Cave Encounters for Dungeon and Dragons 5E
Collected Encounter Tables D&D Encounters Caves

Cave Encounters for Dungeon and Dragons 5E

Duncan Thomson
Further into the cavern you see large bat wings. On closer look these bats bear a simple harness and small reptilian riders. Currently one of them is trying to attach a rope to a stalactite. Do they live here? Are there more of them deeper into the caves?

Simple cave encounters from an upcoming Collected Encounters pdf.

Tables for Cave Encounters (levels 1-4 & levels 5-10), Encounter Details and Cave Beasts.

[Art by Henrik Karpinnen]

Tables for... all terrains | caves | dungeon | farmland | market | river| sewers | sky

From Collected Encounters on DM's Guild

Collected Encounter Tables on DM's Guild Encounters Mega-Bundle on DM's Guild

Cave Encounters (Levels 1-4)

1d20Cave Encounter Table lvl 1-4
1 1 druid with 1d3 giant wolf spiders or 1d3 ogres
2 2d4 troglodytes or 1d4 chokers (MToF)
3 2d4 giant frogs or roll on Cave Beasts
4 1d4+1 goblins led by 1 goblin boss or roll on roll on Goblinoids lvl 1-4
5 1d3 carrion crawlers or 1d2 guard drakes (VGtM)
6 1d6 darkmantles or an area of thick webs (DMG)
7 2d4 myconid sprouts and 1d4 myconid adults or 1d2 poltergeists
8 2d6 giant centipedes or roll on Cave Beasts
9 1 wererat with 2d4 giant rats or 1d2 basilisks
10 1d4 shriekers and 1d6 violet fungi or roll on Fungi and Oozes lvl 1-4
11 A patch of brown mold (DMG) or 1 ochre jelly
12 1d4 kobolds on giant bats or roll on Kobolds lvl 1-4
13 1d2 cave bears or roll on Cave Beasts
14 1d4 dire wolves or 1d2 dragon wyrmlings (any chromatic or metallic)
15 1d4 will-o'-wisps or 2d6 stirges
16 1d3 gray oozes or 2d4 grimlocks
17 1d3 nothics or 1 vegepygmy chief (VGtM) & 1d4 vegepygmies (VGtM)
18 2d4 swarms of bats or roll on Cave Beasts
19 1d3 gricks or 1d2 adult kruthiks (MToF) and 1d4 young kruthiks (VGtM)
20 1 umber hulk or 1 earth elemental

Cave Encounters (Levels 5-10)

1d20Cave Encounter Table lvl 5-10
1-2 1d6 dwarf veterans with 1d4 scouts or 1 drider with 1d4 phase spiders
3-4 1d3 galeb duhr or roll on Earth Creatures lvl 5-10
5-6 1 guardian naga or an area of sharp stones (treat as spike stones spell)
7-8 1 cyclops with 2d4 giant bats or 1 balhannoth (MToF)
9-10 1 myconid sovereign with 2d4 myconid adults and 1d6 quaggoth spore servants or roll on Fungi and Oozes lvl 5-10
11 Risk of a collapsing roof (DMG) or 1 hydra
12 1d3 werebears mounted on cave bears (polar bear variant) or 1 kruthik hive lord (MToF) and 2d4 adult kruthiks (MToF)
13 1d3 stone giants or roll on Giants lvl 5-10
14 1d4 gricks led by 1 grick alpha or 1d4 umber hulks
15 1d2 cloakers or 1 behir
16 1 fomorian or 1d4+2 quaggoths led by 1 quaggoth thonot
17 1 wraith and 2d4 specters or 1 abominable yeti
18 1 young dragon (any metallic or chromatic) or 1d4 trolls
19 1 medusa and 1d2 earth elementals
20 1 storm giant or 1 beholder

Encounter Details (Levels 1-4)

Use 1d10 for beasts and non-sentient creatures.

They are... (or one is...)

1d20Cave Encounter Details
1 pets (or allies) of a nearby creature
2 drinking from (or immersed in) a murky pool
3 sleeping (or infected with disease)
4 watching water dripping from the ceiling
5 near an area of glowing fungi (or a large stalagmite)
6 exploring or investigating corpses with a swarms of rot grubs (VGtM)
7 being very quiet
8 attracted to (or afraid of) any source of light
9 trapped in webs (or a rockfall)
10 investigating a cairn with a simple carving (or an underground stream)
11 making (or following) a map
12 admiring a glowing lizard
13 playing amid a pile of bones or creating wall carvings
14 guarding (or patrolling) the area
15 eating spiders or an ear-like fungi
16 carrying mining tools (or lots of rope)
17 studying an brightly colored rock
18 tying a rope to a stalagmite (or stalactite)
19 lost or on high alert
20 carrying slippers of spider climbing (or 1d4 potions of climbing)

Cave Beasts (Levels 1-4)

1d20Cave Beasts lvl 1-4
1-2 1d2 cave bears (polar bear variant) or 2d4 giant lizards
3-4 1d6 giant bats or 1d2 cave leopards (panther stats)
5-6 2d6 giant fire beetles or 2d4 giant wasps
7-8 2d6 cave hyenas or 1d2 cave fishers (VGtM)
9-10 3d6 giant rats or 1d6 darkmantles
11-12 2d4 swarms of bats or 1d4 cave lions
13-14 2d6 giant centipedes 1d4 swarms of quippers
15-16 2d4 giant frogs or 1d6 swarms of insects
17-18 1d4 giant spiders or 2d4 giant badgers
19-20 2d6 giant crayfish (giant crab stats) or 1d6 swarms of rats

From Collected Encounters on DM's Guild

Collected Encounter Tables on DM's Guild Encounters Mega-Bundle on DM's Guild

If you liked these there are D&D Generators at Chaos Gen, a monthly random tools Newsletter and an instagram of Random Tables.