100 D&D 5E Random Tavern Encounters for Drunk Players

The tavern is more than just a place to rest and drink; it is a hub of excitement, intrigue, and unexpected adventures. Whether your adventurers seek a quiet night or stumble into chaos, the tavern setting offers countless opportunities for memorable encounters. From rowdy patrons to mysterious strangers, every corner of the tavern holds a story waiting to unfold. Prepare to dive into the bustling atmosphere of a lively tavern, where the ale flows freely and the unexpected is always just a table away.

As the night progresses and the drinks keep coming, the line between reality and drunken fantasy blurs. In this article, we present 100 random tavern encounters tailored for those moments when the players are deep into their cups. Each encounter is designed to add flavor, challenge, and humor to your game, ensuring that every trip to the tavern is an unforgettable experience.

Random Encounter Table: Tavern (1-20)

As the evening begins, the tavern fills with a mix of locals and travelers, each bringing their own stories and secrets. The initial encounters are a blend of light-hearted fun and intriguing mysteries.

1Rowdy BardA bard is performing a lively tune, encouraging patrons to join in the singing. His songs tell of distant lands and hidden treasures, captivating everyone.
2Arm Wrestling ChallengeA burly dwarf challenges anyone to beat him in an arm wrestling contest. The prize? Free drinks for the rest of the night. His strength is legendary, but so is his fairness.
3Mysterious StrangerA hooded figure sits in the corner, watching the room with keen eyes. They seem to be waiting for someone, occasionally glancing at the door.
4Gambling DenA group of patrons has set up a makeshift gambling table. The stakes are high, and the games are fierce. Players can join in for a chance to win or lose it all.
5Drunken PhilosopherAn old man, deep into his cups, starts sharing his wisdom with anyone who will listen. His slurred words might hold hidden truths or be the ramblings of a madman.
6Lost PetA child enters the tavern, tearfully looking for their lost pet. The creature, a small and mischievous sprite, is causing chaos somewhere within the building.
7Spontaneous Dance-OffA sudden burst of music sparks an impromptu dance-off among the patrons. The competition is fierce, with everyone trying to outdo each other’s moves.
8Secret DoorA hidden door behind a tapestry leads to a forgotten cellar filled with old supplies and perhaps some hidden treasures.
9Brawl Breaks OutA heated argument escalates into a full-blown brawl. Tables are overturned, and patrons scramble to either join the fight or get out of the way.
10Potion SellerA traveling merchant sets up a small stall in the corner, selling various potions. Some are genuine, while others are little more than colored water.
11Legendary HeroA famed hero enters the tavern, instantly drawing the attention of everyone. They are willing to share tales of their exploits for a drink or two.
12Enigmatic PuzzleA patron challenges the players to solve a complex puzzle. The reward for success is a cryptic clue that might lead to a greater adventure.
13PickpocketA nimble-fingered thief is working the crowd, stealing purses and valuables. The players might notice the thief or become their next targets.
14Fortune TellerAn enigmatic fortune teller offers to read the players’ futures. Her predictions are cryptic, leaving the players with more questions than answers.
15Runaway NobleA young noble in disguise seeks refuge in the tavern, hiding from pursuers. They are willing to pay handsomely for protection and assistance.
16Haunted TableOne of the tables is haunted by the spirit of a former patron. Strange occurrences happen around it, and those who sit there might receive ghostly advice.
17Singing CompetitionA singing competition breaks out, with the prize being a special bottle of rare wine. The patrons cheer for their favorites, and the atmosphere is electric.
18Rare Ingredient HuntThe tavern’s chef asks the players to find a rare ingredient for a special dish. The ingredient is hidden somewhere in the tavern or its surroundings.
19IllusionistA traveling illusionist entertains the crowd with magical tricks and illusions. The players might learn a thing or two if they pay close attention.
20Unwanted SuitorOne of the players catches the eye of an overly persistent suitor. The suitor’s advances are annoying, and getting rid of them proves to be a challenge.

Random Encounter Table: Tavern (21-40)

As the night deepens, the encounters become more complex and strange. The players might find themselves facing unexpected challenges and opportunities.

