"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.
10 Coastal Encounter Prompts
|10 Coastal Encounter Prompts
|Mourners from a nearby village are sending off a burning boat with a dead warrior. They now need someone to avenge their death.
|A grumbling cyclops or two-headed giant is preparing to take a herd of giant goats from their cave to some overgrown ruins.
|Two lovers, one from land and one from sea are having an emotional discussion about how they can make a future together.
|There is a huge (or demonic) hermit crab living in a wooden hut.
|A group of cloaked figures are carrying crates and bottles into a cave. The nervous smugglers will shout an angry challenge at any intruders.
|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.
|Several armed locals are arguing with a group of sailors over salvage rights for a wrecked ship (or underwater ruins) that they found.
|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).
|An assorted choir of humans, sea creatures, lizardfolk and a talking seal are singing. They claim to be famous and preparing for a concert.
|A brightly coloured sea serpent waits expectantly at the shoreline, watching two weathered humans carrying a net full of fish.
Coastal Hazards and Distractions
|heavy rain and strong winds or bright sigils with a message
| 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)
|is a rockpool that shows visions (or is a portal to a nearby cave)
|a thick rope that runs out to sea or a cursed shrine with offerings
| 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)
|whirlpools in the water caused by an elemental (or a trapped spirit)
|a mass of crabs (or insects) swarming a body; or several tar pits
| 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)
|an alluring (or talented) voice singing from a cave (or the sea)
|a mass of entangling seaweed or a collective of telepathic shells
Quick Coastal NPCs
|travelling or muscular
|on a quest for a sea god
|good-looking or triton
|with a fishing net or pet bird
|sea elf or tattooed
|dancing in the water
|eccentric or swearing
|on an aquatic (or flying) mount
|merfolk or bejeweled
|in a stolen boat
|shipwrecked or wary
|trying to find a particular ruin
|lost or shapechanging
|on a horse (or riding lizard)
|cursed or crabfolk
|who is a rival of a character
|lizardfolk or singing
|carrying a message (or child)
|lucky or sahuagin
|accompanied by a few sailors