Myths, Mysteries and Strange Sights: Wilderness Encounter table

Pieter fris (1650) Landscape with Figures. Source

This is a list of strange events you can use to add mystery, superstition and a sense of magic to your journeys. Some of the table entries take inspiration from folk tales, omens and local superstitions. Adding minor strange events can add to the feeling of magic in the world without necessarily needing a larger investigation. However, some of these may provide an idea for a larger story. Consider rolling the encounter beforehand in case you wish to expand upon it. Most are designed as a minor distraction and not a serious plot point, however there is nothing stopping you from elaborating on them. If used at the table, many will require improvisation to resolve fully, don’t be afraid!

You can click on the items in the table below to take you to the result of your roll.



11) Cloaked Strangers

You sight cloaked figures in the distance. They are wearing brimmed hats, faintly glowing boots and carrying walking sticks.

If the PCs approach, the figures keep the same distance without appearing to move, simply receding as if floating. If an attempt to communicate is made, the weather worsens slightly but they don’t respond. If PCs continue the attempt or try to catch the figures the weather becomes even worse. If the weather becomes a storm, the figures will fade away. The figures will also fade if the PCs ignore them. If this happens they may reappear later in the journey.

If locals are asked about the figures they will refer to them as ‘weather watchers’. They will warn the players not to communicate with them. Occasionally, when rain or other weather is required locals seek them out to intentionally cause a storm.

12) Swinging Spirits

The route is lined with spectral gibbets. Faint, ethereal figures swing gently in a wind you can’t feel.

These are the spirits of executed rebels from the past. Ghostly images of hanged men glint in the moonlight. Psychic whispers assail the PCs in their vicinity. PCs must make a DC 13 Wisdom Save or be overcome by seditious thoughts or recantations of rebellion and praise the state in the hope of mercy. If one PC fails, they seek to fight against the party. If more than one PC is affected they form opposing factions.

In order to put a spirit at rest, a cleric must spend an hour listening to the spirit and use a vial of holy water to bless the ethereal gallows. If they do so they gain 1 inspiration.

13) Fey Lights

Strange, faint lights hover and dance in complex patterns in the distance.

The lights hover round the edge of a nearby wood, crevasse, hill etc. If the PCs investigate they may be lured into the feywild. When close the lights will dart away down a hidden path. At the end of the path each PC will see something they greatly desire: ask them to describe it. Each PC should make a DC 15 Wisdom check or stumble in after it. Any PC who does this will dissapear returning 24hrs later in a bewildered, exhausted state. They should roll a d6 to see what change has affected them and what they find in their pockets:

1One of their eyes has changed colour
2Their hair, nails or other elements have grown as if a year or more has passed
3Their shoes have been replaced with bright red slippers
4They smell overpoweringly of roses
5Flowers grow in their hair for two days, each time they are picked out they grow again
6Their fingers are made from carrots or parsnips
d6Pocket Contents
133 small shiny pebbles. When withdrawing them from the pocket, the PC must pass a WIS Save DC 13 or cumpulisvely count and order them for five minutes. They are over protective of the pebbles and will claim they are a great treasure.
2A tiny gemstone set into a silver band worth 5gp. In the presence of a fey creature the ring emits extremely quiet laughter, DC 15 perception.
37 acorns that glow faintly. When planted, a large tree will grow in the space of 24hours.
4A pair of broken eye glasses. When worn the PC sees dancing fairies on the shoulders of nearby people.
5A small magic music box. When the tiny wooden handle is cranked it emits birdsong.
6A plethora of mushrooms. The three big black oozy ones can be eaten to restore 5 hp each.

14) Phantom Siren

A ship drifts towards you on an invisible tide. A faint and soft melody and the sounds of laughter emanates from below its decks.

The ghostly ship appears drifting across the landscape, even when there is no water. Some claim that the ship is the result of a curse placed on local inhabitants. Supposedly, they robbed and sank a Nallian wedding taking place on a touring landbarge. The ship has only one figure on deck, that of its dwarven captain Dawdjz offers tempting respite and luxury to travellers who will step onboard.

15) Anti-life Pillar

A 12 foot high pillar of stone lies surrounded by a wide circle of barren land.

