5E DnD Spooky Encounter Tables for Horror and Halloween

Duncan Thomson

Among the bones of fallen warriors and rusted weapons you see a dark figures stood around a prominent tombstone. What appears to be a wreath of flowers is stained by and putrid black liquid being poured from a flask...

From a roll of 14 on "Sites of the Dead" table below

Horror Tables & Tools - encounters | one-shots | dark fantasy guide

D&D Horror Encounters

D&D is it's own brand of fantasy, and but horror elements can be seen in Ravenloft and many creatures taken from myth and folklore.

The encounter tables here focus on lower levels (1-4) as this is where it's easiest to bring in elements of mystery and fear.

Haunted House - this might be a mansions, ruined temple or abandoned fortresses.

Sites of the Dead - Graveyards, battlefields, tombs, catacombs, memorial gardens.

Dark Cults - The cults can be combined with other tables such as base in a mansion or the woods.

Gloomy Woods - Places of eternal twilight, wolf howls, malevolent fey and dangerous strangers.

Lonely Road - Along this road lies ruined inns, unfriendly villages, families of nomadic travelers and refugees from disaster.

A pdf of these tables and more is at the DM's Guild as Spooky Encounter Tables, including mid-level (5-10) tables and others expanding each of the 5 themes here.

Spooky Encounter Tables pdf on DM's Guild Spooky Adventures Bundle

Haunted House (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Haunted House
2 1 Vampire Spawn
3 1 Ghost
4 1d2 Ogres (chopping up bodies)
5 1d3 Animated Armors
6 1d4 Ghouls
7 1d3 Gargoyles
8 1 Berserker (with a wild look in their eyes)
9 1d3 Mimics (disguised as furniture)
10 2d6 Giant Rats
11 1 Doppelganger (dressed as a butler)
12 2d4 Bandits led by 1 Bandit Captain (taking refuge here)
13 1 Rug of Smothering
14 1 Poltergeist
15 2d4 Flying Swords
16 2d4 Goblins (using a warren of secret passages)
17 1d3 Imps
18 1d3 Ghasts
19 1 Helmed Horror
20 1 Flesh Golem

Sites of the Dead (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Sites of the Dead
2 1 Wraith (they regard themselves as the owner of the area and give intruders a chance to leave)
3 1 Priest with 1d4+1 Skeletons (the priest has animate dead prepared instead of dispel magic)
4 1d4 Giant Vultures
5 1 Werewolf (appears as a priest or caretaker)
6 2d4 Skeletons
7 1 Priest and 1d4 Acolytes (they are performing a funeral)
8 1 Ghost
9 1 Priest and 1d4 mourners
10 1d4+1 Swarms of Ravens
11 1d4+1 Thugs (robbing graves for bodies or burial goods)
12 2d4 Commoners with 1d4 Mastiffs (mourning lost relatives)
13 1d4 Ghouls (they have just dug up a recently buried coffin or body)
14 1 Cult Fanatic and 1d4+1 Cultists or roll on Cultists (performing a dark ritual)
15 2d4 Zombies (only been dead for a week or two)
16 1 Veteran and 1d3 Guards (claim to be vampire hunters)
17 1d3 Wights
18 1d2 Mimics (disguised as tombstones)
19 1 Bone Naga
20 1 Revenant

Evil Cults (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Evil Cults Levels
2 1d2 Half-ogres with 1d4 Cultists and 1d2 Acolytes
3 1d4 Acolytes with 1 Priest and 2d4 Zombies
4 1d2 Cult Fanatics with 1d6 Tribal Warriors
5 1d4 Cultist with... 1d2 Grells
6 1 Cult Fanatic with 1d4 Skeletons in hooded robes
7 1d4 Bandits with 1d4 Kuo-toa and 1 Giant Frog
8 1d4 Cultists and 1d4 Kenku
9 1d3 Spies and 2d4 Commoners
10 2d4 Bandits with 1 Priest and 1d4 Commoners
11 1 Cult Fanatic with 2d4 Cultists
12 2d4 Acolytes with.... 1 Spy
13 1d2 Cult Fanatics with 2d6 Commoners
14 1d4+1 Acolytes with... 1d3 Intellect Devourers
15 1d2 Thugs and 2d4 Cultists
16 2d4 Guards and 1d4 Acolytes
17 1d2 Yuan-ti Purebloods with 1d4+1 Commoners each carrying a Giant Poisonous Snake
18 1d6 Bandits and 1d4 Kenku led by 1 Scout
19 1d6 Cultists with... 1 Succubu / Incubus
20 1 Bandit Captain with 2d4 Cultists and 1 Slaad Tadpole

Gloomy Woods (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Gloomy Woods
2 1 Shambling Mound
3 1d2 Werewolves
4 1 Banshee
5 1d2 Druids with 1 Giant Goat (preparing to sacrifice the goat)
6 1 Ettercap and 1d3 Giant Spiders
7 1d3 Gricks
8 1d6 Goblins on Wolves
9 2d4 Twig Blights and 1 Vine Blight
10 1d2 Owlbears
11 1d2 Phase Spiders
12 2d4 Giant Bats
13 1d2 Satyrs and 1d3 Dire Wolves (on a hunt)
14 1d4+1 Giant Spiders
15 1d4+1 Worgs
16 1d3 Will-o'-wisps
17 1 Werebear (carrying a very large bloodied axe)
18 1d3 Harpies
19 1d3 Apes
20 1d2 Yetis (snow is falling)

Lonely Road (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Lonely Road
2 1d2 Nightmares or 1d3 Perytons
3 A coach pulled by 1d3+1 Warhorse Skeletons with 1d3 Ghouls on board
4 1 Shadow Demon (it haunts a crossroads or other meeting place)
5 2d4 Tribal Warriors led by 1 Cult Fanatic (the leader is an oracle seeking ways avert their visions of doom)
6 2d6+12 Commoners led by 1d3 Thugs (they have formed into an angry mob)
7 1 Green Hag (they are telling fortunes on the roadside)
8 1d3 Scarecrows mounted on Skeletal Horses
9 1 Knight with 1 Guard squire (they are trying desperately to get to shelter before nightfall)
10 Funeral procession of 1 Priest, 1d4 Acolytes and 2d4 Commoners
11 2d4 Guards led by 1 Scout (they have a horse with 1d3 dead companions and are afraid something is following them)
12 1d4+1 Scouts (they are witch hunters)
13 2d4 Tribal Warriors and 1 Druid (they are drumming and performing a tribal dance)
14 1d3 Swarms of Insects
15 1 Will-'o-Wisp and 1d3 Bullywugs
16 1 Wight mounted on a Warhorse (the wight is headless but has normal stats)
17 1d4 Dire Wolves
18 2d4 Giant Goats (they stare at those who pass by, one of them is possessed by a spirit)
19 1d6 Bandits and 1d4 Kenku led by 1 Scout or roll on Cultists
20 1 Troll (it guards a bridge or other crossing place and demands tribute in souls or blood)

More Encounters

A pdf of these tables and more is at the DM's Guild as Spooky Encounter Tables, including mid-level (5-10) tables and others expanding each of the 5 themes here.

Spooky Encounter Tables pdf on DM's Guild Spooky Adventures Bundle