• Justin Handlin

No Prep? No Problem! 5 Dungeons & Dragons Encounters to bring to your table Tonight! Volume 2


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No Prep? No Problem! 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 that 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, we've got you covered. We’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 them 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.


5 Dungeons & Dragons Encounters to bring to your table TONIGHT! Volume 2


D&D Encounter: Change of Plans

Unforeseen circumstances have turned Aedin Aelred (M, veteran) - a local noble Namzeru Nocri (F, noble) closest ally inside of the Shadowfang’s thieves guild - into a liability. Namzeru is looking to hire adventurers in secret to kill Aedin, frame The Vultures guild, led by Itar Hazru (M, bandit captain), and suggest that Aedin’s murder was accomplished with the aid of an enemy kingdom or noble house.


Namzeru has given you a location and time where she believes Aedin out in the public. The characters can use this opportunity to spy, gather information on Aedin’s defenses and follow him. When they find an opportunity, ambush him and bring back proof the tasks have been accomplished.


D&D Encounter: For the Greater Good

When a large merchant ship secretly carrying a high-profile passenger is attacked by a group of raiders, the characters must defend the ship and eventually must decide the passenger’s fate.


The encounter starts with the characters onboard the transport bound for a major city. Starting off by talking to the passengers. One of the passengers, Evie Jogrothin (F, Tiefling, noble) wearing fine clothes, expresses concern with another ship trailing in the distance. No flag or identifying marks. Shortly after the conversation, the ship is attacked by the unidentified vessel and its crew. The characters must fight their way to the captain's cabin to decide on the next course of action.


Once they reach the captain, they learn the truth about Evie. That she is one of significant political influence and is likely the target of the attack. The characters learn that the raiders are after Evie. Once they have her, they will leave the ship and its passengers. Will the characters turn over one person to save the many? Or will they defend her and risk the loss of more lives?


D&D Encounter: Ghoulish Idols

Ghouls attacks against local villagers and merchants are a growing concern to the village elder. Anban Seio (noble), an older greying man with a long face, believes the ghouls’ strange idols may shed light on the creature's aggressive behavior. A few scouts sent back notice that they discovered one that was glowing. She hasn’t been heard from or seen since. The characters must first locate the idols and then investigate ghouls’ idols and record their findings, but doing so won’t be an easy task. The idols can only be found deep in the ghoulish swamp nearby.


The characters must succeed on a DC 12 Survival or Nature check to locate each idol individually. A failed check means an encounter with ghouls, followed by locating the idol. Upon discovering the idols, a successful Arcana Investigation check or use of detect magic spell reveals that some sort of necrotic power is emanating from the stones. During each investigation, the characters are attacked by a ghast.

Related Article: 5 Short Dungeons & Dragons Adventures You Can Bring to Your Table Tonight Volume 1!

D&D Encounter: Lost Heirloom

Gery Archivold (M, veteran), a merchant from the distant east, is secretly a member of Steel Circle. This powerful group of evil mercenaries worship the dark lord Asmodeus and fights alongside various devils. Gery Archivold hides his connection to this sinister group, presenting his mission as something more innocuous.


Gery inquires if the characters recall the story of those who built the Blackmore Abbey. A character with a successful DC 15 Intelligence (History) check knows the following information, or Gery shares it if not. It was built by overzealous adventurers who killed innocents and plundered sacred sites for treasure. Though they started off well-meaning and champions of truth and justice. Their growing power and greed corrupted them.


He tasks the characters with recovering some of the items they stole from his lands. Specifically, a family heirloom known as the Axe of Archivold. It can be spotted easily if they manage to locate it. It has a large ruby, deep red in color, set in the pommel. Returning this item, in particular, will earn a hefty reward. When the characters locate the axe, it is being wielded by the wandering corpse of one of the Blackmore adventurers (Use flesh golem statblock. This Creature is undead in addition to its normal creature type ).


The truth that Gery Archivold holds from the characters is that the Axe of Archivold is cursed. It's a weapon created by followers of Asmodeus. For this item use the cursed Berserker Axe (DMG).


D&D Encounter: Necromantic Mists

The characters are approached by a devastated town’s survivors; a priest, perhaps, or local elder begs them to ensure that this effect does not repeat itself here, or any other town. The survivor describes a thick black mist that swallowed the entire town. Those that didn’t manage to escape, were swallowed up by the choking mist. After a few minutes of convulsing and trembling, they fell to the ground dead, only to raise a few minutes later as mindless zombies. He even offers to seek support from the churches in the nearest major community (a few days distant) in raising a reward for them to do so.


Ayam Meshki (F, dwarf necromancer (VGtM)) has begun experimenting with a new spell that creates a necrotic mist that not only kills in mass but also immediately converts those filled with the mist into mindless zombies. The loss of control of the mist proves the spell hasn’t been perfected yet. The characters must deal with this threat before he masters his spell and forms a powerful undead army at his command.


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