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D&D Forest Encounter Ideas: 1d100

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Below is a list of 100 random forest encounters you can use for your favorite tabletop roleplaying game like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder. This collection of random forest encounters should give you some good ideas and inspiration for your next forest adventure. You should even be able to use some of these encounters to spice up your own tabletop RPG campaign. If any of the above are not appropriate, simply roll 1d100 again until you find something suitable. This list of random encounters was made for a generic fantasy setting, but you should find it useful for any tabletop RPG setting like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder.

dnd-Forest-Encounter-Ideas
dnd-Forest-Encounter-Ideas
  1. Walking along a forest trail, you spot a creature out of the corner of your eye. It is watching you.
  2. The forest is very silent. You notice a set of tracks from a deer or other large animal. The tracks lead deeper into the forest and then just stop in the middle of an otherwise empty track.
  3. You see an unfamiliar plant on the side of the trail. It looks like it could be edible and you are feeling hungry. (There is a five percent chance the berry is poisonous.)
  4. A great storm is moving in. After half an hour the storm is on top of you. It’s raining really bad and players must find shelter or start taking damage from lightning and falling limbs.
  5. A stream has washed out part of the trail. Make a DC 15 Dexterity check to move forward without slipping into the stream and taking damage. (Alternatively, you could make a DC 15 Wisdom check to hear the stream before it’s too late.)
  6. A storm is coming, but the trail is passable. You can see a small shack a few hours into the forest that would provide shelter from the storm.
  7. A bird flies up into the trees above you. It calls out and a circle of other birds fly out of the trees. They are all cawing and “talking” to one another.
  8. You find a bag of coins on the side of the trail. It is about enough for one person in your party to buy a drink.
  9. A dead deer is on the trail. Its eyes are wide open and staring into the sky. It looks like it died of starvation.
  10. You hear a rumbling noise and a large branch falls from a tree to the ground.
  11. The weather seems normal.
  12. The weather has gotten much colder. This might be due to a sudden drop in temperature or a sudden rise in altitude.
  13. A blizzard has started. Characters must make a DC 10 Constitution check or take damage from exposure.
  14. As you are walking along the edge of a river, a huge bird swoops down from the sky and grabs a fish from the river. It flies 200 feet up into the air and eats the fish in one bite. Any bard in the group will be inspired to write a song about the happening much to the chagrin of the rest of the party.
  15. As you walk along the river, your boot falls into the water. As you pull it out of the water, you see a fish with two heads. It is flapping around on the river bank.
  16. A majestic deer is standing on the path. It lets out a deep roar and you hear a tree fall in the distance.
  17. A group of deer (1d6 + 4) come running out of the trees. They are all heading towards a dead deer lying on the path.
  18. A group of goblins (1d20) run out from a group of bushes. They all have shields, leather armor, and a rusty short sword. They will attack the first creature they see.
  19. The sound of wind rustling through the trees. It is nice and relaxing and reminds you of a lost love.
  20. As you are walking the path, you notice an odd smell. It smells like someone has been cooking really bad, cheap meat. It’s getting stronger.
  21. As you approach a bend in the trail, you see a wagon. It appears to be stuck in the mud. A man is yelling obscenities at the horse and trying to whip it into moving forward. The horse appears sick and weak.
  22. You see a deer walking along the path. It is carrying something in its mouth. It looks like it might be carrying a tiny man. It’s actually carrying an odd shaped piece of wood in its mouth. Or is it?
  23. The party hears chanting coming from the woods. They can’t tell what is being said, but they can hear the guttural sounds of an orc or hobgoblin
  24. .A large snake is slithering along the path. It pauses for a moment to take a look at you. It then darts off the trail into the brush.
  25. A strange flower is growing on the side of the trail. It has 4 large blue petals. The petals open up and yell, “Surrender! You are surrounded by the forest guard!” The flower then closes and you realize it must be an illusion.
  26. A gentle rain starts to fall. It is very relaxing and pleasant.
  27. An old, wooden bridge crosses a river. A rope is attached to either end of the bridge. A group of gnomes (1d6) are on the bridge. They are trying to adjust the position of the bridge and get it back over the river.
  28. A hummingbird is flying around a specific flower in the forest. It stops to carefully examine the flower.
  29. The sound of dry leaves rustling in the wind.
  30. The sound of water trickling down a nearby hill.
  31. You hear a singing voice coming from the trees on the side of the path. There is no one there, but you can hear the voice clearly.
  32. You can hear rumbling somewhere far off in the forest. It is getting louder.
  33. The sound of birds chirping.
  34. The sound of waves crashing on a nearby shoreline.
  35. The sound of leaves crunching underfoot.
  36. The sound of a bird taking flight.
  37. A beautiful flower is growing on the side of the path.
  38. The sound of hooves on a wooden bridge.
  39. A group of four squirrels run out and run back and forth across the trail.
  40. Two butterflies are dancing in the air.
  41. The sound of flapping wings.
  42. The sound of rustling leaves.
  43. The sound of an owl hooting.
  44. You see a giant butterfly with a wingspan of about 10 feet. It spots you and flies over. It lands on someone in your group and then flies off. The butterfly disappears in the trees.
  45. The sound of someone walking through the woods. They are far off, but you can hear them walking around.
  46. The sound of sticks breaking underfoot.
  47. The sound of a river forming.
  48. The sound of a waterfall off in the distance.
  49. The sound of someone whispering loudly.
