party comes across a new store. It is called Patterson’s Peculiar Pets. He has a number of exotic creatures for sale, but they come at a premium.
16 Another group of adventurers is staggering through town. It looks as if they are barely hanging onto life. If the party asks them what happened, they will be told about a powerful creature plaguing an abandoned building in town or perhaps one of the nearby farms. There is a reward given by the city for dispatching this foe.
17 A set of bells start going off in the distance and people clear the way in the streets. There has been a wedding between two members of important families in the region. Perhaps this will cause friendship where there was much strife or completely reshape politics in the area. Perhaps a neighboring lord is displeased with this and it leads to war!
18 A boy no older than 12 runs up to the party and nervously asks if he can accompany them on their adventures. He offers to serve as a squire. He is an orphan so this city has nothing left for him, so even a death out in the wilds is better than a life of begging on the streets day after day.
19 There is a caravan moving through the city. It is incredibly well defended with two dozen guards escorting a single armored cart that is covered with a fine purple cloth. Word around town is that they’ve found a hidden relic belonging to the former ruler of the city that is thought to be quite dangerous. They are quite worried someone will try to steal it.
20 The party arrives right at the beginning of a festival. All shops are running discounts for their goods for those who partake in festivities, there are entertainers on every corner, and the party can sign up for various competitions. These competitions include archery, jousting, stone throwing, duels, and more.
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