Here’s a list of 100 mid-level random road encounters for your fantasy tabletop campaign.
1) The road ahead splits into two, and you find a bearded old man sitting by a small campfire beside the road. He introduces himself as an ancient hermit and says he’s been waiting for adventurers to come by and help him with a problem, and offers you a reward if you’ll listen to his story. He needs the players to kill a mid-level bandit nearby who killed his son. If players accept, he will not be able to pay them in material possessions, but he will help them with information about the local area.
2) A large tree blocks the road ahead. It will take the players 2d6 hours to clear a path through the tree. While they’re working, they hear a noise coming from nearby. A group of 2d10 gnolls with war hounds approach and attack the players.
3) The road is flooded. A local mage was practicing water magic and unleashed a raging torrent of water onto the road. The players have to find a way across or wait for it to recede.
4) A local farmer asks for help with a pair of hill giants who have been killing his cows. He says he’ll pay the players 500 GP if they catch the hill giants and bring them back alive. The hill giants are hiding out in a nearby cave that has been accidentally twisted into a maze by the local elves. There’s a good chance the players will get lost in the cave. This regularly happens to the two hill giants whose names are Tagg and Jagg. Players can peacefully persuade the hill giants to return the cows (they like the milk and use the cows to navigate the maze), or they can try to kill the hill giants.
5) Up ahead, the sound of drums and chanting can be heard. The players approach a campfire with a group of humans around it. They’re dancing and chanting in unison, and they look like they’re all having fun. The players can join in the festivities by the fire, or they can stand on the sidelines and watch.
6) The players can hear a man shouting for help. He’s trapped under a fallen tree. The players can choose to help him, or they can ignore him.
7) Three centuar warriors approach and demand payments for the players to use the public road they’re on. If players refuse, the centaurs will run away then attack with long bows.
8) An old man is stumbling along the road. As players approach, he will beg for help. If players help him, he will attempt to steal something from the players.
9) Two children are playing tag along the road. They will run off if players approach.
10) The players hear a woman weeping softly. When they approach, they find a woman whose husband ran away. Her name is Ammara and she will try to seduce any single male players. She will not give up and she will follow the players for as long as it takes to get their attention.
11) The players approach a group of dwarves sitting around a campfire. They will not talk to the players and will instead throw rocks at them.
12) The players come upon a group of tribesmen who are preparing their weapons for war. Their chieftain has been rampaging through the valley and has killed many of the tribesmen. The tribesmen will attack the players if they’re not of their tribe, and will attack each other if they’re of the same tribe.
13) The players come upon a camp with a very large and heavy-looking wagon. The camp is abandoned, and the players can search the wagon and the surrounding area for treasure. One item of note is a large orange gem on a necklace. The necklace is cursed and will attract the attention of a nearby group of demons. The demons will attack the players as they’re moving the wagon away from the camp, and the players will have to fight them as they try to move the wagon down the road.
14) A small boy is sitting on the side of the road, sobbing. He is missing his pet cat, which ran away. If players find the cat, they can return it to the boy. He’s the prince’s son and they will be rewarded handsomely.
15) The players find an old man sitting beside the road. He is selling delicious honeycakes. If the players ask, he will tell them that he runs an orphanage in town and can offer them warm beds to sleep in. He will take the players to the orphanage, but here the players will be attacked by an assassin.
16) A member of the Thieves’ Guild is standing on the side of the road, holding a map and looking confused. There is a large X on the map, and the Thieves’ Guild member thinks the players might know where the treasure is. He will pay them 1d10 GP if they can show him where the treasure is. If the players accept, the treasure is actually the location of a nearby bandit camp where players will be ambushed by 2d8 bandits.
17) The players come across a very old man sitting by a campfire. He is a sage and will trade information for a small token of his choosing.
18) The players come across a group of children singing a song about a local hero. It’s a love song. If the players approach, the children will run away.
19) Two old women are sitting on the side of the road, selling some of their possessions. Their names are Marge and Jenna. They are very friendly and will offer some of their goods to the players. If the players accept, the old women will attack them. They are actually werewolves who are testing to see if anyone can resist their charm.
20) A group of local thugs are on the side of the road, looking for some easy prey. The players can fight them or run away.