21Silent AuctionA silent auction is being held for a variety of mysterious items. Bidders write their offers on slips of paper, hoping to win without knowing who they are bidding against.
22Spell Gone WrongA novice wizard attempts a spell that backfires spectacularly. The resulting chaos affects everyone in the vicinity, causing random magical effects.
23Ancient MapAn old sailor offers to sell an ancient map that supposedly leads to a lost treasure. The map’s authenticity is questionable, but the potential reward is enticing.
24Animal CompanionA ranger’s animal companion causes a commotion, stealing food and drinks from the tables. The creature’s antics are both amusing and troublesome.
25Musical DuelTwo bards engage in a musical duel, each trying to outplay the other. The performance captivates the entire tavern, and the winner earns widespread admiration.
26Cursed ItemA merchant tries to offload a cursed item to an unsuspecting buyer. The curse is subtle but troublesome, and the players must decide whether to intervene or let the deal go through.
27Troupe of ActorsA troupe of actors arrives, offering to perform a short play. The performance is filled with humor, drama, and perhaps a hidden message or clue for the players.
28Local LegendA local legend is shared by the tavern’s oldest patron, telling of hidden secrets and forgotten dangers. The story might be true or just an old man’s ramblings.
29Alchemist’s RequestAn alchemist asks the players to retrieve a rare herb that grows near the tavern. The herb is essential for a potion they are brewing, and the task is not without its risks.
30Dangerous BetA shady character offers a dangerous bet, challenging the players to a game of skill or chance. The stakes are high, and the consequences of losing are severe.
31Ghostly ApparitionA ghostly apparition appears, seeking help to resolve unfinished business. The ghost’s story is tragic, and helping it find peace might involve significant danger.
32Outlaw’s HideoutThe players discover that the tavern is a secret hideout for a notorious outlaw. The knowledge puts them in a precarious position, especially if the outlaw notices their interest.
33Secret MessageA coded message is found on the back of a tavern bill. Deciphering it leads to a hidden stash or an important clue for a larger quest.
34Drunken DuelistsTwo heavily drunk patrons challenge each other to a duel, barely able to stand. Their antics are both comical and potentially dangerous.
35Shadowy FigureA shadowy figure offers to sell rare and possibly illegal goods. The players must decide whether to engage in the deal or alert the authorities.
36Bard’s TaleA traveling bard tells a tale of a distant land, filled with adventure and peril. The story inspires the players to seek out this land for their next quest.
37Rival AdventurersA group of rival adventurers enters the tavern, boasting about their recent exploits. Their presence sparks a competitive spirit in the players, leading to a potential confrontation.
38Strange BrewThe tavern offers a new, strange brew that has unpredictable effects on those who drink it. The players might gain temporary benefits or suffer unusual side effects.
39Mysterious PatronA mysterious patron sits alone, seemingly uninterested in the revelry. Their quiet demeanor hides a powerful secret or a crucial piece of information.
40Dancing ShadowsThe shadows cast by the tavern’s flickering candles seem to move on their own, creating eerie patterns. Investigating reveals a minor illusion spell or a more sinister presence.
Adventurers finding a hidden door behind a tapestry in a tavern.
The adventurers uncover a hidden door behind a tapestry, revealing secrets hidden within the tavern.

Random Encounter Table: Tavern (41-60)

The tavern is now in full swing, with a mix of boisterous revelry and hidden dangers. The encounters in this section push the players to think on their feet and react quickly.

