The Forest, CR 3 – Random Encounters for Dungeons & Dragons: Fifth Edition
“Foolish children! On a mission to save the kingdom, you say? Bah! You can exterminate some orcs from a cave, but the cave will be there when you move on. Whatever modicum of order those orcs maintained will be ignored by the nasty creature that replaces them. What good is it to kill evil-doers if there’s still evil to be done? And there will always be yet more evil to do. You sacrifice yourselves to solve the symptoms of a disease with no cure.
“But enough prattling. It grows late, and a terrible revenant haunts the forest at night. You’re best off retiring to my cottage. You look like you could use some dry beds, and I could use the company. And I must have you for dinner. I assure you, you will never have a meal as good as what I’m planning for tonight. After all, I’ve been told my cooking is to die for…”
Appropriate random encounters for
- Seven second level characters
- Five third level characters
- Three fourth level characters
- A fifth and a fourth level character
- Or a lone seventh level character travelling through the forest.
For more information on random encounters, when they are appropriate, and how often they should occur, see the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), page 85. For more random encounter charts, go to the Random Encounters for Dungeons and Dragons: 5th Edition page.
When determining a random encounter, roll 1d12+1d8 and consult the chart.
|d12+d8||Description||Relationship to Players||Result|
|2||Very Rare||Deadly Encounter||A drow, adopted by half-elf adventurers, was spurned by his society and killed by assassins in the night. Now he is a revenant that haunts this forest, and will not rest until all who believe themselves to be good are destroyed.|
|3||Rare||Hard Encounter||An angry weretiger, happy to spread pain where ever it roams.|
|4||Rather Unlikely||Hard Encounter||Four lizardfolk, with three giant lizards, attempt to surprise the party from above via the canopy.|
|5||Unlikely||Hard Encounter||An owlbear, and a mad kobold scout.|
|6||Uncommon||Medium Encounter||A patient half-orc veteran, who’s confident in his ability to drop the entire party.|
|7||Plausible||Medium Encounter||A green hag, who is interested in the adventurers as a delicacy.|
|8||Common||Medium Encounter||Three gnoll packleaders, with their three hyenas, out for a not-so-friendly stroll.|
|9||Most Common||Friend or Foe Medium Encounter||A flight of seven pixies, who are more interested in playing tricks on the party than hurting them.|
|10||Most Common||Easy Encounter||A wererat, who is eager for company to share in his disease.|
|11||Most Common||Easy Encounter||Three needle blights and three twig blights prey on weary travelers.|
|12||Most Common||Common Roleplaying Encounter||An injured orc (at half health) offers a truce, and, offers to join the party if they are willing to help her injuries. Can she be trusted?|
|13||Most Common||Common Beneficial Find||A scene of a massacre. Five hobgoblins lie dead. The deed was done recently, but whoever did it left no tracks. The hobgoblins all wear leather armor in good condition, carry small shields, and wield silver-gilded long swords. Two of those swords remain in their scabbards.|
|14||Common||Piece of Flavor||A flock of birds cluster overhead, and for a moment block out the sun.|
|15||Plausible||A Trap!||A random character must make a DC 13 Perception or Nature check, or they step through a rotten log that brims with fire ants. Treat this colony as four swarms of insects.|
|16||Uncommon||Uncommon Roleplaying Encounter||The characters discover a half-elf child who collapsed from dehydration, but is still alive. If they resuscitate the child, they find him uncooperative and suspicious. The boy has a good reason: the child’s parents were replaced by doppelgangers who led him into the woods. For most of the journey he suspected nothing. But one night, when the doppelgangers thought he was sleeping, the child saw the doppelganger’s real forms when they got into a heated argument. The child ran away, but now he thinks that anyone, and possibly everyone, could be a doppelganger. He is likely to run away from the party the first chance he gets… which will not go well for him; he isn’t prepared to deal with the woods by himself.|
|17||Unlikely||Environmental Hazard||A freak hailstorm hits the region, covering the area in slushy ice which won’t melt for another six hours. Overland movement is halved. Any character who moves more than half their movement in combat must make a DC 10 Dexterity check, or they take 1 damage and fall prone at the end of their movement.|
|18||Rather Unlikely||A Barrier||The way forward is beset by monsters (roll 2d6 on this chart. Whatever result you get is what lies ahead.) The players can move around the threat, but the woods come to a neck here. Backing up and going around could add hours to the time table, and results in at minimum two more random encounter checks.|
|19||Rare||A Lucky Find||A pool of water is surrounded by a ring of mushrooms. Whenever a character drinks from it, their player rolls 1d6. The first time a number is rolled, that character gains a +2 bonus to 1: Strength, 2: Dexterity, 3: Constitution, 4: Intelligence, 5: Wisdom, or 6: Charisma for the next 48 hours. If that number was previously rolled by another member of the party, however, that character instead takes a -2 penalty to their ability score and gains a random short-term madness. (DMG, p. 259) This effect only works once for each character, though the magic of the pool resets every 24 hour period.|
|20||Very Rare||Incredibly Fortuitous Find||A team of four wild pegasii, graze in an open clearing.|
For more random encounter charts, go to the Random Encounters for Dungeons and Dragons: 5th Edition page.