21) A group of townspeople are dragging a box down the road. They are transporting the box to the town’s richest man. If players help, they can receive a reward of GP or information about the area.
22) The players come across a group of three men fighting over a golden ring. They will fight to the death over the ring, taking no notice of any players who are watching them.
23) A group of peasants are hauling a large wagon down the road. One of the wheels is broken and it’s making a racket as it moves. This will attract the attention of 2d6 bandits.
24) A group of men and women in fancy clothes and carrying parcels and boxes approaches the players. They’re in a hurry and will not stop for any reason. If players try to stop them, they will summon guards and run away.
25) The players find a group of heavily armed men wearing the uniform of a local noble. They are traveling under the noble’s protection. They will not let the players pass, even if the players are on the noble’s business.
26) Just as rain begins, making the road a muddy mess, a pack of 4d4 trolls shuffle onto the road and attack.
27) A group of halflings are sitting on the side of the road, eating. They are on their way to a festival. They are willing to share their food with the players if the players are willing to eat it right there. Their names are Bud and Squeak, and they are very friendly.
28) A man dressed in black robes, wearing a black cloak and carrying a hooded lantern approaches the players. He asks them to help him carry something to the nearby town. If the players help, they discover they are carrying a coffin. The man’s name is Mortis and he is a necromancer. He will not attack the players if they are friendly. If they are hostile, he will attack them with two 1st level skeletons.
29) A woman is sitting on the side of the road. She has a package with her, and she seems to be crying. Players can ask her what’s wrong, but she will not answer. She will not attack the players. If the players try to sneak up on her, she will attempt to hide the package. She will not even give her name.
30) A small group of people are gathered around a young man who is lying on the ground. They are tending to his wounds. They are all wearing dark clothing or robes, and they are all slightly pale. They will not let the players approach, and they will flee when the players attempt to question them.
31) The sides of the road are littered with dead animals. If the players search, they will find that the animals were killed with magic. If the players approach, they will be attacked by 2 mages.
32) The players hear a woman crying. They find two women standing by the side of the road. One is old and the other is young. If the players ask, they will tell them that their baby is missing. If the players agree to help, they will find the baby in a nearby tree. It is a baby griffin, and it is being attacked by a group of griffins. The griffins will fly away once they have killed the baby griffin.
33) The players come across a hunter with a dead animal slung over his shoulder. If the players approach, he will ask for directions to a nearby town.
34) A wizard wearing a black robe is sitting in the middle of the road. He is researching, and he will attack without warning the players if they get too close.
35) A group of women are cooking dinner beside the road. They are on their way home from work. They will share their dinner with the players if the players ask.
36) A man in a red robe is sitting on the side of road. If the players approach, he will tell them that he has stolen a valuable item. He will offer to sell it to the players for 1d6 x 10 GP.
37) A group of men are gathered around a campfire. They are drinking and celebrating. They will welcome the players to join in. They are celebrating the harvest, and they will invite the players to join in.
38) A group of men are lying on the ground, sleeping. They are members of a local militia and they are exhausted after a long day of training.
39) A group of men and women is traveling down the road. They are singing and making a great deal of noise. If the players approach, they will attract the attention of 2d4 wolves who will attack.
40) The players find a dead man with a note pinned to his chest. If the players take the note, they will discover it’s instructions for a meeting with the leader of a local thieves’ guild.
41) The players find a group of children playing in a field. If the players approach, they will scream and run away. If the players follow, they will find a circle of mushrooms in the middle of the field. If the players eat these mushrooms, they will become invisible and be attacked by 2d4 pixies.
42) The players see a man in a black robe standing beside the road. He is holding a lantern and bleeding from a wound on his leg. If the players approach, he will ask for help. He will attack when the players get close. The man is a mid-level rogue who was hired to kill the players. He has a Ring of Charm that he will use to sway the battle to his side.
42) Three men are sitting on the side of the road. They are selling the contents of their wagon. If the players approach, a fight will break out. They are bandits.
43) 3d4 people are sitting on the side of the road. They are poor and they’re waiting for a caravan to come buy their goods. They will offer the players a chance to buy their goods.
44) The players come across a group of peasants singing a song about a local, cruel noble. If the players approach, the peasants will stop singing and run away.
45) A group of 2d20+12 giant rats (diseased) rush from a nearby field and attack the players.