A circle 200 yards wide around the pillar is completely devoid of life. Animals avoid it instinctively. A creature entering the circle takes 1 necrotic damage per round. Any food they are carrying will start to wither and spoil.

Local legend tells that a Wiseman came to deliver news of a great tragedy involving the people of another town and how they sought aid. The local lord dismissed the Wiseman and had him beaten and tied to the pillar for spreading falsehoods (even though he knew it to be true). The Wiseman cursed the town and lord and said nothing would grow there for a thousand years. The peasants revolted and slew the lord.

They will also find buried the corpse of the lord including his gold ring of sovereignty worth 50gp.

16) Marching Dead

In the distance, a great army marches across your path. They move silently, their banners blowing faintly in the breeze. The sound of drums and horns echoes eerily through the landscape.

The army is a historical afterimage, an earth memory. Faint whispers reenacting the momentus events of their time. The air shimmers with the breath of the ethereal plane. They pass close by the party without acknowledging them.

It is said that if you follow them you will be compelled into step with the march and forced to join their march through the astral plan looking for void incursions.

21) Water Children

The sound of children plays echoes from the distance. The sound cuts off abruptly.

The sounds echo from a nearby river that was the site of dark deeds. A century ago, parents drowned their children here during a great famine. Faint glimpses of their spirits can be seen playing in the water. They attempt to get the PCs to join them. They will try to drown the PCs so that they will stay.

Investigation DC 10 reveals tiny bone fragments in the river bed. If these are given a proper burial the spirits will be laid to rest.

22) Inquisitive Spirit

Describe an animal, appropriate to the current environment, approaching the PCs. If the creature is normally dangerous it will behave benignly.

The animal is a spiritual manifestation of some local flora/fauna. Whilst it looks normal it speaks to each PC in the language of their home or the voice of a childhood friend. The spirit seeks to ascertain the purpose, motives and origins of individual PCs and of the group. If the animal is killed or scared off it will disappear. One hour later, another of the same type of animal will approach. If sufficiently angered it will make d4 days worth of rations disappear. If satisfied by the PCs answers, the spirit will direct the party to its parent fauna. There they can find: a clean water supply and forageable food or a recent kill depending on the animal type.

23) Short Cut

A tiny door opens from the landscape, from which emerges a strange, hairy creature with long pointed shoes. The door vanishes and the creature looks up surprised.

The creature is one of the fey called Gollin the Golb. He claims to know a shorter route to the party’s destination and that they are on the wrong track. Roll a d6:

d6The situation
1The party are actually on the right track it is a lie
2The party were on the right track but Gollin has shifted the landscape around them so that they are now lost. Survival DC 10 will reveal the PCs are lost, Perception DC 15 will reveal the change has occurred.
3The party were headed in the right direction but a large monster was in their path
4Gollin only wants to check the PC’s wits and will give up the ruse easily
5Strange magic has warped the path to the destination meaning that you must travel the wrong way to get there
6Navigation becomes increasingly difficult due to the stars shifting overhead and compasses behaving strangely

If Gollin isn’t lying, his short cut will shave a third of the remaining journey time off. If he is lying it will add a third to the journey time. The knowledge is offered freely in exchange for provisions and water. Attempts to kill or harm the creature result in either more turning up to create a larger encounter, a whistle followed by hidden ogres or other large creatures arriving or a curse being levied on the travellers whilst they travel these lands in future: Every mile travelled counts as two miles until the 13th day of the next month or 13 days pass or the PCs could be cursed to be lost for 13 hours.

24) Standing Stone

You pass a large standing stone partially covered in grass and moss. The stone’s surface is covered in weather worn carvings and inscriptions.

The language that accompanies the engraving is ancient and partially erroded. Any of the following may be appropriate for investigating (DC 10):

  • Arcana – the stone appears to have elements to the engraving that resemble magical symbology
  • History – the stone is from an ancient people
  • Investigation – hidden details are revealed behind the grass and moss
  • Religion – the stone may have been erected by a religious cult
  • Insight – Interpreting the complex pictograms requires intuition
  • Perception – Hidden details to the script convey coded information

On a failure, the writing and imagery are indecipherable being to worn with age. The more a PC exceeds the DC reveal more information from the selection below:

  • You recognise the language as an ancient form of a language you know (you may request an additional check to decipher it)
  • You know the time period the stone was erected (circa 2000 years before the present)
  • The words read:
    • Beyond this point lies the land of Blúwff ruled by the great lord Gondyll, pay fealty or return from whence you came
    • Do not trust the Hag Andlewlyn, she will curse you as she did our Prince
    • Four fathoms until Blúwff
    • Feymara bless those who pay homage here [award inspiration for satisfying homage]
    • The message is mostly unintelligible and written in a code for travellers that has long since fallen out of use. It appears to indicate a hazard in the area described as: ‘winged and furious’.
    • Beware the fey-folk who bring gifts and promises
  • The engraved images show:
    • A great and bloody battle, the leader of one army holds aloft the head of an enemy
    • Dangerous monsters attacking what appear to be travellers or pilgrims
    • A fertility symbol and god alongside a sacrificed animal
    • A collection of astrological symbols and a map of a constellation not visible in the night sky
    • A Human-like figure with six arms with many figures bowing down to them. The sun above is represented by a giant eye with a spiral for the iris.
    • Geometric symbols whose meaning are unclear. They appear to shift in and out of the pillar whilst light bends like a heat haze.

25) The Birds

Choose one of the Following:

Escort of Crows

You sight a lone bird overhead that begins to hang back and tail the party.

Crows slowly start to fly in separately and proceed to follow the party at a distance. When the crows are watched for any period of time they will circle and then perch a distance away out of range. Eventually, one crow will peel off, flying in a direction perpendicular to the party. The rest will leave in the direction the party came from.

Conference of the Birds

A large flock of birds of different species stand in a circle on the ground. Periodically, one moves to the centre and sings to which the others reply as a cacophonous chorus.

The PCs have encountered a council of birds in which they discuss important avian matters…Who is the fastest flier? Whose beak is most elegant? Who has the most beautiful plumage? Where should they flock for the change of season?

Each type of bird takes its turn standing in the centre and making its case. They will attempt to persuade the PCs that they know best or are the best at the debated issue. If no PC can speak to the birds, they will grow irritated and cast Speak With Animals on all the PCs remarking: ‘Honestly, what is the world coming too?’.

Depending on who the PCs side with they will receive the following:

  • A reduction in journey time, a shortcut
  • Forewarning of an upcoming ambush or dangerous encounter
  • A point of inspiration
  • A small gemstone worth 10gp

26) Strange Rain

Choose one of the following:

Tiny Rain

A tiny rainstorm occurs over a spot of ground nearby.

The rainstorm is 15 feet wide and moves alongside the party for a few miles before dissipating. If the party tries to dispel, destroy or otherwise interact with it, it moves above that party member slowly drenching them before moving away again.

Soft Rain

Rain falls softly like light footsteps moving all around you.

It begins to rain softly. The gentle patter of the rain hitting the ground begins to sound like footsteps from an unknown origin. Puddles start to collect in the shape of small and giant footprints. Whispers are heard in the wind in giant and common: this way, come on. Quickly now or they will find us, go go go. As the rain passes the footprints fade. No visible sign is left.

Dry Rain

A light drizzle falls from the sky gradually drenching everything…well almost everything…

Dotted across the landscape are patches of ground a few feet wide that seem to be completely dry and no rain falls on them. The water from adjacent ground does not run into them or seep through the ground. They are completely dry to the touch. The spots move periodically drying the ground they move. The patches will attempt to move out of the way of PCs who attempt to stand on them. A DC 15 Athletics or Acrobatics check can be used chase or jump into one. If a player steps on one of these dry patches,…. If they collect material from one of these dry areas it can be used to absorb water. The earth can be used to destroy water as if casting Create or Destroy Water at first level.

Wet Air

The air begins to shimmer and distort as if you’ve opened your eyes underwater.

All flames are extinguished, even magical ones, and cannot be lit for the next 4 hours. Strange, ghostly shapes of fish and crustaceans move through the air.

Giant Shower

Thunderous booms crack the heavens. Huge imprints dent the land at a steady pace, the detents quickly covered by cloud and filled with pouring rain.

Great ghostly giants walk through the ethereal plane. Their passing brings rain showers, they spectral feet imprint the earth.

31) Mini-Quake

A series of small earthquakes shake the ground. A deep moaning from the earth appears to utter words that are hard to make out.

