Coastal Encounters for DnD Sea and Island Adventures

Coastal Encounters for DnD Sea and Island Adventures

"This rocky beach has several small piles of dead fish. Several manticores wheel above the waves and stand in the shallows. A particularly large one watches the others from the high-tide mark."

Generated from the Coastal Locations and encounter tables below. Tables for Coastal Creatures (levels 1-4, 5-10, 11+), Beasts, Beaches and Spirits.

Coastal Encounter Tables - creatures | locations | non-combat | enhancements

[Photo by Luke Smyth on Unsplash] Updated from original article in 2018

Coastal Levels 1-4

1d8+1d12Coastal Levels 1-4
2 1 dragon wyrmling (bronze or blue) or 1 banshee
3 1d2 manticores or 1 merrenoloth (MToF) with a boat
4 1d3 plesiosauruses or roll on Beach Encounters lvl 1-4
5 1d6 scouts with a rowing boat or 2d4+2 tortles (MToF)
6 1d3 merrow or roll on Coastal Monsters lvl 1-4
7 2d4 pirates (bandits) and 1 bandit captain or 2d6 dolphins (VGtM)
8 1d6 lizardfolk with canoes or roll on Beach Encounters lvl 1-4
9 2d6 giant crabs or 2d4 dimetrodons (VGtM)
10 2d4 mud mephits or roll on Coastal Spirits lvl 1-4
11 1d6 commoners with a boat or roll on Humanoid Encounters
12 2d4 merfolkor 1 swashbuckler (VGtM)
13 1d4 giant toads or roll on Beast Encounters
14 2d6 tribal warriors or 1 deep scion (VGtM)
15 1d4+1 giant lizards or roll on Beast Encounters
16 1d6 sahuagin or roll on Sahuagin lvl 1-4
17 2d6 stirges or 1d4 sea spawn (VGtM)
18 2d4 kobolds with 1d2 giant wolf spiders or roll on Kobolds lvl 1-4
19 1d4 giant eagles or 2d4 pteranodons
20 1 sea hag or 1 archer (VGtM) on a quetzalcoatlus (VGtM)

Coastal Encounters

Coastal encounters bring visions of sandy dunes, steep cliffs, pebble beaches and tidal caves. Maybe encounters take place in a ruined lighthouse, haunted shipwreck or abandoned roc's nest.

A meeting place between the world of the water and land they are a place of travellers, watchful guardians and those who make their living from the sea.

There is a 5e coastal random encounter generator at ChaosGen. There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DM's Guild as Coastal Encounters.

Coastal Encounters pdf at dms guild Terrain Encounters Bundle for 5e

All terrains - arctic | coastal | desert | forest | grassland | hill | jungle | mountain | swamp | underdark | underwater | urban

Coastal Levels 5-10

1d8+1d12Coastal Levels 5-10
2 1 djinni or 1 morkoth (VGtM)
3 1 ship or wreck with 2d6+6 pirates (bandits) and 1d3 bandit captains or 2d4 deep scions (VGtM)
4 1 young blue dragon or 1 stone giant dreamwalker (VGtM)
5 2d6 sahuagin lead by 1 sahuagin baron or roll on Sahuagin lvl 5-10
6 1d3 water elementals or 1 young bronze dragon
7 2d6+3 sahuagin and 1 sahuagin priestess or roll on Sahuagin lvl 5-10
8 2d6 merrow or roll on Beach Encounters lvl 5-10
9 3d6 tribal warriors and 1d4 berserkers in a boat or 1 canoloth (MToF) guarding the area
10 1 cyclops with 2d4 giant goats or roll on Beach Encounters lvl 5-10
11 Roll on Coastal lvl 1-4 or 2d6 bandits and 1d4 scouts led by 1 swashbuckler (VGtM)
12 2d6+10 pirates (bandit stats) led by 1 bandit captain or 2d6 plesiosauruses
13 1d3 water elementals and 2d4 mud mephits or roll on Coastal Spirits lvl 5-10
14 1d4 air elementals or 3d6 tortles (MToF) led by 1 tortle druid (TMoF)
15 1d4+2 manticores or roll on Coastal Monsters lvl 5-10
16 1d6+1 veterans or 4d6 kobolds with 1d4+1 kobold dragonshields (VGtM) and 1d2 kobold scale sorcerers (VGtM)
17 Coven of 3 sea hags or roll on Coastal Spirits lvl 5-10
18 1d2 hydras or 3d6 cultists led by 1 kraken priest (VGtM)
19 1d4 sea trolls (swim 30 ft, hold breath up to 10 minutes) or roll on Coastal Monsters lvl 5-10
20 1 marid or 1 spirit troll (MToF)

Coastal Levels 11+

1d8+1d12Coastal Levels 11+
2 1 adult bronze dragon or 1 leviathan (MToF)
3 1 marid and 1d4 water elementals or 1 nagpa (MToF)
4 2 young bronze dragons or 1 storm giant with 1d3 griffons
5 1 marid or 1d3+1 spirit trolls (MToF)
6 2d6+6 merrow and 1 sea hag or 1d3+1 the lonely (MToF)
7 2d4 air elementals or 1 frost giant everlasting one (VGtM)
8 3d6+10 sahuagin lead by 1 sahuagin priestess and 1 sahuagin baron
9 2d4 water elementals or 1 wastrilith (MToF)
10 2d6 veterans with a boat or 1 storm giant quintessent (VGtM)
11 Roll on Coastal lvl 5-10 or 1 balhannoth (MToF)
12 1 dragon turtle
13 1d2 storm giants or 1 morkoth (VGtM)
14 1d4+2 cyclops or 2d6+2 manticores
15 1 djinni or 1 stone giant dreamwalker (VGtM) with 1d2 stone giants
16 2 young blue dragons or 1 blue abishai (MToF)
17 1 storm giant mounted on a roc
18 Coven of 3 sea hags with 2d6 merrow or 1d2 eidolons (MToF)
19 1 adult blue dragon or 1 ki-rin (VGtM)
20 1 kraken or 1 elder tempest (MToF)

