The best Level 1 Encounters for 5e DnD: start your campaign right!

Whether it is your first time bringing your friends to the world of Dungeons and Dragons or starting fresh in a new campaign, level 1 is always a great start for every campaign’s journey.

However, keeping in mind the limitations of the players at this level comes with the challenge of making fun and engaging session. This article will teach tips and tricks to help you before your next level up!

General Information on level 1 encounters

Encounters are essential to any Dungeons and Dragons campaign, as they provide opportunities for players to use their skills, make decisions, and engage with the world.  

To create an effective encounter for level 1 players, start by considering the goals of the meeting. For example, do you want to provide a challenge for the players to overcome, introduce a new NPC or location, or establish the campaign’s tone? Once you have a goal, you can build the encounter around it.

Next, consider the difficulty of the encounter. You want the meeting to be challenging but not impossible for the players to overcome. A good rule of thumb is to use a mix of weak and strong enemies and to avoid overwhelming the players.

Finally, think about the setting and environment of the encounter. This can help to add flavor and immersion to the encounter, and can also provide opportunities for the players to use their skills and resources in creative ways. The key to creating a good encounter for level 1 players is to balance challenge and fairness and keep the encounter’s goals and tone in mind.

best Level 1 Encounters

Level 1 Encounter Creatures


Goblins are classic creatures to encounter in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Given their versatility, they can be found in various environments, from the wilderness to the urban area. Unfortunately, goblins are naturally pesky creatures that work in large groups, so you can find ways to annoy your players with these misfits.


A common encounter for players of every level. Bandits can be a part of a larger story in the campaign, even making up a whole arc. May it be a grand heist or a battle between different factions. Bandits can be placed in several scenarios, including assassinating an important NPC, stealing something of great value, or even terrorizing the innocent. Since the bandits are intelligent humanoids, the players can have more options than simply engaging in combat against them. They can try other tactics, such as intimidation and persuasion.

Level 1 Encounter Locations

A Tavern

Many adventures start in a tavern. This is where your party can meet one another and even get their first quest! But it could even be a place for your players to have their first encounter! You can try out ideas by engaging the players in drinking competitions, challenging NPCs in a tavern brawl, and so on. You may even enjoy with players whenever they come back from a heavy quest to drink, dance, and let loose in your tavern.

A Dungeon Diver

The dungeon is the perfect location for exploration for your players. There are a variety of things you from creating puzzles for them to solve to having creatures of the dark for them to go up against. But don’t forget to reward them for their merit as they try to survive your encounter! Hidden in the dungeon could be magic items, chests filled with treasure, loot from mobs, and much more. 

best Level 1 Encounters for 5e DnD

Best Level 1 Encounter

A Goblin Rampage

Terror has been spread around a nearby village, as a small group of goblins has been causing trouble. From stealing food and supplies to disrupting the villagers’ daily lives, the goblins have been proven to be a menace to society. So the village hires the players to track down the goblins and stop their raids.

Into the Unknown

Before the players, a mysterious portal has opened up in the woods, leading to an otherworldly realm. The players are the first to discover the portal and must decide whether to explore the unknown realm or close it to protect their world. In addition, the portal can lead to other planes known in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, like the Feywild, the four Elemental Planes, etc.

Deep Delver

As the party explores an abandoned tunnel of a Dwarven mine. Diving deep underground, they find a group of kobolds that has taken over a mineshaft, blocking off the local dwarves’ access to valuable resources. The dwarves hire the players to reclaim the mineshaft and drive out the kobolds.

A Curse Upon the Land

A cursed object that has been causing strange occurrences in a nearby town. The players are called upon to investigate and figure out how to break the curse. If the players lift the object from its unworldly curse, they could gain possession. First, however, they must be careful of the cursed object’s properties and if it falls into the wrong hands.

The Rise of Pure Evil

Far from the nearest settlements stands a sketchy temple. Rumor has it that the acolytes of the temple have been plotting to rise unspeakable evil from the Nine Hells. After investigation, it is found that the cultists are attempting to summon a powerful demon in a remote location. The players must stop the cultists, prevent the demon from being summoned, and wreak havoc on the Material Plane. 

A Missing Pet

Posters for a missing pets have been scattered all over the town. A young NPC needs help finding their beloved lost pet, which has wandered into a nearby cave filled with goblins. The players must navigate the cave in search of the goblin’s lair. Unfortunately, the goblins have taken the pet as their own and refuse to give it up to anyone who claims it. The players can defeat or convince the goblins to rescue the pet.

A Bandit Ambush

While players are out on their journey, they stumble upon a group of bandits in the midst of robbing a merchant caravan. The players can choose to intervene and stop the robbery or try to sneak past and avoid confrontation. If they help save the merchant, they can bring great value to the players, such as discounts, free items, and valuable information to help their journey.

A Bridge Over Troubled Water

A powerful storm has caused a bridge to collapse, stranding the players on one side of a river. They must find a way to repair the bridge or find another way across before they can continue their journey. Using the player’s ingenuity and skills, they can find ways to restore the bridge. But, first, they must be careful of dangerous creatures in those waters. 

Advice and final thoughts

Making encounters for level 1 players in Dungeons and Dragons requires a bit of thought and planning to ensure that the encounter is challenging but fair for the players. It’s important to consider the goals of the encounter, difficulty level, setting, and environment.

One key thing to remember is that level 1 players are just starting, so it’s important not to overwhelm them with too many enemies or too high of a difficulty level. It’s also a good idea to give the players opportunities to work around a challenge creatively, as this can help to engage them in the encounter and make it more enjoyable. The goal of any encounter should be to provide a fun and exciting challenge for the players, advancing the story and helping to establish the campaign’s tone.