Need some D&D random woods encounters? Here’s a hundred unique encounters that your players can come across in the forest. They’re generic enough that you can fit them to whatever tabletop RPG you’re playing while at the same time being unique, fun, and interesting. Feel free to use these in your game and modify as you see fit. If you like these, be sure to check out LitRPG Adventures, a powerful set of RPG generators powered by GPT-3 from OpenAI.
D&D Random Forest Encounters.
Here’s the d100 list for you!
1) You see a small fox on the side of the trail. The animal is injured.
2) The sound of snapping branches can be heard through the trees.
3) You see a deer run from cover and start to gallop away from you. Suddenly, you are hit by an arrow.
4) As you pass through the timberline, you see a wagon under attack by bandits.
5) A group of 5 adventurers are sitting around a campfire, singing songs. If you approach them, they have tales of a minor treasure nearby to share.
6) You hear the howl of a wolf. The sound is coming from behind the party.
7) Two old men are wandering through the forest, singing songs and drinking something out of huge pewter mugs. As players get close, the men stop singing, look shocked, and run away.
8) A group of hunters are following the tracks of a boar. They are carrying spears and small dogs.
9) A stone circle in the middle of the forest is covered in blood.
10) The party is approached by a man with a black eye wearing a black cloak. He asks the party to find his missing packmule. If the party looks in the direction that the man came from, they see another man with a black eye, also wearing a black cloak, running away. That man stole the other man’s packmule.
11) The party comes upon a bear with her cubs. The mother bear charges at them, but is intercepted by a wolf. The ensuing battle means the players can escape. If the players help the bear, she will let them pass unharmed. If the players attack the wolf, the bear will help them. If players attack both animals, they will stop fighting each other and concentrate on the players.
12) Sounds of combat echo through the forest.
13) As the party approaches, they see a raven pecking at something with its beak. The party is able to determine that the raven is pecking at something that is not yet dead.
14) The party is attacked by a snake. When the party kills the snake, they discover that it is made of paper and is hollow. A local wizard enchanted it for a children’s party, but it went rogue.
15) A lone traveler is walking down an overgrown trail. He is carrying strange-looking candles and has a large bird perched on his shoulder. If the party approaches, he will shoo the bird and tell them to leave him alone. If offered food or coins, the man will share a story about the local area.
16) A group of dwarves are playing dice games. They invite the party to join them. They will try to get the party drunk so they can rob them.
17) A large colony of sparrows is pecking at a corpse that the party just passed. The corpse’s face is covered in blood and its eyes are missing. The sparrows scatter as the party approaches.
18) The party finds a small field of wildflowers. The flowers smell sweet and can be used as a potent healing salve.
19) The area is covered in thick fog. No landmarks can be seen unless players are within 5′ of them.
20) A group of children playing hide-and-seek run from the party, screaming about “monsters.” The children are not disturbed by the party. If the party is attacked by monsters, the children will help out.
21) A group of loggers are using axes to chop down trees. If the party tries to talk to them, they will not respond. If attacked, they will yell “You attacked us first! Prepare to die!”
22) A man is tied to a tree, being slowly eaten by ants. He begs for help, but dies before the party can help him. A pile of shiny coins are stuffed into his coat. The rare coins were stolen from a local lord. If the party attempts to use them for commerce, they will be arrested.
23) While passing through a forest, the party sees a large mushroom. As they get closer, the mushroom opens its mouth and attacks them. This mushroom is a mimic.
24) The party is attacked by a swarm of insects.
25) Wind whistles through the trees. The party has a feeling that something is watching them. Nothing is nearby, but a wizard enchanted the area with a fear spell not too long before the players arrived, and some of the residual magic has affected them.
26) A group of acrobats are practicing their routines in a clearing. If the party comes too close, they will run away.
27) The party comes upon a large white owl. The bird attacks if approached.
28) A group of people wearing black cloaks are chanting in the woods. The party can see that their lips are not moving. They are Acolytes of Zan, a local cult that’s up to no good.
29) A red mist appears at the top of the path. The mist dissipates after a while.
