GM Resources

Monthly Encounters List by Tier and Environment

Thumbnail art by Chris Rahn

If you’ve been following my articles you may have seen many of the monthly encounters I wrote for Tribality. I’ve been writing them for more than a year by now and I intend to keep on the tradition by posting a new one the first Wednesday of each month. However, for those in need of an easier way to find the ideal encounter to their table I bring you this new article! In here, I’ll update the list every month by adding in the new encounters as I write them, so make sure to bookmark it.

The encounters I wrote were made with the intention of feeling different from your usual random encounters. I tried to make them complex enough to feel special and grant a different play experience while being simple enough to run. All things included within them can be accessed for free thanks to the D&D SRD. Links to all monsters and magic items are contained within the articles to make it easier for you to run them. Homebrew items used are described in the article.

Encounters by Level Tier

Tier 1: lvls 1-4

Tier 2: lvls 5-10

Tier 3: lvls 11-16

Tier 4: lvls 17-20


Encounters by Environment

Anywhere

Arctic

Coastal

Desert

Forest

Feywild

Grassland

Hill

Hell

Mountain

Open Water

Swamp

Underdark

Underwater

Urban


Encounters Descriptions

Monthly Encounter #1: Tabaxi in the tree (lvls 1-4)

A tabaxi couple is trying to bring their son down from a tree he climbed. As this is going on, a group of well-known bandits attack them for stealing. Player characters encounter this scenario going on in which they have to decide which group to help out without having any context. While this is going on the little tabaxi child is about to fall from the tree.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #2: Stuck in Hell (lvls 5-10)

The PCs need to help a Candlekeep member find his partner in hell, who is trapped in a misty section souls cannot get out from unless convinced to leave their troubles behind. It is encouraged to treat this as a roleplaying-heavy encounter, with combat against hell hounds by the end of it.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #3: A Purple Worm Problem (lvls 11-16)

A group of dwarves got cornered against a cliff by a purple worm. Most of the dwarves are clearly not ready for combat and plead the adventurers for help. The map encourages tactical combat and rewards great positioning. The purple worm has learned how to get launched from the holes it burrows through, making it an extremely dangerous foe to fight against.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #4: The Oni that Ruined Jinglenight (lvls 5-10)

Christmas themed encounter in which the player characters have to save the medieval equivalent of Santa Claus and his Christmas elves from an oni looking to ruin the festivity. The adventurers can make use of the sleigh and its presents cannon during combat. After doing so, they are invited to save Jinglenight by using the magic sleigh.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #5: A Bombastic Festival (lvls 1-4)

A weird construct gets out of control during a festivity. Player characters need to confront the construct using the weird magic items originally planned for the festival to stop it before someone gets harmed or the festival is ruined. Expect all kinds of gnomic crazy inventions.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #6: The Mysterious Fey Totem (lvls 11-16)

A mysterious fey totem appears in a roadway in the Feywild. It has many faces and seems to be abandoned or cleverly placed for some reason. Deciding to ignore the totem makes the player characters notice they are trapped in a looping roadway. The only way out is to interact with the weird and magical totem.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #7: The Phantasmal Owlbear’s Den (lvls 5-10)

The ghost from an owlbear shows up in a town near the forest to massacre those in the streets during the night and bringing them towards the forest. The owlbear shows up continually, gathering more victims. The player characters are called by the mayor to investigate the mystery and put an end to it. This encounter works great as both a spooky and heartwarming story, and you can expect your player characters to end with an owlbear cub as a pet by the end of it.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #8: The Wizard’s Seesaw Trap (lvls 11-16)

Enter the mad wizard’s tower and confront one of its many traps! To keep going through the tower the player character need to win a combat while fighting on an always moving seesaw. The combat environment is made so the players need to position themselves carefully as they combat against mage guardians. Tactical thinking is needed to successfully pull off the encounter.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #9: A harpy attack on board (lvls 5-10)

While sailing through the seas or skies a group of harpies attacks the player characters. These aren’t your typical harpies though. They are being leaded by an incredibly intelligent one that has a plan to destroy the ship or airship by using rust monsters that corrode the ship’s wood. Player characters are expected to plan carefully how they want to combat them as there are many ticking clocks in place.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #10: The Androsphinx’s Puzzle (lvls 17-20)

In order to enter a sacred tomb, the player characters need to either solve the androsphinx’s puzzle or battle against it. The androsphinx is an extremely powerful and cunning foe that has no problem with fighting dirty to protect the tomb. Challenge your players with a puzzle or have them meet their doom.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #11: Of Giants and Dragons (lvls 5-10)

The player characters see from afar a mighty battle between a brass dragon and a group of giants. A legendary sword is stuck in the stone in the middle of the battle, with runes written in giant. Which side will the player characters help? Give a great legendary sword to your player characters with this encounter, while having them take part in an epic battle.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #12: An Abominable Cavern (lvls 5-10)

Have the player characters confront a group of yetis or a roc while trying to reach a village traveling through the mountains. This encounter has plenty of combat possibilities, but it can all be evaded if the player characters manage to move stealthily or quickly. Finish the encounter with a sled race through the side of the mountain with the roc trying to catch them.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER

Monthly Encounter #13: The Corrupted Underwater Dragon (lvls 1-4)

A bronze dragon wyrmling got cursed by a hag. Now the dragon continually kills all the fishes in a lake a near hamlet use to live. The people from the hamlet get in contact with the party and ask them to find out what is causing the fish to die in the lake. This encounter works great to introduce the players to underwater combat, fighting a dragon in its dangerous lair and giving them a rival to fight in some other future encounter or story arc.

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Monthly Encounter #14: Amani Baba and the ten thieves (lvls 1-4)

This group of thieves has heard the tale of a magic lamp containing an entity capable of granting wishes. The thieves’ leader Amani Baba will go find it in this strange magical oasis that shows up every ten years, only to then disappear again. Give the characters the chance to approach this encounter in different ways, creating different results based in their decisions. Approaching the oasis by daylight creates a different encounter to getting there by nighttime. Time is running out and there is a genie to find.

CLICK TO GO TO ENCOUNTER