5E Shadowfell Encounter Tables for D&D 5e

"You follow a road of cracked black stones and ahead you see a wagon standing still, two dead horses beside it. Gaunt figures feed on the horse and a few heads appear from within the wagon, assessing you..."

Random tables for Dungeons and Dragons Shadowfell encounters

VGtM = Volo's Guide to Monsters. MToF = Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Unusual terrains - feywild | shadowfell | lower planes | elemental | jungle | roads | ruins | sea

[Photo by Sergio Ibannez on Unsplash]

Shadowfell Encounters

The Shadowfell is a place of black, grey and white, dismal shadow of the Material Plane. It brings visions skull-like rocks, dark forests with snaring branches and castles long crumbled to ruin. Encounters might occur at a circle of tombstones, a grove of grasping bracken or a haunted quarry where the dead work.

Home of the colourless reflections of the mortal world, the unlucky might also find the Domains of Dread, where "darklords" are imprisoned. They are home to cursed spirits, alien creatures that prefer darkness, , cunning unseelie satyrs, scheming hags and drow warbands from the Underdark and servants of the Raven Queen.

A pdf of these and other Shadowfell tables is at the DM's Guild as Shadowfell Encounters

Shadowfell Encounter Tables pdf on DM's Guild Unusual Encounters Bundle

Shadowfell Encounter Tables - creatures | locations | non-combat | enhancements

Shadowfell Levels 1-4

1d8+1d12Shadowfell Levels 1-4
2 1 vampire spawn or 1 banderhobb (VGtM)
3 1 scout possessed by a ghost or 1d2 carrion crawlers
4 1d2 phase spiders or roll on Planar Visitors lvl 1-4
5 1d2 nothics or rolll on Shadowfell Monsters lvl 1-4
6 1d6 giant bats or roll on Shadowfell Beasts
7 A wagon with 1d4+1 warhorse skeletons or 1d4 meazels (MToF)
8 1d4 swarms of ravens or roll on Shadowfell Beasts
9 1d6 death dogs or rolll on Shadowfell Monsters lvl 1-4
10 1d4+1 darkmantles or roll on Shadowfell Beasts
11 1d6 shadows or roll Shadowfell Spirits lvl 1-4
12 2d4 grimlocks or roll on Shadowfell Humanoids
13 1d4 ghouls or roll on Undead lvl 1-4
14 1 ettercap and 1d2 giant spiders or 1d4+1 skulks (MToF)
15 1 shadow demon or roll on Shadowfell Spirits lvl 1-4
16 1 cult fanatic with 1d6 cultists or roll on Shadowfell Humanoids
17 2d6 skeletons or roll on Undead lvl 1-4
18 1d4 dire wolves or 1 darkling elder (VGtM) and 1d3 darklings (VGtM)
19 1d3 gargoyles or 1d2 nightmares
20 1 wraith or 1 night hag

Shadowfell Levels 5-10

1d8+1d12Shadowfell Levels 5-10
2 1 young shadow dragon (any type) or 1 balhannoth (MToF)
3 1 drow mage and 1d2 drow elite warriors or 1 warlock of the Great Old One (VGtM) with 1d6 nothics
4 1 young red shadow dragon or 1 maurezhi (MToF) with 2d4 ghouls
5 1 fomorion or 1 necromancer (VGtM) with 2d4 shadows
6 1 spirit naga and 2d4 ghouls or 2d6 shadow mastiffs (VGtM) led by 1 shadow mastiff alpha (VGtM)
7 1d3+1 wights with 3d6 zombies or roll on Undead lvl 5-10
8 1d4 flesh golems or roll on Shadowfell Monsters lvl 5-10
9 1d3 driders or 1d2 shadow dancers (MToF)
10 1d2 cloakers or roll on Shadowfell Monsters lvl 5-10
11 1d4 vampire spawn or roll on Undead Encounters lvl 5-10
12 1 assassin and 2d4 cultists or 1 gloomweaver (MToF)
13 1d4 shadow demons and 1d4+1 shadows or roll on Shadowfell Spirits lvl 5-10
14 1 night hag on a nightmare or roll on Planar Visitors lvl 5-10
15 1 gray slaad or 1d2 choldriths (VGtM) and 2d6 chitines (VGtM)
16 1d4 wraiths or roll on Shadowfell Spirits lvl 5-10
17 2d4 ogre zombies and 1 drider or 1 drow shadowblade (MToF)
18 1 mage with 1 flesh golem and 2d4 specters or 1 neogi master (VGtM) with 1d4+1 neogi (VGtM)
19 1d4 wraiths or 1 blackguard (VGtM) with 1d4 wights
20 A coven of 3 night hags or 1 soul monger (MToF)