30) A group of men wearing leggings and tunics made of animal skins are walking down the trail. They are carrying clubs and spears.
31) A small group of soldiers are walking through the forest. They are carrying torches. If the party is seen at night, the soldiers will attack them.
32) A deer with antlers made of fused branches is standing in the middle of the trail. It snorts, then charges the party.
33) A lion is feasting on a cow in a small meadow. If the party approaches, the lion will attack.
34) A tree has fallen across the trail. The party must either climb over the tree or go around it. Attempting to cut through the tree with an ax reveals that the fallen tree is actually made of metal.
35) A group of men are setting up a small theater. If the party approaches, the actors will run away. If the party pursues the actors, they will be led to an old hut. Inside the home, they will find a group of elderly people who are afraid of the actors. The elderly people hired the actors to do the play for them, but were too scared to watch it.
36) A group of mercenaries are setting traps on the trail. If players walk within range of the traps, they will begin to go off. If the party attacks the mercenaries, the mercenaries will yell, “Defend yourselves! You are trapped!” before attacking. They will continue with puns that might distract the players and cause them to fight poorly during the battle.
37) A group of merchants is leading a group of donkeys carrying sacks of grain. If the party approaches the merchants, they will become defensive and ask the party to leave them alone. If threatened, they will attack.
38) The party comes upon an old man. His face is covered in blue paint and he is wearing a black cloak. If the party attacks, the old man will disappear. If the party does not attack, the old man will cast a lightning bolt at the closest target, then run away.
39) A group of adventurers are sitting around a fire. They invite the players to join them. If the party accepts, the adventurers will leave. After the adventurers leave, a group of hobgoblins will emerge from the woods and attack the party.
40) While walking in a forest, the party hears a voice calling to them from a distance. The voice is coming from a small, circular pool in the middle of the path. The pool is actually a portal to a parallel dimension.
41) The party can hear a group of people talking inside a house. They are talking about making a trap to kill the party when they walk by.
42) A group of children are playing in a field. If the party interacts with the children, they will point and scream and run away. A group of hobgoblins hiding nearby will attack the party.
43) The party comes upon a smith. He is working on a sword and is building a fire. If the party attempts to buy the sword, the smith will attack them. He is drunk and not a good fighter. If the party doesn’t kill him, he will forge all sorts of weapons for them for the right price. His name is Angor Smythe, and he is a member of the Blacksmiths’ Guild.
44) A group of children are drawing in the dirt with sticks. If the party approaches, they will run away. The drawings are actually complex plans for traps.
45) The party comes across a small pond. A sickly man is sitting by the pond. He will ask the party to bring him water. If the party refuses, he will attempt to barter with them. If the party brings him water, he will leave. The party will see the man again the next time they start a quest. He will help them in return for their earlier help.
46) A group of potters are gathering clay. If the party approaches, the potters will attack them with their tools. The potters are actually a group of bandits. They can be convinced to leave.
47) Two elderly women are arguing on the trail ahead of the party. They are arguing about a third woman. The third woman is a witch. She can be found in a nearby cave. If the party goes to the cave, they will find a slime monster in the cave. The slime monster is the witch’s familiar.
48) The party comes upon a woman sitting on a rock. She is crying. The woman says she is lost. She will ask the party to take her to a nearby city that is 10 days walk from where they are. She is a member of a nearby town’s Thieves’ Guild. If the party agrees to take her to the city, she will invite them back to her house after she is safely returned. She will poison them and kill them while they sleep if they’re not careful. If questioned about this, she will tell the players she was hired to assassinate them. She doesn’t know much about the person who hired her.
49) A frog is sitting on a rock. If the party attacks the frog, the frog will run away and summon a group of giant frogs.
50) The party can hear a conversation coming from a nearby cave. It is a group of 1d4 goblins arguing. They are arguing about their king. They do not want a king anymore. They could be convinced to ally with the party against a common enemy. They would stay after the threat is gone.
