Improving Encounter Tables - Two Sharks Carry a Vorpal Sword

Near the end of journey of the deluxe mountain encounter table, we've added an encounter context and current activity and now we add encounter specials to make the encounter unique and memorable.

The four general areas to add were treasures, other creatures, different individuals and tying to local area

Making Sense of It

The results were tailored by creatures being sentient, in groups or civilised humanoids, but there would still be times when they may not make sense or be desirable.

So they were included in a section below the main encounter as possible extras.

Maybe you don't want sharks carrying a vorpal sword...


Sometimes a game about group storytelling and other times about killing monsters and taking their stuff, so we added possibilities for

  • A magic item in the group
  • playing or displaying a trinket
  • an object with a spell cast on it
  • carrying one or more art objects

Here are some lucky winged kobolds

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Including a mix of creatures can enhance an encounter by giving a narrative, group dynamics or different combat considerations.

Possibilities using tables of other D&D creatures were

  • a familiar for one of the group
  • a guardian for the group
  • one or mounts
  • mercenaries hired by the creatures
  • creatures plaguing or haunting the group

And also

  • one of them being a shapeshifter
  • young or dependents

These poor orcs have run afoul of a fey creature....

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Singling out an Individual

Within a group, making one of them stand out gives something to target player attention on.

Our unique individuals include

  • One being exhausted, wounded, unconscious or drunk
  • Carrying a particular Treasure
  • Affected by a magical spell
  • One being mutilated, diseased or cursed
  • A beast being larger or awakened

These lucky giants might be cursed or mutilated...

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Tied to local area

Last up we've added options to tie the encounter to the surrounding area.

Are encounter could..

  • be sacred to or part of a nearby cult
  • belong to nearby settlement/ tribe
  • a beast protected by nearby druid
  • sporting the symbol of a local group
  • part of a nearby tribe or settlement

These giants are part of a nearby cult...

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A Full Encounter

So we've added some possibilities for creating memorable encounters, with magical amulets, annoying sprites, mutilated giants and nearby cults...

Comment your favourite generated encounter from 5E enhanced mountain encounters