5E DnD Forest Encounters for All Levels

5E DnD Forest Encounters for All Levels
"A grove of aspens stands above the surrounding forest, blessed by a fey magic with leaves of blue, violet and orange among the vivid green. Two mounds stir at your approach, rising from two low pits. These mounds of shrubs and foliage have several silver and bronze icon attached to them"

Are these guardians or masters of the grove? who put the icons there?

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

[Photo by Deglee Degi on Unsplash]. Updated from original article in 2018

Forest Levels 1-4

d8+d12 Forest Levels 1-4
2 1 shambling mound or 1 wood woad (VGtM)
3 1d2 werewolves or 1 girallon (VGtM)
4 1d4 scouts with 1d4 blink dogs or 1d4 grung wildlings (VGtM)
5 2d4 orcs or roll on Orcs lvl 1-4
6 2d4 kobolds with 1d2 giant weasels or roll on Kobold Encounters
7 1d4 sprites and 1d4 pixies or roll on Sylvan Creatures
8 1d6 goblins on wolves or roll on Goblinoids lvl 1-4
9 2d4 twig blights and 1 vine blight or roll on Plant Creatures
10 1d2 owlbears or roll on Forest Monsters lvl 1-4
11 2d4 satyrs or roll on Sylvan Creatures
12 2d4 giant badgers or roll on Beast Encounters
13 1d4 lizardfolk with 1 lizardfolk shaman or roll on Lizardfolk Encounters
14 1d4+1 giant spiders or roll on Beast Encounters
15 2d4 scouts or roll on Humanoid Encounters
16 2d4 giant wasps or roll on Beast Encounters
17 1d4 gnolls and 2d4 hyenas or roll on Gnoll Encounters Level 1-4
18 1d2 yuan-ti malisons or roll on Yuan-ti Encounters Level 1-4
19 1d3 apes or 1d2 flail snails (VGtM)
20 1 unicorn or 1 oaken bolter (MToF)

Forest Encounters

Forest can cover pine uplands, sylvan forests or thick jungle canopies. Encounters might take place by a giant fallen oak, in a sylvan meadow of mushrooms or among overgrown standing stones.

The woodlands are full of life, with greenery and beasts at every step. It is home to feral druids, cavorting fey,  beast hunters and primordial creatures best left alone.

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

Terrain Encounters Bundle for 5e

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

Forest Levels 5-10

1d8+1d12Forest Levels 5-10
2 1 young gold dragon or 1d3 shadow dancers (MToF)
3 1d4 shambling mounds or 1d2 iron cobras (MToF) with 1d4 stone defenders (MToF) and 1 oaken bolter (MToF)
4 1d4 werewolves and 2d6 wolves or 1d4+2 vampiric mists (MToF)
5 3d6 lizardfolk with 1 lizardfolk shaman and 1 lizard king / queenor 1d3 veterans with 1d6 guard drakes (VGtM)
6 1d2 werebears and 1d4 brown bears or 1d4+1 yeth hounds (VGtM)
7 1d3 druids with 2d4 owlbears or 2d4 redcaps (VGtM)
8 2d6 centaurs or 1 corpse flower (MToF) and 1d8 zombies
9 1d4+1 ettercaps and 2d4 giant spiders or 1d2 korreds (VGtM)
10 1 unicorn and 2d6 satyrs or 1d6 wood woads (VGtM)
11 Roll on Forest lvl 1-4 or 1 eladrin (any, MToF)
12 1 treant or roll on Forest Monsters lvl 5-10
13 2d6 bugbears and 1 bugbear chief or roll on Goblinoids lvl 5-10
14 1d4+2 gricks and 1 grick alpha or roll on Forest Monsters lvl 5-10
15 2d4 gnolls and 1 gnoll fang of Yeenoghu mounted on giant hyenas or roll on Gnolls lvl 5-10
16 2d4 displacer beasts or roll on Forest Monsters lvl 5-10
17 1 yuan-ti abomination or roll on Yuan-ti lvl 5-10
18 1 guardian naga or roll on Forest Monsters lvl 5-10
19 1 young green dragon or 1d4 brontosauruses (VGtM)
20 1d2 giant apes or 1 venom troll (MToF) and 1d4 trolls