The whispered words are the name of a religious party member. They may the uttering of their god or from the nature force if they are a druid. The PC should test wisdom to interpret the sign. If any party member prays to the gods the earthquakes stop abruptly. If they do not it prevents the party from taking a long rest each night giving them one level of exhaustion each.

32) Off the Beaten Track

An overgrown path is marked by a small engraved stone covered in moss. The path appears to lead away from your route.

If the path is followed, it leads to a hidden spring below a rocky outcrop. The water faintly glints in the light. If bathed in or drunk from it has one of the following effects:

1Restore d6 hp – the PC’s hair, nails or similar grow as if some time has passed.
2Lose d6 hp – the PC’s skin turns an outlandish colour for 24 hours.
3Slow acting poison for 1 day that brings terrible visions in the night before it wears off
4The next time the players rest they will have beautiful dreams of the gods and the feywild. Gain a point of inspiration.
5The water inspires them to find a magic trinket. Next time the players stop say they feel strangely compelled to investigate under a small bush and make a roll on the trinket table.
6Temporary strange symbols appear on their body for the next 24hrs. Arcana check DC 15 – the symbols function as a spell scroll for Goodberry. Once cast the symbols will disappear.
7Any poison or other minor affliction is cured. If not currently affected by anything they will gain advantage on their next save against poison.
8If all the party members bathe or drink the water they will lose a complete day without realising. Stubble will appear on faces that were clean shaven, the moon will be slightly different, food may have spoiled etc. If only one has drunken or bathed in the water they start moving extremely slowly as if time is passing at a different rate for them.

If the water is collected and removed from the spring it will lose its properties after 24hours, turning into normal water.

33) Looter’s Trap

What appears to be a corpse, their clothing torn, lies strewn and crumpled by the wayside.

The corpse has the following on its person:

  • 5 gp, 4 sp and 3 cp
  • 2 broken mirrors
  • 1 Golden locket in the shape of a magpie (10 gp), if opened salt will spill out

If players decide to pick its pockets, the corpse will vanish and a mocking fey voice will say: ‘Who steals from me steals from their heir, fate’s hand waits for dishonour’s repair’. The thieving PC will feel their arm hair or similar stand on end as if a cold breeze passed over them. If they take the threat seriously, the ‘curse’ can be lifted by gifting the stolen goods to someone in need or donating to charity.

34) Carrion

A group of vultures can be seen circling in the distance occasionally diving down and rising again.

If investigated they will find a slain griffon/ankheg or other large animal. Large parts of its belly are torn out and the head is missing. The corpse is surrounded by a large circle drawn in blood. There are foot prints leading away from the body that appear to change from large and reptilian into small and dog like and finally into booted humanoid feet. They disappear around 100 yards from the corpse in a patch of burnt ground.

35) A Friend in Need

A broken down wagon lies across the path. A hooded and hunched figure is attempting to repair a wheel of the wagon.

The driver is a fey creature in disguise, a goblin, boggart or some other humanoid sized entity. If the PCs help, they will be rewarded with a rumour/clue/information about their quest or destination. Alternatively, the PCs will find each of their pockets now contain a small amount of coins (30 cp) after the wagon goes on its way. If they watch the wagon depart they will see it fade out of existence.

36) Pack Hunt

A far away wolf-like howl echoes across the landscape.

This event grows deadlier the longer the remaining journey is. Decide an appropriate wolf like creature or pack animal that suits the party level. A wolf, Dire Wolf, Werewolf or similar. The players are being tracked.

After the initial howl, roll a d6. On a 1, a much closer howl answers. The howls and wolves draw closer together. Sometime later the two wolves howl out, roll two d6. If either show a 1 a third wolf joins them in a similar manner. Continue this process at regular intervals during the journey. When the number of wolves equals or exceeds the party strength they will attack. The wolves will attempt to down one PC and then drag them off.

