• Justin Handlin

5 Short Dungeons & Dragons Adventures You Can Bring to Your Table Tonight!

Got a D&D game tonight, but haven't had a chance to prep? Or are you unsure what you want to run? Does this frustrate or stress you? Well, we got the herbalism kit and proficiency in medicine to take care of that!

Check out these short D&D adventures. They are fleshed out enough to make you seem like you spent hours prepping but are simple enough to allow you to expand upon them easily.

No Prep? No Worries! 5 Dungeons & Dragons encounters to bring to your table tonight!

Where can I find Dungeons & Dragons Adventures? As Dungeon Masters, sometimes we just don’t have the time to prepare for our games. So this is a question we sometimes ask ourselves when we are short on time. There are many reasons for this, such as adulting needs doing. The most common cause of lack of prep is due to the player characters using their agency to go in an unexpected direction. When this happens at the table it can leave us Dungeon Masters flustered or stressed because things aren’t going as planned. But don’t worry, I got you covered. I’ve put together 5 encounters that you can introduce to your Dungeons & Dragons stories and campaigns on the fly. They are detailed enough to guide you and open enough to allow you to easily expand and adjust as needed for your player character’s actions. Staple these encounters to your Dungeon Master’s Screen or add it to your notebook. That way, no matter what happens, you will always have D&D encounters ready to bring to your table to the delight or potential misery of your players.

A Visit to the Doctor

The characters enter a small town. The adventurers are quickly identified by Richye (M, Halfing acolyte). Calling out to them, huffing and heaving from exhaustion. He explains that the local leader’s daughter Lala Dornac (F, commoner) is currently visiting the village's physician Doctor. Frill, (F, Human acolyte). Regardless if the characters help or not, she dies 1d4 days later. Doctor Frill needs two special ingredients to complete the herbal cure for the rare disease. A red and pink mushroom that grows deep within caverns to the north. The final ingredient is the roots of a tree imbued with magic. With a successful DC 14 Survival check, a character knows that the particular mushroom grows as a result of the excrement of a cave-dwelling grick(MM). With a successful DC 14 Intelligence (Arcana/Nature) the character knows that a tree with imbued magic is referring to an awakened tree (MM).

The characters must race against time to gain the missing ingredients to save the young girl. As DM, using survival and knowledge checks to help the characters along. This is a race against time skill challenge. The characters must succeed on five skill checks before they gain three failures. Every failure means lost time. This can take the form of getting lost, hazards slowing them down, or even a monster encounter. Rests should be limited and should be clear about the potential risks involved.

Dwarven Kind

While exploring deep in an underground cavern the characters stumble upon a male dwarf berserker named Fornan Runearmour. Fornan has lost his mind and suffers from madness. His entire clan was slaughtered by Drow. The Drow poisoned his clan's water source and it drove them mad. Fornan was the only one with enough constitution to fight off most of the effects. Despite the dwarves' hearty resistance, they were nearly helpless. Fornan was barely able to escape. His shame has led him to shave his head and beard and he is plagued by survivor's guilt.

A calm emotions spell can suppress the effects of madness, while a lesser restoration spell can rid a character of short-term or long-term madness. If the characters are able to reach through his madness, he explains what happened and that he is seeking revenge for what they did. If they accept he joins them on their way.

Fornan is mortally wounded during the battle even if the characters are successful. During his death, he speaks in dwarvish telling the characters how they have helped him reclaim his honor, and as such, he wishes to offer a gift. One that all dwarves will recognize the great deed they have done for dwarvenkind.

He draws a sharp dagger and uses it to cut his hand and pulls a belt from his waist. Describing to the characters a complex sigil and ritual to imbue the belt with magical power from his bloodline. Unfortunately, he dies before finishing the ritual. A character with a successful DC 14 Intelligence (Arcana) check is able to identify the ritual and complete it. Coating the blood of the dwarf onto the belt and speaking the words of power imbues the belt with magic from the dwarves royal bloodline creating a Belt of Dwarvenkind.

