Any band of adventurers worth their salt will take their time to set up a watch for the night. More often than not the night passes uneventfully and the journey slogs along. Sometimes you want something to shake your group up a bit, without resorting to a wandering monster.
All of these could range from unexplained occurrences to hooks for you to base entire adventures off of. It just depends on what you need for your game at the moment. I find that occasionally tossing in something like this will help to keep everyone engaged during long periods of travel.
These also work as good fillers, when I need something else to happen prior to the end of a session. Whatever the case, roll a d100 and consult below, to see what goes bump in the night.
1-2. Celestial Spectacle: The night sky comes alive with a breathtaking display of shooting stars or a rare planetary alignment.
3-4. Harmonious Melody: Enchanting music fills the air, seemingly emanating from an unseen source. The music is not loud enough to wake anyone up and will cease if any sleeping party members are awakened.
5-6. Glowing Fauna: Bioluminescent creatures emerge from the darkness, illuminating the surroundings with their ethereal glow.
7-8. Astral Projection: One of the sleeping characters experiences a vivid and prophetic dream, offering hints or warnings about their future endeavors.
9-10. Whispers in the Dark: Those on watch hear faint whispers or distant voices, carried on the night breeze. These hint at hidden secrets or long-lost knowledge.
11-12. Ghostly Encounter: A friendly or troubled spirit manifests during the night, seeking closure or offering guidance to the characters.
13-14. Lost Artifact: The characters on watch stumble upon a forgotten relic or artifact, partially buried in the ground, with unknown powers or a mysterious past.
15-16. Dream Realm: Sleeping characters find themselves in a shared dream, navigating a surreal landscape or confronting their deepest fears.
17-18. The Illuminated Path: Characters on watch notice a faint, glowing trail leading to a hidden location or an important discovery.
19-20. Time Warp: Sleeping characters experience a temporary time distortion, witnessing events from the past or glimpses into the future.
21-22. Shifting Shadows: The campsite becomes a gateway to a pocket dimension or a parallel reality, where familiar places are twisted and distorted.
23-24. Animal Messenger: An intelligent animal approaches the camp, bearing a message or a warning from a distant ally or foe.
25-26. Flickering Flames: The campfire dances and morphs into mesmerizing shapes, revealing cryptic symbols or visions to those who observe it.
27-28. Enchanted Sleep: Characters on watch drift off to sleep. When the party wakes, they find themselves in a different location, seemingly transported during their slumber.
29-30. Nature’s Blessing: A light rain starts out of nowhere. As it lets up, the characters wake up to find their wounds healed, their supplies replenished, and a sense of rejuvenation.
31-32. Moonlit Ritual: A secretive group performs a ritual under the moonlight, offering the characters on watch a chance to witness or interrupt their proceedings.
33-34. Nighttime Market: A mysterious bazaar materializes near the campsite, offering exotic goods, rare ingredients, or peculiar services.
35-36. The Invisible Hand: The characters wake up to find objects around the campsite rearranged or tidied up by an unseen helpful presence.
37-38. Luminescent Guardian: A gentle spirit of light takes on the role of protecting the characters during the night, guiding them away from harm.
39-40. The Shadow’s Beckoning: Shadows in the surrounding area come to life, swirling and forming shapes, hinting at hidden paths or secrets.
41-42. Portentous Clouds: Strange cloud formations gather above the campsite, revealing foreboding symbols or images that foreshadow future events.
43-44. The Whisperer: A mysterious figure emerges from the darkness, claiming to possess ancient knowledge and offering cryptic advice.
45-46. Trapped in a Dream: One of the characters becomes trapped in a vivid, lifelike dream, requiring the others to find a way to wake them.
47-48. Phantasmal Menagerie: A collection of spectral animals gathers around the campsite, observing the characters with curious, ethereal eyes.
49-50. Nighttime Companion: A loyal and intelligent creature approaches the characters, seeking companionship or offering assistance during their travels.
