The Spore Forest | 5e Random Encounter Table for Levels 5-10

The Spore Forest | 5e Random Encounter Table for Levels 5-10

By Noam Wegner

Did your 5e players go off in a random direction again? Or maybe you just need a cool 5e encounter to spice up the monotony of travel? 5e random encounters to the rescue!

But not just a mindless list of 5e monsters--that's less than useful. Instead, we present to you a 5e random encounter table WITH CONTEXT that sets up interesting situations.

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Fungal Hunting.

Creatures: 1 young green dragon

A young green dragon named Verdasax has found a favorable hunting ground in the fungal forest thanks to his natural poison immunity. An intelligent and calculating hunter, he takes special joy in stalking promising targets carrying valuables before luring targets into spore fields or striking at an opportune moment, such as after the party has run afoul of one of the terrain’s natural hazards. His favorite tactic is to lead his prey into contact with hazardous fungi and then offer to share knowledge of how to cure the party’s ailment in exchange for their most valuable treasures. 


A Pilgrimage.

Creatures: 1 priest, 6 acolytes

This pilgrimage (a priest and acolytes) entered the spore forest seeking the ruins of their god’s temple to either recover the holy relics or restore the edifice to its former glory. However, they stumbled upon one of the many hallucinogenic hazards of the forest. Amid their delusional high, they mistake the entire party or one of them for a saint, divine messenger, or avatar of their faith. 


Succor for the Innocent.

Creatures: 1 unicorn

A unicorn patrols the forest for innocent and noble souls seeking aid, refuge, or guidance. They are of the belief that the fungal growth here is unnatural and no creature should have to suffer from its many mind-altering hazards. 


Hallowed Ground.

The party arrives at a patch of the forest where the fungal species of the forest inextricably refuse to grow. This site features the markings of a deity or patron friendly to the party. Should the party choose to, they are able to complete a short or long rest without interruption or exposure to fungi. 


Fungal Frenzy.

Creatures: 2 berserkers, 4 tribal warriors

These warriors (berserkers and tribal warriors) dedicate themselves to worshiping the deified aspect of the forest, as they feed on certain fungal by-products to enter a battle frenzy. By offering the corpses of the party to its soil, the fungal forest will provide them with the fungus that allows them to achieve their euphoric rage-state. 


Mycologist’s Camp.

Creatures: 1 mage, 2 suits of animated armor

The party arrives at the camp of an aspiring scholar (mage) and their fungal golems (using the statistics of animated armor). The eccentric mage is a self-professed mycologist studying the various species of fungi in the forest and their mundane and magical properties. The mycologist asks the party to gather intact fungal samples for study in exchange for potions concocted from their studies. 


Addicts’ Argument.

Creatures: 3 ogres

A trio of ogres argue at length over who between them shall have the first share of a potent batch of addictive fungi. Unless the party avoids their notice, one of the ogres demands the party pick which of them should receive the first share of the mushrooms. The ogres who do not receive the party’s favor lash out at them in rage. 


A Cry for Help.

The party hears a repeated scream or call of distress. Should the party investigate, they find a mushroom with a face, echoing the same cry over and over. This fungi is not actually intelligent but has grown from the corpse of a sentient victim. This is one of Grandmother Mushroom’s “children” (see below). 


Valiant Death.

Creatures: 1 gladiator

This warrior (gladiator), having succumbed to a fungal infection inevitably taking their life, seeks death in battle rather than slowly rotting away. The warrior may be convinced to share what information they can about the surrounding forest but is determined to meet a glorious end. The warrior will seek to provoke or outright attack the party if they seem unwilling to answer their request. 


Good Vibrations.

Creatures: 1 sound eater (using the statistics of shambling mound)

These mobile fungal predators are highly sensitive to vibrations, as they draw energy from sound. One can easily maneuver around them by minimizing noise and luring the creatures away with thrown objects, preferably ones that continuously emit noises to keep the sound eaters’ attention.

These creatures are identical to shambling mounds, except they are surrounded by a 10-foot radius of total silence, which prevents the use of verbal spellcasting components. 


Druid Circle.

Creatures: 2 druids, 6 acolytes

This druid circle (druids and acolytes) hotly debates the pervasive change that has swallowed the forest. Some argue that the fungal overgrowth is invasive, unnatural, and utterly destructive to the forest’s ecosystem and natural balance. Others argue that such changes follow the natural course of evolution: old forms of life wither, die, and become sustenance for new life forms to flourish in their stead. Will the party remain neutral in this debate or attempt to play to the sympathies of either faction? 


Spore Hounds.

Creatures: 7 wolves

These entities (wolves) are quasi-sentient growths of one of the region’s many supernatural fungi and behave as extensions of a single consciousness rather than individual animals. They hunt for prey to bring back to their “fungi nest” to feed their “parent” organism. 


Spores of Wrath.

