‘Tis the season to play tons of TTRPGS! The weather outside might be frightful, but at least inside we have dice and good company (and perhaps a delightful fire). For those of you running a last minute game and need a bit of inspiration, I’ve got ten festive D&D encounter ideas to help stimulate those creative muscles. In addition to these festive D&D encounters I’ll be including a map free to download below.
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If you love these encounters and want more, our Patrons at the $3 level and up receive an additional 5 encounters plus two more versions of the map without the grid and extra text. You can check these out here. Anyways, on to the encounters!
Ten Festive D&D Encounters
1. A troupe of caroling yeti roam the villages along a long mountain range, serenading anyone they come across. They aren’t particularly fearsome, though their “singing” leaves much to be desired. If only some brave group could either convince the yetis to stop or at least give them some musical advice…
2. A trio of dryads have allowed the cutting of specific trees for local festival celebrations for years. However, this winter they drive away any who approach. Anyone able to calm and converse with the dryads may learn that a Bheur hag ensorcelled their grove and cursed the trees, dooming anyone who uses the trees for the festival.
3. Mysterious lights illuminate the air outside of a rundown hunting lodge. While the lights are beautiful against the snow-covered canopy of the surrounding trees, they are actually will-o’-wisps drawn by a cursed blade buried beneath the basement.
4. A crooked druid sells awakened shrubs disguised as holiday wreaths to unsuspecting victims. The animated wreaths unbar doors after hours, allowing the druid and their associates entry to ransack homes.
5. The miserly owner of a major gnome bank claims that he’s being haunted by three apparitions while at work in the dead of night. He’s offering a princely sum to anyone who can rid him of these “holiday haunts”.
6. A community of nomadic pilgrims discover that their holy site is infested with mischievous quicklings. The fey creatures agree to leave, but only after they receive three “gifts”: A gift of Laughter, a gift of Joy, and a gift of Cheer.
7. An absent-minded half-elf mage concocts the perfect after dinner treat: a pudding that cleans up after itself once consumed! Too bad the experiment failed and she manages to make several tiny black puddings that are now running amok around town.
8. A magical mishap expels an octet of ice mephits directly into a mountain hot spring lodge, causing patrons to flee or freeze. Deeper investigation unveils a plot to open up a permanent portal to the elemental plane of water beneath the lodge.
9. Hunters in town convey that a pack of remorhazes are being whipped into a fury, causing devastation to smaller communities. Locating the remorhazes reveals that their rage stems from their stolen eggs. Returning the purloined eggs may stave off their wrath.
10. Frost giants descend from their frozen peaks bearing gifts of cold smoked meats and trinkets of ivory. Most are wary of the traditionally warlike giants, but slowly warm to their presence. Their leader, Gormritharl the Cloudbreaker, eventually broaches the topic of alliances, particularly against a rival giant clan.
And with that, I present Ten Festive D&D Encounters for you and your players to enjoy! If you liked these encounters and want to share some of your own, come and check out some of our other encounters and pieces on the blog or drop a comment on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Discord! If you’d like access to maps and content, including downloadable PDFs of our adventures, check out our Patreon. We’re able to do what we do because of all our amazing Patrons!