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Want Quick Urban Encounters to Improve your 5e City Adventures?
D&D Encounters Urban

Want Quick Urban Encounters to Improve your 5e City Adventures?

Duncan Thomson
"As you pass by a tidy garden in full bloom, you hear whispers of conversation. Three figures in plate are having a hushed but fervent conversation in a secluded courtyard".

Generated from the Urban Locations tables and encounter tables below. Tables for Urban (levels 1-4, 5-10, 11+), Beasts, Criminals, Rooftops and Sewers

Urban Tables - encounters | locations | non-combat | enhancements

[Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash] Updated from original article July 2018

Urban Levels 1-4

For encounters in busy streets or safe areas in daylight consider using Street Encounters or Non-Combat tables

1d8+1d12Urban Levels 1-4
2 1 gladiator or 1 master thief (VGtM)
3 1d2 poltergeists or roll on Undead lvl 1-4
4 1d2 wererats and 1d4 giant rats or roll on Sewer Creatures lvl 1-4
5 1d6 swarms of ravens or roll on Rooftop Encounters lvl 1-4
6 1d2 scouts and 1d2 spies or roll on Criminals lvl 1-4
7 1d3 nobles on riding horses and 1d4+1 guards or roll on Humanoids
8 1 doppelganger in human form or 1d4 apprentice wizards (VGtM)
9 1d6 thugs or roll on Criminals lvl 1-4
10 1 priest with 2d4 commoners or roll on Humanoid Encounters
11 1d8 guards and 1d4 mastiffs or roll on City Patrols lvl 1-4
12 1d3 draft horses or roll on Urban Beasts
13 2d4 cultists led by 1 cult fanatic or adventurers - 1d2 thugs, 1 scout, 1 acolyte, 1 noble, 1 guard and 1 druid
14 1d2 veterans on mules or roll on City Patrols lvl 1-4
15 3d6 goats or roll on Urban Beasts
16 1d3 gargoyles or roll on Guardians lvl 1-4
17 1d4 swarms of bats or roll on Vermin lvl 1-4
18 2d4 mastiffs or roll on Urban Beasts
19 2d4 winged kobolds or roll on Kobold Encounters
20 1d4 yuan-ti purebloods or 1 dybbuk (MToF)

Urban Encounters

Encounters in an urban environment conjure scenes of derelict buildings, grand temples and overflowing sewers,  . They could occur in a narrow cobbled street, gloomy graveyard or a busy public park.

People of the world gather in the cities of towns, and a breeding ground for ideas, politics and disease . They are home to diverse citizens, the beasts that serve them and the vermin lurking in the shadows.

There is a 5e urban random encounter generator at ChaosGen. And also a pdf of these and more tables at the DM's Guild as Urban Encounters.

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

All terrains - arctic | coastal | desert | forest | grassland | hill | mountain | swamp | underdark | underwater | urban

Urban Levels 5-10

1d8+1d12Urban Levels 5-10
2 1 young silver dragon or 1 orthon (MToF)
3 1d4 vampire spawn or roll on Undead lvl 5-10
4 2d4 gargoyles with 1 invisible stalker or 1 warlock of the fiend (VGtM) and 1 babau (VGtM)
5 2d6 ghouls led by 1d4 ghasts or roll on Undead lvl 5-10
6 2d4 half-ogres led by 1 cambion or roll on Guardians lvl 5-10
7 1 assassin and 1d4 spies or roll on Criminals lvl 5-10
8 2d4 doppelgangers in human form or 1d4 master thieves (VGtM)
9 1 mage with 1 shield guardian or roll on Guardians lvl 5-10
10 1 bandit captain with 3d6 thugs or roll on Criminals lvl 5-10
11 Roll on Urban lvl 1-4 or 1 evoker (VGtM) with 1d2 veterans
12 1d3 knights on warhorses with 3d6 guards or roll on City Patrols lvl 5-10
13 1d2 gladiators with 3d6 commoners and 1d4 spies or 1 champion (VGtM) mounted on a warhorse
14 1 oni with 1d4 doppelgangers or roll on Rooftop Encounters
15 1d6+1 veterans with 2d4 scouts or roll on City Patrols lvl 5-10
16 2d6 wererats and 1d6 swarms of rats or roll on Sewer Encounters
17 1 deva or roll on Rooftop Encounters
18 1 cambion with 2d6 cultists & 1d4 wights or 1 githyanki gish (MToF)
19 1d2 shadow demons and 2d4 shadows or roll on Sewer Encounters
20 1 gray slaad in elf form or 1 elder oblex (MToF)