41) Starfall

Wild light streaks through the sky and crashes to earth in the distance. Dust kicks up high into the sky.

d8What fell to earth?
1A wizard has crashed to earth whilst travelling
2A meteor lies smoking in the ground. It is much colder than it ought to be…The impact crater is covered in ice that appears to be spreading. Getting too close causes frostbite.
3A large flying creature set ablaze, a rokh, young dragon or other creature lies smouldering and deceased.
4An angel, devil or other heaven dwelling entity has crashed down with no memory of who or what it is. If it is taken to the nearest settlement they will hail it as a miracle. Another entity of the opposite type will appear and take the creature away. Claiming that it has escaped and must return.
5A large crater is carved out of the earth but there is no sign of what caused it. The air smells faintly of blood and acid. A maniacal laugh echoes over the landscape.
6A fey creature is playing a trick on the party with an illusion. A steaming golden egg lies in the centre of a glistening crater. If the PCs enter the crater, the illusion will be obvious.
7A weapon is being tested by Goblins, Kobolds or some other industrious humanoids.
8It’s an illusion conjured by a trickster or enemy of the party

42) Mystic Haze

A strange colour catches your eye, a thing out of place, the world is not as it was mere minutes ago.

The sky, clouds, sun or moon take on a different colour for a time, roll a d6:

1The colour change lasts only an hour
2The colour change lasts until sunset or sunrise
3the colour change lasts a whole day
4The colour change lasts a week
5The colour changes each time it is looked at and none but the party can see it
6The change is a portentous omen. Test Religion DC 13 – on a success the PC gains a point of inspiration.

43) A Town in Ruins

You sight what seems to be a collection of abandoned dwellings partially consumed by the landscape.

The ruined dwellings are few in number, perhaps no more than five. The buildings are of an unusual style for the area, perhaps ancient, reminiscent of a far off people or possibly just isolated.

d6State of the Ruins
1Overgrown with plant life, trees, bushes and fungus cover every wall. The ceilings are made of foliage sprouted up from the earth, their original roofs consumed by nature.
2The main elements of habitation are sunk into the earth, only superficial entrance ways are visible above ground
3The buildings are scorched by what appears to be immeasurably hot fire. Stonework is melted into miniature lava flows, ash litters the ground and the earth is a deep carbon black.
4The dwellings are in perfect order as if the inhabitants simply disappeared. Tables are set, food is unspoiled, clothes dry on washing lines.
5Out of a large earthen mound in the centre protrude sun bleached bones. There is no life here. A lone skeleton hangs from a decaying jibbet in front of the burial mound.
6Blood and strange symbols are daubed on the structures. A single humanoid skull lies at the entranceway to each building. All of them are covered with dust and emblazoned with a blue hex on the forehead.

Roll on the following table to see if anything of value remains in the ruined buildings:

1Nothing of value remains. There are signs of looting.
2Several small valuable items remain but the buildings all appear to have been turned over as if being searched for something. Several floor stones have been smashed and large hole dug where they lay inside the largest structure.
3An appropriate amount of loot for a standard encounter of monsters of the PC’s level.
4Several of the buildings contain magical trinkets (PH pp. 160-161)
5An uncommon magical item. If the PCs take this item, in the next settlement, an NPC will recognise and beseech them to return it claiming that it is cursed and will bring ruin to any settlement. This will cause a ruckus and the town will threaten to eject them. The item is not really cursed.
6A dangerous magical trap protects an uncommon magical item. There is evidence that it has already dispatched several eager looters, as well as predators drawn to their decaying bodies.

44) Safe Swarm

A swarm of hundreds of fluttering insects arises from behind a rocky outcrop. The swarm flies directly towards you.

A flock of ladybirds, butterflies or other benign insects swarm around one of the party members. Where they land, they leave trails of colour behind. The swarm will follow the party for d4 miles or until they go inside. If the PCs befriend the insects, the swarm will leave but return later. When it returns, the swarm will mob friendly party members and leave something of minor value in a pocket or hand:

13 cocoons, beetle shells or similar. When one is thrown on the ground a dense swarm of harmless insects appears. The swarm partially obscures anything on the other side.
2A chain necklace carved from wood. When worn the necklace shines dim light in a 10 foot radius.
3A small pile of slightly sparkling dirt. If sprinkled on a plant it will grow to twice its size for 24 hours.
4Seven lime green berries. When consumed by a creature, it’s voice changes to sound like that of another creature of your choice. This effect lasts for 24hrs.

45) Ancient Geoglyph

As you summit the crest of the hill you notice unusual lines traced on the landscape in front of you. A faded, overgrown symbol is drawn on a massive scale.