41Lost TreasureA drunk pirate boasts about a hidden treasure, providing cryptic clues to its location. The truth of his tale is uncertain, but the promise of riches is hard to ignore.
42Hidden IdentityA well-known figure is in disguise, trying to remain unnoticed. The players might recognize them and must decide how to handle the revelation.
43Mock TrialThe patrons hold a mock trial for a minor offense, with the players as the jury. The proceedings are humorous but reveal deeper tensions in the tavern.
44Escaped AnimalAn exotic animal escapes from its handler, causing chaos. The players can help capture it, but the task is far from easy.
45Poisoned DrinkSomeone tries to poison a drink meant for a specific patron. The players might notice the attempt and can intervene to prevent a tragedy.
46Wandering MinstrelA wandering minstrel arrives, offering to share news and gossip from distant lands. Their information can be valuable, but it’s often mixed with exaggeration and fiction.
47Magical ExperimentA wizard’s magical experiment goes awry, affecting everyone nearby. The effects are random and can be beneficial or harmful, depending on the spell.
48Thieves’ Guild MeetingThe tavern hosts a secret meeting of the local thieves’ guild. The players might overhear their plans and decide whether to interfere or stay out of it.
49Eccentric InventorAn eccentric inventor shows off their latest creation, a mechanical marvel with dubious functionality. The players can examine it, but it might be more trouble than it’s worth.
50Hidden PassageA hidden passage behind a bookshelf leads to a network of tunnels. The players can explore these tunnels, which might contain secrets or dangers.
51Suspicious BehaviorA patron behaves suspiciously, constantly looking over their shoulder. They are hiding something, and the players can choose to investigate further.
52Spilled SecretsA drunk patron accidentally reveals a closely guarded secret, unaware of the implications. The players can use this information to their advantage.
53Talented ChefThe tavern’s chef is renowned for their culinary skills, and they offer to prepare a special meal for the players. The meal provides temporary benefits or buffs.
54Forgotten DebtAn old debt is called in, leading to a tense confrontation. The players can mediate the dispute or take sides, influencing the outcome.
55Mysterious AmuletA patron offers to sell a mysterious amulet with unknown powers. The players can purchase it and discover its properties, which might be beneficial or cursed.
56Drunken ProphecyAn inebriated seer gives a cryptic prophecy to the players, predicting future events. The prophecy can serve as a plot hook or foreshadowing for future adventures.
57Elven AmbassadorAn elven ambassador seeks refuge in the tavern, away from political intrigue. Their presence can lead to diplomatic opportunities or conflicts.
58Ancient TomeA scholar offers to sell an ancient tome filled with forgotten knowledge. The players can purchase it, but deciphering its contents requires effort and expertise.
59Challenging PuzzleA challenging puzzle is presented to the players by a traveling merchant. Solving it grants them a valuable reward or a clue to a greater mystery.
60Reckless MageA reckless mage experiments with dangerous spells, causing havoc. The players must decide whether to help contain the situation or let it play out.

Random Encounter Table: Tavern (61-80)

As the night wears on, the tavern’s atmosphere grows wilder and more unpredictable. These encounters test the players’ resourcefulness and creativity.

61Duel of HonorA challenge to a duel of honor is issued, with the players caught in the middle. They must navigate the politics and pride involved in the duel.
62Enchanted MirrorAn enchanted mirror shows glimpses of other places and times. The players can use it to gain insights or discover hidden secrets, but at a potential cost.
63Fae TricksterA fae trickster is playing pranks on the patrons, causing minor chaos. The players can attempt to catch the trickster and uncover their motives.
64Rogue’s HeistA rogue attempts a daring heist within the tavern, aiming to steal a valuable item. The players can choose to thwart the heist or let it proceed.
65Arcane DuelTwo wizards engage in an arcane duel, their spells lighting up the tavern. The players can watch the spectacle or intervene to prevent collateral damage.
66Ancient RelicAn ancient relic is discovered hidden in the tavern’s walls. The players can investigate its origins and potential powers, but they must be cautious of its dangers.
67Suspicious PackageA suspicious package is left unattended, raising concerns among the patrons. The players can inspect it to determine its contents and the threat it poses.
68Illusionary BeastAn illusionary beast appears, terrifying the patrons. The players must determine if it’s a prank or a real threat, and act accordingly.
69Secret RendezvousA secret rendezvous between two mysterious figures is interrupted. The players can eavesdrop to gather valuable information or confront the figures directly.
70Divine VisitationA divine being briefly visits the tavern, offering blessings or curses based on the players’ actions. The encounter tests their faith and moral compass.
71Hidden TreasureA hidden treasure is revealed by a loose floorboard. The players can claim it, but doing so might attract unwanted attention from those who believe it’s rightfully theirs.
72Dragon’s MarkA patron bears the mark of a dragon, indicating a powerful connection or curse. The players can investigate the mark’s significance and the patron’s story.
73Cursed TavernThe tavern itself is revealed to be cursed, causing strange phenomena. The players must find a way to lift the curse or mitigate its effects.
74Mystic’s ChallengeA traveling mystic challenges the players to a test of wits and courage. Success grants them valuable insights or rewards, while failure has consequences.
75Shadowy BargainA shadowy figure offers a tempting but dangerous bargain. The players must weigh the potential benefits against the risks involved.
76Hidden AssassinAn assassin is targeting a specific patron, and the players have the opportunity to stop the attempt. They must act quickly and decisively to prevent a tragedy.
77Forgotten LoreAn old book found in the tavern’s library contains forgotten lore that could be crucial for the players’ quest. Deciphering it requires skill and patience.
78Enchanted DrinkA magical drink grants temporary powers or visions. The players can choose to partake and experience its effects, which are unpredictable and unique.
79Noble’s SecretA noble patron is hiding a dangerous secret, and the players have the chance to uncover it. Doing so could lead to political intrigue and potential rewards.
80Time TravelerA time traveler from the future arrives, offering cryptic warnings and seeking help. The players can aid the traveler or exploit their knowledge for personal gain.

