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Dungeon Tables: Random Encounters in the Forests

Dungeon Tables: Random Encounters in the Forests

Dark forests have filled fairy tales and folk stories for generations—and for good reason. The trees hide all sorts of terrors and wonders, and only the bravest folks delve where they’re thickest. This installment of Dungeon Tables lists friends and foes alike, all found within the pines and oaks of old forests. The provided table ranges in a wide spread of difficulties, so some results may be easy while others deadly. Feel free to use this as inspiration or to tweak, modify, and supplement it to your heart’s content.


2High-pitched cries of alarm and sounds of smashing wood catch the characters attention. If they investigate, they find a chuhaister (see Creature Codex), destroying a diminutive village, while 4d6 sprites fly in the air around the creature, attempting to force it back with their tiny weapons.
31d6 millitaurs (see Tome of Beasts) surge from the undergrowth. The characters have crossed into their territory, but the millitaurs only fight them if necessary and are friendly if the PCs treat them with respect.
41d6 nyctli (75%) or 1d4 nyctli swarms (25%) (see Tome of Beasts 2) erupt from the shadows and swarm the party.
5Two bear cubs come tumbling out from between the trees and are startled to see the party. As they flee, their mother black bear charges.
6A huge tree stands in the forest, burnt and hollowed-out, as if struck by lightning. An old woman sits beside the tree and smiles in welcome as the party approaches. The woman is an ala (see Tome of Beasts)in human form, and she is pleased at the site of such delicious-looking individuals.
7A curious flithidir (see Tome of Beasts 2), following the party in bird form.
8A savager (see Tome of Beasts), barreling through the trees.
9A cry for help rises from the branches above. A mage is trapped, wrapped in a thick cocoon of silk. He has no memory of how he got there. A few minutes later, the chelicerae (see Tome of Beasts) returns and attacks the party, targeting the magic users first.
10A hungry chameleon hydra (see Tome of Beasts 2) hides in the thick branches above.
112d4 awakened shrubs with 1d4 twig blights, moving through the trees.
12A nichny (see Tome of Beasts) stalks the characters through the forest.
13A spider drake (see Creature Codex) lurks in the dark branches above. As the party passes beneath it, it releases its Poison Breath and then attacks. Its silk-wrapped horde is hidden in a shallow cave within eyesight of the ambush.
141d4 wereboars, being generally unpleasant and aggressive.
151d4 dancing foliage (see Tome of Beasts 2), moving amid the trees and tending to the plants.
16At first glance, the party may mistake this small red, dragon-like creature for a pseudodragon. As it approaches, however, they may make a DC 14 Intelligence (Nature) or Wisdom (Insight) check; on a success, they realize the creature is a crimson drake (see Tome of Beasts) before it attacks.
17A friendly pseudodragon, looking for some company for a while.
181d4 wood wards (see Tome of Beasts 2), shambling through the forest.
19A pine doom (see Tome of Beasts 2) observes the characters and attacks if they harm the forest in any way.
20A terrifying elophar (see Creature Codex) barrels through the trees toward the party.
21A colláis (see Tome of Beasts 2) stalks the woods around a small woodland village.
22A helpful ghillie dubh (see Tome of Beasts 2), looking to guide the party out of danger.
231d4 jaculi (see Tome of Beasts) dive out of the trees at the party, targeting the shiniest and most valuable items worn or carried by the characters. As soon as they acquire the items, they flee back into the trees with their captured treasure and return to their hordes.
24A green knight of the woods (50%) (see Creature Codex) or a thornheart guardian (see Tome of Beasts 2).
25A passel of 4d4 wild boar. They are territorial and easily startled.
26A warm and welcoming hut waits amid the trees. If the characters enter the hut, they find a fire burning in the hearth and enough beds for all of them. The hut is an elaborate illusion woven by an azeban (see Creature Codex), which sneaks in to paw through the characters belongings while they are sleeping.
27A tree skinner (see Tome of Beasts 2), delighting in causing destruction.
282d4 will-o’-wisps accompanied by a green hag.
29An alchemical skunk (see Tome of Beasts 2), foraging for food.
30A wampus cat (see Tome of Beasts) in humanoid form, lingering beside a small woodland river.
31A figure flickers in and out of view as it glides toward the party. The deathwisp (see Tome of Beasts) raises its weapon and attacks.
32A green dragon wyrmling, angry at the party invading its territory.
33A giant frilled lizard (see Tome of Beasts 2), sunning on a fallen tree.
34A forest drake (see Creature Codex) lumbers through the woods, breathing fire into the underbrush.
35A group of 2d4 lymarien (see Tome of Beasts 2), roosting in the trees around a thicket. Within the thicket is a tiny fawn, curled up, awaiting its parent’s return.
36An owlbear out hunting.
371d4 forest marauders (see Tome of Beasts) come screaming out of the trees to attack the party.
38An aniwye (see Tome of Beasts 2) in ogre form, lumbering through the trees.
39A large shadow passes overhead as a Derendian moth abomination (see Tome of Beasts 2) swoops to attack.
40Cackling and shrieking echoes amidst the trees as Baba Yaga (see Creature Codex) flies her mortar and pestle through the forest. If she spots the characters, roll a d10: on a 1–5, she is in a friendly mood; on a result of 6–10, her iron teeth (see Creature Codex) have temporarily left her, and she is feeling foul and capricious.


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