46) The sounds of thundering footsteps can be heard from a nearby cave. A group of 12d6+12 orcs come rushing out of the cave to attack the players.
47) The players find a group of people standing around a camp fire. They are dancing and celebrating. If the players approach, they will invite them to join in. They will ask them to remove their boots and join in barefoot. This is a ruse. If the players remove their boots, the others will laugh at their expense then tell them to go away.
48) The players hear the sound of a man screaming for help. If the players search, they will find a man being attacked by a displacer beast. The man has a bag of 100 gp on him.
49) A group of people is running from a group of 1d8+3 ogres.
50) A group of merchants is selling their goods from a wagon. If approached, they will attempt to sell the players a random magic item for 10x the normal price. They are scammers.
51) Four half-giant warrior barbarians are riding along the road in the opposite direction. When they reach the players, they will ride past without acknowledging them.
52) A group of 2d4 soldiers are building a pyre. They are preparing to burn a man being held prisoner. If the players help, they will be able to save the man.
53) A group of 2d4+1 soldiers are searching the area for a missing person. If the players help, they will discover that the person they are searching for is the leader of the soldiers.
54) Several odd noises can be heard from a nearby patch of bushes. They are sounds of 1d4+2 giant rats eating the remains of a dead body. While players are dealing with the rats, a tribe of gnolls will arrive and attack the party from behind.
55) Overhead, several crows are flocking. If the players investigate, they will find a man’s body in the middle of the road. He has been brutally murdered.
56) The players hear the sounds of a battle being fought nearby. If approached, they will find a group of 2d10+10 warriors fighting 2d6+6 ogres. If the players help, they will discover that the warriors are all women. They are part of an all-female tribe that was being attacked by ogres.
57) A group of people are using a wagon to build a wall. They are using rope and boards. If the players help, they will discover that the wall is being built to keep out a baby black dragon that has been terrorizing the area.
58) The players hear the sounds of wild horses. If the players investigate, they will discover a black horse racing towards the party. If the horse reaches them, it will bow to their feet. The creature is very intelligent and will only allow a lawful person to ride him.
59) Four men are standing on the side of the road. They are drunk and they will begin to fight each other.
60) A man is standing on the side of the road. He will ask the players for help. He will tell them about a nearby man who has been beating and abusing his wife and daughter. The players will rush to the man’s home and find it abandoned. If searched, the players will find a note from the man. He will explain that he was forced to move and that the woman and her daughter were killed by undead. The house will be haunted by the women’s ghosts. They will attack whoever enters the cabin.
61) Two elven rangers are standing on the side of the road. They have eight wolves with them. They are recruiting for a local mercenary company.
62) Fourteen smelly barbarians attack!
63) Players see an abandoned wagon on the side of the road. If they investigate, it will attack. It’s a mimic.
64) Three boulders block the road. If the players remove the boulders, they will discover they are actually stone elementals.
65) A group of 6d4 men are standing on the side of the road. They are protecting a group of baby ducks. If the players try to take the ducks, they will fight the players.
66) A group of men with red robes and swords under their cloaks are standing on the side of the road. If the players approach, they will attack. They are a cult that has been terrorizing the area and can be found anywhere in the wilderness. They are led by a mid-level priest with a Ring of Invisibility and a Rod of Healing.
67) A group of 2d6+12 troglodytes rush from the woods and attack the players.
68) A group of 2d4 men is standing on the side of the road. They are holding a sign that says: “Help us!” If the players approach, they will ask for food. If the players give them food, they will demand gold. If the players give them gold, they will demand silver. If the players give them silver, they will demand jewels. If the players give them jewels, they will demand magic items. If the players give them magic items, they will ask the players to join them in fighting a nearby dragon. If the players join in fighting the dragon, they will receive 10x the value of what they gave away.
69) Sounds of battle can be heard coming from a field to the left of the road. It is a group of barbarians fighting a group of elves. The players can help either side or neither.
70) Up ahead, players spot a creature that looks like one of the party members. It accuses the party member of being an imposter. This is a doppelganger.
71) A vampire bat descends and transforms into a vampire that attacks because he is bored and hungry for blood.