Urban Levels 11+

1d8+1d12Urban Levels 11+
2 1 vampire spellcaster / warrior or 1 red abishai (MToF)
3 1 gray slaad with 2d4 cult fanatics and 1 mage or 1 soul monger (MToF) and 1d3 shadow dancers (MToF)
4 1d4+2 oni or 1 of the angry (MToF)
5 1 vampire with 1d3+1 vampire spawn or 1 steel predator (MToF)
6 3d6 wights or 1 green abishai (MToF)
7 2d4 gladiators or 1 yagnoloth (MToF) and 1d4 canoloths (MToF)
8 2d6 vampire spawn or 1d2 boneclaws (MToF)
9 1d4+2 invisible stalkers or 1 champion (VGtM) and 1d3 mages
10 1d2+1 gladiators leading 1d4+4 veterans or 1 necromancer (VGtM) with 1d6 bodaks (VGtM)
11 Roll on Urban Encounters lvl 1-4 or 1 eidolon (MToF)
12 1d2+1 assassins leading 3d6 thugs or 1d2 of the hungry (MToF)
13 1 human archmage or 1 evoker (VGtM) with 1d6 gladiators
14 3d6 knights or 1 warlord (VGtM) with 2d6 knights (VGtM)
15 1d4+2 mages or 1 star spawn seer (MToF) and 2d6 cult fanatics
16 1 gray slaad disguised among 2d4 veterans or 1 nabassu (MToF)
17 1 rakshasa or 1 githyanki kith'rak (MToF) with 1d4 githyanki warriors
18 1 adult silver dragon or 1 nagpa (MToF)
19 1 archmage and 1d3 mages or 1 githyanki supreme commander (MToF) with 1d4 githyanki gish (MToF)
20 2 young silver dragons or 1 blue abishai (MToF)

Urban Beasts (Level 1-4)

1d8+1d12Urban Beasts (Levels 1-4)
2 1d6 flying snakes or 1d3 griffons
3 1d4 swarms of insects or 1d2 mimics
4 1d6 giant spiders or 1d2 guard drakes (VGtM)
5 1d2 swarms of ravens
6 1d2 cats or 2d4 giant wasps
7 1d6 riding horses or 1d4 giant poisonous snakes
8 1d4 warhorses
9 2d4 ponies
10 4d6 goats or 1d3 ravens
11 1d6 mules or roll on Domesticated Animals
12 3d6 giant rats or 2d6 cows (VGtM)
13 2d6 mastiffs or roll on Domesticated Animals
14 1d3 swarms of rats
15 1d3 draft horses or roll on Domesticated Animals
16 1d4 swarms of bats or 1d4+1 crocodiles
17 1d8 boars or roll on Domesticated Animals
18 2d4 giant centipedes or 2d4 stirges
19 1d2 elephants or roll on Domesticated Animals
20 1 pseudodragon or 1 swarm of cranium rats (VGtM)

Criminals (Level 1-4)

1d4+1d6Criminals (Levels 1-4)
2 1 doppelganger and 1d4 cultists or 1 succubus / incubus
3 1 thug with 2d6 commoners or 1d2 swashbucklers (VGtM)
4 1 bandit captain with 1d3 bandits and 1d3 mastiffs or 1 illusionist (VGtM) with 1d4 commoners
5 1d2 scouts and 1d2 spies or 2d4 darklings (VGtM)
6 1d4 bandits with 1 half-ogre and 1d2 kenku
7 1d6 thugs or 1d4 spies or 1 darkling elder (VGtM) and 1d4 darklings (VGtM)
8 1d4+2 bandits and 1 wererat or 1 deep scion (VGtM) and 1d4 bandits
9 1d2 spies with 2d4 commoners (Sleight of Hand +2) or 1d4 yuan-ti pure bloods
10 1 cambion or 1 master thief (VGtM)