The symbol is mostly obscured. The grass or plants around its edges grow wild and emit a strange soporiphic pollen. CON Save 12 or fall unconscious for 1 hour. If the PCs decide to try and clear some of the earth they may discern some of the symbols meaning:

1An arcane rune, the remnants of a great magical working long forgotten to time. It is burned into the earth like a charred scar. An Arcana Check DC 15 reveals an element of its purpose: binding, banishment, destruction, corruption, transmutation, summoning, undeath, deification.
2The stone outline of a giant horse, griffon or other large animal is visible where the turf has been removed. Buried beneath a key part of the animal (eye, claw etc.) are hundreds of small stone effigies of the creature. One of these is carved from pure jade or another precious material. It is worth 100gp but removing it from the site will create an intense sense of foreboding, a sensation of being followed.
3Curiously red-tinted plant-like material outlines a fiendish giant skull bedecked with horns and fangs.
4An abstract representation of the life force of the earth, a focal point of druidic worship in times of old. Interlocking geometric patterns bear resemblances to seed heads, plant cones, honeycomb and other natural patterns. A druid or nature connected PC regains extra expended resources e.g. HP or Spell slots. Alternatively, they gain temporary extra resources for 24 hours.
5Thousands of small pebbles make out the edges of two god-like figures battling. The symbology of the god figures does not appear to match that of any extant in the known pantheon/s. The stones do not appear to be local and mysteriously return to the site if removed. Wounded PCs take one HP of damage for every 15 minutes spent within 10feet of the symbol.
6Intersecting lines, concentric circles, animal figures, humanoids and a wide variety of other patterns dot the landscape all around. Most are heavily covered in vegetation or have fallen into disrepair and are barely or only partially visible. They appear to be designed to be seen from above and as such their forms are hard to make out.

46) Ancient Artefacts

Thousands of toruses lie littered over the ground for what must be miles. They vary in size from a few metres in diameter to only a centimetre.

The rings are made from stone in a wide variety of hues and geological compositions. Each one is cracked or broken into several pieces. Around the inside they have various words written in an ancient script: luck, loss, health, wit, summer, night. There is a small chance the PCs may find one that says: ‘magic’ and is the size of a humanoid finger ring. When worn, this ring gradually heats up until it is unbearably warm and cause 1 fire damage per round until removed.

51) Ghostly Watcher

Atop a hill in the far distance stands a ghostly figure. Carrying a sword and bow, the figure exudes a pale light.

As PCs observe or get closer, the figure’s cloak flaps in the wind despite the strange calm of the air. It turns to look at its observers revealing a blank grey mask in place of a face. When the PCs are within 100 feet, the spirit rushes towards them closing the distance at frightening speed. If the PCs react by attacking, the spirit has an AC of 18 and a + 5 to saves. If they hit or otherwise succeed in targeting the spirit it disappears to the sound of faint sobbing. If they do not attack or do not succeed, the spirit passes through each party member dropping their body temperature as if plunged into icy water. It then says: “Why was she not here, I waited so long, I still wait, why?” The spirit then vanishes, fading out slowly followed by a harsh gust of wind.

52) A Dreaming Shared

This should occur whilst the party sleeps outside town. If their journey is not long enough to warrant a long rest, feel free to re-roll the encounter. Alternatively, have a deep mist settle that distorts vision eventually overcoming the party and lulling them into a deep dream. However, try not to force the issue.

As you drift into a heavy sleep you experience a sense of falling followed by moving at great speed. A heavy scent of blue and purple assails your nostrils. Out of the heavy mists of dreams and behind a soft yellow curtain, you spy the familiar silhouettes of your companions.

Each PC should recount something important to their character, for example:

  • A precious memory
  • An important person or place
  • Something they desire
  • Something they are afraid of
  • A favourite animal or pet

These elements should be combined into a strange blend of images and/or encounters culminating in a battle with a nightmare creature. The battle should take place in an dream version of an important location. For the nightmare creature, use a level appropriate creature for its stat block but it should resemble a person familiar to the party. As well as its original abilities it has one ability from each PC. Defeating it ends the dream abruptly.

