Dungeon Tables: Travel Challenges and Complications, Part 3

Dungeon Tables: Travel Challenges and Complications, Part 3

A GM’s work is never done, so to make things easier on you, we’re providing a series of tables to help you flesh out your encounters, your adventures—your world. This week’s instalment of Dungeon Tables focuses on our final set of Travel Challenges and Complications. Travel is often glossed over in the rush to the next adventure, but if you prefer to add some spice to those days or weeks your PCs spend getting from Point A to Point B, these tables offer an easy way to throw complications in their tracks! Roll on the tables below (divided by terrain type) and give an extra twist to your party’s adventures.

Jungle

1d10Challenge/Encounter
1A giant ape, watching the party from the canopy.
2Two awakened shrubs and an awakened tree, or one shambling mound, unhappy at the intrusion. 
3Overgrown Path. The vines and vegetation have overtaken the path. The PCs must succeed a DC 14 Wisdom (Survival) check in order to continue in the proper direction. On a fail, they waste half a day walking off course before they realize their mistake.
4Thunderstorm. A thunderstorm rumbles above the canopy, and a heavy rain begins to fall. Visibility is reduced, the ground becomes muddy and slippery, and travel speed is halved for a day.
51d4 giant wasps, swarming the group.
6Insect Swarm. A swarm of buzzing, biting gnats surround the PCs. Each creature must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw; on a fail, the creature becomes diseased, wracked with fever and chills, and takes one level of exhaustion. This condition can only be removed by lesser restoration or similar spell or by a DC 12 Wisdom (Medicine or herbalism kit) check.
7Swollen River. The river here has breached its banks and washed out the bridge. Crossing requires a successful DC 16 Athletics check; on a fail, the creature is swept downriver for half a mile before finally reaching the shore and takes one level of exhaustion.
8An alseid (see Tome of Beasts), observing the party from the shadows.
9Blocked Path. A massive tree has fallen and blocks the path. If the PCs are traveling by cart and cannot devise a way through, they must double back and find another path, losing a half day of travel in the process.
103d4 lemurfolk (see Tome of Beasts), wary of strangers in their lands.

Coastal

1d10Challenge/Encounter
1A water horse (see Creature Codex), disguised as a fisherman.
2Tidal Wave. A massive wave surges onto the shore, crashing over everything and everyone. All creatures in the area must make a DC 18 Strength saving throw. On a fail, they take 6d6 bludgeoning damage and are swept 300 feet directly away from the body of water. On a success, they take half as much damage and only move 150 feet.
3A rum gremlin (see Tome of Beasts), with 1d4 rats, skulking near the docks.
4Quicksand. The ground within a 30-foot radius is surprisingly viscous, though it looks no different than the surrounding terrain. Any creature entering the affected area immediately sinks by 1 foot, and their speed is reduced to zero. Further movement causes the creature to sink 1d4 feet every round until they are submerged up to their chest, at which point the sinking stops and they are considered restrained. If the stuck creature stops struggling, they stop sinking. A creature can free themselves by spending 10 minutes slowly moving through the quicksand; another creature can free a stuck creature by succeeding on a DC 20 Strength check.
51d4 sahuagin, prowling the shore.  
6A kelp drake (see Tome of Beasts 2), coiled in a tide pool.
7Tidal Pools. Tidal pools of various sizes and depths pockmark the landscape here. Maneuvering between or through them is tricky; the area for the next half a day is considered difficult terrain.
8A plesiosaurus tangled in a discarded fishing net.
9Storm. Heavy clouds and torrential rains roll in. Visibility is reduced, all creatures within the storm are heavily obscured, and travel speed is halved for a day.
101d6 giant crabs, feasting on fish trapped in a tidal pool.

Caves/Subterranean

1d10Challenge/Encounter
12d4 giant bats, roosting in the craggy ceiling.
2Submerged Tunnel. The tunnel ahead is filled with water and has a swift current. Any creature who wishes to proceed must succeed a DC 14 Strength check. On a fail, they’re unable to swim against the current.
3Cave-In. Something about your passage disturbed the structural integrity of the area. Creatures within a 60-foot radius must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw. On a fail, the creature takes 6d6 bludgeoning damage and becomes buried in debris. A buried creature takes 1 hour to dig itself out and takes one level of exhaustion, or it can be dug out in half that time by another creature.
4A skitterhaunt (see Tome of Beasts), looking for a new host.
5Subterranean River. A rushing river cuts across the path. Crossing requires a successful DC 16 Athletics check; on a fail, the creature is swept downriver for half a mile before finally reaching the opposite shore, and it takes one level of exhaustion.
6A pombero (see Tome of Beasts) in its lair.
7A gelatinous cube. Because of course.
8Tight Fit. The tunnel narrows here and becomes nearly impassable. Movement is halved for any creature of Medium size. Creatures of Large size or larger cannot fit through the tunnel as is. 
91d4 darkmantles, hiding in the gloom.
10Uneven Footing. The ground here is rocky and uneven, causing you to have to scramble up and over sharp inclines or squeeze between obstacles. The path for the next half a day is considered difficult terrain.

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