One-Shot Adventure: D&D 5E Ironman

You might want to try a one-off adventure while regular gaming stops, to avoid family time or even with your family.

DnD Ironman Basics

In Ironman DnD you create characters similar to 1974 at the birth of Dungeons and Dragons. 3d6 for each stat, in order.....

And while not great for a campaign, it´s perfect for a one-shot adventure, where people can have fun with something they may not normally have created.

Ideas for Adventures

 You´ll want to run something short, low-level and fun. Quite probably a little surreal or themed. Try something like pirates, farmers or Christmas.

Instead maybe try for a classic adventure like the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh or Against the Cult of the Reptile God.

We´ll cover some past Ironman DnD scenarios such as Lemerac´s Asylum, the Crew of Bluebeard and Chillborn Apocalypse.


 Characters are easy to generate and replace. For 5th Edition D&D try the random tables below, with a similar approach for other editions. You´ll get tables for other DnD versions in another blog post.

5E DnD Ironman Generation

Follow these steps to create an Ironman Character using the core rules for D&D 5E. Two variants are included afterwards to customise the creation process.

  1. Stats - Roll 3d6 six times, assigned in order to STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS and CHA.
  2. Race - Roll 1d20: 1 Hill Dwarf, 2 Mountain Dwarf, 3 High Elf, 4 Wood Elf, 5-6 Dragonborn, 7 Forest Gnome, 8 Rock Gnome 9 Half elf, 10 Halforc, 11-12 Tiefling, 13 Lightfoot Halfling, 14 Stout Halfling, 15-17 Human (standard), 18-19 Human (variant or standard) 20 Other (Dark-elf, Eladrin etc) or Re-roll.
  3. Background - Roll 1d20: 1-2 Acolyte, 3. Charlatan, 4-5 Criminal, 6-7 Entertainer, 8 Folk Hero, 9-10 Guild Artisan, 11 Hermit, 12-13 Noble, 14-15 Outlander, 16 Sage, 17 Sailor, 18-19 Soldier, 20 Urchin. Remember to determine Traits, Ideal, Bond and Flaw
  4. Class - Roll 1d20: 1-2 Barbarian, 3 Bard, 4-5 Cleric, 6 Druid, 7-8 Fighter, 9-10 Monk, 11-12  Paladin, 13-14 Rogue, 15-16 Ranger, 17 Sorcerer, 18-19 Warlock, 20 Wizard. If your stats don’t match your class, think of it as a roleplaying challenge.
  5. Alignment - Roll 1d20 or choose. 1-2 LG, 3-5 NG, 6-7 CG, 8-10 LN, 11-14 N, 15-16 CN, 17 LE, 18-19 NE, 20 CE
  6. Equipment - Your character starts with a club, dagger, sling, background equipment (minus any money) and one pick from the starting equipment options for their class.
  7. Name - Choose or create a name....

 Variant 1: Minor Flaw

This variant gives some control to the player over their character at a cost...

Add a step, 1A to the creation process between Stats and Race

1A. Minor Flaw (Optional) - You may re-roll one ability score of your choice, using 4d6, drop the lowest). You keep what you roll and also receive a minor flaw, rolling 1d20 on the following table: 1-3 One eye, 4-5 One arm, 6-8 One foot, 9-10 Mute, 11-12 Cursed (when there is a random target, it’s you), 13-15 Unlucky (disadvantage on all saves), 16-18 Poor (you don’t start with background equipment or any additional choices), 19-20 deaf

Variant 2: Equipment Choices

This gives the character more options for (sometimes unusual) equipment. The coloured bandannas can be used by the Games Master to tie characters to things in the adventure such as plot hooks, type of crew on a pirate ship or ward they are from in an asylum....

Replace step 6 with the following. 

Equipment Choices - Your character starts with the equipment from their background (minus the money), a club, a sling, a dagger and a bandanna (blue, red, green, black or white) AND

Either two from the following list

Studded leather, ring mail, shield,  great club, flail, shortbow & 5 arrows, 2 javelins, light crossbow & 5 bolt, battle-axe, trident, glaive, whip, blowgun, bolas, vial of acid, 1000 ball bearings, bucket and spade, a costume (clothes), disguise kit, hunting trap, hourglass, 10 foot ladder, 5 torches, wand, thieves’ tools, 50 ft hemp rope, 2 sacks, portable ram, artisan’s tools (your choice), a musical instrument (your choice) or 1 weeks trail rations
one from the following list

Riding horse, great axe, heavy crossbow, longbow, wheelbarrow, magnifying glass, fine clothing

Happy Holidays

If you do try it let us know how it goes!