SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER!
Arctic Encounters to Improve Your Cold DnD Adventures
D&D Encounters Arctic Icewind Dale

Arctic Encounters to Improve Your Cold DnD Adventures

Duncan Thomson
"Two large white bears approach an iced over pool. One of the bears is missing half it's left foreleg and has heavy burn marks. The other turns into a dwarf in furs and taps on the ice."

Generated from the arctic locations tables and encounter tables below. Tables for Arctic creatures (levels 1-4, 5-10, 11+), Beasts, Humanoids and Spirits

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

[Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash] Updated from original article in 2018

Arctic Encounters Levels 1-4

1d8+1d12Artic Levels 1-4
2 1 young remorhaz or 1d2 white dragon wyrmlings
3 1 ghost or roll on Artic Spirits lvl 1-4
4 1 veteran with 1d4 tribal warriors or roll on Arctic Humanoids
5 1d2 yetis or roll on Artic Spirits lvl 1-4
6 1d3 scouts and 2d4 mastiffs with a sled or roll on Arctic Humanoids
7 1 druid with 1d3 giant owls or 1 warlock of the archfey (VGtM) with 3d4 commoners
8 1d3 berserkers or 1d2 vampiric mists (MToF)
9 1d4+1 ice mephits or roll on Artic Spirits lvl 1-4
10 2d6 tribal warriors or roll on Arctic Humanoids
11 1d6+1 wolves or roll on Arctic Beasts
12 1d4+1 orcs or roll on Orc Encounters lvl 1-4
13 2d6 reindeer (elk stats) or roll on Arctic Beasts
14 1d2 winter wolves or 1d3 guard drakes (white, VGtM)
15 1d2 polar bears or roll on Arctic Beasts
16 3d6 kobolds or roll on kobold Encounters
17 1 saber-toothed tiger or roll on Arctic Beasts
18 1d6 gnolls or roll on Gnoll Encounters lvl 1-4
19 2d4 axe beaks or roll on Arctic Beasts
20 1 winter wolf with 1d3 wolves or 1 werebear

Arctic Encounters

Encounters in the Arctic occur in icy tundra, tall glaciers and snowy peaks. They might occur outside an igloo, on an iced over lake or in a winter blizzard.

Defined by cold weather and how to survive it, this wilderness has few signs of civilisation. Furry beasts such as yetis and white bears are hunted and respected by savage tribes and frost giants.

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

There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DM's Guild as Arctic 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 | jungle | mountain | swamp | underdark | underwater | urban

Arctic Levels 5-10

1d8+1d12Artic Levels 5-10
2 1d2 young white dragons
3 1d3 werebears and 1d3 polar bears or 1 deva
4 1d4 wraiths or roll on Arctic Spirits lvl 5-10
5 1d4 young remorhazes or 1 bheur hag (VGtM) with 1d3 trolls
6 1 abominable yeti or roll on Arctic Spirits lvl 5-10
7 1d4+1 winter wolves or 1 warlock of the archfey (VGtM) with 2d4 scouts and 1d3 berserkers
8 1d3 air elementals or roll on Arctic Spirits lvl 5-10
9 1d2 frost giants or 2d4 vampiric mists (MToF)
10 1d4 mammoths or 1 winter eladrin (MToF)
11 Roll on Arctic Levels 1-4 table or 1 frost salamander (MToF)
12 5d6 tribal warriors lead by 1d4+1 berserkers
13 3d6 orcs led by 1 orc war chief or roll on Orc Encounters lvl 5-10
14 1d4 trolls or 1 bheur hag (VGtM) with 1d6 ogres
15 1d2+1 winter wolves and 2d6 wolves or 1 warlock of the great old one (VGtM) with 1 cult fanatic and 2d4 cultists
16 2d6+4 gnolls with 1 troll and 1 gnoll fang of Yeenoghu or roll on Gnoll Encounters lvl 5-10
17 2d6 orcs with 1 orc eye of Gruumsh and 1 polar bear or roll on Orc Encounters lvl 5-10
18 2d4 yetis or 1 necromancer (VGtM) with 1d4 ogre zombies
19 1 air elemental and 2d4 ice mephits or 1 warlock of the fiend (VGtM) with 1 berserker and 1d3 guard drakes (white, VGtM)
20 1 remorhaz