Coastal Beasts (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Coastal Beasts (Levels 1-4)
2 1 saltwater giant crocodile
3 1 pseudodragon or 1d2 manticores
4 2d4 blood hawks
5 2d4 giant poisonous snakes or 2d6 ponies
6 2d4 pteranodons
7 1 giant octopus or roll on Aquatic Beasts
8 1d4+1 saltwater crocodiles
9 1d3 plesiosauruses or roll on Aquatic Beasts
10 2d4 giant wolf spiders or 2d4 dimetrodons (VGtM)
11 2d6 giant crabs or roll on Aquatic Beasts
12 1d4+1 giant lizards
13 1d4 giant toads
14 2d6 stirges or 2d6 dolphins (VGtM)
15 1 swarm of crabs (swarm of insects stats)
16 1d2 brown bears or 1d2 quetzalcoatluses (VGtM)
17 2d4 giant crabs and 1 swarm of crabs (swarm of insects stats)
18 1d4 giant seagulls (as giant vulture) or 1 giant constrictor snake
19 1d2 griffons
20 1d4 giant eagles

Aquatic Beasts (Levels 1-4)

1d4+1d6Aquatic Beasts (Levels 1-4)
2 2d4 aquatic giant poisonous snakes (swim speed 30 ft)
3 1d2 killer whales
4 1d4 giant octopi or 2d4 dimetrodons (VGtM)
5 1d4+1 reef sharks
6 2d6 giant crab or or 2d6 dolphins (VGtM)
7 1d6 giant sea horses
8 1d3 plesiosauruses or 1d3 hunter sharks
9 1d3 swarms of quippers
10 1 giant shark

Beach Encounters (Levels 1-4)

1d4+1d6Beach Encounters (Levels 1-4)
2 1d6 bandits and 1 bandit captain with spades or 1d3 playful dragon hatchlings (blue or bronze)
3 1 sea hag or roll on Coastal Spirits lvl 1-4
4 1d4+1 giant lizards or 2d4 tribal warriors on riding horses in the shallows
5 A fishing boat with 2d4 commoners or Roll on Humanoid Encounters
6 2d6 giant crabs or roll on Beast Encounters
7 1d6 lizardfolk with canoes or 2d4 merfolk
8 1d3 plesiosauruses or 1d6 tortles (VGtM) with 1 tortle druid (VGtM)
9 2d4 awakened seaweeds (awakened shrub stats) or Roll on Coastal Monsters lvl 1-4
10 1 druid with... 1d4 saltwater crocodiles (or roll on Beast Encounters)

Beach Encounters (Levels 5-10)

1d4+1d6Beach Encounters (Levels 5-10)
2 1 marid or 1d4 sea trolls (swim 30 ft, hold breath up to 10 minutes)
3 Coven of 3 sea hags or Roll on Coastal Spirits lvl 5-10
4 2d6+3 cultists with 1d4+1 cult fanatics and 1 priest and a boat with fiendish sigils
5 2d6 merrow or 1d6 chuuls
6 3d6 sahuagin led by 1d2 sahuagin priestesses or 1d2 kraken priests (VGtM) with 3d6 cultists
7 1d2 cyclops with... 1d4 giant toads (or roll on Beast Encounters)
8 A mass of seaweed with 1d2 shambling mounds and 2d4 vine blights
9 1d2 hydras or Roll on Coastal Monsters lvl 5-10
10 1 basking young dragon (blue or bronze)

Coastal Spirits (Levels 1-4)

1d4+1d6Coastal Spirits (Levels 1-4)
2 1 air elemental or 1 water elemental
3 2d4 steam mephits or 1 shipwrecked ghost
4 1 sea hag
5 2d4 mud mephits or 1d2 vampiric mists (MToF)
6 1 water weird
7 1d4+1 ice mephits or 1d4 dust mephits
8 1d3 pegasi or 1d2 poltergeists
9 1 banshee or 2d4 animated sea objects (flying sword stats)
10 1 helmed horror

Coastal Spirits (Levels 5-10)

1d4+1d6Coastal Spirits (Levels 5-10)
2 1 marid
3 1d4 air elementals or 1 water elemental with 1d4 water weirds
4 1 wraith and 2d4 specters or 1 frost salamander (MToF)
5 2d6+3 mephits (any mix of steam, mud, ice and dust)
6 1d3 wind spirits (invisible stalker stats)
7 1d4 water elementals or 1 of the lonely (MToF)
8 1 air elemental and 1d6 pegasi
9 Coven of 3 sea hags or 1 mist giant (cloud giant stats)
10 1 djinni or 1 spirit troll (MToF)

More Encounters

There is a 5e coastal random encounter generator at ChaosGen. There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DM's Guild as Coastal Encounters.

Coastal Encounters pdf at dms guild Terrain Encounters Bundle for 5e

You can find out more on Patreon and find me on Twitter @DuncanThom