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Fantasy Encounters, Hazards & NPCs for Coastal RPG Adventures
Fantasy Sea Coastal Fantasy Encounter Tables

Fantasy Encounters, Hazards & NPCs for Coastal RPG Adventures

Duncan Thomson
"Several armed locals are arguing with a group of sailors over salvage rights for a wrecked ship (or  underwater ruins) that they found."

Simple encounter tables for coastal terrain in any fantasy setting. Tables for Coastal Encounter Prompts, Coastal Hazards & Distractions and Quick Coastal NPCs.

[Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash]

Fantasy Coastal Encounters

Coastal encounters bring visions of rock pools, steep cliffs, pebble beaches and sea caves. Maybe encounters take place in a haunted lighthouse, recent shipwreck or sand beach covered in crabs.

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 fantasy sea encounter generator at ChaosGen. There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DriveThruRPG as Coastal Encounters.

Fantasy Coastal Encounters on DriveThru RPG

10 Coastal Encounter Prompts

1d1010 Coastal Encounter Prompts
1 Mourners from a nearby village are sending off a burning boat with a dead warrior. They now need someone to avenge their death.
2 A grumbling cyclops or two-headed giant is preparing to take a herd of giant goats from their cave to some overgrown ruins.
3 Two lovers, one from land and one from sea are having an emotional discussion about how they can make a future together.
4 There is a huge (or demonic) hermit crab living in a wooden hut.
5 A group of cloaked figures are carrying crates and bottles into a cave. The nervous smugglers will shout an angry challenge at any intruders.
6 A merfolk (or sea elf) explorer has come to shore to perform deeds and see unusual places. They want to take tales back to their people.
7 Several armed locals are arguing with a group of sailors over salvage rights for a wrecked ship (or underwater ruins) that they found.
8 A tentacled priest in long robes leads human followers in a bloody ritual on the shore. They hope to summon a kraken (or it's servant).
9 An assorted choir of humans, sea creatures, lizardfolk and a talking seal are singing. They claim to be famous and preparing for a concert.
10 A brightly coloured sea serpent waits expectantly at the shoreline, watching two weathered humans carrying a net full of fish.

Coastal Hazards and Distractions

1d10There is...
1 heavy rain and strong winds or bright sigils with a message
2 something out of place here...
d10 (1-2. a horse-drawn carriage 3. someone in a wedding dress
4. several cows 5. an ornate throne 6. body of someone familiar
7. a catapult 8. a pavillion tent 9. a tree of ripe fruit 10. an iron tower)
3 is a rockpool that shows visions (or is a portal to a nearby cave)
4 a thick rope that runs out to sea or a cursed shrine with offerings
5 something washed up on shore, a...
d10 (1-2. sturdy barrel 3. dead serpent 4. diseased corpse 5. mapcase 6. chest 7. coffin 8. a message in bottle 9. whale 10. ship's nameplate)
6 whirlpools in the water caused by an elemental (or a trapped spirit)
7 a mass of crabs (or insects) swarming a body; or several tar pits
8 something coming from the sea,...
d10 (1-2. an incoming storm 3. a ghostly ship 4. an ominous mist
5. several boats 6. a barnacled giant 7. a chariot pulled by seahorses
8. a huge wave 9. a sea monster 10. a ship in trouble)
9 an alluring (or talented) voice singing from a cave (or the sea)
10 a mass of entangling seaweed or a collective of telepathic shells

Quick Coastal NPCs

1d8+1d12DescriptorProfessionDetail
1 travelling or muscular artist on a quest for a sea god
2 good-looking or triton pirate with a fishing net or pet bird
3 sea elf or tattooed oracle dancing in the water
4 eccentric or swearing envoy on an aquatic (or flying) mount
5 merfolk or bejeweled aquamancer in a stolen boat
6 shipwrecked or wary trader trying to find a particular ruin
7 lost or shapechanging boatmaker on a horse (or riding lizard)
8 cursed or crabfolk captain who is a rival of a character
9 lizardfolk or singing scout carrying a message (or child)
10 lucky or sahuagin scholar accompanied by a few sailors

More Encounters

There is a fantasy sea encounter generator at ChaosGen. There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DriveThruRPG as Coastal Encounters.

Fantasy Coastal Encounters on DriveThru RPG

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