Criminals (Level 5-10)

1d4+1d6Criminals (Levels 5-10)
2 1 assassin with 1d4 spies or 1 soul monger (MToF)
3 1 oni with 1d6 doppelgangers or 1 blackguard (VGtM) with 2d4 thugs
4 1 assassin or 1d3 master thieves (VGtM)
5 1 medusa with 2d4 spies and 2d4 kenku or 1 warlock of the great old one (VGtM) with 2d6 cultists and 1 cult fanatic
6 1 bandit captain with 3d6 thugs or 1 master thief (VGtM) with 1d6 wererats
7 2d4 wererats with 1d6 half-ogres or 2d6 darklings (VGtM) and 1d4 darkling elders (VGtM)
8 1 succubus/incubus with 1 veteran, 2d4 cultists and 2d4 thugs
9 1 cambion with 2d6 thugs or 1d2 shadow dancers (MToF)
10 1 gladiator with 2d4 half-ogres or 1 cloud giant smiling one (VGtM)

Rooftops Encounters (Level 1-4)

In some cities the rooftops are a world unto themselves.

1d4+1d6Rooftop Encounters (Levels 1-4)
2 1 giant constrictor snake or 1 vampire spawn
3 1d2 pixies who like to watch the city
4 1d3 mimics or roll on Guardians lvl 1-4
5 1d2 imps or 1d2 archers (VGtM)
6 1d3 gargoyles or 2d6 commoners
7 1d2 scouts and 1d2 spies or roll on Criminals lvl 1-4
8 1d6 swarms of ravens or 1d2 mimics
9 2d4 winged kobolds or roll on Kobolds
10 1 ettercap and 1d2 giant spiders or 1 banderhobb (VGtM)

Rooftop Encounters (Level 5-10)

1d4+1d6Rooftop Encounters (Level 5-10)
2 1 deva
3 1 mage with 1 succubus/incubus
4 2d4 gargoyles and 1d4 swarms of ravens or roll on Guardians lvl 5-10
5 1 oni with 1d4 doppelgangers or 1d4 vampire spawn
6 1 assassin or roll on Criminals lvl 1-4
7 1d4 vampire spawn or 1 conjurer (VGtM) and 1 apprentice wizard (VGtM)
8 1d4 knights on griffons or 1 gloom weaver (MToF)
9 1 invisible stalker and 1d2 air elementals
10 1 young silver dragon or 1 black abishai (MToF) and 1d2 white abishai (MToF)

Sewer Creatures (Level 1-4)

1d4+1d6Sewer Creatures (Level 1-4)
2 1 otyugh or 1 black pudding
3 1d6 mud mephits or 1d4 crocodiles
4 1d2 wererats and 1d4 giant rats or roll on Vermin Encounters
5 1d6 thugs or roll on Criminals lvl 1-4
6 2d4 giant centipedes or roll on Vermin Encounters
7 1d3 carrion crawlers or 2d4 swarms of rats
8 1d3 ochre jellies or 1 water weird
9 1d4 kobolds with 1d2 giant lizards or roll on Kobolds lvl 1-4
10 1 shambling mound or 1 swarm of cranium rats (VGtM)

Sewer Creatures (Level 5-10)

1d4+1d6Sewer Creatures (Level 5-10)
2 1 yuan-ti abomination
3 1 water elemental and 2d6 mud mephits
4 1d3 otyughs or 1d3 swarms of cranium rats (VGtM)
5 1d2 shadow demons and 2d4 shadows
6 2d6 wererats and 1d6 swarms of rats
7 1d2 shambling mounds and 1d6 carrion crawlers
8 1 oni and 2d6 kobolds
9 1 assassin or roll on Criminals lvl 5-10
10 2d4 ghouls and 1d6 ghasts

More Encounters

For a PDF version of urban encounters with more tables check out Urban Encounters on DM's Guild.

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

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

You can get encounters tools updates on Patreon and find me on Twitter @duncanthom