Forest Levels 11+

1d8+1d12Forest Levels 11+
2 2d4 druids with 1d4 treants or 1 nagpa (MToF)
3 2 young green dragons or 1 retriever (MToF)
4 1d3 oni with 2d6 ogres or 1d6 druids and 1 archdruid (VGtM)
5 1 adult green dragon or 1 gray render (MToF)
6 1d4+2 giant apes or 1d6+2 wood woads (VGtM) and 1d3 druids
7 6d6 lizardfolk with 2d6 giant lizards led by 1d3 lizardfolk shaman and 1 lizard king / queen
8 2d4 trolls or 1 yuan-ti anathema (VGtM) and 1d6 yuan-ti malisons
9 2d6+6 gnolls with 1d4 gnoll fangs of Yeenoghu and 1 gnoll pack lord
10 2d4 shambling mounds or 1d3 eladrin (any, MToF)
11 Roll on Forest lvl 5-10 or 1 archdruid (VGtM)
12 1d3+1 treants or 2d6 girallons (VGtM)
13 1 unicorn with 3d6 centaurs or 1 warlock of the archfey (VGtM) with 1d4+4 yeth hounds (VGtM)
14 1d4+1 werebears and 1d6 brown bears or 1d2 eidolons (MToF)
15 2d6 berserkers with 1 giant ape or 1d4+1 corpse flowers (MToF)
16 2d8 gricks with 1d3 grick alphas or 1d2 rot trolls (MToF) with 1d4 trolls
17 5d6 orcs with 2d4 ogres led by 1 orc war chief
18 1 adult gold dragon or 1 dire troll (MToF) and 1d3 trolls
19 2d6 werewolves and 2d6 dire wolves
20 2 young gold dragons or 1 zaratan (MToF)

Forest Beasts (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Forest Beasts
2 1 giant elk or 1 brontosaurus (VGtM)
3 1d2 tigers or 1d4 deinonychuses (VGtM)
4 1d4 dire wolves or 1d6 constrictor snakes
5 2d6 hyenas and 1d4 giant hyenas or 1 girallon (VGtM)
6 3d6 baboons or 1 flying snake carrying a message
7 2d6 giant weasels or 2d4 giant lizards
8 2d6 boars and 1 giant boar or 2d4 velociraptors (VGtM)
9 2d4 elk or 1d4 giant spiders
10 1d6 giant badgers or 1d4+1 swarms of insects
11 1d4+1 apes or 1d3 giant boars
12 2d6 wolves or 1d4+1 giant wasps
13 1d4 brown bears
14 2d4 giant frogs or 1d2 giant constrictor snakes
15 1d6 giant poisonous snakes or 1d3 brown bears
16 2d6 giant rats or 1d4 panthers
17 2d4 poisonous snakes and 1d4 giant poisonous snakes or 1d3 guard drakes (green, VGtM)
18 2d4 giant bats or 1d3 swarms of ravens
19 2d4 giant wolf spiders or 1 stegasaurus (VGtM)
20 1d2 swarms of poisonous snakes