Arctic Levels 11+

1d8+1d12Arctic Levels 11+
2 1 ancient white dragon or 1 boneclaw (MToF) bonded to 1 archmage
3 1d2 djinni or 1 storm giant quintessent (VGtM)
4 1 adult white dragon or 1 nightwalker (MToF)
5 1d4+2 werebears or a coven of 3 bheur hags (VGtM)
6 1 abominable yeti and 2d4 yetis or 1 boneclaw (MToF) bonded to 1 mage
7 2d4 air elementals or 2d4 winter wolves with 2d6 orcs and 1 tanarukk (VGtM) led by 1 orc blade of Ilneval (VGtM)
8 3d6 berserkers mounted on dire wolves or 1 boneclaw (MToF)
9 2d4 trolls or 1d3+1 frost salamanders (MToF)
10 3d6 mammoths
11 Roll on Arctic Levels 5-10 table or 1d3+1 winter eladrin (MToF)
12 1d4+2 frost giants or 1 frost giant everlasting one (VGtM)
13 1 orc war chief mounted on a winter wolf with 1d3+1 orc eyes of Gruumsh and 6d6 orcs or 1 roc
14 1d2 remorhazes or 1 dire troll (MToF)
15 1d3+1 frost giants and 1d4+1 trolls or 4d6 gnolls with 1d3+1 gnoll fangs of Yeenoghu led by 1 flind (VGtM)
16 1 gnoll pack lord leading 5d6 gnolls and 1d4 trolls
17 1d4+1 frost giants with a pet young white dragon
18 1 remorhaz with 1d2 young remorhazes or 1d4 frost giants led by 1 frost giant everlasting one (VGtM)
19 1d4 young white dragons
20 1 ice devil or 1 elder tempest (MToF)

Arctic Beasts (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Arctic Beasts (Levels 1-4)
2 1 young remorhaz
3 1 winter wolf with 1d4 wolves
4 1d2 griffons
5 2d6 blood hawks
6 1d2 brown bears
7 4d6 deer
8 1d2 winter wolves
9 1d3 woolly rhinoceroses or 1d3 aurochs (VGTM)
10 2d4 wolves
11 2d6 reindeer (elk stats)
12 1d2 polar bears
13 1d2 saber-toothed tiger
14 1 snowy owl or 1d2 guard drakes (white, VGtM)
15 2d4 mastiffs with a sled
16 1d4+1 giant owls
17 1 manticore
18 2d4 axe beaks or 1 giant elk
19 1 white dragon wyrmling
20 1 mammoth

Arctic Humanoids (Levels 1-4)

1d8+1d12Arctic Humanoids (Levels 1-4)
2 1 werebear
3 1d2 ogres with 1d2 half-ogres or 1 warlock of the archfey (VGtM) with 2d4 tribal warriors
4 2d6 tribal warriors mounted on reindeer (elk stats)
5 1d4+1 half-ogres or 2d4 tribal warriors with 1d2 guard drakes (white, VGtM)
6 2d4 winged kobolds or roll on Kobold Encounters
7 1d3 berserkers or 1 warlock of the archfey (VGtM)
8 1d2 ogres
9 2d6+6 kobolds or roll on Kobold Encounters
10 2d6 tribal warriors led by 1 berserker
11 2d6 orcs or roll on Orc Encounters lvl 1-4
12 1d3 scouts and 2d4 mastiffs with a sled
13 1 druid with 1 brown bear (or roll on Beasts for companion)
14 2d6 gnolls or roll on Gnoll Encounters lvl 1-4
15 2d6 bandits led by 1 bandit captain
16 2d6 commoners with 1d4 mastiffs
17 1 druid and 1d4 scouts
18 1d4+1 orcs led by 1 orc war chief or roll on Orc Encounters lvl 1-4
19 1 scout guiding.. (roll again on Humanoid Encounters)
20 1 troll

Arctic Spirits (Levels 1-4)

1d4+1d6Arctic Spirits (Levels 1-4)
2 1 revenant or 1 air elemental
3 1d2 shambling corpses encased in ice (use mummy stats but without causing tomb rot)
4 2d4 blink dogs (with resistance to cold damage) or 1d2 poltergeists
5 1d2 frost wights (wight stats but replace necrotic damage with cold damage)
6 1d4+1 ice mephits or 1d3 meenlocks (VGtM)
7 1d2 yetis or 2d4 skeletons
8 1d4 snowmen animated by spirits (use specter stats)
9 1 ghost or 1d2 vampiric mists (MToF)
10 1 ice elemental (earth elemental stats with vulnerability to fire damage and immunity to cold damage) or 1 night hag

Arctic Spirits (Levels 5-10)

1d4+1d6Arctic Spirits (Levels 5-10)
2 1 ice elemental (earth elemental stats with vulnerability to fire damage and immunity to cold damage) with 2d6 ice mephits
3 1 banshee with 2d4 specters
4 1 abominable yeti or 1d3 invisible stalkers
5 1d4 revenants or 1 bheur hag (VGtM)
6 1d4 ice elementals (earth elemental stats with vulnerability to fire damage and immunity to cold damage)
7 1d4 wraiths or 1 winter eladrin (MToF)
8 1d4 air elementals
9 1d4+1 frost wights (wight stats but replace necrotic damage with cold damage) with 3d6 zombies
10 A coven of 3 night hags

More Encounters

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

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

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

You can find out more on Patreon