DND 5e Halloween One-Shot (Free Adventure Ideas)

If you’re looking for some DND 5e Halloween Oneshot Adventures? You’ve landed on the right website, my friend. This list includes some Halloween events and terrifying encounters for October 31st, Halloween night!

If the list of one shots below doesn’t help (I’m sorry!), you can check out Hawkstone Village, a more fleshed out homebrew adventure idea for a region. I also have Crypt of the Forgotten King which is a free one-shot with a map!

Halloween themed one-shots do not need to be difficult with spooky local festivities to add from a random table. I’ve also got some DND undead enemies that are unique. They need stats, but they have one heck of a background.

Without any further ado, let’s get on to the ideas. (Remember, if you want a map and everything, check out Crypt of the Forgotten King!)

D&D 5e Halloween One-Shot Free Adventure Ideas
D&D 5e Halloween One-Shot Free Adventure Ideas

The Devil’s Spine

Challenge Rating: Medium Difficulty

The party is trapped inside a magical forest with the devil Spine on their trail. Spine has a twisted, snaking body that can travel from glade to glade. The idea here is to take the party of characters to a new location – one that’s haunted! No long rest opportunities here!

The Devil’s Spine is a stretch of mountains nestled in a vast, mist-filled forest. Legends say that a devil named “Spine” inhabits this area. If the party is inside the forest, they must navigate from one open glade to another over one night as wayward souls howl.

The forest is filled with great stone faces, many of them looking as if they’re about to come to life and attack! The party must use a system of stone pathways to navigate from glade to glade, but the pathways are blocked by stone cliffs that prevent passage.

Notes

The characters must find a way to knock down the stone cliffs, and they must do it quickly, as Spine is fast approaching! You can have a lot of fun with players by freaking them out about a monster that may or may not actually exist. Great Halloween fun.

The Eternal Frozen Lake

Challenge Rating: Hard Difficulty

The Lake of Frozen Souls is rumored to be the final resting place of all the evil elementals that were destroyed by the elementals of earth, fire, air, and water. The souls of these elementals make up the magical aura that surrounds the lake.

Further, the lake has the power to freeze anything that comes into contact with it. When the players first find the lake, they’ll notice that the water is frozen solid.

The party is not able to see what’s underneath the ice, but they know it’s most likely an elemental and something very powerful! This should be the suspenseful part.

The elementals of fire and ice are at war, and the party has just strayed into their territory. They’re in the middle of a battle, and the battle has spilled onto the frozen lake. Anyone touching the ice on the lake will be transported to the Elemental Plane of Ice.

Once there, they will be offered a chance to help the ice elementals battle the fire elementals. The spooky part comes when players realize the mad man behind the battle is a powerful lich named Garrow. If the players fight him, don’t give them a chance of winning.

Notes

Garrow can be a great long-term villain that continually sends “presents” from the various elemental planes when the party least expects it. Or, since it’s Halloween and your party likely has at least one murder-hobo, let them take the lich out if they can.

The Green Dragons’ Graveyard

Challenge Rating: Medium Difficulty

In a spot skirted by most sane people, the bones of dozens of dragons have piled up over the years. Nobody seems to know how the bones all got to the place or who put them there, but nobody dares to find out.

There are stories of an ancient green dragon appearing and killing any and all trespassers on the spot. When the adventure starts, the party enters a mountainous region and see a hill on the side of a nearby mountain.

The hill is covered in bones, and the party knows they are the bones of dragons. The spooky part is when the party finds an ancient, red dragon sleeping atop the mountain. The party is attacked by the dragon and must flee the scene.

Notes

Again, this is another situation where you don’t want to kill the players as much as scare them. You also don’t want to allow the players to walk over the dragon, though, and loot it’s treasure hoard, so play the fine-line as all good DMs do.

Midnight Lair of the Medusa

Challenge Rating: Hard Difficulty

The Lair of the Medusa is a maze created with living rock. The lair is the home of the Basilisk who guards the entrance to the Medusa’s Lair. The basilisk is simply known as the Guardian, and it is the protector of the medusa who lives inside the lair.

  • The Guardian is a massive, 10-foot-tall basilisk, and it looks like it’s made of stone. Its eyes are gemstones that light up in the dark.

The Guardian has magical powers that can freeze characters in place, or it can turn characters into stone. The Guardian is the protector of the Medusa, and it will fight to the death to protect its home.

Notes

This is another combat-heavy Halloween one-shot idea. A medusa and basilisk aren’t typically a monsters associated with Halloween, but this is a good way to put a bit of fright into your players – especially if they’ve been acting too cocky lately!

One-shots like this are meant to keep your players on their toes – as it should be.

