The Forest, CR 4 – Random Encounters for Dungeons & Dragons: Fifth Edition
“Don’t panic!” Yasmin screamed in the catfolk’s ear.
Tigbe shot Yasmin a look which inferred he wouldn’t mind clawing her eyes out, if he could yank his paws out of the muck. “I’m not panicking,” the catfolk seethed, “I’m well aware that struggling against quicksand only makes things worse. Or did you forget that you hired me to be your guide through the forest? So, no, I’m not panicking. I’m livid. We wouldn’t be in this mess if you didn’t shove me into the silt and jump in after.”
“I didn’t push you,” Yasmin said, while failing to back away. “You suddenly bent over, and I tripped…”
“I was testing the ground to see if we were walking into quicksand. Surprise! We were! I know you were eager to solve this riddle in the most expedient way possible, but I’m not looking forward to spending the next three days grooming every last fleck of dirt out of my coat!”
The sand gurgled. Yasmin and Tigbe sunk a little lower.
“It’s okay,” said Yasmin in a measured tone. “When we return to the inn, I’ll order a couple of buttermilk maple gins, and we’ll laugh it all off. As long as we wade to the trees nice and slow, we’ll pull ourselves out of this cesspool in one piece.”
Uphill, a mangy grey hound sat on its haunches and howled at the sky.
“Great,” Tigbe muttered, “Wolves. Why does it always have to be wolves?”
Appropriate random encounters for
- Seven third level characters
- Four fourth level characters
- Two fifth level characters
- Or a lone ninth 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 twelve foot tall giant ape does whatever it wants to.|
|3||Rare||Hard Encounter||Seven giant wasps do not like how close the party is to their nest.|
|4||Rather Unlikely||Hard Encounter||Three harpies and their two winged kobold minions pester the adventurers from the treetops.|
|5||Unlikely||Hard Encounter||A shambling mound makes mulch from mammals.|
|6||Uncommon||Medium Encounter||A lizardfolk shaman commands two swarms of ravens to mob the party.|
|7||Plausible||Medium Encounter||A banshee haunts these woods, eager to destroy all who can feel joy.|
|8||Common||Medium Encounter||A goblin boss, riding a worg, leads a battalion of five goblins to gory glory.|
|9||Most Common||Friend or Foe Medium Encounter||A human ranger, who was recently afflicted by lycanthropy, is instinctively attracted to the party. Whether or not she lets her wereboar rage out depends on how the party responds to her mixed threats.|
|10||Most Common||Easy Encounter||A lone werewolf snaps a few bites then takes to the forest, hoping to weather the party down over time.|
|11||Most Common||Easy Encounter||The characters march too close to a den of seven giant wolf spiders, which leap from their hiding spots, attacking the smallest targets.|
|12||Most Common||Common Roleplaying Encounter||The characters encounter a priest of Pelor who, along with his local order, was charged with moving a holy relic to its rightful place. Unfortunately, the order was beset upon by beasts. The priest needs an escort that will help him out of the forest safely. What the priest isn’t saying is that he belongs to a cult which believes in fostering harmony among all religions. The particular relic the priest carries and refuses to reveal is an unhallowed decanter dedicated to Zehir. Use of Detect Evil reveals the relic is evil, but not the priest (who is also lying about the beasts. His order was assaulted by a troop of elves that disagreed with the order’s mission.)|
|13||Most Common||Common Beneficial Find||A magic river ‘hums’ gentle songs here. The healing benefits of a night’s rest takes two hours at this location (spells still take time to memorize.) Also, anyone who spends at least a short rest to listen to the river’s song are ‘Blessed’ as per the spell (PHB, p. for the next 48 hours. A DC 10 Nature check can reveal this information.|
|14||Common||Piece of Flavor||The tracks here are many and varied. A DC 10 Survival check reveals they mostly belong to Goblins and Worgs. The characters could choose to pursue, though the sheer volume of tracks infer the party may be too few to take on a small army.|
|15||Plausible||A Trap!||The character at the front of the party must make a DC 20 Perception or Survival check or snap a tripwire made from taught bramble. If they do, a large log tied by vines to the canopy batters down. It attacks with +8 to hit, and deals 4d6+5 bludgeoning damage. It’s reasonable to imagine that a trap like this—one which is likely to injure large animals without killing them—was designed by an evil creature; one who is likely to return to this site to maintain their trap.|
|16||Uncommon||Uncommon Roleplaying Encounter||A couatl takes the form of an owlbear to blend with the forest as well as discourage small predators. Eager to learn news of the outside world, he/she forgets to revert to its original form before charging up to the characters…|
|17||Unlikely||Environmental Hazard||Unless the character leading the party through the forest makes a DC 15 Nature or Survival saving throw, they step into a patch of quicksand. (DMG, p. 110) This particular patch tends to attract predators that feed off creatures trapped in the sand. Roll again on this chart. If you roll a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, or 20 after two rounds the corresponding monster(s) appear.|
|18||Rather Unlikely||A Barrier||A stream trickles over a brook of rocks, causing a shimmering rainbow to appear. By crossing the stream, the players enter a gate into the Feywild. (DMG, p. 49) For each consecutive hour of travel, the characters may make a DC 17 Nature or Arcana check to realize they left their world behind (some encounters may make this transition more obvious.) In order to leave the Feywild, the characters must backtrack and find the stream they crossed in order to reappear in their own world. The gate to the Feywild dissipates as soon as the players leave.|
|19||Rare||A Lucky Find||The characters are attacked by a hobgoblin who thinks the random magical item on Table G (DMG, 147) he wields will protect him. He is likely mistaken.|
|20||Very Rare||Incredibly Fortuitous Find||If the party contains at least one good character, a unicorn makes itself known to that/those character(s) and offers to temporarily aid the party. If the party consists of only neutral characters, the unicorn still attempts to aid the party, hoping to lead the party to do good by example. If the party contains at least one evil character and no good characters, the unicorn attacks.|
For more random encounter charts, go to the Random Encounters for Dungeons and Dragons: 5th Edition page.