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Easy River Encounter Tables for D&D 5E
D&D Encounters Collected Encounter Tables

Easy River Encounter Tables for D&D 5E

Duncan Thomson
Three enormous blue toads are investigating the remains of a barge. Is it a recent wreck? Are the toads anything to do with it?

Simple river encounters from an upcoming Collected Encounters pdf.

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

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

[Photo by Jairo Gallegos on Unsplash]

River Encounters (Levels 1-4)

1d20River Encounter Table lvl 1-4
1 1 veteran and 1d4 guards in a boat or 1d3 plesiosauruses
2 1d6 mud mephits or 1d2 deep scions
3 2d4 giant frogs or roll on River Beasts
4 1d4 lizardfolk and 1d3 giant lizards or roll on Lizardfolk lvl 1-4
5 1d6 vine blights or 1 merrenoloth (MToF) with a boat
6 1d3 merrow or dangerous rapids
7 1 dryad and 1d6 sprites or 1 barge with 1d6 commoners and 2d4 guards
8 1d6 crocodiles or roll on River Beasts
9 1d6 acolytes and a priest on a raft or 1 druid with 2d4 blood hawks
10 1 chuul or 1d4 swarms of quippers
11 An overturned boat or 1d3 nothics
12 1d3 bullywugs on giant toads or 1 lizardfolk shaman with 1d6 flying snakes
13 1 giant constrictor snake or roll on River Beasts
14 1d4 commoners with 2d4 water bison (giant goat stats)
15 2d4 kobolds with 1d3 giant poisonous snakes or 2d4 dimetrodons (VGtM)
16 1 ghost or 1 sea hag with 1d4 bullywugs
17 2d4 tribal warriors in canoes (or coracles); or 1d3 black (or green) guard drakes (VGtM)
18 2d6 giant crabs or roll on River Beasts
19 2d6 river merfolk or 1 tortle druid (MToF) and 1d4 tortles (MToF)
20 1 water elemental or 1 giant crocodile

River Encounters (Levels 5-10)

1d20River Encounter Table lvl 5-10
1-2 1d4 berserkers and 1d6 scouts in a boat (or canoes) or 1 marid
3-4 1 hydra or 1d4 aquatic trolls (swim 30 ft)
5-6 1 cyclops with 2d4 giant toads or an area of razorvine (DMG) submerged in the water
7-8 2d6 lizardfolk with 1d6 plesiosauruses or roll on Lizardfolk lvl 5-10
9-10 2d4 giant boars or 1 tortle druid (MToF) with 1d3 water elementals
11 A maelstrom in the water or 2d4 bullywugs with 1 froghemoth (VGtM)
12 1d4 hobgoblins and 1 hobgoblin captain on griffons or 1d4 brontosauruses
13 1 shambling mound with 1d4 chuuls or 1d3 catoblepases (VGtM)
14 A riverboat with 1d6 veterans and 1 priest or 1 yuan-ti abomination with 1d3 giant constrictor snakes
15 1 treant with 1d4 awakened bushes or 1d2 hydroloths (MToF)
16 1d2 water elementals and 1d6 mist mephits or 1 kraken priest (VGtM) and 1d4 cult fanatics with 1d4 giant octopi
17 1d2 giant crocodiles and 2d4 crocodiles or 1 banshee and 1d4 vampiric mists (MToF)
18 1 young black dragon or 1 druid with 1d4 elephants
19 1 aboleth or 1 morkoth
20 1 dragon turtle or 1 storm giant

Encounter Details (Levels 1-4)

Use 1d10 for beasts and non-sentient creatures.

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

1d20River Encounter Details
1 drinking from the water
2 on an island
3 curious about a damaged boat (or roll on River Watercraft)
4 trying to catch fish
5 strong swimmers (swim 30 ft. or increase swim speed by 20 ft.)
6 investigating a body (or wooden box) on the water's edge (or floating in the water)
7 playing in the shallows (or enjoying the sunshine)
8 by a pool guarded by a water weird (or water elemental)
9 hiding from (or watching) a nearby threat
10 swimming or bathing in the water
11 in a boat (or roll on River Watercraft)
12 examining a bridge in disrepair or guarding the water's edge
13 gathering unusual stones (or frogs)
14 making something with reeds or repairing a boat
15 performing a ritual (or rite of passage) in the water
16 playing a game involving sticks (or a raft)
17 washing something in the water or searching for a stream that feeds into the river
18 filling containers with water or dumping something in the water
19 about to cross a ford or carrying a boat
20 carrying a folding boat (or a quaal's feather token - swan)

River Beasts (Levels 1-4)

1d20River Beasts lvl 1-4
1-2 1d4 swarms of quippers or 1d4 giant toads
3-4 1d6 crocodiles or 1d2 cave bears (polar bear variant)
5-6 2d6 blood hawks or 1d2 giant octopi
7-8 2d4 giant frogs or 2d6 river dolphins (VGtM)
9-10 1 giant constrictor snake or 2d4 dimetrodons (VGtM)
11-12 1d3 plesiosauruses or 1d3 swarms of poisonous snakes
13-14 2d4 water bison (giant goat stats) or 1 brontosaurus (VGtM)
15-16 1d3 black bears or 1d4+1 giant lizards
17-18 2d6 giant crabs or 1d3 giant boars
19-20 1d6 large fish (giant seahorse stats) or 1 giant crocodile

River Watercraft

1d20River Watercraft
1-3 A rowing boat
4-5 A fishing boat
6-7 A keelboat or one or more coracles
8-9 A canoe
10-11 A barge
12-13 A raft
14-15 A kayak or longship
16-17 A pleasure boat
18-19 A flat-bottomed boat or a ferryboat
20 A clockwork (or magically-powered) boat

From Collected Encounters on DM's Guild

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