Shadowfell Levels 11+

1d8+1d12Shadowfell Levels 11+
2 1 mummy lord or roll on Undead Encounters lvl 11+
3 1 adult shadow dragon (any metallic or chromatic)
4 1 fell purple worm (fly 40 ft, can cast gaseous form at will) or 1d4+1 drow elite warriors led by 1 drow house captain (MToF)
5 1 death knight or 1 drow arachnomancer (MToF)
6 1 vampire spellcaster or roll on Undead Encounters lvl 11+
7 1 beholder or 1 soul monger (MToF) & 1d3 shadow dancers (MToF)
8 1 shadow behir (necrotic damage instead of electricity, immune to necrotic damage) or 1d2 of the angry (MToF)
9 1d4+2 cloakers or 1 balhannoth (MToF)
10 1 archmage with 1d4 wraiths or 1 nagpa (MToF)
11 1 vampire or roll on Undead Encounters lvl 11+
12 1d4+1 gray slaads or roll on Planar Visitors lvl 11+
13 1 death tyrant or 1 gloom weaver (MToF) with 1d4 shadow dancers (MToF)
14 1 githyanki knight mounted on a young red shadow dragon or roll on Planar Visitors lvl 11+
15 2 young red shadow dragons or 1 mind flayer lich (VGtM)
16 Coven of 3 night hags mounted on nightmares or roll on Planar Visitors lvl 11+
17 1d2 drow priestesses with 1 drow mage and 1d4 drow elite warriors or 1d3 of the hungry (MToF)
18 1 death slaad riding a flying chariot pulled by 2d4 nightmares
19 1 arcanaloth and 1d2 nycoloths
20 1 lich

Planar Visitors (Levels 1-4)

A traveler from the astral plane, deep ethereal or using planar magic.

d4+d6
2 1 night hag
3 1d4 nomadic scouts with a wagon traveling via secret paths or 1 wight mounted on a nightmare
4 Adventurers who passed through a Shadowfell crossing - 1 noble, 1 berserker, 1 priest and 1d3 scouts
5 1d2 githyanki warriors
6 1d2 phase spiders or 1 berbalang (MToF)
7 1d3 githzerai monks or 1 shadow demon
8 1 cult fanatic mounted on a nightmare or 1d2 giff (MToF)
9 1 knight banished by a hostile plane shift spell
10 1 cambion

Planar Visitors (Levels 5-10)

d4+d6
2 1 gray slaad or 1 morkoth (VGtM)
3 1 stone giant banished by plane shift spell or 1 ulitharid (VGtM)
4 1 githyanki knight or 1 githzerai enlightened (MToF)
5 1 mind flayer with 1d4 troglodytes or adventurers - 1 cambion, 1 blackguard (VGtM), 1d2 master thieves (VGtM) and 1 mage
6 1 night hag mounted on a nightmare or 1 warlock of the Great Old One (VGtM) with 1d6 cult fanatics
7 1d3 githzerai zerths or 1 mind flayer arcanist
8 1 death slaad or 1 diviner (VGtM, has plane shift instead of teleport)
9 1 assassin, arrived via a Shadowfell crossing or 1 githyanki gish (MToF)
10 1 genie (dao, marid, efreet or djinni) or 1 stone giant dreamwalker (VGtM)

Planar Visitors (Levels 11+)

d4+d6
2 1 empyrean (evil-aligned) or 1d3 githyanki gish (MToF) with 2d4 githyanki warriors
3 1 arcanaloth (has plane shift prepared instead of finger of death) or 1 genie noble (any type)
4 Coven of 3 night hags all mounted on nightmares or 1 alhoon (VGtM)
5 1 archmage with 1d3 wights using astral projection or 1 drow arachnomancer (MToF, has plane shift instead of etherealness))
6 1 githyanki knight mounted on a young red shadow dragon or 1 githzerai anarch (MToF)
7 1d4+1 gray slaads or 1 nagpa (MToF)
8 Adventurers with a cubic gate - 1 mage , 1 assassin, 1d2 githzerai zerths and 1 drow priestess of Lolth
9 1 rakshasa or 1 archdruid (VGtM, has plane shift prepared instead of fire storm)
10 1 lich or 1 skull lord (MToF)

Shadowfell Monsters (Levels 1-4)

Roll on Undead levels 1-4 for alternate monster options.

d4+d6
2 1 flesh golem or 1 banderhobb (VGtM)
3 1d3 ettercaps or 1 adult kruthik (MToF) and 2d4 young kruthiks (MToF)
4 1d2 nightmares or 1d4 stone cursed (MToF)
5 1d2 phase spiders or 2d6 of the wretched (MToF)
6 1d6 darkmantles or 1d3 meenlocks (VGtM)
7 1 shadow demon or roll on Shadowfell Spirits lvl 1-4
8 1d6 death dogs or 1 basilisk
9 1d2 nothics or 1d2 grells
10 1 roper or 1 catoblepas (VGtM)

