A writer from The Everhearth Inn generously pulled together this wonderful Halloween 5e D&D One-Shot article.
Put on your wizard hats, purchase a pumpkin-flavored drink (or Butterbeer works too), and prepare for a full night of roleplaying magic! Halloween is here, and, with the rush of Christmas rapidly approaching, it’s time to use up your annual leave, get together with your group, and play some truly terrifying D&D one-shots.
Whether you are a team of Bardbarians (it’ll happen one day), or an actually balanced party – embracing Halloween by paying homage to Dungeons & Dragons is undeniably the perfect way to celebrate. What’s not to love about the typical Witch-infested Dungeon crawlers, combined with the newer 5e remake of the so-called Skin-Kites?
You certainly don’t have to celebrate Halloween to enjoy the excuse for showing off the cosplay outfit of your dreams, so dress up all fancy, build your character sheet, send your DM this list and let’s get this ball – or dice – on the roll. Or, if you’re struggling to meet up in person, you can read this guide on how to play D&D online. Here are our 5 favorite DnD one-shots to help you make the most of the enclosing darkness and share a whole lot of laughter (and a few screams) with your friends.
Number 1: Masque of the Worms
Source: The Arcane Library
Author: Kelsey Dionne
Time to Play: 3-5 hours
Player Count: 4-7
Recommended Character Level: 1-4
If you’ve got a few squeamish party members, Masque of the Worms is a great fan-sourced one-shot guaranteed to summon a multitude of shivers. Described as a “chilling ode to Edgar Allan Poe’s darkest dreams”, this 5e campaign brings all the disgusting creatures from our world, plops them in a dungeon, and then causes you to fight for your lives in a challenging dungeon crawler. This creeptastic story includes everything the Dungeon Master will need, including maps, monster details, area breakdowns, loot, and of course… lots and lots of soul-sucking, flesh-tearing worms.
A Masque of Worms is perfect for low-level players and new beginners. It’s been accredited to be a great starting one-shot to an extended campaign further designed by the DM. The story arrives in a PDF file with 3 other fantastic campaigns: Valley of the Gilded Tower, Crypts of Azarumme, and Watchers in the Dark. All brilliant (and cheap!) assets to be wielded on Halloween night through to the New Year!
Worms. Lots of worms. For experienced players who love a challenge and variety in combat, Masque of Worms might feel a bit repetitive. Though it’s a great way to break in a new character, if you’ve been feeling the itch for a higher level campaign – try one of our other options.
Number 2: The Haunt
Shop: The DMs Guild
Author: Phil Beckwith
Time to Play: 6-8 hours
Player Count: 3-5
Recommended Character Level: 4-5
There’s something about ghosts that just makes sense in October, and if you are a huge fan of the cold, damp weather that Autumn brings – you’ll fall in love with the broody atmosphere in The Haunt. This is a classic, timeless 5e one-shot featuring a (possibly) haunted mansion in a town ravaged by Orcs. This medium-level difficulty campaign is perfect for players of all abilities… but remember: stupid mistakes will cost you.
The Haunt is a beloved one-shot celebrated by the community. If you love the story, it’s the first in a trilogy of extended content (though can be played as a standalone). There’s no denying that ghosts are the perfect enemy for a haunting night of Halloween fun. Just don’t try to sleep too soon afterwards!
Although undeniably a captivating, mind-blowing story with thousands of positive reviews – if you’re looking for a unique campaign that goes beyond the typical undead, this might not be the book for you.
Number 3: Hallow’s End
Shop: The Pocket Workshop
Author: Jack Dixon
Time to Play: 2-4 hours
Player Count: 1-5
Recommended Character Level: 1-7
Did someone order a side of laughter with their main course of fear? Hallow’s End is an amusing take on a Halloween D&D one-shot that combines classic monsters with hallucinogenic candies. If you have a party famous for acting first and thinking later, this campaign is bound to have more than a few surprising lash backs. With twisted Carnival attractions and gorgeous imagery, Hallow’s End promises your characters will not get a long-rest on the dreaded “Night of the Wayward Souls”.
Hallow’s End is on the shorter side of “I can only be there for a few hours before work starts” and is the perfect solution for a weary party that struggles to get together. If you need a lift in spirits, and a bit of spooky fun, this 5e one-shot plants you in the middle of roleplaying danger and is a fantastic trip of escapism.
