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Dungeon Tables: Random Encounters in the Plains

Dungeon Tables: Random Encounters in the Plains

The wind ripples through the tall grasses, the sun shines in the sky, and white, puffy clouds float by, creating a peaceful vista—but looks can be deceiving. Monsters and beasts of all sorts live and hunt in fields, and the waist-high grass provides the perfect hiding place for all sorts of threats. Create a dynamic traveling experience for your players with our random encounters for grasslands and plains! The provided foes range in a wide spread of difficulties, so some results may be easy while others deadly. Feel free to use as inspiration or to tweak, modify, and supplement to your heart’s content.

Grasslands & Plains

2As the characters travel, a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check allows them to notice they are about to walk through a patch of wild onions. If they fail or walk through the wild onion patch anyway, a group of 5d4 alliumites (see Creature Codex) swarm the characters, enraged by the insult. If the party spots the creatures and are kind to them, a garlicle (see Tome of Beasts 2) approaches and requests they kill the pack of carnivorous sod (see 39 below) that has been plaguing them.
3A chimera, defending its territory.
4The ground here becomes soggy, and a light mist drifts in. A vapor lynx (see Tome of Beasts) coalesces out of the fog and taunts the characters before attacking.
5A warband of 2d4 goblins (50%) or 2d4 goblins with just as many worgs (25%) or 2d4 goblins with just as many worgs and commanded by a bugbear (25%).
6A band of 2d4 grassland harefolk (see Tome of Beasts 2) stealthily surround and observe the party. If any of the characters are lycanthropes, they attack. If not, they continue to observe until they know the party’s intentions are good—or at least not actively evil.
7A herd of 3d6 deer grazing in the field, being stalked by 1d4 + 1 wolves (75%) or 1d4 tigers (25%).
8A group of 1d4 + 1 loxoda (see Tome of Beasts) crosses paths with the characters.
91d4 lions feeding on a fresh kill.
103d4 compsognathus (50%) or 3d4 swarms of compsognathus (50%, see Tome of Beasts 2), converging on the party from within the high grass.
111d4 + 1 orcs crossing the plain. When they spot the party, they grin and advance.
12A stealthy zanskaran viper snake (see Tome of Beasts), winding its way through the grass toward the party.
13A cockatrice, defending a nest with three eggs.
14A pale-white pygmy goat trundles in the nearby field. A character with a passive Perception of 14 or higher notices the goat is also wearing a floppy white hat. The goat is actually an alp (see Creature Codex), following the party until they bed down for the night, when it can afflict them with nightmares.
152d4 stirges, descending on the party to feed.
16An injured rabbit hobbles across the path before the characters and pauses to take long, labored breaths. It acts sad and pathetic—or happy and friendly—whatever it must do to get the characters to adopt it. It is a treacle (see Tome of Beasts), and its goal is to be carried by one of the characters so that it can feed using its Blood Drainability. (Feel free to have it take on another appearance if one of your characters has shown an affinity for a particular kind of small animal.)
171d4 +4 kobolds (50%) or 1d4 +4 kobolds and a kobold chieftain (50%, see Tome of Beasts).
183 serpentine lamia (75%) or 3 serpentine lamia and a matriarch serpentine lamia (25%, see Creature Codex).
19A mngwa (75%) or a mngwa and 1d4 nkosi (50%, see Tome of Beasts), stalking the party through the long grass.
20A herd of 2d4 lystrosaurus (see Creature Codex), rooting through the dirt for food. They are not aggressive, but if spooked, they will defend themselves.
211d4 axe beaks.
22A woman’s scream echoes across the field. If the characters don’t immediately investigate, a second scream follows the first. If the characters follow the source of the sound, they are ambushed by a crocotta (see Tome of Beasts 2).
23A fully tacked riding horse is grazing in the field unattended. Within its saddle bags are 10 days’ worth of rations, a bedroll, two full waterskins, and 30 gp. The owner was killed by goblins some ways off, and the horse managed to escape with its life. The owner’s body is nowhere to be found.
24A band of 2d4 +3 bloodthirsty gnolls ambush the party.
252d4 giant honeybees (see Tome of Beasts 2) dip and buzz in intricate patterns across the field, searching for flowers. They are not aggressive unless attacked.
26A pack of 2d4 feral worgs.
27A herd of 1d4 +2 ophidiotaurs that won’t pass up the opportunity to hunt the characters.
282d4 curious erina scroungers (50%) or 2d4 erina scroungers + 1d4 erina defenders (50%, see Tome of Beasts) pop out of the ground within 10 feet of the characters.
291d4 giant wasps who attack immediately. Jerks.
30An ogre, asleep in the grass.
31As the party travels, any characters who succeed on a DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check spot a burrow roughly 4 feet in diameter. The burrow extends for 30 feet. Inside sleep 2d4 +2 pestilence swarms (see Tome of Beasts 2) that only rouse if attacked or if a source of light is brought within the burrow.
321d4 +3 bandits (50%) or 1d4 + 3 bandits + a bandit captain.
331d4 serpopards (see Tome of Beasts), moving in for the kill.
34A scrofin (see Tome of Beasts 2), wandering in search of a worthy opponent.
35A deep spring filled with clear, cool water. It’s obvious this is a watering hole for many creatures, and the party can easily spot footprints of predators and prey of all sizes in the mud around the pool. Within the spring lives a water elemental.
361d4 + 1 chupacabras (see Creature Codex) that descend on the party in the night.
37A cyclops out searching for a meal.
38A bulette, burrowing up beneath the party.
391d4 + 2 carnivorous sod (see Tome of Beasts 2), rising up from the earth.
40A qwyllion (see Tome of Beasts), weaving a hut out of dried grasses.


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