Ruins Encounter Locations for Dungeons and Dragons 5e

" A cobbled plaza surrounds wrecked beast pens. One is still intact, marked by a glowing fence and distressed noises of beasts inside."

Tables for Wilderness, Semi-Civilised and Unusual ruins locations. Result is from Ruins Unusual Locations.

Locations for unusual terrain - jungle | ruins

[Photo by Raph Howald on Unsplash]

Ruins Encounter Locations

Ruins are defined by buildings and old settlements, lost or abandoned, marked by the ravages of time. Overgrown walls, collapsed temples, broken pillars, flowers growing in a former courtyard mark ruins from surrounding terrain

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

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

Ruins Encounters - Random Tables Unusual Encounters Bundle

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

Ruins Edge of Wilderness Locations

1d8+1d12Ruins Wilderness Locations
2 A reed-filled pond and a stone circle (close by is a ruined portal)
3 An orchard of tall trees (someone has left a torch stub)
4 A group of stunted saplings around a sturdy tomb (earby is a bed of pinkish flowers)
5 A meadow of dry grass and a pile of debris (rain is falling)
6 A smooth-sided rock and a spring (there is a poem here in Elven)
7 A field of tall grass with a wide hole (nearby is an old wizard's tower)
8 A high waterfall into a deep lake with submerged ruins (the area is sacred to a power of darkness)
9 A discoloured area of long grass (someone has left a holy symbol)
10 An overgrown herb garden (near to a crumbling artisan's workshop)
11 A waste-filled muddy stream with several stunted trees (currently there is thunder and lightning)
12 A high hill with a gloomy cairn (near a vine-covered tower)
13 An area of thriving pear trees around a crumbling cairn (there are fresh tracks of more creatures nearby)
14 A wide stream surrounded by brambles (someone has left a lantern)
15 An area of rock-strewn ground by an old road (there is a covered wagon)
16 A narrow cave entrance by a pond (a storm is approaching)
17 A bed of blue flowers near four carved trees. (a fog is forming)
18 A tainted spring and a wide ditch (it is touched by dark magic)
19 A fading fire by a tall unkempt hedge (nearby is an imposing hill)
20 An area of bright fungi littered with bones (the area is cursed)

Ruins Semi-Civilised Locations

1d8+1d12Ruins Semi-Civilised Locations
2 A partially collapsed temple of a power of travel (surrounded by a mossy stone wall)
3 A gravestone near a large rock (there is writing here in Giant)
4 A collapsed hut near a blue ring of mushrooms. (an old map is half-hidden under a stone)
5 A burning fire near a part-buried well (which is blessed by a power of secrets)
6 An abandoned inn (it is associated with a mysterious black dragon)
7 Crumbling remains of a marketplace. There is a haunted well (close to an area of black fungi)
8 An ivy-covered shrine to a power of life and a thorny hedge (there is a torn poster here in Dwarven)
9 A pile of rubble surrounded by debris (it is misty)
10 A ruined tower surrounded by carved trees (close by are remains of another civilization)
11 A wide path lined with weathered stone statues (there is a handcart)
12 An ornate but empty fountain (there is a pile of oil flasks)
13 A well and an ivy-covered gravestone (a strange fog is forming)
14 An overgrown monument. (nearby is an unusual beast pen)
15 A crumbling burial ground (the area is full of illusions)
16 An ancient monument surrounded by bracken (it is associated with a mysterious ghost)
17 An old isolated windmill (which is a dead magic zone - similar to an antimagic field)
18 A temple with large cracks to a power of travel. Beside is a bronze shrine of an unknown power (nearby is a ford through a river)
19 An arcane portal surrounded by dying plants. (close by is a catacombs entrance)
20 A line of statues with animated heads (there is bright sunshine)

Ruins Unusual Locations

1d8+1d12Ruins Unusual Locations
2 Amongst the remains of a city is a sacred orchard bearing large fruit. It is protected by a forbiddance spell and home to magical owls.
3 Razorvine (DMG pg 110) rings a verdant park. Hot springs feed steaming pools and towering plants. At night Feywild ruins appear.
4 Portal of Untold Stories. A cracked stone arch stands in an area of exposed rock. It is covered with inscriptions that change every dawn. Nearby is a tent village of those trying to decipher them.
5 The ruins of an artisan's workshop is covered with thick webbing. Broken pottery and tools are scattered around the area.
6 A new shrine of stone is built here on older ruins. A few worshipers camp in tents nearby, working to restore nearby ruins.
7 A cobbled plaza surrounds wrecked beast pens. One is still intact, marked by a glowing fence and distressed noises of beasts inside.
8 Dreamfall Meet. Where two rivers meet is an overgrown old burial ground. At its center is a collapsed temple, linked to local prophecy.
9 A path lined with groaning trees leads to an unfinished brass tower. Tales say an earth spirit waits to serve any who complete the tower.
10 Standing stones, broken pillars and runed blocks are partly submerged in a small lake. Many sinister vultures nest among them.
11 A long island sits in a shallow river, bearing an old stone wall. Pillars support the wall, each topped by an animated stone head.
12 Lake of Legends. Several islands with ancient structures form a rough circle. At the center of the circle are wrecks of several boats. Locals say the lake tells secrets to those making sacrifices there.
13 Several stone ruins appear to rest on nothing. A magical bridge of force supports them. Surrounding are fields of golden flowers.
14 The remains of a village are overgrown by foliage with vicious spikes. Several black stone statues depict a two-headed dragon.
15 A pair of crumbling houses are divided by a river. A perilous ford is marked by a programmed illusion of a ferry crossing back and forth.
16 The Builder's Tomb. Standing among other ruins, a great artisan was entombed here. Pilgrims visit the site and elementals protect it.
17 A rusted barn with clockwork protrusions and pieces of moving machinery. In the fields around are "crops" of metal and bone
18 Bright flowers surround a watchtower of elven design supported by several trees. Long abandoned, it is home to large beehives.
19 An ivy-covered citadel has three of six towers intact. The area is suffused with necromantic magic and visitors feel an intense chill.
20 Whismore Mill. In the ruins of a gnomish town stands an active mill. An arcane experiment, it stores energy in underground vaults.

More Encounters and Locations

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

Ruins Encounters - Random Tables Unusual Encounters Bundle

These tables inspired my 5E ruins encounters generator at Chaos Gen.

You can get encounters tools updates on Patreon and find me on Twitter @duncanthom