Forest Humanoids (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Forest Humanoids
2 1 werebear
3 1d4 scouts with 1d4 blood hawks or 1d6 skulks (MToF)
4 1 wereboar with 1d4 boars or 1d3 darklings (VGtM) with 1 darkling elder (VGtM)
5 1d3 berserkers or 1d3 maezels (MToF)
6 1d4 yuan-ti purebloods with 1 giant constrictor snake or roll on Yuan-ti lvl 1-4
7 3d6 tribal warriors or 1d4+1 scouts and 1 druid
8 2d4 kobolds and 1d4 winged kobolds or roll on Kobold Encounters
9 1 druid with... (roll on Beast Encounters) or 1d6 grungs (VGtM) led by 1 grung elite warrior (VGtM)
10 2d4 bandits with 1d6 mastiffs led by 1 bandit captain or 1 warlock of the archfey (VGtM) and 1d4 pixies
11 1d4+2 gnolls led by 1 gnoll pack lord or roll on Gnolls lvl 1-4
12 1d4 lizardfolk and 1d3 giant lizards or roll on Lizardfolk Encounters
13 1d4 bugbears or roll on Goblinoid Encounters Level 1-4
14 1 werewolf with 1d4 wolves or 1d3 wererats
15 1d3 goblins and 1 goblin boss on giant spiders or roll on Goblinoids lvl 1-4
16 1d4 orcs with 1 orc eye of Gruumsh or roll on Orcs lvl 1-4
17 1d4 hobgoblins with 1d2 apes or roll on Goblinoids lvl 1-4
18 2d4 kenku or 1d3 ogres
19 1d4+1 scouts and 1 druid or 1d6+1 guards with 1 veteran
20 1d6 half-ogres or 1 weretiger

Forest Monsters (Levels 1-4)

1d4+1d6Forest Monsters
2 1 banshee or 1 revenant
3 1d3 harpies or 1d3 chokers (MToF)
4 1d4+1 worgs or 1d3 meenlocks (VGtM)
5 1d3 ettercaps or 1d2 phase spiders
6 1d2 owlbears or 1 ettercap and 1d3 giant spiders
7 2d6 stirges or 1d2 displacer beasts
8 1d3 ankhegs or 1d3 shadow mastiffs (VGtM)
9 1d3 gricks or 1d4 bronze scouts (MToF)
10 1d2 will'o-wisps or 1 gorgon

Forest Monsters(Levels 5-10)

1d4+1d6Forest Monsters
2 1d4 ettercaps and 1d4 phase spiders or 1 spirit troll (MToF)
3 1 guardian naga
4 1 treant or 1 of the hungry (MToF)
5 1d4 shambling mounds
6 2d4 displacer beasts
7 1d4+2 gricks and 1 grick alpha
8 1d4 trolls or 1d2 of the lost (MToF)
9 1d6 worgs and 2d4 dire wolves or 1 venom troll (MToF) and 1d2 trolls
10 1d4 gorgons

Plant Creatures (Levels 1-4)

1d4+1d6Plant Creatures
2 1 shambling mound
3 1 awakened tree and 1d4 awakened shrubs
4 2d4 needle blights
5 1d4 dryads or 1d4 awakened shrubs
6 2d6+3 twig blights or 1d4+1 vegepygmies (VGtM) with 1d2 thornies (VGtM)
7 1 awakened tree or 1d4 quicklings (VGtM)
8 1d4 vine blights or 1 vegepygmy chief (VGtM) and 1d4 vegepygmies (VGtM)
9 1d2 dryad and 1d2 awakened trees
10 2d4 twig blights with 1d4 needle blights and 1d2 vine blights

Sylvan Creatures (Levels 1-4)

1d4+1d6Sylvan Creatures
2 1 unicorn or 1 wood woad (VGtM)
3 2d4 blink dogs or 1d2 dryads and 1d2 satyrs
4 1d3 centaurs or 1 faerie dragon (any color)
5 2d4 sprites or 1d2 redcaps (VGtM)
6 1d4 dryads or 1 yeth hound (VGtM)
7 2d4 pixies or 1d3 pegasi
8 2d4 satyrs or 1 pseudodragon
9 2d4 giant owls or 2d6 boggles (VGtM)
10 1 green hag or 1 couatl

More Encounters

For a PDF version of forest encounters with more tables check out Table Rolls - Forest Encounters on DM's Guild

Terrain Encounters Bundle for 5e

These tables inspired my 5E forest encounters generator at Chaos Gen.

You can get encounters tools updates on Patreon and find me on Twitter @duncanthom