Bringing some terror to the gaming table this Halloween is easy. Here are five ideas for spooky D&D one-shots.
If you’re looking for some spooky Halloween one-shot ideas for your Dungeons & Dragons game, you came to the right place. This list includes some of the most shocking, most horrifying and greatest Halloween events and terrifying encounters in the history of the game. If you’re looking for even more ideas, check out this list of 10 super-scary Halloween-themed D&D adventures.
The Devil’s Spine
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 is to take the party of characters to a new location – one that’s haunted! 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.
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. The characters must find a way to knock down the stone cliffs, and they must do it quickly, as Spine is fast approaching!
The Frozen Lake
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!
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.
The Dragons’ Graveyard
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 red dragon appearing and killing any and all trespassers on the spot.
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. The dragon doesn’t want to kill them, as it’s just protecting its home. If the party flees, the dragon will not attack. If they stick around, the dragon will attack, fleeing when he’s hurt too bad.
Lair of the Medusa
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 spooky part of this encounter is when the party encounters the Guardian. 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.
The Haunted Theater
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, 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. The four ghosts are:
- The Butcher: A man wielding a cleaver and wearing a butcher’s apron.
- The Father: A man wielding a sword and dressed in priest’s robes.
- The Mother: A woman holding a baby and wielding a broom.
- The Daughter: A beautiful woman wearing a wedding dress and wielding a dagger.
More Spooky One-Shot Adventures?
If you’re looking for more spooky one-shot adventures for your D&D game, browse the site and check out all the other great Dungeons and Dragons content we have for your tabletop campaign. When it comes to one-shot adventures, the key is to wrap it all up in one session. To do this, the DM should use subtler storytelling. They should use great descriptions, should give the players ample information to figure out the mystery, should use an old-school approach, should use random encounters, and should incorporate feeling into the game session.
With all that said, a spooky one-shot adventure can be just the thing to freshen up your campaign. Even if you don’t have a campaign going on at the moment, a one-shot adventure can be a great way to spend a day with friends and family, as 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.
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