If you’re looking for hard-core fights and the thrill of genuine fear, Hallow’s End might be a little too light-hearted (depending on how the DM spins it). With evil beings released from the grave to seek vengeance, this beautiful one-shot generates too many smiles for anyone wanting a real bone-chilling fright.
Number 4: The Amulet of Shavaka
Shop: The DMs Guild
Author: Phil Beckwith
Time to Play: 4-6 hours
Player Count: 4
Recommended Character Level: 2
Do you want to get your blood pumping? Do you want to fear for your life and your character’s? The Amulet of Shavaka is a cleverly designed low-level campaign with a terrifying difficulty that will challenge your brainpower as well as any wisdom or intelligence modifiers granted upon your build. If you’ve been craving a rush of adrenaline, this one-shot will have you chasing through dark (trapped) corridors galore.
This 5e D&D campaign is a refreshing twist for anyone craving a unique Halloween night where they are more focused on the horrors inside their house rather than whatever is going on outside. Prepare to completely emerge into captivating world-building only to blink and find hours have passed.
This campaign is intended for low-level characters at a maximum of 4 players. Resist the urge to pull out your 20th level Paladin with all his flashy spells, you’ll have to settle for barely any hit points, small modifiers, and very few abilities.
Number 5: Build Your Own Campaign
Let’s face it: you came to this article to find inspiration for a Halloween campaign. Maybe you’re in a creative slump and would prefer a pre-built one-shot. Instead, why not use our “Build Your Own Campaign” table. All it involves is a Dungeon Master, a D6 (make sure to choose your favorite), and a sprinkle of imagination.
|1||Chaotic Void: Many years ago, a witch disrupted the magic of the universe. Spell-casters suffer devastating consequences when using spells, warping their appearance and abilities.|
|2||Unending Night: One uneventful night, the sun set. The next morning: it never reappeared. Dark clouds dominate the sky, akin to the Underdark. Drow, Tieflings, and Hobgoblins are the most common races on the surface. Everyone else hides away.|
|3||Decaying Earth: The world is in turmoil. For months, huge cracks have been appearing on its surface. Plants are rotting away. Water is drying up. Very few civilizations still exist. Druids have become vital to survival… but it’s hard to find them.|
|4||Heaven’s Gaze: Yesterday, the sun and the moon stayed together in the sky. Today, they both have pupils and eyelids. You are being watched.|
|5||Dead Man Walking: A week ago, your party members received a letter from a mutual acquaintance. An acquaintance who is dead.|
|6||Picture of Innocence: It’s pumpkin harvesting season, and it pays well. Your party (mercenaries) have gathered to farm the pumpkins. Only, farmers keep disappearing – and something creepy is occurring.|
|1||Undead: From Skin-kites to Liches, undead are a classic Halloween encounter for any party. Choose your own from this list of undead depending on CR difficulty requirements.|
|2||Construct: The floor is a mimic! So are the walls! The whole house is a mimic! Constructs are animated objects or artificially constructed creatures that make a brilliant addition to any 5e campaign. Choose your own from this list of constructs depending on CR difficulty requirements.|
|3||Beast: Beasts are a fantastic encounter for low-level parties and soon adorable badgers no longer seem so adorable. Choose your own from this list of beasts depending on CR difficulty requirements.|
|4||Fiend: Powerful foes beware! Fiends are wily enemies with lots of HP and an arsenal of skills. Choose your own from this list of fiends depending on CR difficulty requirements.|
|5||Monstrosity: Want to creep out your party? Monstrosities are the perfect eye-sore for burrowing fear into your member’s hearts. Choose your own from this list of monstrosities depending on CR difficulty requirements.|
|6||Aberration: From the delightful Death Slaad to the Star Spawn Hulk – aberrations make challenging bosses and engaging storylines. Choose your own from this list of aberrations depending on CR difficulty requirements.|
About The Author:
The owners of Everhearth are a tight-knit roleplaying group who have faced many seemingly impossible encounters. Between them, they publish Dungeons and Dragons Guides, Fantasy News, and Cookbook Recipes for Games Night. Fill your mind with insightful and creative DnD content from their Library Resources.