Need help with coming up with ideas for an encounter [closed]

TLDR: I’m looking for suggestions and ideas to meet expectations of my players. I run out of ideas for a possible encounter with some deep dwellers.

Hi, i’m runnig a 5e game, it is a mix of the SKT adventure with an addition of homebrow story elements, it does not take place on the Sword Coast, but around Vaasa, Thar and the likes.

My party has recently arrived in a minnig town inhabiteted mainly by gnomes and dwarves. The town lies above many Underdark entrances. The ones that are known are heavily guared by the town guards. Of course most of them are guarded by the deep dwellers, which given the localization of the town would mostly be duergars or svirfneblin. The underground part of the town has been closed due to arrvival of an unexpected fugitive.

The party doesn’t know it yet, but it is a half elven woman who has almost miraciulsly escaped from a mind flayer colony, which lies somewhere below the town within 25-35 miles. The mind flayer colony has been attacked by a rouge powerfull mind flayer (and its followers), which is on a good path to becoming an illithilich in the future. It’s attack was an atempt to kill the elder brain of the colony, which the rogue one came from. The attact has shaken the colony and given a chance mind flayers’ prisoners to escape (one of them is the half elven woman mentioned earlier).

I described my players that the underground part of the town has been closed and that the guards have taken precautions for the possible arrival of pursuit after the half elven woman. It looks like my players are now expecting some big and epic encounter and I am not sure what to do. They don’t know about the mind flayers, but I think that the illithids wouldn’t pursue after a mere prisoner.

Am I correctly calculating the difficulty/XP for this encounter for a 15th-level party of 5 PCs?

I am putting together a campaign and have been experimenting with the guidelines for creating encounters and managing difficulty. I’ve done the math for quite a few encounters at each of the "tier" levels (5th, 11th, 15th) just to get a feel for how it works. One example is below. Does my method look correct?

15th level party, medium difficulty, 5 PCs  XP Threshold: 5(2800) = 14,000 xp 4 monsters so 2x Encounter Multiplier:  1 fire giant 1(2)(5000 xp) = 10000 xp 1 ogre       1(2)( 450 xp) =   900 xp 2 ettins     2(2)(1100 xp) =  4400 xp                              --------                              15300 xp 

So a wee bit more than the medium difficulty threshold but still less than the hard difficulty threshold. There are a lot of other factors to take into account when designing encounters and this is just back of the cocktail napkin math. A fire giant figures prominently in the campaign and I’m trying to figure out "when" to bring him in should it come to blows.

How much XP does a monster created by Animate Objects add to an encounter?

I am making a boss fight. The boss can cast animate objects, a spell that can animate statues.

The spell gives information for, eg., 1 Large Construct:

Large – HP: 50, AC: 10, Attack: +6 to hit, 2d10 + 2 damage, Str: 14, Dex: 10

How much XP should I award for this Large construct?

I’m estimating CR1 (200XP) each.

How do I recalibrate this encounter from Red Hand of Doom for 5th Edition D&D?

I’m running D&D3.5e’s Red Hand of Doom updated for 5e. So far it has been effortlessly straightforward. I’ve been keeping the basic combat encounter structures and simply swapping out 3.5e monsters for similarly-named 5e monsters (3.5e hobgoblins for 5e hobgoblins, 3.5e manticores for 5e manticores, etc.). Likewise, I’ve been winging skill checks and other non-combat challenges just by eyeballing how hard the stated 3.5e DCs likely would’ve been and using my best judgment to apply 5e DCs of roughly similar probability given bounded accuracy.

However, the PCs are coming up on a critical encounter with a major non-combat objective that presents special conversion problems. The encounter in question, arising near the end of Part I, is

Because this objective isn’t a monster, I can’t simply turn to stock 5e monsters and assume all the calibration will have been done for me. At the same time, it’s not as simple as a skill check that I can just eyeball. RHoD provides 3.5e combat statistics for the objective (see p. 34-35), but I’m not sure how those statistics translate to 5e. As written, the objective has what I perceive to be an outsize pile of HP, plus additional defensive features (taking reduced damage from certain sources, etc.) arising from how 3.5e treated entities in the nature of this objective. It’s not clear whether, or how, 5e might expect me to recalibrate those statistics and features.

