Random Encounter Tables

Here are six random encounter tables for your 5th Edition campaigns.

Low-Level Grassland Encounters

d8 + d12 Encounter
2 1 manticore
3 2 giant vultures (50%) or 22 axe beaks  (50%)
4 1 rhinoceros
5 2 gnolls (75%) or 2 thri-kreen (25%)
6 1 cockatrice
7 A steep gulley or dry streambed. The gully drops fifteen feet deep without warning. The sides are loose, requiring a DC 12 Strength (Athletics) check to climb. Remaining at the bottom of the gulley for more than an hour draws 1d4 wolves, who use the ravine for laming prey.
8 2 giant weasels
9 1d4 wild cows. These might be animals such as aurochs, buffalo, or bison. Use the statblock for giant goats.
10 1d5 tribal warriors (humans). Members of a tribe, these warriors are patrolling the border of their territory or might be the advance scouts for a nomadic tribe.
11 1 boar
12 2 elk (50%) or 4 deer (50%)
13 1d4 wolves
14 1 panther
15 1d4 wild riding horses
16 1d6+1 commoners (humans). A small caravan of merchants and traders that has stopped for a meal or to fix a wagon.
17 2 hippogriff
18 1 giant elk
19 2 veterans hunting for meat for their settlement. There is a 50% chance they were closing in on prey and there is a boar, elk, or deer nearby.
20 1 elephant


Mid-Level Grassland Encounters

d8 + d12 Encounter
2 1 bulette
3 1d4 allosauruses
4 1 hobgoblin captain and 1d4+1 hobgoblins
5 1 troll. The troll was recently caught in a brush fire and scarred. It has only 48 hit points and can only make a single claw attack.
6 1d4 bugbears
7 2 goblins mounted atop 2 worgs
8 3 lions
9 2 ankylosaurus or 1d6+1 axe beaks
10 1 ettin
11 2 centaurs
12 1d6 commoners and 1 spy (halflings). A small troupe of entertainers and actors travelling between towns. They might have small painted wagons pulled by mules or a small river boat. Among the various performers is a thief or con artist (the spy) always looking for a quick couple gold pieces.
13 1d4 giant vultures and 1d4+2 vultures. The flock is feasting on the carcass of a dead triceratops or giant bison.
14 1 saber-toothed tiger
15 2d4 wild riding horses
16 1d4 griffons
17 1 brown bears
18 1 tiger
19 Brush fire. A DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check detects the fire 200 feet away. For every 5 points the result of the check exceeds the DC, the fire is detected an additional 100 feet away. The fire advances  120 feet each round on initiative count 10. Creatures caught in the blaze take 14 (4d6) at the start of their turn and must hold their breath or risk  inhaling smoke. Creatures that breathe smoke must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or take 7 (2d6) fire damage and become poisoned for 1 minute. A stretch of grassland remains ablaze for 1d4 x 10 minutes before burning out.
20 1d4 pegasus


Low-Level Forest

d8 + d12 Encounter
2 1 ankheg
3 1 brown bear
4 1 satyr. The satyr is quite intoxicated regardless of the time of day and has the poisoned condition.
5 2 boars
6 1d4 giant bats
7 2 vine blights
8 1d4 giant lizards
9 1d4 tribal warriors (elves). The elves guard against intruders into their lands. They remain hidden when they encounter trespassers and follow them for a few miles to determine if they’re hostile, attacking if needed or just turning interlopers away if they seem harmless.
10 1d4 bandits
11 1d4 elk (50%) or 1d6+2 deer (50%)
12 1d4 wolves
13 1d4 goblins (50%) or 1d4+2 kobolds (50%)
14 1d4 guards (human). A small patrol of watchmen or inexperienced soldiers is patrolling an ancient road. After hours alone in the woods, they are jumpy and nervous.
15 1d4 stirges
16 1 constrictor snake
17 A perfectly circular clearing around a small pool thick with algae. Creatures that drink from the pool must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or take 11 (2d10) poison damage. Those who drink can understand the speech of forest animals for 24-hours.
18 1 dryad. Her tree is scarred by woodcutter’s axes and she is immediately hostile to any intruders carrying axes or fire.
19 1 dire wolf
20 1 yellow faerie dragon. The dragon begins invisible and follows any interesting creatures it encounters, trying to amuse itself


Mid-Level Forest

d8 + d12 Encounter
2 1 green hag. The hag is living in a small moss enshrouded shack, and disguises herself as an old herbalist or elf druid. Depending on the strength of any visitors she may invite them to spend the night or direct them to the location of a rival in the forest, such as a druid or unicorn.
3 1 owl bear
4 1 ettercap and 1d4 giant wolf spiders
5 1 ogre
6 2 will-o’-wisps
7 1 bandit captain and 1d4 bandits
8 2 giant boars
9 1d4 harpies
10 1 druid (elf). The druid is communing with the forest, meditating under a tree and living on morning dew. Indifferent to most travellers, the druid is prenaturally aware of events in the forest.
11 1 dire wolf and 1d6 wolves
12 1 goblin boss and and 1d4+1 goblins
13 1d4 elk (75%) or 1 giant elk (25%)
14 1 phase spider
15 1d4 vine blights
16 1 giant constrictor (50%) or 1d4 constrictor snakes (50%)
17 1 orog
18 1d4 orcs
19 1 swarm of poisonous snakes
20 1 awakened tree


Low-Level Underground Encounters

1d8 + 1d12 Encounter
2 1 intellect devourer inside the body of a tribal warrior
3 1 grick
4 1d4+2 troglodytes
5 1 carrion crawler
6 1 doppelganger. The doppelganger quickly disguises itself as creatures it expects to encounter in the tunnel, pretending to have been separated from a patrol or group of miners. If confronted by unexpected creatures it takes the form of a drow and says it is trying to escape from drow society.
7 1 gelatinous cube
8 1d4 dark mantles
9 1 shrieker
10 1d4+2 kobolds (50%) or 1d4 orcs (50%)
11 1d6 giant bats
12 1d4+1 commoners (dwarves). Part of a mining company, the dwarves are securing a passageway to prevent a cave in. If the dwarves are killed or driven off, the weakened tunnel collapses in 1 hour dealing 22 (5d8) bludgeoning damage to all creatures in the passage.
13 1d4 piercers
14 1 nothic
15 1d6 grimlocks
16 1d4+1 drow
17 1 violet fungus
18 1d4 deep gnomes
19 1 myconid adult (50%) or 2d4 myconid sprouts (50%)
20 1 flumph


Mid-Level Underground Encounters

1d8 + 1d12 Encounter
2 1 grell
3 1 eye of gruumsh and 1d4 orcs
4 1 hook horror
5 1 ghast and 1d4 ghouls
6 1 mimic disguised as a large mouldering backpack. It is lying atop the body of a past victim, whose skull has been crushed by a nearby rock to give the impression of an accident.
7 2d4 troglodytes
8 1 gibbering mouther
9 1d4 duergar
10 1 quaggoth
11 1 swarm of bats
12 1d6+1 guards (dwarves). A patrol of dwarven soldiers securing subterranean entrances to a dwarven settlement and watching for any intruders.
13 1 gelatinous cube
14 1d4 drows and 1d4 giant spiders
15 1 minotaur skeleton
16 1d4 myconid adult and 1d4 spore servants
17 1 kuo-toa whip and 1d6 kuo-toa
18 1d4 scouts (elves). The elven warriors have been pursuing a band of drow that made an incursion onto the surface. The elves believe the drow might have seen something better kept secret and are hoping to catch and silence the drow.
19 1 basilisk
20 2 yuan-ti purebloods


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