The party awakes several miles away from where they slept. The surroundings will be noticeably different. A successful Survival Check DC 10 will reveal their location and get them back on track. Afterwards, a random PC will find a strange glowing stone in their pack. It is carved into the shape of something from the dream. This is a Dreamshard, a small lump of the dreamweave solidified and manifested on the material plane. When this Dreamshard is activated it casts Sleep at the average level of the party.

53) Hidden Growth

A faint light catches your eye. It is emanating from a pile of leaves clustered beneath a distant plant.

A glowing acorn or other seed is hidden under the piles of leaves. The seed should not be from the plant under which it lies. This glowing seed is a Dryad Seed. When planted a suitable tree for a dryad will grow to full height over 24hours. If the PCs deliver the seed to a local forest they will be rewarded by the Spirits of that Forest.

54) Four Meetings Foretold

The PC with the highest Perception should spy the three below animals and an elemental in group in the distance. Soon after they should disappear. A little further on, a large herd of rabbits or other burrowing animals surfaces in front of the party and blocks its path.

If the PCs try to go around them they will duck underground and resurface in their path again. If the PCs try to go through them they will pound the ground and cause a wild wind to push them back. The animals wish to be entertained by a song. A successful Performance Check DC 12 will clear the party’s path, the animals dancing along with the performance.

Following this, the PCs will encounter a large herd of grazing animals, wildebeest, zebra, antelope, goats, auroch or similar. They will bunch together to block the party’s path, threatening with their horns. The animals wish to be entertained by a story. A successful Performance Check DC 12 will clear the party’s path, the animals braying in approval.

Following this, the PCs will encounter a large group of predatory animals: lions, crocodiles, owl bears, manticore etc. They are lazily milling about and look bored but wary of the PCs. The animals wish to be regaled with tales from History or be flattered with information on their Nature. A successful Nature or History Check DC 12 will clear the party’s path, the animals dozing off contentedly.

Finally, the PCs will encounter a lake, crevice, dry brushland or wind buffeted hill. These are inhabited by a water, earth, fire or air elementals. The Elementals wish to be entertained by feats of strength and dexterity. Ask the PCs what they do. The DC of the check should be 15. If two or more PCs succeed the elementals will be pleased and present them with a gift of a special charm. The charm may be activated as a bonus action to give one creature within 5 feet resistance to bludgeoning and fire damage for 1 hour. If all the PCs succeed, the elementals also reward them with a charm that can be used to cast Summon Elemental once.

55) My Other Half

A dwarven figure sits by the side of the road dressed head to toe in red silk.

As he turns to face the party, it is clear that the right half of his body is invisible or missing. It does not affect his posture and he moves as if it is still there. The dwarf’s name is Aldrud and he has been struck by a curse. The curse was inflicted by: 

d6Cursed by…
1A green hag named Andlewlyn. Aldrud wished for a potion from the witch to reduce his weight…it worked.
2A dilettante sorcerer idly tested their latest spell on him and then fled after seeing the results
3He bought a strange medallion from a travelling peddler. When he put it on, the curse manifested. He has been unable to remove it.
4He stole a keg of magical ale from a fae creature. He has stashed the ale but refuses to return it even though it would remove his curse. He claims it is the sweetest brew that ever passed his lips.
5Unknowingly whilst travelling Aldrud lent on an ancient waystone. That stone marked a transition point between material and ethereal planes and shifted half his body out of sync.
6He was bragging to anyone who would listen that he was twice the man they were. A dragon disguised in human form took umbrage and cut him down to size.

56) Plants from Elsewhere

A very unusual looking plant grows behind a rocky outcrop.

The plant can be generated using the tables here.

61) Whispering Grass

The grasses growing around you whistle and murmur softly as they are buffeted by the night’s winds.

Choose one of the following:


They speak the name ‘Gullama’.

A DC 12 Religion or History check reveals this as the name of eponymous Tale of Gullama, an ancient parable that recounts the tragic death of Gullama. Gullama walked out alone from his village and passed through long reeds. His fate was:

  • Something spirited him away
  • Fairies tempted him into the faye and he never returned
  • A wolf or other large creature ate him and filled the soil with blood that grew thick with bloodnettles. You find a patch of blood nettles.

A faint and melancholy memory

The murmuring of the grass resurfaces forgotten or submerged memories of something lost and never regained. The PCs should recount these memories to each other. This sharing leads to a closer bond between the group. Each party member gains a d4 that they can add to a party member’s roll. If this dice is not used within 24hrs it is lost.