72) A necromancer with an army of 2d20 zombies and 2d20 skeletons is marching toward the players. He will stop and demand a token of appreciation. If he’s given anything under 100 gp value, he will attack. If he’s given over 100 gp value, he will thank the players for not being stupid and leave.
73) The road ahead widens unnaturally. If anyone walks on it, the road will attack. It’s a mimic.
74) Three giant eagles attack from above.
75) A group of 2d8 soldiers led by a veteran warrior who has a magical sword and a magical suit of armor is standing on the road. They are traveling to a local city to join the army.
76) The players hear a chorus of beautiful singing. It is a group of sirens trying to lure people to their deaths.
77) A wizard is riding a magic carpet along the road. His name is Earlghan the Great. If players top him, he will offer to sell them his carpet for 5,000 gp. If the players refuse, he will attack.
78) A group of 2d4 goblins are standing on the side of the road. They are offering to sell the players 2d4 wolf pups for 75 gp each.
79) A group of 2d4+2 bandits are standing on the side of the road. They will ask the players for food and gold. If the players refuse, they will attack.
80) Two old men stumble along the road, arguing loudly with each other. They will approach the players and beg for food. They will attack the players if they don’t get any. The two men are ghouls in disguise.
81) Up ahead, the road narrows and splits. They will discover a skeleton that has been smashed to pieces. A giant turtle is nearby. It will ask the players for food. If the players give the turtle food, it will ask them to help it fight a nearby witch that turned him into a turtle.
82) Several dozen men and women are standing on the side of the road. They are begging for food and money. They are members of the Cult of Zan.
83) A confused lion that was summoned to the nearby area by a wizard is running loose and will attack the players. If they kill it, they will have to deal with the wizard. If they subdue it, the wizard will show up and reward them with a mid-level magic item.
84) A group of 2d8+2 monks is chanting and walking down the middle of the road. If players do not step aside, they will attack.
85) A group of mid-level warriors wants to hire the players as mercenaries for 5 gp a day. They want to attack a local bandit camp and need backup.
86) A priest of Beldaroon is singing as he walks down the middle of the road. He will give the players a potion of cure moderate wounds if they listen to his song.
87) A group of 2d8 soldiers is marching down the road. They are bored and will attack no matter what. If they’re killed, players will have trouble with the local rulers – especially when a tribe of orcs attack.
88) A mad wizard named Texus Tallum has manipulated the nearby animals into attacking people. The animals are carrying diseases that he has created.
89) A group of 2d4+2 goblins are standing on the side of the road. They will tell the players about an abandoned mine nearby filled with giant bats. If the players go there, they will find an underground empire of 2d8+8 giant bats.
90) In the distance, the sound of hooves hitting the road get loader. All of a sudden, a group of 2d8 male and female centaurs gallop up. They will demand food and gold. If they do not get any, they will attack.
91) A group of 2d4+4 barrow wights are standing on the side of the road. If players approach, they will attack and try to possess their bodies.
92) Two vampires that recently fed and are still hungry and ambush the players.
93) Three mercenaries are standing on the side of the road. They are recruiting fighters for a local army. Their names are: Bartholomew, Frederick, and Henry. A tribe of orcs is going to be attacking, and they need help. They’re being paid handsomely.
94) Two ogres (drunk) stumble down the road, yelling and laughing. They will attack anything that gets in their way.
95) A group of 2d8 dwarves are standing around the road. They are not moving. If the players approach, they will attack. The dwarves are standing guard over a nearby dungeon entrance.
96) A man dressed in green is standing on the side of the road. He will offer to sell the players a mid-level magic item for 100 gp. If players ask for a receipt, he will attack.
97) A merchant has set up a temporary shop beside the road. His name is Terrance, and he is selling all sorts of purloined goods.
98) A group of 2d4 jackals is running toward the players. They are followed by 2d10 gnolls who want to kill.
99) A vulture circles overhead.
100) A group of three adventurers is standing on the side of the road. They will ask the players if they have seen a stranger in the area by the name of Clint. Their names are: Jean, Jessica, and Phil. Clint is a sickly looking man with a Ring of Invisibility. Clint has been spotted in the area. They are hunting him to steal the ring. They will try to get the player’s assistance. If the players instead help Clint, he will lead them to an even bigger treasure in a nearby dungeon that they can win.
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