100 Random Fantasy High-Level Sea Encounters

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On this page, we’ve got a terrific list of 100 random high-level sea encounters for a fantasy tabletop campaign.

1) A fish flies out of the sea and into the air. Another quickly follows. Before players know it, dozens of fish are airborne and attacking them.

2) A school of giant eels rises from the depths and attacks. These eels shoot out of the water and can even chase after players on land for a short distance.

3) A kraken rises from the deep and attacks the ship. The body of the kraken is so large it covers the entire ship. It attacks from below, wrapping its tentacles around the hull and attempting to crush it.

4) A giant octopus comes out of the sea and wraps its tentacles around a ship. It fights from the water, using its tentacles to fight. While not as big as a kraken, it’s twice as fierce and ten times as mean.

5) A ship comes under attack from a flying turtle. It flies out of the sea and dives down upon the ship. This turtle fights like a dragon. It not only bites and claws like a dragon, but it also spits acid and breathes fire.

6) A giant whale flies out of the water. It’s not big enough to swallow a ship, but its sheer size means it’s still a force to be reckoned with.

7) A giant maelstrom rises from the sea. It has swirling water at its center. The ocean churns around it, creating a vortex that sucks in everything in its path.

8) A ship is attacked by a giant jellyfish. Instead of tentacles, this creature has a cluster of tentacles inside it. When it strikes, this tentacle cluster shoots out.

9) A ship is attacked by a giant jellyfish. This jellyfish is made of pure water. When it attacks, it drains water from its victims. This water is absorbed into the jellyfish, causing it to grow.

10) A ship is attacked by an army of humanoids riding dolphins. They attack with spears and harpoons.

11) A ship is attacked by a giant shark. Instead of a jaw, it has a large beak with a sharp hook at the end of it. This beak is attached to a chain, which is wrapped around the body. This chain makes it easier for the shark to attack.

12) A ship is attacked by a giant octopus. This octopus has tentacles eight tentacles. Three are normal tentacles that can attack, but the other five are huge tentacles that can reach far away.

13) A creature made of liquid fire rises from the sea. It has no physical form, but its liquid fire can burn anything. It can strike out at victims with its flaming arms or engulf them in flames.

14) A ship is attacked by a giant squid. It’s not the only giant squid present. Several dozen squid rise from the sea.

15) A ship is attacked by a giant squid. This squid has the head of a sea horse and the body of a squid. It’s huge and deadly, but not as large as a kraken.

16) A ship is attacked by a giant cuttlefish. This cuttlefish has arms like a squid, but it also has tentacles like an octopus. It can attack from sea or air.

17) A ship is attacked by a giant cuttlefish. This cuttlefish has a giant cloak attached to its body. When it attacks, this cloak flaps like a giant bat.

18) A ship is attacked by a giant jellyfish. This jellyfish has a big lantern attached to its body. When it attacks, it brings the lantern down on the ship.

19) On the horizon, a pirate ship with a black flag and a skull and crossbones bobs just above the water. It’s a living ship that swims beneath the waves. The captain is a lich named Captain Skullsack. He will have 2d12 zombies and 2d20+12 skeletons as a crew.

20) As players get close to the coast, they notice a strange chunk of floating debris. As they approach the object, it moves toward them. It’s a whale-sized creature made of garbage. The creature can wrap its arms around a ship.

21) A giant, green dragon rises from the sea and attacks. The dragon is actually an illusion formed by a sea hag.

22) The player’s ship is damaged by a sudden storm, forcing the captain to abandon ship. As the ship starts to sink, the captain is attacked by a giant crocodile.

23) Two sea serpents attack the ship and try to sink it. One sea serpent is a giant eel, while the other is a giant squid.

24) A sea creature made of jellyfish parts floats over the ship.

25) A chorus of pirate songs can be heard in the distance. A fleet of pirate ships is sailing toward the PCs. If the pirates get close, they start singing about the player’s impending doom.

26) A captive mermaid sings about her sorrows. Her captor is an insane pirate captain named Captain Book.

27) A living sea creature made of coral entangles the ship.

28) A giant sea turtle swamps an early ship. The turtle is large enough see over the top of the ship. It’s also intelligent enough to realize PCs are on board. The turtle hates ships and wants to sink this one.

29) A giant octopus tries to climb the ship’s masts.

30) The ship is attacked by a giant squid. The squid also has a sea horse for a head.

31) A giant squid attacks the ship. This squid is carrying a child on its arms. The captain of the ship must choose to protect the child or fight the squid. The child is a local prince.

32) A giant dragon turtle attacks the ship. The party will barely escape.

33) A creature made of foam attacks. The foam can expand to fill all of the ship’s deck. The foam creature is immune to attack, but the foam can be scraped off. Only cold will damage it.

34) A group of 2d8+3 pirates attack the PCs. They are known as the Black Flaming Blades.

35) A group of 2d12+7 pirates attack the PCs. They are known as the Red Painted Blades.

36) Thirteen pirates attack the ship. They are known as the Bloody Jaws.

37) A sea monster attacks the ship. It’s related to sea serpents. It’s known as the Serrated Blade.

38) The ship is attacked by undead pirates called the Flayed Blades.

39) A ship captain plans to murder the PCs and steal their ship. The captain is a pirate ghost named Captain Blade.

40) A sea dragon attacks the ship.

41) The ship is attacked by a giant lobster. The creature has a giant spear attached to one of its pincers.

42) A giant shark attacks the ship.

43) A giant octopus attacks the ship. One of its tentacles has a giant axe attached to it.

44) Players hear a groaning sound in the distance. If they investigate, they will find their ship has been overtaken by monstrous beings known as the Sea Monks. These creatures speak in unintelligible sounds.