51) The party sees a man walking up the path. He is carrying a large box. If the party approaches, he will introduce himself as a healer from a nearby town. He will offer his services to the party. He has a white dragon tattoo on his arm. His name is Grall, and he is a member of the White Dragon’s tribe. He is a healer, not a fighter. He will stay with the party for a few days if treated well. Eventually, his three wives will arrive to drag him home. He might make a good recurring character.
52) Sounds of battle can be heard throught he trees. If players investigate, they will find a group of 1d4 elves fighting a giant owl. They will ask the party for help.
53) The party sees a group of children playing a game. They are using small wooden figures to reenact a battle. If the party asks, the children will tell them the story of a group of bandits who were defeated by a group of heroes. There are three variations of the story. In the first version, the heroes are good. In the second version, the heroes are evil. In the third version, the heroes are a mixture of good and evil.
54) The party can hear a group of people arguing ahead of them on the trail. They are arguing about a dragon. A dragon is sleeping in a cave not far from the trail. The people arguing about the dragon are not aware of the dragon. The dragon can be woken up by talking very loudly. This won’t go well unless the party can get the other adventuring party to stop arguing or at least be quiet.
55) Fourteen alchemists are gathering herbs. They are making potions that will go bad if they are not used within a day. The party must escort them back to an alchemist’s guild. They will hand over the potions to another alchemist there. The party will be rewarded by the guild for their service. They will also be given free access to the guild’s library.
56) A group of bandits are torturing a farmer for information. If the party approaches, the bandits will attack them.
57) A small group of men are playing dice. If the party approaches, the men will attack them. They will say that they are making sure that no one is cheating.
58) A group of men are talking to a tree. The tree is talking back. This is actually the work of a gnome illusonist hiding nearby. He is at the end of a years-long con he’s been working. IF players discover the ruse, he will tell them the story of his con. His name is Nicodemus and he is a member of the Arcane Guild.
59) Two dogs rush by the party on the trail. A pack of wolves is chasing them. The wolves will stop and attack the party. The dogs will return during the battle and fight with the players. If they survive, the dogs will follow the party and become trusted companions.
60) A wizard named Erasmus is sitting on a rock. He is making a bird perch. If the party asks him what he is doing, he will tell them he is making a perch for a golden eagle. If pestered too much, he will break the perch, transform into a golden eagle, and fly away. If players simply watch until he finishes without interrupting him more, the wizard will reward them with a Staff of Summoning with 1d4 of 4d10 charges remaining..
61) The party sees a group of 1d12 gnomes playing on a log. They are using toy swords and tiny shields on sticks to reenact a battle. If the party asks, the gnomes will tell them that they are telling the story of how a group of gnomes once fought against a group of hobgoblins. The gnomes won, but they lost many gnomes in the battle.
62) A group of men are arguing about the location of a treasure. If the party asks, they will tell them that they are following a map that says it is buried under a lone tree. The problem is the men don’t agree on how to interpret the map. One man says the spot on the map labelled “X” is the tree, but another man says it is not. The two men are actually spies paid to get close to the players to glean as much information as they can. Only a DC15 perception check can tell that they are spies.
63) The sound of owls fills the air, but players see nothing.
64) A spooky mist between the trees envelopes the party. The party must find a way to escape before the mist steals their souls! The mist is actually an intoxicant that will make the party paranoid and delirious for 1d6 hours.
65) Several dead deer are lying on the ground by the trail. A raven is circling above. It is waiting for the party to get closer before it swoops down and attacks them.
66) The party sees a group of people playing a board game. If the party asks, they will say that they are playing a game called “kill the king” and they are trying to advance their piece towards a king’s castle. The person who has the most pieces there is the winner. This is a con run by a group called “Pathfinders” from the Arcane Guild. They are trying to get players to enter a dungeon without them. This dungeon is a Pathfinder stronghold.
67) The party passes a small cabin. They hear a woman screaming from inside, but when they investigate, the cabin is empty.
68) A group of vultures flies overhead in high, lazy circles.
69) Smoke from a nearby campfire wafts through the trees.
70) The party sees a group of children playing hide & seek. They are about to search behind a tree.
71) A wild dog howls in the distance. It screams again 20 seconds later.
