Table Rolls - 5E Desert Encounters

"Several rough-looking humans are searching the rocks around a large distinctive cactus. A half orc shouts at them as she hacks chunks from the cacti."

What are they searching for? What is special about the cactus?

Generated from the Desert Locations (roll of 7) and Desert Levels 1-4 (roll of 12) tables below. Enhanced from an Encounter Activity/State table from a previous table.

Desert Encounters

The desert conjures images of sun-blasted wastes, stark canyons and sandy ridges. Encounters may take place at a well-guarded oasis, a lonely mesa, among half buried ruins or in the bed of a dried up river.

A place of death and daily struggle against the elements, it is the home of nomadic herders, desperate outcasts and the souls and remains of many who have perished.

All terrain rolls - arctic | coastal | desert | forest | grassland | hill | mountain | swamp | underdark | underwater | urban

A pdf of these tables with more locations and encounter tables is at the DM's Guild as Table Rolls - Desert Encounters.

Table Rolls - Desert Encounters

Desert Locations

1d8+1d12Desert Locations
2A haunted shrine to a power of death
3A sand-scoured mansion
4A sand dune with a half-buried tent
5A dried up waterfall leading underground
6An area of bracken and bush
7A strangely shaped cacti
8A dusty group of ugly statues
9A waterhole
10A ruined monument
11An oasis by a pile of rocks
12A pavilion tent
13A crumbling beast pen
14Salt flats
15A mesa with a stone hut
16A group of tents
17A sheltered hamlet
18A dried-up oasis
19A chasm with a cave entrance
20A canyon maze

Desert Levels 1-4

1d8+1d12Desert Levels 1-4
21 Blue Dragon Wyrmling
33d6 Tribal Warriors and 1 Berserker with 5d6 Camels
41d4+1 Death Dogs
53d6 Hyenas
61d4+1 Thri-Kreen
72d4 Gnolls
81d4+1 Scouts
91d4+1 Giant Hyenas
102d6 Tribal Warriors mounted on Camels
113d6 Camels
122d6 Human Bandits lead by a Bandit Captain
131d4 Giant Vulture(s)
141 Swarm of Insects
151d6+1 Jackalweres
161d2 Giant Scorpions
171 Lamia
181d6+1 Dust Mephits
191d2 Yuan-ti Purebloods and 1 Yuan-ti Malison
201d2 Mummies or Low Level Undead

Desert Levels 5-10

1d8+1d12Desert Levels 5-10
21 Young Blue Dragon
31 Efreet or Djinn
41 Medusa
51d3 Were-tigers
61 Guardian Naga
71d3 Fire or Air Elementals
83d6 Death Dogs
92d6+2 Thri-kreen
103d6 Gnolls with 1 Gnoll Pack Lord
11Roll on Desert Levels 1-4 table
122d4+1 Berserkers mounted on Camels
131d4+1 Yuan-ti Malisons and 1d4 Yuan-ti Purebloods
142d6 Giant Hyenas and 2d6 Hyenas and 1 Gnoll Fang of Yeenoghu
151d6+1 Giant Scorpions
161d2 Lamias and 3d4 Jackalweres
171d6+1 Mummies
181d2 Yuan-ti Abomination(s)
191 Cyclops with 3d6 Camels
201 Young Brass Dragon

Desert Levels 11+

1d8+1d12Desert Levels 11+
21 Adult Brass Dragon
31 Roc
42 Young Brass Dragons
51 Efreet and 1d4 Fire Elementals
61 Androsphinx
72d4 Salamanders
82d4+2 Were-tigers
91d2 Gynosphinx(es)
102d4 Fire Elementals
11Roll on Desert Levels 5-10 table
122d6 Yuan-ti Malisons and 1d3 Yuan-ti Abominations
133d6 Wights
141 Purple Worm
152d4 Air Elementals
161d3 Guardian Naga
172 Young Blue Dragons
181 Djinn and 1d4 Air Elementals
191 Adult Blue Dragon
201 Mummy Lord and 1d3+1 Mummies

More Encounters

These tables are inspired from my 5E Encounters Generator at EN World. You can find out more on Patreon and find me on Twitter @ChaosGenerators

For a PDF version of desert encounters with more tables check out Table Rolls - Desert Encounters on DM's Guild.