62) Fairy Trap Fence

A long wooden fence extends around a copse of trees. One of the fence posts appears to have a tiny figure perched on its top.

A fairy is trapped on a square wooden peg. It will refuse to leave the peg insisting that it will die if it does so. The only way to get it safely off is to carve the square peg into a circle. If the fairy is rescued it will do one of the following: Bless a PC with Inspiration, Reveal a useful secret, fly with the party alerting them to danger before leaving.

63) Sarcophagus

A large stone shape partially juts out of the hillside.

A recent flood has washed away the side of a hill. This has revealed the edge of a sarcophgus seemingly of ancient origin. It will be very difficult to dislodge and open. The script on the side is untelligilble unless knowledge of prehistoric languages is possessed. It tells of a magical trap released upon opening. Inside is the body of an ancient warrior who served a bloodthirty king. His long rusted weaponry is present as is large gemstone stolen from the king worth 100gp. The spirit of the king will haunt whoever takes it. Once per combat the DM may inflict disadvantage on a dice roll of the bearer. If the stone is sold the curse passes onto the new owner. If it is thrown away, the stone will appear in another PC’s pocket.

64) Prophetic Sky

As you gaze upwards, the sky provides a strange warning.

d6Colour of the Sky
1A rich azure blue shot through with streaks of wild yellows
2Faintly red like the diffused light from a fire
3The clouds sparkle faintly as if filled with stars
4The landscape goes almost pitch black as dark clouds blot out the sun or moon and stars
5A silver shimmer plays across the heavens
6Fractal patterns connect points of light

A PC may attempt to interpret the signs using Religion or Insight DC 15. Failure indicates a mixed, incomplete or incorrect reading.

d6Meaning in the Sky
1Is it merely weather, a trick of the eye, a natural phenomenon caused by conjunctions of the planets or other coincidence. However, a faint nagging sensation leaves you unsure.
2The event is a sign of something ominous to come. The effect should be hinted at by the DM so the PC is prepared for it: force a re-roll of a successful attack roll, automatically fail an ability check, a creature that attacks one of the party members will score a critical hit. When the event occurs the sky changes to a similar pattern.
3The event is a sign of good fortune to come: gain a point of inspiration, find a 50 gp gem stone within two days or automatically score a critical hit at a point of the DM’s choosing. When the event occurs the sky changes to a similar pattern.
4A message has been sent by the gods. If the PCs pray, make a dedication/sacrifice/offering or support a local temple or religious site, the party members all gain a point of inspiration. Alternatively, have a divine being show up to help them in a combat.
5The changing sky is the result of sorcerous meddling. A nearby spell caster
6The sign marks the entrance to the material plane of a divine being or other powerful extra-planar entity.

65) Whispering Wind

The wind howls around the party and the landscape. You are certain that the air carries your name.

The voice in the wind speaks a language a PC knows. It makes one of the following statements:

  • A request for help
  • It beseeches them to turnaround
  • It speaks of the death of the PC at the hands of an old foe
  • Betrayal will come to you from an angle least expected

This will form a strong compulsion in the PCs mind to take action in relation to the voice’s message

66) Missing Stars

As night settles in, you look up to the sky and see an unnerving sight.

One of the following is true:

  • The stars appear to have moved in the heavens, rearranging themselves into unnerving patterns
  • Several stars are missing, leaving noticeable blank spots in the sky
  • Some of the stars twinkle unusually or have a strange hue
  • In one constellation, several of the stars glow with an irregular intensity
  • The stars drift and move leaving trails as if viewed through drugged eyes

To read the signs in the heavens, make a religion or nature check. If successful, the PC receives a point of inspiration. If unsuccessful, the PC is struck by a deep seated sense of foreboding.

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2 thoughts on “Myths, Mysteries and Strange Sights: Wilderness Encounter table”

  1. Thank you for this. There are a lot of interesting encounters here. I will be using more than a few of them in my home brew campaign.

    1. Great to hear, it was fun to put together. Let me know how it goes if you do and feel free to check out the other stuff on the site.

      If you are interested in keeping up to date with things there is a mailing list. It only mails you once a month and when new articles are posted. You can find the subscribe on the side panel. If not don’t worry!

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