  50. The sound of a large, moving creature in the distance.
  51. The sound of a baby crying in the distance.
  52. The sound of a large animal moving through the woods. It sounds like it is starving. It might be a bear or a giant rat.
  53. The sound of a small animal scurrying away from the path.
  54. The party smells something like apple pie baking. If they investigate, they will find nothing.
  55. A group of 1d4 wolves rush out of the forest and attack. They gain surprise unless a player makes a perception check.
  56. Three rabbits run across the path. They stop, look at you, and then dash off into the trees.
  57. A group of 3d4 zombies walk out of the woods. They stumble forward, moaning and groaning.
  58. A small bird (sparrow) is sitting on the path.
  59. A group of 1d4 jaguars jump out of the nearby bushes. They all appear to be rabid.
  60. A tree falls to the right of the trail. It crashes off into the trees.
  61. A group of 1d4 large rats jump out of the bushes and attack.
  62. A small pack of 1d4 wolves attack.
  63. The sound of something large and heavy moving around in the nearby bushes.
  64. One of your friends has a flashback. He sees a young man and woman being chased by a troll.
  65. Two nearby trees move towards the nearby river and drink from it. The trees are about 8 feet tall.
  66. A group of 2d6 forest animals (deer, squirrels, birds, etc.) run across the path.
  67. The party comes across an abandoned camp. There are signs of a small campfire, a small bedroll, and a large tree stump. A search of the area will reveal a small tarnished silver cup with a strange emblem on it.
  68. A small group of 1d4 goblins jump out of the bushes and attack.
  69. A group of 1d4 goblins jump out of the bushes, but they are shocked when they see the party. They raise their arms in surrender.
  70. A woman sporting a short haircut and wearing men’s clothing comes out of the woods holding an old fashioned bugle. She will ask for directions to the nearest city. She is a bard in training.
  71. Two men arguing about potatoes approach the party on a main trail through the forest. They stop and ask if they have seen any. One man offers gold to the party if they will find some.
  72. A local farmer is walking through the forest. He is carrying two bushels of apples. He offers the party some free fruit if they will carry one of the baskets with him. He is on his way to sell them at the nearest town.
  73. A young woman is sitting on a rock by the side of the trail. She looks lost and confused. She has a small pouch of gold coins with her.
  74. A small group of 1d4 goblins are running through the forest. They are singing an off-key song and also appear to be drunk.
  75. A monk studying the local game and plants can be found near the edge of a nearby river. He will offer travel advice to the party.
  76. A local healer is walking through the forest. He is carrying a small hand cart.
  77. One of your party members has a stomach ache and wishes to take a short break from the trail.
  78. A lone man on the path is singing loudly. He appears to be a bard. He is carrying a large sack and a lute. He is on his way to a nearby village to play for a festival.
  79. A group of 1d4 goblins are walking through the forest. They appear to be in some type of religious ceremony. They are carrying sprigs of thorny bushes and walking around in circles.
  80. A woman walking through the forest trips and falls into a small pond. She curses loudly.
  81. A large crow lands on a nearby tree branch. It squawks loudly and then flies off.
  82. A local farmer walking through the forest wearing a straw hat notices the party. He warns them of a recent monster attack. The monsters have been gathering near a local river to drink. He goes on his way.
  83. An old man sitting in a meadow is holding a dagger high above his head. He is chanting loudly. He is performing a religious ritual.
  84. A group of 2d4 elves are walking through the forest. They are singing a song. They stop and ask if you have seen anything strange. One elf points to the sky and says that he lost something important.
  85. The party comes across a trail of 1d4 apples that have been carefully laid out on the forest floor. The apples are a perfect red color with a crisp white appearance. They taste delicious.
  86. A group of 2d4 elves are fighting a group of 1d4 goblins. The elves appear to be winning.
  87. A group of 2d4 wild dogs approach the party. They appear to be feral and starving. They will attempt to beg for any type of food. One can be tamed and will become a valued companion to the party.
  88. The party comes across a group of 2d4 rabbits. They appear to be playing some type of game with each other.
  89. On the right side of the trail, 1d4 large dark mushrooms can be found growing out of the ground.
  90. A small group of 1d4 goblins can be found dancing in the middle of the trail. They are laughing and singing loudly. They are having fun.
  91. A group of 1d4 wild deer are drinking from a nearby pond.
  92. A group of 2d4 elves can be found dancing in the middle of the trail. They are singing loudly and appear to be having a good time.
  93. A small group of 1d4 deer run across the trail.
  94. A small bird lands on a nearby tree branch and stares at the party. It continues to stare at one of the party members in an ominous manner.
  95. Three skeletons are lying on the ground moaning and groaning. They are not undead, but have been cursed to remain forever on that spot.
  96. A group of 1d4 goblins are walking through the forest. They appear to be lost. They have a trail of blood leading from one of them.
  97. A group of 1d4 wild dogs (basically wolves) run across the trail. They appear to be starving.
  98. A small group of 1d4 deer are grazing in an open field.
  99. A group of 1d4 orcs is walking through the forest. They appear to be lost. One of them is injured and is being carried by another orc. They do not want to fight.
  100. A group of 2d4 goblins are gathered around a fire. They are laughing and making crude jokes. They appear to be drunk.

Want more? You can find a wide variety of other D&D related content here on the site, including all sports of backstory examples you can use. If you love tabletop roleplaying, you’re going to find a treasure trove of inspiration for your games right here on the site. I’m Paul Bellow, and you have my permission to use any of these encounters in your own campaign.

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