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Random Encounters During a Thunderstorm


A bedraggled dire bear, dripping with water, shuffles out of the dark. With water running in rivulets down its face it looks at each character, in turn, growling deep in its throat before shaking itself, spraying water over everything in a ten-foot radius and flumps down, right next to the fire.

The heat causes steam to rise from the huge furry flank nearest the fire.

DM Notes

Assuming the characters let the bear have this spot then it will start to shuffle around, trying to dry out each side of its body and finally falling asleep in front of the fire. (You might want to emphasis that it is a really big dire bear!) It won’t have any compunction about rolling over people or shoving them out of the way with its bulk so it can get closer to the fire.


Out in the rain-lashed lake, a disturbance breaks the surface and a column of water rises ten feet before resolving itself as a water elemental. It starts to gyrate and transform – long tendrils forming, flailing and reshaping around as the centre mass twists and turns. As the storm intensifies the motion becomes faster, rising to a crescendo just as a double lightning fork splits the sky and an extra burst of rain hammers down. The elemental then sinks back slowly into the water and out of sight.

DM Notes

Yes, it was dancing in the rain.


A lightning bolt smashes down into the ground only feet away from the party with blinding brilliant. The smell of ozone and electricity hangs heavy in the air and as the afterimage of the lightning blast fades the characters see several motes of sparkling electricity float up into the air in slow circles.

DM Notes

  • Should they do nothing then the motes of electricity float into the sky and fade out to nothing after a few minutes

  • Should they reach out a hand to them the character receives a mild jolt of electricity (which hurts a little) but then they find that their hand is energised. They can channel this force and either deliver an electric shock through their touch OR throw a lightning ball up to 20ft. Their touch ability lasts 1d4 times and the lightning ball drains the power after 1d4 – 1 times.

  • Should they reach out to touch a weapon to the motes then their weapon becomes energised. This results in their weapon doing additional electric damage. The effect lasts for the next 1d4+2 strikes. (Range weapons transfer the energy to any ammunition loaded in them.)

  • Should they talk to the energy then, assuming they are persuasive enough, the motes will start to circle the character. Whilst the motes last the character can direct them to any point in a twenty-foot radius. Should they come into contact with another creature they do minor damage. This can be repeated 1d6 times.


A crash of thunder rips through the sky as lightning flashes. In that second… an unseen assassin fires a poisoned arrow that misses the characters but embeds itself into the pack back being carried by the largest characters.

DM Notes

The assassin melts away into the city streets/forest/background depending on where the party are and is not found. Should you want to really mess with the characters then have the arrow shaft be coated with poison rather than the tip – that way when people are examining it or removing it from the pack they are likely to poison themselves! (Paralysing or knock-out poison can be hilarious here.)


An eagle plummets to the ground right in front of the party. It has been burned through by lightning and is quite dead. Most of its magnificent plumage is intact, however.

DM Notes

Would it be fun if the eagle was actually a protected (sacred) bird locally and thus should the players be spotted sporting eagle feathers in their clothing or an eagle carcass in their pack that they get into trouble with the authorities?!


The rain starts to come down harder and after a violent burst of thunder, it turns acidic. Where it hits the ground, and people/vegetation, it starts to hiss, and it stings the skin when struck directly. Anyone getting rain into their eyes is blinded for 1d4 turns and takes mild damage. This acidic rain lasts for five minutes before passing.

DM Notes

Any mounts that are being ridden are likely to bolt for cover when hit by the rain.


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Some material from

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If you would like custom RPG material created just for you then message us via the Contact Us page.

Picture Credits:

We feel compelled to confess that this is the first time the image hasn't directly matched one of the random options. We found it after writing the list and loved the image so much we wanted to share it - we also didn't want to take out one of the items from the list because we liked those also! You could alter number three a little and have the image fit!

Manipulation: The Grinning Frog team


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