72) A song of two lovers can be heard through the woods. If the party investigates, they will find Miranda Hogbottom, a bard of renown in the area. She is trying to write a new song. If the players help her with pyrics, she will reward them with one musical favor.
73) A group of people are walking through the woods. They are laughing and having fun. The party learns that they are walking to a nearby town for a carnival. The carnival is trying to boost tourism, so the people walking through the woods get in for free.
74) The party hears the sounds of children laughing. The children are unable to be found.
75) The party sees 2d10 goblins sitting around a campfire. They are telling the stories of their conquests. If the party approaches, the goblins will challenge them to a game of chance. If they win, the goblins will accuse them of cheating and attack.
76) A group of men are on the ground by the trail. They are inspecting the tracks on the ground. They say they are on a scavenger hunt. If players join, they will be given clues by the men. They are given one piece of information that leads into a trap.
77) A group of men are arguing with a group of halflings. The halflings are demanding to be let back into their home. The men are telling them that they are trespassing on private property. If the party stays, they will learn that the home is not a home at all, but is instead the entrance to a dungeon.
78) A group of 2d6 criminals are being escorted through the woods by a group of armed guards. The criminals are being taken to the nearby town to be executed.
79) A small deer darts across the trail.
80) The party sees a rabbit. It is standing still and looking at them. When the party gets closer, it will bolt away quickly.
81) A group of men are singing a song. They are trying to remember the words. The men are lost and this is one of their attempts at finding their way back to town.
82) Several owls zoom by, grabbing small mammals from the forest floor.
83) A group of men are trying to convince a halfling to pay them to escort him to a nearby town. They are threatening him with knives. The halfling’s name is Aaron Hufferhassel. If players rescue him, he will reward them with a Flaming Scimitar +1 on a successful persuasion check.
84) The party comes across a small altar made of sticks and stones. It is decorated with flowers. If disturbed, odd things will happen to the players while they are in the forest. This will occur more and more often until they return to the altar and recreate it as close as they can.
85) A deer bolts by, zipping between trees. Before it gets too far, an arrow takes it down. An elven ranger named John Rambwood is walking up to the corpse. He is lost and has been living on deer. When he sees the party, he will try to bribe them with food. If threatened, he will run and try to lure the party into a trap. He will frequently yell, “You drew first blood!”
86) A group of people are arguing about the best way to hunt deer.
87) Two elderly men stumble out from behind a tree and fall down. They say they lost their way and were tired.
88) A crow is watching the party from a high branch. It will follow them for a while before flying off.
89) The party passes by a deer carcass. The deer was killed with a single arrow right between the eyes. If the party investigates, they will find the arrowhead. It is a golden arrow. A golden arrow can be sold for half of what an actual gold arrow is worth in your world. The deer meat can be salvaged. If donated to the local village, the players will become honorary mayors of the village for a period of 1d12 years. It will quickly become apparent that this “honor” is more of a responsibility. The townsfolk will quickly approach players with their problems, which will continually get worse.
90) A group of people are walking through the woods. They are talking about how beautiful it is.
91) A deer darts by the party.
92) The party hears a vocalist singing a song. A halfling is sitting on a log nearby playing the lute. If questioned, he will tell them that he is singing about a love that ended tragically and that he is trying to capture the moment forever. If players give him a moment of silence while he sings, he will reward them with a Lute of Healing.
93) The sound of an exotic bird can be heard in the distance.
94) A group of seven children are playing seven-stones.
95) The party sees a band of 3d6 dwarves singing in a group. They are marching to a nearby city to celebrate their city’s founding.
96) 2d4 deer are grazing peacefully by the side of the road.
97) A group of men are carrying a chest through the woods. If the party asks, they will tell them that they are carrying it to a nearby town. The chest is full of gold, silver, and jewels. It is stolen. The men will not have an explanation for the treasure if it is discovered what is inside.
98) A man and his dog are walking through the forest. They say they are looking for a lost pet. This is not true. The man and dog are following a trail of blood and droppings that lead to an injured griffon.
99) A group of women are singing by a campfire. The song sounds like a war chant.
100) A group of people are standing around a campfire. They look like they are celebrating something.
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