Random Encounter Table for DND 5e: Massive Collection

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Need random encounters for DND 5e or other fantasy tabletop RPG systems? Check out this MASSIVE list of d100 encounter tables. I’ve put together an exhaustive list of most of the D100 random encounter tables I’ve created over the last couple years.

They include all the standard fantasy RPG fare (orcs, goblins, kobolds, pirates, and all that good stuff), as well as some d100 non-standard encounters.

Overall, this collection is a must-have for any serious DM – but I’ve also geared it towards the out of the box thinker, the DM who likes to shake things up a bit. A little bit of prep time, and suddenly your players are facing an encounter no one would have ever expected!

Random Encounters DND 5e List

Here’s my collection of random encounter tables for DND 5e and other fine role-playing systems.

Random City Encounters

Here’s a list of things your players might encounter in a city. These lists are full of story ideas as well as encounters, and many of them have adventure hooks as well. The details in most of these encounters are minimal, so they’re easy to adapt to your setting.

When your players enter a city, you’ll be sure to find something interesting for them here! As always, use these as you see hit. You might want to just let players find the locations these encounters describe, or you can use them as the start of an adventure.

Random Tavern Encounters

Your players are going to spend some time in the tavern, so make sure you fill it with interesting encounters! I’ve tried to make these encounters diverse, so you’ll find everything from mysterious runes to the beginning of a harem. This list also includes patrons, food and drink and other details that I’m sure you’ll find useful!

Even if your players are just passing through, they’re still going to want to go inside the tavern. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you have a list of people and events inside. When it comes to the tables I’ve provided, you’ll find a wide variety of people and creatures – both inside and outside the tavern.

Random Road Encounters

A road can be a dangerous place – and this is especially true if you’re traveling through an area that’s not safe. These encounters are random but can easily be tailored to a specific region or part of the country. These encounters are great for a road trip or caravan through dangerous territory.

These encounters are all fun, and many are fun and combat-free, giving your players a chance to roleplay and interact with the world around them. They’re also good for adding a sense of danger to the setting without leaving anyone behind.

Random Temple Encounters

Your players are going to be in a temple at some point, so make sure you have interesting things for them to do. These tables include such things as local deities, gatherings, rituals and activities. They’ll also include more than a few dangerous creatures along with interesting secrets.

As an included bonus, these tables also include a list of common places in a temple. These lists are helpful for designing an unfamiliar temple and filling it with interesting encounters. Your players are sure to enjoy checking out the listed activities and events at the temple!

Random Travel Encounters

Whether you’re traveling by wagon, cart or by foot, there are going to be hazards. These tables are for when your players are traveling, and they should make for some interesting situations that can turn deadly in a heartbeat.

A lot of your players will learn to avoid traveling at night. If they don’t, they’ll quickly learn to hate the night. These tables are going to give your players some really fun and really frightening nights while they’re traveling.

Random Forest Encounters

When your players are out in the forest, there’s sure to be something interesting for them to do. This list includes a wide variety of events and activities that your players are sure to enjoy. It also includes a few dangers, some new ones and some familiar ones. Whatever your players find in the forest is sure to be entertaining!

Let’s face it, your players will probably be traveling through the forest at some point. This is especially true if you decide to use a forest as a home base for their characters. In either case, you’ll find these tables useful for filling the forest with things to see and do.

Random Swamp Encounters

In the swamps you’ll find bog monsters, monsters at a feast, mysterious vines and other dangers. Make sure you have a good reason to go into the swamp, because it’s not a place you want to go casually. These tables include encounters in the swamp, where you’re almost always going to be attacked by some sort of creature.

The thing I’ve had the most problems with is what to do if the PCs run into another adventuring party or camp. That’s why I’ve written these encounters in a way where any combat can be avoided. That way you can have a few exciting encounters, but you’ll never have to worry about your PCs getting into trouble with an enemy they can’t handle.

Random Wilderness Encounters

When using these tables for a journey through the wilderness, let your players pick the encounters they want to resolve. If an encounter sounds interesting to them, then it sounds interesting to you. That’s because these tables are full of interesting and fun encounters.

The other cool thing about these encounters is that they can be used to fill any sort of road or pathway your players travel on. It doesn’t have to be a road – it could be a river, a riverbank, or even a hunting trail. As long as there’s a path for someone to travel on I think you’ll find these tables useful.

Random Beach Encounters

The beach is a great place to visit, but it can also be a dangerous place to live. These tables are full of ideas for random encounters on the beach, whether you’re swimming, camping or just looking for a good spot to lounge.

We’ve also included a huge list of sea creatures on these tables, so you can jump right into an ocean adventure with or without a ship.

Random Castle Encounters

Castles are unique among the dungeons your players will explore, as they were built by other people. Sure, there might be the odd monster infesting the place, and they might even have a ghost or two lurking around, but castles are also littered with things to discover.

Castles are full of interesting things and people that aren’t always on the same page. Sure, there’s the ruler of the place and maybe a few guards, but what about the servants? The cooks? The gardeners?

That’s why we have tables for random encounters in a castle, a place full of interesting people and exciting things to discover. Are your players looking for something to do? Look no further than here!

Random Arctic Encounters

There are few places on earth as interesting, or as dangerous, as the arctic regions. These places are so interesting because they are so dangerous, holding dangers that would be unfathomable to most.

These dangers can include cold, wilderness hazards and other dangers that have been made popular by characters like Mad Max and others. If you ever find yourself in the arctic regions of the world, these tables will prove very useful to you.

Random Ocean / Sea Encounters

There are few things as fun as an ocean voyage, but there are also few things as boring as an uneventful trip across the sea. These random encounters are ideal for a quick sea voyage, giving players a reason to pay attention to the water.

These tables will help you throw in a little flavor to your voyage, whether that flavor is a storm or an interesting locale you’ve never seen before. They’re also ideal for coming up with a reason for players to set sail – to find new challenges, a new land to explore, or to escape an unwanted conflict.

Random River Encounters

Rivers are all around us, making them a great place to use encounters that are closer to home. There are many rivers scattered throughout the countryside, full of fish, crocodiles and aquatic mammals alike.

Yet, there are also scenic locations to visit, and small towns and villages where new friends and allies can always be found. Rivers may be a little more common than other types of random encounters, but they’re still fun to find on a map!

Random Desert Encounters

The desert is a dangerous, unforgiving place. It also tends to draw people to it, either by choice or by force. This means your players will be coming across people in the desert – and that can lead to all kinds of interesting encounters.

When making these lists, I was intentional about making it useful in any kind of desert. There’s not only a list of random encounters, but also a list of random hexes and villages. These tables will really help you fill a hexcrawl with interesting encounters!

Even More Random Encounter Tables?

If you enjoy the lists above, be sure to check out Random Encounters AI for even more free random encounters. We’ve got over 10,000 random encounters available at this time with more coming in the future.

And if you enjoy that free tool, be sure to check out LitRPG Adventures. With over 2 dozen advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 from OpenAI and over 25,000 generations in our public library so far, it’s a great value. Join the hundreds who have already joined today!


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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!