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Monkeying Around! Submitted by Andrew Wheeler

The party notices a distinct break in the forest canopy; the bright sunlight it allowed in was visible for almost a mile, a stark contrast to the near-complete darkness the forest holds beneath its boughs. As they get closer, they notice what looks to be a vine growing horizontally... and then another beneath that, and a third nearest the ground. They notice that they grow in a square, coming off of four stumps, one at each corner of the square, making a square fenced-in area. The vines are taut but don't break when pulled. Instead, stretching and shrinking to accommodate. Magically sensitive characters with a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana) or with detect magic or similar effect can identify a humming of nature magic within the fenced area. Prixi (F, gnome, druid) jumps up onto one of the stumps, and introduces themself as a master of gorilla warfare. They are a moon druid, and are the creator of this spot. They are also a practitioner of what we would call professional wrestling. There's a prize waiting for whichever character can best him. But wait, remember that magic feeling? That's because this druid has a couple of surprises - he wrestles as a gorilla, and prefers to be fair. After he wildshapes and steps into the ring, the ground gives a green glow for a moment. Then when an opponent enters the ring, they are then transformed into the same creature as the druid, and the glow fades back into the ground. If the opponent is also a druid, both druids feel a surge of wild energy - they can wildshape as a bonus action within the ring.

Void Maiden

While the characters are wandering through a dungeon, they come across a particularly strange-looking upright iron maiden. A woman with a horrified and tormented look cast upon its front. From inside the coffin, they can hear screams of someone, or something begging to be released. Outside the coffin is an impression of a handprint surrounded by runes on its front. With a successful DC 18 Intelligence (Arcana) check, a character can identify the runes as material components for a teleportation circle. If the character succeeds the check by 5 or higher, they are able to decipher variant markings distorting the spell, making it a one-way trip.

If a character places their hand on the handprint impression, the character is zapped away with magic and swaps places with the person inside the iron maiden. While inside, a creature requires no food or water to live. Standing in their place is an elderly pale elf named Delsaran Thelen (M, NG, veteran). He has been locked in the iron maiden’s total darkness for 312 years. His band of adventurers had entered the dungeon previously and stumbled into this trap. None of his allies could find a way to free him, and none were willing to trade places with him.

The magic of the iron maiden is treated as 9th-level for the purposes of dispel magic or similar effects.

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Warrior’s Unrest

The characters, as well as many other adventurers, have been hired to delve into a recently discovered sunken temple in a swampy marsh. After the first group unlocked the temple's main gate, the area became flooded with a variety of undead such as ghasts, ghosts, ghouls, mummies, and zombies. Many heroic adventurers delve inside, but none have returned. A successful DC 15 History check reveals that the temple was once a Paladin temple. A powerful Lich brought it to its knees and sank it below the salty marsh.

As the characters enter and fight the waves of undead, with a successful DC 17 Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Perception) quickly reveals strange dark arcane sigils and magical circles throughout the temple. A successful DC 17 Intelligence (Arcana/Religion) check reveals the symbols of necromancy bonding magic. The magic is designed to bind the souls of those freshly slain to their dead corpses. Doing it twists their minds and fills them with anger and hate. All the monsters are remains of heroes and paladins who have fallen in battle and are trapped in the temple, wandering aimlessly.

Peppered throughout the dungeon are fire-breathing statues (DMG) that deal radiant damage instead of fire damage. Two wraiths guard this temple as ordered by the Lich. Converting heroes into dark slaves. So long as they survive, they protect the power source of arcane magic, a crystal ball (DMG) that has been harnessed to power the warrior’s unrest spell. A creature who dies within the temple randomly becomes an undead (DM chooses which one or decides randomly).

I hope these make your Dungeons and Dragons game just a little bit easier to handle when you’re not as prepared as you would like to be. If you enjoy these encounters, please consider showing your thanks by subscribing to your Youtube Channel! It’s free and is only a click away.

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