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Your character is lost in the wilderness. 120 ideas for what happens next

lost in wilderness

So… yeah… your character is lost in the wilderness. You might be stuck for ideas for what happens next, so below is a list of ideas.

Some things your character sees, some are things that happen, and some are barely anything, just a tiny seed which might grow into an idea in your mind.

120 benign wilderness encounters

  1. Large patch or hill of flowers
  2. Squirrels chasing each other
  3. Something stirs below the water’s surface
  4. Birds of prey circling overhead
  5. An earsplitting squawk
  6. A shadow passes across the ground
  7. Smoke rises in distance
  8. Deja vu
  9. Many thousands of ants crawl
  10. Howling/barking in the distance
  11. Patch of vines strangling a tree
  12. Skeleton of an animal
  13. Skeleton of a humanoid
  14. Writing carved into tree
  15. Large patch of brightly colored mushrooms
  16. Few scattered and broken arrows or bolts
  17. Snake slithers away
  18. 1′ hole penetrates the ground
  19. Rainbow in the distance
  20. Group of bats rise in the distance
  21. Tree falls in the distance
  22. Broken, rotted wagon wheel
  23. Bear tracks
  24. Deer tracks
  25. Wolf/dog tracks
  26. Unusual patch of very lush growth
  27. Sudden sun shower
  28. Wind kicks up
  29. Dead, rotted, burnt, headless troll body
  30. Giant mushroom grove
  31. Discarded, tattered cloak
  32. Rusty weapon
  33. Dark storm cloud approaches
  34. Large beetle buzzes around head
  35. Large boot tracks in mud
  36. Dug, shallow hole
  37. Remnants of old campfire
  38. Sandstorm
  39. Small dust whirlwind
  40. Puddle/nearly dry watering hole
  41. Few sun bleached papers
  42. Large bird (heron) seems to follow you
  43. Stack of rocks piled high
  44. Giant feather
  45. Sweet smell of honeysuckle
  46. Small pond
  47. Bog
  48. Stand of birch trees
  49. Stench of feces
  50. Ray of sun light hits tree or bush
  51. An unusually cool breeze
  52. Couple of rats are following you
  53. You get a dull, throbbing headache
  54. Injured woodland creature lies helpless
  55. Skunk smell
  56. Eerily quiet
  57. Field of dead trees
  58. Humanoid statue (flesh to stone)
  59. Stung by a bee
  60. Arid dust coats your mouth
  61. Odd crystalline growth
  62. Ogre skull
  63. Abandoned shack
  64. Very friendly skunk
  65. Wild boar
  66. Wild horses
  67. Find a copper piece
  68. Caterpillar or grub-infested tree
  69. Coyotes fighting over a kill
  70. Mother bear protecting cubs
  71. Hatched eggs below abandoned nest
  72. Large insect moult
  73. Something scurries away (chipmunk)
  74. Patch of berried bushes
  75. Large splatter of bird droppings
  76. Old, rotted horse carcass
  77. Large tree with face image in bark
  78. An oasis
  79. A rusty suit of armor
  80. Active bees nest
  81. Howling gust of wind
  82. Approaching lightning storm
  83. Crow squawks repeatedly on approach
  84. Disabled wagon with nearby dead campfire
  85. Disheveled shrine or grave marker
  86. Rats are rummaging through PCs’ food
  87. Cloud of insects moves across path
  88. Rocks falling in the distance
  89. Pair of small birds harass PCs
  90. Feral cat trails the party
  91. Large animal crashes through the brush
  92. Cloud shaped like a holy symbol scuds out of sight
  93. Shopping list for potion is found
  94. Old ring sticks out of the dirt
  95. One person’s ears begin to ring
  96. One person has an intense itch
  97. Hawk takes mole/mouse near party
  98. Stick-figure voodoo doll(s) found
  99. Tornado
  100. Earthquake (mild, moderate, or severe)
  101. Great toppled tree, roots outstretched
  102. Creek bars path
  103. Fern-filled clearing
  104. Beaver pond/dam
  105. Rocky outcropping
  106. Ancient snag filled with tiny holes
  107. Carpet Of spongy moss over large area
  108. Cave or large den
  109. Groundhog colony: big holes, mounds of dirt
  110. Tree with bark chewed or clawed off the bottom
  111. Picked mushrooms laying on stump to dry
  112. Sentry animal (probably bird or rodent) raises alarm
  113. Burned area (trees standing, no undergrowth, all black)
  114. Fool’s gold sparkles in the dirt
  115. Huge spider’s web
  116. Huge stick insect or mantis moves into the foliage
  117. Pleasant voice seems to chant on the breeze
  118. Fish bones
  119. Punctured waterskin or flask on path
  120. Forgotten dagger jammed into stump or earth

This list was collated by Chris Buono, and comes from RoleplayTips (see the article here) (you didn’t expect me to come up with my own list did you?!!

If you’d like to send us a list of ideas like this that might help other roleplayers, please do! Send it via the form here – link.

Top image is by TiamatZ – Link