Ruins Non-Combat Encounters, NPCs and Hazards for DnD 5e
Ruins Non-Combat Encounters

Ruins Non-Combat Encounters, NPCs and Hazards for DnD 5e

Duncan Thomson
"An awakened ankylosaurus speaks Common and is a respected oracle. They donate any gifts to a group of friendly local humanoids."

Tables for Non-Combat Encounters, Quick NPCs and Hazards & Obstacles for ruins. Result is from Ruins Non-Combat Encounters.

Non-combat by terrain - feywild | jungle | road | ruins | sea | shadowfell

[Photo by Raph Howald on Unsplash]

Ruins Non-Combat, NPCs and Hazards

Combat isn't the only option at old ruins.. Merfolk may be very lost and ask for directions, or doppelgangers may try to sell them the ruins. Meet NPCs from a tattooed dwarf seeking a glorious death to a member of a local faction happy to show them around. Deal with choking dust or avoid fire-breathing statues, cursed shrines and cunning pits.

There is a 5e ruins random encounter generator at ChaosGen.  And a separate tool for encounter locations including ruins.

There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DM's Guild as Ruins Encounters.

Ruins Encounters Random Tables on DM's Guild Unusual Encounters Bundle on DM's Guild

Ruins Encounter Tables - creatures | locations | non-combat | complications

Ruins Non-Combat Encounters

1d8+1d12Ruins Non-Combat Encounters
2 A storm giant is making a diorama from debris. Needs inspiration.
3 A lonely wight is seeking a partner for a board game. Is very skilled.
4 A tribal warrior is spending a few days in the ruins as part of a ceremony (or rite of passage)
5 A few merfolk searching for a famous lake. Have a map but are lost.
6 A group of adventurers are surveying the area and creating a map. Two guards, an acolyte, a noble and a scout
7 A shield guardian (or iron golem) has been commanded by its master to direct humanoids to a nearby cave entrance
8 A mercenary veteran loves coming here to think about life and death
9 A few miserable kobolds (or goblins) have lost their home and seek somewhere new. Flee or surrender if shown any hostility
10 A pair of doppelgangers offer to sell forged deeds to the ruins
11 Several satiated stirges watch disinterestedly from the drained corpse of a giant lizard
12 A noisy owl tries to lead them to an undisturbed shrine of nature
13 A few distraught commoners are searching for a missing child
14 A mimic (Int 12, speaks Common) offers services in return for food
15 A mage is looking for components to help create a magical wagon
16 A bewildered noble in archaic clothing asks what year it is
17 A young black dragon (History +3) interested in old civilizations is trying to decipher or translate some inscriptions
18 A poet's ghost seeks audience for it's last ballad so it can find peace.
19 A sentient gelatinous cube (Int 8) wants to be friends. It communicates through images on one side
20 Several stone giants are performing repairs for a very rich patron

Ruins Quick NPCs

1d4+1d6Ruins Quick NPCs
2 Scrag is a happy half-orc spy (or bard - VGtM) with many pouches and a mule. They travel the land as a herbalist. They heard of the exploits of at least one of the party and ask many questions about them.
3 Blizagrok the Hungry is a reckless half-ogre with a metal breastplate. They are an outcast and are desperate to help in any endeavor
4 Veit is a dwarf berserker (or gladiator) with bright hair and tattoos. They seek redemption for their past misdeeds by dying in battle against a suitable monster. Have heard of such a creature nearby.
5 Tessele is a contemplative bandit captain . They live nearby as a hermit but are wanted for crimes they committed over a decade ago
6 Drashk is an lazy tiefling guard (or thug) with a distinctive red hooded cloak. They are down to their last copper and looking for easy work
7 Aoth is an talkative wererat with colorful rings and several engraved bronze amulets. They are recruiting minions for a nearby villain
8 Sadira is a gaunt scout with a swollen nose. They watch over area for a local faction and are happy to show others around in return for a tale
9 Ara is a foul-mouthed elf cult fanatic with one ear. They heard rumors connecting fiends to the ruins and are currently waiting for someone
10 Stedd Anskuld is a grizzled priest (or diviner - VGtM) with a weasel called Stripe. They are a "dungeon surveyor", worshiping a deity of stone. Studying nearby ruins and offers future services to the group

Ruins Hazards and Obstacles

2 A talking door (or fountain) which can cause a curse (or geas)
3 An area protected by forbiddance (or hallow)
4 Shrieking winds (Strong Wind - DMG pg 110)
5 A distressed creature caught in something. Makes a lot of noise if other creatures approach (attracting attention)
6 A rolling sphere trap (DMG pg 123) or sphere of annihilation (DMG pg 122)
7 A patch of Brown (or Yellow) Mold (DMG pg 105)
8 A collapsing roof (DMG pg 122) or locking pit trap (DMG pg 122)
9 Heavy rain (or snow) (Heavy Precipitation - DMG pg 110)
10 A fire breathing statue (DMG pg 122) or poison darts (DMG 123)
11 An area of thick webs (DMG pg 105) or razorvine (DMG pg 110)
12 A heavy (or poisonous) mist descends around party
13 Thunder and lightning or Swarm of Rot Grubs (VGtM) infesting a corpse
14 Large amounts of dust (or harmless insects). Disturbing causes light or heavy obscurement.
15 Several shriekers that attract other creatures
16 A cursed shrine surrounded by desecrated ground. Lingering attracts specters (or wraiths)
17 An area of wild magic (half of spells cast in area trigger a Wild Surge - as wild magic sorcerer)
18 An earthquake which causes collapses of structures in the area
19 An area of dead magic (functions as antimagic field)
20 A permanently open teleportation circle linked to a local dungeon

More Encounters and Locations

There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DM's Guild as Ruins Encounters.

Ruins Encounters Random Tables on DM's Guild Unusual Encounters Bundle on DM's Guild

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

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