Shadowfell Monsters (Levels 5-10)

Roll on Undead levels 1-4 for alternate monster options.

d4+d6
2 1 gray slaad or 1 of the hungry (MToF)
3 1d4 flesh golems or 2d4 adult kruthiks (MToF) and 2d6 young kruthiks (MToF)
4 1 spirit naga or 1d2 of the lonely (MToF)
5 2d4 grells or 1d2 rot trolls (MToF)
6 1d2 cloakers or 1d3 of the lost (MToF)
7 1d4 wraiths or roll on Shadowfell Spirits lvl 5-10
8 1d2 driders and 1d2 phase spiders or 1 froghemoth (VGtM)
9 1d4 fell umber hulks (resistance to necrotic damage and fly 30 ft) or 1 elder oblex (MToF)
10 1 aboleth or 1 balhannoth (MToF)

Shadowfell Spirits (Levels 1-4)

d4+d6
2 1 wraith or 1 night hag
3 1 ghost or 1d2 vampiric mists (MToF)
4 1d2 poltergeists or 1 banshee
5 1d4 specters or 1d3 shadow mastiffs (VGtM)
6 1d6 shadows or 1d2 sword wraith warriors (MToF)
7 1d3 will-o'-wisps or 1d4+1 skulks (MToF)
8 1 shadow demon or 1d4 animated armors
9 2d4 flying swords or 1 flameskull
10 1 shadow elemental (air elemental stats but deals necrotic damage and has Stealth +8) or 1 allip (MToF)

Shadowfell Spirits (Levels 5-10)

d4+d6
2 1d4 revenants or a coven of 3 night hags
3 1d4 wraiths or 1 annis hag (VGtM) with 1d2 ogre zombies
4 1d6 shadow demons or 2d4 sword wraith warriors (MToF)
5 2d6 specters or 2d6 shadow mastiffs (VGtM) led by 1 shadow mastiff alpha (VGtM)
6 1 wraith with 1d6 specters
7 2d6 shadows or 1 sword wraith commander (MToF) with 1d3 sword wraith warriors (MToF)
8 1d4 shadow elemental (air elemental stats but deals necrotic damage and has Stealth +8)
9 1d2 banshees with 2d4 specters or 1d4 allips (MToF)
10 1d3 murderous spirits (invisible stalker stats) or 1 spirit troll (MToF)

Undead (Levels 1-4)

d4+d6
2 1 vampire spawn or 1d2 deathlock wights (MToF)
3 1d2 mummies
4 1 flameskull or 1d3 ogre zombies
5 3d4 zombies or 1d3+1 ghouls led by 1 Ghast
6 1d4+1 ghouls or 1d6 shadows
7 1d2 wights or 1d3 minotaur skeletons
8 2d6 skeletons or 1 deathlock (MToF)
9 1 bone naga or 1d4+1 warhorse skeletons
10 1 revenant or 1 beholder zombie

Undead (Levels 5-10)

d4+d6
2 1 beholder zombie with 2d4 minotaur skeletons
3 2d4 wights or 1 corpse flower (MToF) with 1d8+1 zombies
4 1d4 vampire spawn or 1d4 spawn of Kyuss (VGtM)
5 1d2 flameskulls with 1d3 wights and 1d6+6 zombies or 1 necromancer (VGtM) with 1d4 wights
6 2d6 ghouls led by 1d4 ghasts or 1d3 bodaks (VGtM)
7 1d3+1 wights with 3d6 zombies or 1 deathlock mastermind (MToF)
8 1d4+2 mummies or 1 maurezhi (MToF) with 1d10 ghouls
9 4d6 skeletons with 1d4+1 shadows
10 1d2 bone nagas with 2d4 ogre zombies

Undead (Levels 11+)

d8+d12
2 1 lich or 1 mind flayer lich (VGtM, variant)
3 1 vampire with 1d4 vampire spawn or 1d2 sword wraith commanders (MToF) with 2d4 sword wraith warriors (MToF)
4 1 death tyrant or 1 boneclaw (MToF)
5 2d4 vampire spawn or 1 devourer (VGtM)
6 2d4 wraiths or 1 nightwalker (MToF)
7 1 vampire or 1 skull lord (MToF) with 1d6 wights
8 1 mummy lord
9 1 vampire spellcaster or 1 vampire warrior
10 1 death knight or 1 dracolich (any adult dragon)

More Encounters

A pdf of these and other Shadowfell tables is at the DM's Guild as Shadowfell Encounters

Shadowfell Encounter Tables pdf on DM's Guild Unusual Encounters Bundle