45) On the starboard side of the ship, one of the PCs sees a giant octopus wrapped around the ship. This octopus is actually the last survivor of an entire race. It would be willing to work with the PCs.

46) A floating hulk gets close … and attacks! This ship is a mimic!

47) A group of gnome bard stowaways on the ship cause trouble. They say they will entertain the party, but they have a few tricks up their sleeves.

48) A huge storm blows in. A kingfisher attacks the ship.

49) A mermaid ship approaches the ship. The mermaids will do whatever they can to help the PCs. They want to trade with the PCs. They can also offer them a way to get to a distant island that the PCs need to get to. They have a ring of water breathing. The mermaids have a magic spear that can be thrown at a creature. The spear will temporarily stun a creature. They also have a bottle of healing water. One swig of this water will heal a PC’s wounds.

50) The ship encounters a black, floating island. The island has a magical aura. Evil will emanate from the island for miles.

51) The ship encounters a series of islands. One of them is a flying island filled with natives that attacks the ship.

52) A ship approaches the ship. This ship is filled with half-orcs. A battle ensues. The half-orcs are new pirates.

53) A giant eel attacks the ship.

54) A herd of sea cows attacks the ship.

55) A giant octopus attacks the ship. It has some treasure on its back. PCs can throw something at the octopus to knock off the treasure.

56) A group of merfolk attack the ship. They want to speak to the PCs. They want to help the PCs. They also want to trade with the PCs. They can carry the PCs to their underwater city. They can offer the PCs a magical potion that will give the PCs water breathing for an hour.

57) A ship is sinking in the distance. It looks like the crew has abandoned the ship.

58) A ship approaches the ship. It looks like it will ram the ship!

59) The ship is attacked by pirates. The pirates board the ship.

60) A sea creature attacks the ship. This creature is an intelligent animal. It can communicate with the PCs in Aquan. The creature wants to ride the ship, but it wants something in return. It wants the weapons of the PCs.

61) The ship encounters an underwater city. The city is made of coral. The entire population is made up of merfolk.

62) The ship is attacked by pirates. One of the pirates is a half-orc with a blue eye. This pirate seeks revenge on the PCs.

63) A giant sea slug attacks the ship.

64) A giant squid attacks the ship.

65) A group of pegasi attack the ship.

66) The ship is boarded by a group of pirates. They have a giant octopus on the deck of their ship. The octopus attacks the ship.

67) The ship is attacked by a giant squid. The PCs see a giant fin swim away from the ship.

68) The ship is attacked by a giant squid. The PCs see a giant fin swim away from them. The fin does not seem to have any treasure on it.

69) The ship encounters a giant manta ray.

70) A sea serpent attacks the ship.

71) A group of mermaids approach the ship. They will ask the PCs to free the mermaid queen.

72) The ship is attacked by a group of evil magic-using mermaids. They want to capture the ship.

73) A huge sea horse attacks the ship. The horse has a saddle on it. The rider is named Man of the Aqua Seas.

74) The deck of the ship is in danger of becoming infested with kelp. The kelp is in danger of spreading and taking over the ship.

75) A beautiful mermaid approaches the ship. She is trying to get away from the king of the merfolk. She is running away with the king’s seal. She will trade this for her freedom.

76) The ship is attacked by seven pirates riding giant sharks.

77) A ship approaches the ship. The ship is filled with half-elves. Half-elves are great ship builders. They are pirates. One of the half-elves is actually a wizard.

78) The ship is attacked by a group of pirates. Their ship’s name is the Black Kraken.

79) The ship is attacked by a group of pirates. Their ship’s name is the Blue Leviathan.

80) The ship is attacked by a group of pirates. Their ship’s name is the Shark’s Tooth.

81) A ship approaches the ship. They are not pirates, but they are selling their wares. The ship is filled with tropical fruit.

82) A giant whale surfaces and attacks the ship.

83) A group of pirates approach the ship. The pirates are rude. They are seeking battle. They are willing to trade.

84) A ship approaches the ship. The ship is filled with books. The books are being sold on the deck of the ship.

85) A ship approaches the ship. The deck of the ship is filled with books. The books are being sold on the deck of the ship. There is a large cloud on the horizon.

86) The ship is attacked by a band of merfolk. They are fire merfolk. They are attacking the ship to abduct a merchant who they think is a fire spirit.

87) The ship is attacked by a band of merfolk. They are ice merfolk. They are attacking the ship to abduct a merchant who they think is an ice spirit.

88) A ship approaches the ship. The ship is filled with exotic animals.

89) A ship approaches the ship. The ship is filled with exotic animals. One of the animals is a half-giant.

90) The ship is attacked by a group of pirates. They want to trade with the PCs. The pirates want the PCs to trade them a barrel of their rum for a barrel of wine.

91) The PCs find a barrel of wine floating in the water. It is marked with the sigil of a specific pirate captain.

92) A ship approaches the ship. The ship is filled with tropical fruit. The fruit is really magical fruit. One of the fruits causes the eater to grow.

93) A ship approaches the ship. The ship is filled with tropical fruit. The fruit is really magical fruit. One of the fruits causes the eater to shrink.

94) The ship is attacked by a group of pirates who are on their very last mission.

95) The sound of storms comes from the direction of a storm cloud on the horizon.

96) Over the horizon, the PCs see a storm cloud. The storm cloud is magical. The storm cloud is causing the sea to become rough.

97) A ship approaches the ship. The ship is covered with kelp. The kelp is magical and will turn anyone who touches it into a kelpling.

98) The ship is attacked by kelp elementals.

99) The ship is approaching a storm cloud. Lightning flashes from the cloud.

100) The ship is approached by a storm cloud. It is a miniature storm cloud. The storm cloud is magical. It contains a small genie. The genie will attack on sight and will not grant wishes.