51-52. Veil of Illusion: The characters wake up to find themselves in an illusionary realm, where reality bends and shifts, requiring them to solve puzzles to escape.
53-54. Elemental Reverie: The elements around the campsite come to life, dancing and swirling in a mesmerizing display of elemental harmony.
55-56. Echoes of the Past: The characters witness ghostly echoes of historical events or significant moments that occurred in the area, gaining insights into its hidden history.
57-58. Feywild Crossing: The campsite becomes a temporary gateway to the Feywild, where the characters encounter mischievous fey creatures and experience the whimsical nature of the plane.
59-60. Shadow Puppetry: Shadows cast by the campfire take on a life of their own, performing a silent and captivating shadow play that tells a mysterious story.
61-62. Whispering Trees: The trees surrounding the campsite whisper ancient secrets or foretell future events to those who listen closely, providing valuable information or warnings.
63-64. Elemental Balance: The characters are visited by an elemental spirit that offers them a unique and temporary boon related to one of the four elements—earth, air, fire, or water.
65-66. Vanishing Act: The campsite suddenly disappears, leaving the characters in an otherworldly realm or plane for a short time before reappearing in a different location.
67-68. Illusory Menace: Characters on watch are plagued by illusory creatures or illusions that mimic dangerous foes, testing their wits and abilities.
69-70. Spirit Guide: The characters encounter a wise spirit guide who provides guidance and cryptic advice, leading them to hidden treasures or revealing important information.
71-72. Ephemeral Guardians: Ethereal and translucent guardians appear around the campsite, protecting the characters from harm during the night.
73-74. Haunted Dreams: Sleeping characters share a collective dream haunted by the spirits of the past, requiring them to confront and resolve a forgotten tragedy.
75-76. Luminous Dew: The morning reveals that the campsite is covered in sparkling and magical dew, which can be collected and used for various enchanting purposes.
77-78. Aurora’s Embrace: The sky fills with vibrant auroras, and the characters are enveloped in their mesmerizing glow, temporarily granting them supernatural abilities or insights.
79-80. Time Loop: Characters on watch drift off to sleep. Then the night repeats itself, with the characters reliving the same events and encounters until they discover the cause and find a way to break the loop.
81-82. Feywild Market: A bustling Feywild market manifests near the campsite, offering strange and exotic goods, curious trinkets, and intriguing bargains.
83-84. Cursed Relic: Characters on watch stumble upon a cursed object that brings misfortune or strange effects until they find a way to cleanse or dispose of it.
85-86. Lunar Serenade: The moon’s radiant light fills the campsite, soothing and invigorating the characters, granting them temporary bonuses to their abilities.
87-88. Guiding Stars: A constellation forms in the night sky, providing guidance and navigation aid to the characters, helping them find their way or revealing hidden paths.
89-90. Feywild Poltergeist: A playful and mischievous fey creature infiltrates the campsite, pulling harmless pranks and challenges the characters to a game or contest.
91-92. Arcane Nexus: Characters on watch discover a site of potent magical energy, where spells behave unexpectedly, wild magic surges, and magical phenomena occur.
93-94. Shadow Gate: Characters on watch discover a hidden portal to a plane of darkness and gloom, where they must navigate treacherous shadows and confront shadow creatures.
95-96. Ethereal Visitors: Ethereal beings or spirits from another plane temporarily materialize at the campsite, seeking assistance, guidance, or redemption.
97-98. Starfall: A shower of shooting stars rains down upon the campsite, each carrying a mysterious and magical effect when collected or interacted with.
99-100. Night’s Blessing: The night bestows a temporary boon upon the characters, enhancing their abilities, granting them insight, or imbuing them with a sense of profound luck and fortune.
That is all for now. I hope these additions bring a bit of wonder to your party’s overnight experiences. Thanks for stopping by. If you have any suggestions for other encounters, please leave a note in the comments.
If you would like to see my other random lists, you may find them here. My maps with plot hooks are collected here. Have a great week!