Others have probably said this and done it better but here are my thoughts.
I love social and cinematic encounters. Yes monsters are cool to fight but there is a lot of little tidbits about monsters you will not learn from just fighting them. This also gives you the option to give personality to monsters.
The Kurious Kraken
The Storm gates have opened and released these adventures upon the roiling seas. Three days into the journey at the 4th hour as moral from fighting the waves has become low. Roll a nature/perception or arcana check. Nature/perception: the air becomes noticeably thicker and you feel as if you are underwater. Arcana: You feel as though the ship is now encased in a bubble of arcane magics the nature of which is unknown. You feel a lurch and are knocked to the deck (dex check). Suddenly the ship plunges beneath the waves. Surrounded by darkness and water but still breathing the crew light lanterns and see shapes moving and eyes peering in the expanse beyond this odd safety created by some spell. After 10 minutes the ship is thrust back above the waves and sent on its way. This is an experience not soon forgotten by the crew and told in tarverns for decades to come.
I got this idea from a combination of the Prince of Egypt when Moses parts the waters of the Red Sea and a puffin forest video talking about an Aboleth with a split personality of evil tyrant and curious child. The kraken is curious of these ships but not malevolent. It casts a form of water breathing on the ship then pools it beneath the waves for study before releasing the ship after it is satisfied or finds too much hassle from the occupants. I think this would be particularly good for a tier 2 or low tier 3 party since they would not be thinking we can take this.
The Ice Giant Hunter
There is a variant for the frost giant which is a hunter. My thoughts were that give it an ice wolf or two as companions/hunting dogs. There are dire trolls and my thoughts were make a dire yeti/troll abomination. This horror would easily be a threat to lone frost giant and they would not have anyway of killing it. So this hunter goes out to capture and imprison it. A party could meet this giant perhaps offer to help, encounter the troll after it has evicerated him, or find him hauling the abomination back to camp. I see a lot of roleplay opportunity with this.
The Shadow Fire
A semi corpulent being sits by a quiet ghostly fire. Behind him glowering are three shades. He offers you to sit a while. Though uneasy you find that these shades do not approach. They appear agitated and thrash about.
Perhaps this was a former adventuring party and one of four escaped becoming a shade. This could lead into a quest or could just be something interesting.
I hope these ideas are useful to this fine community.
- “Lost at Sea” a dnd5e adventure for 4 to 6 level 5 players.
- Start of Combat Intelligence Skill Checks
- The Fae Fire Puzzle
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Not All Monsters Must Be Fought (Kurious Kraken, Ice Giant Hunter, and the Shadow Fire)" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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