Random Encounter Table: Tavern (81-100)

As the night comes to a close, the encounters grow even more intense and bizarre. These final moments in the tavern can have lasting impacts on the players’ journey.

81Warlock’s PactA warlock offers to form a pact with one of the players, granting them power in exchange for service. The offer is tempting but fraught with peril.
82Celestial MessengerA celestial being delivers a message or quest to the players, guiding them towards their next adventure. The encounter is awe-inspiring and significant.
83Haunted PortraitA haunted portrait in the tavern reveals the spirit of a former owner. The spirit seeks closure or revenge, and the players can help or hinder their efforts.
84Fae BargainA fae creature offers a bargain, promising great rewards for a seemingly simple task. The players must be wary of hidden tricks and consequences.
85Infernal ContractA devil offers an infernal contract to the players, tempting them with dark powers and riches. The consequences of accepting are severe and binding.
86Dimensional RiftA rift in space opens within the tavern, leading to another dimension or time. The players can explore it, but returning might not be straightforward.
87Lost HeirA lost heir to a kingdom is discovered among the patrons. The players can help them reclaim their throne or decide to use the information for their own gain.
88Arcane ArtifactAn arcane artifact with immense power is revealed, drawing the attention of powerful figures. The players must decide whether to claim it or protect it from others.
89Elemental UprisingElemental spirits rise up within the tavern, causing havoc. The players must find a way to calm or banish them, restoring peace to the establishment.
90Whispering ShadowsThe shadows in the tavern whisper secrets and prophecies. The players can listen and gain valuable insights, but the knowledge comes with a price.
91Cursed BladeA cursed blade is discovered in the tavern, carrying a dark history. The players can choose to wield it, break the curse, or leave it be.
92Hidden SafeA hidden safe is found behind the bar, containing valuable items or documents. The players must decide whether to take the contents or leave them untouched.
93Demonic PossessionA patron is possessed by a demon, causing chaos. The players must perform an exorcism or find another way to free the patron from the demonic influence.
94Secret SocietyA secret society holds a clandestine meeting in the tavern. The players can infiltrate the meeting or gather information for their own purposes.
95Lich’s PhylacteryA lich’s phylactery is hidden within the tavern, and its discovery attracts dangerous attention. The players must decide how to handle this powerful and deadly artifact.
96Wandering SpiritA wandering spirit seeks the players’ help to find peace. The spirit’s tale is tragic, and aiding them involves significant risk and potential reward.
97Arcane DuelistsTwo powerful mages duel in the tavern, their spells causing widespread destruction. The players can intervene or watch the spectacle unfold.
98Vampire’s ThrallA vampire’s thrall is found among the patrons, spreading the vampire’s influence. The players must decide how to handle the thrall and the threat they pose.
99Divine InterventionA deity intervenes in the players’ lives, offering guidance or a quest. The encounter is momentous and can change the course of their journey.
100Legendary ArtifactA legendary artifact is revealed, drawing the attention of powerful beings. The players must decide whether to claim it or protect it from falling into the wrong hands.

Random Tavern Encounters

For Dungeon Masters looking to add an extra layer of excitement and variety to their modern RPG campaigns, the Random Encounters AI website offers a plethora of ideas for different environments. These encounters are designed to challenge and intrigue your players, ensuring that their adventures are both memorable and engaging. Explore more at Random Encounters AI and LitRPG Reads.

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Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, RPG game developer, and old school webmaster. He's been playing tabletop games since the 1980s. He started Random Tables RPG as a way to give out free D&D and Pathfinder content to the world. Enjoy!