View Full Version : Non combat encounter ideas?

2010-11-08, 03:15 PM
Okay as a DM, I need help. I'm very very bad at thinking up with non-combat related encounters for my D&D adventures. I could use some help. If any veteran (or not so veteran) Dungeon Masters have any tried and true encounter ideas that they don't mind sharing I'd appreciate the help.

A Ladder
2010-11-08, 03:48 PM

here's a thread that covered some of your questions.

2010-11-08, 03:58 PM
Could you give a bit more details? Any detail would do...

2010-11-08, 04:07 PM
Next session my party will be confrtonted by a Kolyrut who is investigating some of their earlier activities. Turns out they interfered with the contract of another. On a very good day, they could defeat him in combat but it would probably be able to kill one or two of them before it went down. There best option will be to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. The Kolyrut has no interest in hurting them at this stage since it is just investigating a complaint.

2010-11-08, 04:11 PM

The PCs have to win a race for/to <insert reason>. It's a mounted race. Let your PCs investigate their competitors, look into mounts, etc. Give them a time limit to figure out what they're getting. Add in skill usage during the race somehow.

The PCs come across a room filled with fire except for a pathway which leads straight through. Some descriptions on the wall indicate different designs of the room with numbers between them. The numbers indicate the number of steps the PCs take before the room changes to the next pattern. One PC goes in while his friends try to guide him through.

There's a giant wall threatening to crush you and the switch to turn it off is at the top. Your PCs must climb the wall before they're crushed. Have them look out for hand crops, rough edges, slippery areas. Have the wall shake and shudder to try and throw them off.

Archery competition, really, need I say more?

Your PCs must win a game of liar's dice/poker/whatever game of chance you prefer. They can play straight or use their skills to help determine if opponents are bluffing/cheating and even cheat themselves.

2010-11-08, 04:21 PM
Unfortunately, there is no detail at the moment. I'm beginning work on a new campaign, and I've got all sorts of ideas for grand story arcs and what not, but I always get stuck when I try and whittle it down into manageable adventures and encounters, the "day to day" stuff as it were. I get stuck in "Monster mode" and I hate hack & slash campaigns, and so I'm looking for helping compiling a list of alternate ideas.

Thanks, Sipex and KingMerv

2010-11-08, 04:23 PM
I like Trap Encounters; come up with ways for each PC to be useful and they can be lots of fun. (e.g. pick the right rune on the wall to cast a spell at, then one person tumbles between whirring blades to land on a pressure plate, opening a small passageway that only an animal companion could fit into etc.)

And of course, don't just let them roll Disable Device and saunter past it (though it can work on certain portions.)

2010-11-08, 04:30 PM
Which edition?

If D&D4, the Skill Challenge mechanic can actually be leveraged to help run these sorts of things. Anything from a Diplomatic Dinner Party to a Chase Through the Marketplace can be turned into a non-combat encounter.

Some basic ideas
(1) Catch the Purse Snatcher
(2) Impress the Duke
(3) Scale the Mountain
(4) Navigate the Trap Room
(5) Obstacle Course