The Haunted Theater

Challenge Rating: Low Difficulty

The haunted theater is home to four ghosts, and the ghosts perform the Wizard’s Tower, a show that was performed in the theater before it closed. The theater is haunted, and the ghosts are not dangerous unless the characters perform the Wizard’s Tower play or allow it to happen, which attracts the wrath of the four ghosts.

The party stumbles upon a haunted theater, and they are given the option to perform the Wizard’s Tower. The spooky part is when the four ghosts appear, and they are looking for vengeance. This encounter should be very scary and dramatic. The ghosts appear and begin to attack the party while they deliver their lines.


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Notes

The four ghosts (evil beings who seek vengeance) are:

  • The Butcher: A man wielding a cleaver and wearing a butcher’s apron. (Has two small magic items…)
  • The Father: A man wielding a sword and dressed in priest’s robes. (Suffers from a dark curse…)
  • The Mother: A woman holding a baby and wielding a broom. (A huge fan of the butcher…)
  • The Daughter: A beautiful woman wearing a wedding dress and wielding a dagger. (Gives the players good advice…)

There is also a haunted mansion where the ghosts will retreat if things start going badly for them.

Howl at the Moon (No, Really, Howl!)

Challenge Rating: Low Difficulty

This adventure idea concerns a pack of werewolves and their pet werechickens that howl at the moon. The characters are out on a routine patrol when they come upon a scene of a group of werechickens kicking up their heels and dancing a jig.

As they watch, they are approached by a pack of townsfolk who explain that the werechickens are howling at the moon and that they must be stopped before they attract any more of them. The characters must find a way to stop the werechickens from howling and/or destroy them all!

Notes

This encounter should be funny, but perhaps a little creepy as well. At some point, the werewolf owners will show up. (Maybe throw in a haunted house players can visit to see them? As a dungeon master, I’m sure you can fill in the details with some random encounter tables magic.

Either way, the characters will have to deal with the werewolves and the werechickens, figuring out a way to stop either one or both. I would end the adventure like a Scooby Doo episode called Mystery LLC with the players revealing the villain – who turns out to not be a werewolf at all!

The Freaks Come Out at Night

Challenge Rating: Medium Difficulty

Zombies! This adventure one-shot is all about the undead! The party finds themselves traveling at night and must take refuge in an old building, and it turns out the building is full of zombies!

The characters must find a way to defeat all of the zombies in the building before the zombies overwhelm them! You can play on the cramped space of the interior and the fact players don’t know how many zombies are milling about outside.

Notes

You don’t have to make this a classic zombie story! Maybe the zombies were enhanced by a local lich who has set them free to feed on the local populace. Maybe a group of necromancers have put together a new version of a resurrection spell and it went horribly wrong.

A Grave Matter

Challenge Rating: Medium Difficulty

This adventure idea takes place in a graveyard, where the party finds a grave of one of their friends has been disturbed. The party must investigate the disturbance and find out who or what has disturbed the grave.

The grave is old and not well kept. There’s an old caretaker named Asmog, but he’s not help. He’s a balding man who sits around and plays dice games all day for an audience of local townsfolk. He’s pretty cool, though.

Notes

The party must investigate the situation, and then decide how to proceed and investigate. They will eventually find out that their friend was never actually dead! In fact, he (or she – the DM will need to dig up… ahem, sorry for the pun… an old NPC that’s not around anymore.) is still alive.

The party has a decision to make at this point: Do they try to find the friend or do they let them rest in peace? This can be a fun Halloween mystery that can lead to a large-scale adventure where the friend is an integral part of the story.

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The Haunted Manor

Challenge Rating: Low Difficulty

This adventure idea revolves around a haunted house that appears innocent at first, but upon further inspection is full of trouble. The party is on a routine patrol when they come upon an old, dilapidated looking house.

Notes

The party can investigate the house as they see fit, but they will eventually find out that the house is not haunted, but it is full of nasty traps and dangers! The party must find a way to get out of the house alive!

More Halloween One-Shots?

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If you’re looking for more spooky Halloween one-shots for your fifth edition D&D game, browse the site and check out all the other great Dungeons and Dragons content we have available When it comes to one-shot adventures, the key is to wrap it all up in one session.

To do this, dungeon masters should use subtler storytelling. They should use great descriptions, should give the players ample information to figure out the mystery, and should use random encounters.

It’s a lot quicker to run a short adventure as opposed to a long, epic adventure. With proper planning and a good DM, coming up with a spooky one-shot adventure should be no problem. Dig deep. You’ve got this!

Need more help right now? I’ve also got some DND undead enemies that are unique. They need stats, but they have one heck of a background. And if you want a free homebrew adventure with a map and everything, check out Crypt of the Forgotten King!)

Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.
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