The party passes through a dense growth of pulsing fungi that release clouds of spores that produce hostile reactions in organic creatures. Party members that breathe in the spores must succeed a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or attack the nearest creature for the next minute. A creature that succeeds on this Wisdom saving throw is immune to the spores’ effects for the next hour. Casting lesser restoration on the afflicted party member immediately ends the effect. A creature can avoid the harmful effects of these spores by holding its breath. 


Torture of Laylette.

Creatures: 1 spirit naga

Laylette (spirit naga) has existed in the forest since before the infection took root. Previously, she simmered with rage against the elven communities that defied her attempts to rule them. All that remains are a few weeping spirits that mourn the corruption of their home. This suits Laylette, who delights in tormenting and taunting these elven spirits with the downfall of their kindred. 


The Wight Infection.

Creatures: 2 wights, and 4 zombies

These fungal wights (using the statistics of wights) attempt to spread their infection to the party, turning them into zombies under their control. They have already made four passersby into zombies.



Creatures: 1 gladiator, 2 bandits, 6 commoners

A group of task masters (gladiator and bandits) has press-ganged several commoners, slaves, or petty criminals into harvesting a dangerous fungus that serves as a vital ingredient to mix a potent and addictive narcotic. Some of the commoners plead for the party to free them but avoid any fight that breaks out. 


Fungus Addled Treant.

Creatures: 1 treant

This treant existed before the spores and fungus grew over the forest that once stood here. Now, invasive fungi have addled the treant’s mind, causing it to lash out at anything it comes across. A keen eyed party may spot several growths of the offending fungus on the treant’s bark. Destroying these growths by targeting them and dealing a total of 100 damage to them, or casting greater restoration on the treant, clears the creature’s head enough to speak with the party and reward them for their aid. 


Vrock Hunting Party.

Creatures: 1 vrock, 2 dretch

A vrock leads a band of dretches in a hunt for victims to torment. They serve at the behest of a demonologist who uses certain fungi to conduct more effective conjuring rituals. They have identified the fungal environs as a perfect base from which to slowly expand and terraform surrounding lands to better suit their needs. This hunting party seeks victims for nourishment or to take them back to their master for study or sacrifice. 


Grandmother Mushroom and Her Pet.

Creatures: 1 night hag, 1 giant spider

Grandmother Mushroom (night hag) is always on the lookout for new materials to feed her “children”—a crop of magical fungi with mortal faces and voices that scream and call for help in despair. She’s also always searching for new faces and voices to add to her collection.  With her is her pet giant spider.


Nourishing Sap.

The party discovers a massive mushroom bleeding a viscous, luminescent purple sap. A party member that makes a successful Intelligence (Nature) check of DC 15 identifies the substance as being supernaturally nutritious. Roll 1d6+1 to determine how many samples of sap are available for imbibing.

Fully imbibing a sample of this sap restores 2d4+2 hit points and sates the drinker’s hunger for 24 hours. 


Vengeful Spirits.

Creatures: 1 wraith, 3 specters

At night, this spectral elven hunting party (wraith and specters) rides through the forest on phantom steeds. In life, they were duty bound to defend their woodland communities, and, in a twisted fashion, they continue to do so. Driven mad by the forest’s corruption and the fading of their people, these riders hunt for their enemies, in denial that they and their people are long dead. 


Grove Guardians.

Creatures: 2 knights

These fey knights protect a grove sacred to their former patron, a nymph who succumbed to the corruption. They are not initially hostile to the party and may even share tales of old heroics or reminisce on how bountiful the forest was prior to the onset of the fungi. However, they will not permit the party to enter the sacred grove, for they have sworn on their honor that none shall trespass on the ground where their lady lived. To allow such desecration would betray her memory. 


Undead Elves.

Creatures: 2 ghosts

These elven spirits (ghosts) beg for aid against the fungal infection that killed them. They paw and claw at the party, unaware that their touch causes harm and unwittingly posseses them. 


Buzz of Death.

Creatures: 8 giant wasps

These wasps are drawn to pungent odors but are most sensitive to the scent of blood. They hunt down their prey much like sharks, using the scent of blood to lead them straight to their target. Most creatures will become aware of them by a faint buzzing sound. However, characters that succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check will notice the buzzing getting closer. Once the wasps are in range, they attempt to ambush the characters. 


Bearer of the Cankered Crown.

Creatures: 1 mage, 1 knight

The tendrils of corrupting fungal influence have wormed their way through the earth to find the corpse of a once mighty fey lord and their champion. These creatures are identical to a mage and a knight, except they are undead instead of humanoid. The party stumbles, knowingly or not, through the ancient monarch’s domain, and with what free will and maligned intellect they retain, they will not suffer intruders to pass unchallenged. As it once was, so it shall be again—the bearer of the cankered crown shall draw servants to them, willing or not. 


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