That is problem enough, but RHoD also goes out of its way to enumerate 3.5e spells that can interact effectively with the objective — most of which are either unavailable or fundamentally changed in 5e. To wit:

  • Soften earth and stone does not exist in 5e.
  • 5e’s version of stone shape restricts the effected area to "no more than 5 feet in any direction," which was not a limitation of the 3.5e version.
  • Stone to flesh does not exist in 5e.
  • Transmute rock does exist in 5e and is substantially more useful in that it applies to any nonmagical rock, rather than only natural, unworked rock as did the 3.5e version. The 5e version could probably deal with the objective in a single turn, whereas RHoD says the 3.5e version just dealt some modest damage if used in a particular way.

Given the different combat mechanics and spell functions between 3.5e and 5e, how do I convert this encounter so it remains an appropriate challenge?

(In case context is helpful, the party is level 5 and comprises a Light cleric, a Hunter ranger, a melee-heavy Battlemaster fighter, and an Abjuration wizard. Despite RHoD being written for 3.5e parties starting at level 6, up to this point these 5th-level PCs have been able to handle the encounters in Part I of the adventure.)

Using some homebrew i created. How to design a level 1 encounter with 7 level 1 characters

Me and my friends decided to play some dnd 5th edition. The issue is, though i am a long term DM i am only well-versed in the rules for 3.5e and Pathfinder 1st, same as Open Legend but it uses a completely different base system than the other ones.

I am essentially playing in a world that has been changed by the invention of Magitek. Technically it was discovered by some ancient ruins by the big empires expedition into the wilderness, though they honed and reverse engineered all that old tech in those ruins.

Right now my adventuring party is about to meet in the common tavern setting. All of those characters are of level 1 and consist of:

-Life Cleric

-Artificer

-Barbarian

-Monk

-The UA Pheonix Sorcerer with a few tweaks.

-A warlock with homebrew. Pact of the Vengeful Spirit as a mounted warlock kind of deal.

-Blood Hunter

Right now i want to make a small adventure playing in a neutral swiss like country, which is outside of the large and political conflicts of this world. To get the characters to bond in a more neutral environment. Since 1 Character comes from the "evil" empire and the other 3 come from it’s natural enemy. So to build up a group i decided to let them start in a neutral environment. Though i would like to introduce that little homebrew i entered into the world.

Magitek Items or rather Items with the Magitek Keyword are like magical items, but require fuel to sustain themselves for a more beneficial effect. What i was thinking of was that a Beast Tribe with enough Intelligence, probably Goblinoids, stole some shipments from the place they are currently situated at and are using that to raid the lands.

Though personally with a relatively balanced lineup of characters and essentially 7 turns in player character action economy. I personally do not know how to make an engaging encounter for them or multiple during this mini-adventure so that the players feel challenged and feel that this is an actual threat if these items get out of control. Obviously i would also not hand my players magitek items early on in the campaign. The Life Cleric is a Kleptomaniac. So should i maybe build in a failsafe ?

I’d require some good help for encounter building against overwhelming action economy in 5e as in 3.5 or pathfinder 1st i can handle it. Though there i feel it is quite confusing. Any advice is helpful here.

Thanks for the help in advance.

Is this encounter in ghosts of saltmarsh ridiculously deadly?

In the Ghosts of saltmarsh appendix A, "Of ships and the sea" one of the pre-created underwater locations (the wreck of the marshal) has the following feature:

I’m hoping to run one of the suggested adventures in this area (the one for lvl 5 characters), but I’m struggling to see how this feature is supposed to work. As in this question the PCs will have to make 8 saves to avoid being charmed, so even with the low DC of 11 (and the elf in the party having advantage), the chance of at least one failure is high. Once they are charmed they will get no further saves if they just swim straight towards the harpy that’s charmed them and then that harpy can kill them without them getting another save (as long as it’s the harpy they’re charmed by). To me, this seems like a death sentence to any characters that haven’t make preparations in advance (like stuffing their ears or using the Silence spell).

Am I reading this wrong? It feels mean to just say to my players "roll 8 wisdom saves". Which makes me think I must have missed something here.

Which 3rd party D&D nested random encounter resource includes combat/social/treasure/mystery encounters for each type of environment?

I had once found a nested random encounter resource, as in there was a master table to determine the whether the party discovered interesting terrain, combat, mysteries, etc and one could then find associated tables for those encounter types for various environments: arctic, trade road, forest, grassland, underwater…

This book was very similar to Necromancer Games 2003 Mother of All Encounter Tables except as I had stated previously unlike MOAET the book I am looking for includes many different types of possible discoveries to come across whereas MOAET simply lists possible monsters one might find and fight in a particular biome.

I do not remember many of the encounters from this book but one that had stuck out in my mind is one from the arctic table where the party comes across a metallic device generating heat in the snow, as if to imply alien or future technology.

Does anyone know the name of this resource or where to find it?

What is the lowest level character that can unfailingly beat the Lost Mine of Phandelver starting encounter?

This question uses the first encounter of LMOP as (what I thought was) a fun framing device for an optimization question. Four downvotes in one minute makes me question that decision.

Tone is hard to convey in text, so I’ll make it explicit: this is just a fun optimization problem, not an attempt to ruin anyone’s game.


For a lot of players, Lost Mine of Phandelver from the D&D Starter Set was their first 5e adventure. The first encounter from that adventure is rather swingy, like many level 1 combats. PCs may end up victorious without a scratch, or unconscious without getting a turn.

Bad luck

What if you were really unlucky, though? Really, really unlucky. Can a single character unfailingly beat the encounter, despite all the dice being against them? What is the lowest level that you could pull this off?

Whatever can go wrong for the PC, will go wrong. In general, this means that they will roll a 1 on all dice rolls (attacks, saving throws, ability checks, damage, etc.) If a low roll is beneficial to them (Divine Intervention, for example), then that roll may be a higher roll.

Whatever can go right for the enemies, will go right. In general, this means that they will roll the maximum value on all dice rolls. If a high roll is harmful to them, then that roll may be a lower roll.

Encounter specifics

  • The PC will face:
  • When combat begins, the enemies are exactly 30 feet away from the PC. Any PC-controlled creatures start as close to the PC as possible. All participants start on the ground.
  • Two of the enemies (one melee and one ranged) are on each side of the road.
  • The enemies have a chance to gain surprise. There is sufficient cover to try to hide on both sides of the road.
  • The two melee enemies will close in. If it becomes clear that they can’t get into range, they may use an Action to doff their shields and switch to bows.
  • Ranged enemies will try to stay within 80 feet (the normal range of their weapons).
  • The PC has beat the encounter if they are alive when combat ends and all of the enemies are dead.

Character specifics

  • LMOP takes place in the Forgotten Realms, so I’m going to limit sources to FR-specific and setting-agnostic official hardcover books: Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.
  • Customizing ability scores, variant human, multiclassing, feats, and playing on a grid are allowed. All other variant rules are not.
  • No magic items or magic item-like things granted by the DM (boons, blessings, charms, etc.)
  • Spells/abilities you use before combat may only target you or creatures you control. Only spells/abilities whose effects last 8 hours or longer will still be active when combat starts. You do not get a rest between using any spells/abilities and combat starting.

Aztec/Mayan Temple Guardian monster, puzzle, and encounter ideas? [closed]

In a few weeks, I’m running a 10th level DnD 5e Indiana Jones-esque one-shot type jungle adventure in my homebrew world. My players are fighting golems, dinosaurs, etc. But I’m struggling to design a cool and engaging encounter when they finally reach the top of the ruined pyramid they’re going to explore. The pyramid was built by sun-worshipping natives that had a strange connection with extraplanar and alien beings. What kind of monsters do you think would be interesting and cool to be guarding this place at the top of the pyramid? I’m also planning to make this puzzle were they have to figure out a way to open a circular pressure plate at the center of the chamber at the top of the pyramid to enter as well, and would like to hear your suggestions or ideas on how I could execute this?

I’m open to all suggestions!