• One-shots in Dungeons & Dragons are a fun way to experiment with new character builds and concepts, and can be a break from the main campaign.
  • Creative one-shot ideas include shrinking players to the size of mice, navigating a masked party infested with mimics, and embarking on a never-ending fetch quest.
  • Other one-shot options include managing a dangerous monster zoo, competing in a battle of the bards, and experiencing mayhem at a wedding or themed adventure.

In Dungeons & Dragons, one-shots are considered quick, single-session games. Oftentimes, players will make fresh characters to try out and play with different abilities and perks. It doesn’t really have to end with a one-shot. If everyone at the table enjoyed the concept and the characters, there is nothing stopping everyone from continuing the game into a full-on campaign.


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One-shots are a great way to take a little “break” from the main game, experiment with odd builds and concepts, and overall just unwind. It is also a great place for a DM to try out new ideas and rules before incorporating them fully.

8 A Tiny Conundrum

Why is everything so large all of a sudden?


This concept is fairly simple and can start in almost any way. For example, the party is gifted a bottle of some expensive whiskey, and all partake in a tasting. However, after a few moments, everyone begins to realize that they are rapidly shrinking.

And not just to goblin size, they get tiny. All of a sudden, players have to navigate the world from the perspective of a house mouse. In this world, even a large cat can be as dangerous as a raging lion, and players need to find their way back to their normal sizes.

7 The Tavern Crawl

The Prancing Pony can be a great start


A tried and true classic. Characters, as much as people, sometimes enjoy grabbing their friends for a night of debauchery and careless carousing. The DM can plan out a series of unique taverns, each with its own little twist.

Aside from a few bar fights, who’s to say that something a little more sinister isn’t prone to happen? A drunk necromancer might accidentally raise a few shambling zombies, or an overindulging barbarian gets too rowdy, and begins to aggressively chop down every piece of furniture in sight.

6 The Mimic Masquerade

Is that really a rug?


In this one-shot, a group of mimics has invaded the palace, and are constantly harassing and even hunting down the family and the staff. Ignoring all caution, the family is hosting a massive masquerade in honor of some ridiculous achievement.

Now, the players have to navigate the party’s masked faces, trying to find the devious mimics, hiding essentially in plain sight. The DM can also throw in other spectacles, such as a fire-show mage, which is particularly hard to navigate around. Can they stop the hungry monsters before complete mayhem ensues?

5 The Neverending Fetch Quest

It all starts with 10 apples


Essentially, this one-shot starts with something very simple but continues to get more and more complicated, the more players do it. They should start with something as simple as fetching a basket of apples from a particular store.


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As the players get there, the owner claims that the shipment still hasn’t come in, and asks the players to check on it in some warehouse. Upon arriving there, they find a note from a famous thief. And so on, and so forth. It is up to the DM to decide the actual point of it all, but it can be made into a fun, albeit slightly infuriating adventure.

4 The Monster Zoo

What is that cage made of?


Owning a zoo with dangerous manticores, wyverns, and hellhounds is by no means a safe business, but that doesn’t mean that someone isn’t willing to do it. There are all sorts of possibilities for such a locale. From an uncontrolled outbreak of particularly dangerous species to players suddenly realizing that they would prefer to set the monsters free.

This is also a great time to showcase some of the underappreciated monsters and let players have their fun in a chaotic environment, and maybe even get somewhat sympathetic towards their usual enemies.

3 Battle of The Bards

Some lutes might be smashed


Having a group of players all play as bards is just fun all on its own. There are enough subclasses to go around, and players can actually have a well-rounded team, covering both melee and ranged options.


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As for the one-shot itself, there might be a competing bard troupe that just isn’t willing to put up with competition and is resorting to low means of removing the party. Or, there could be an entire arena-like competition, leaving only the strongest and best-sounding group standing, giving them plenty of fame and riches.

2 Uninvited Guests Of Dishonor

Who doesn’t like a wedding?


Weddings can be great roleplay occasions, for players and NPCs alike, but devoting an entire game to it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Instead, hosting a fun one-shot might just be the thing for the table.

Aside from the touching romance story itself, things can always go terribly wrong at a wedding. From old enemies resurfacing, to new ones being made at the venue. The cake might get cursed, rings stolen, and all other kinds of mayhem. At the very least, the two families might really not get along, and suddenly the players are in the middle of a Romeo and Juliette situation.

1 A Themed Adventure

To celebrate with friends


There are plenty of options to choose from, depending on what holidays a group enjoys. From Halloween, to Christmas, to Saint Patrick’s Day, there is no shortage of themes for a rowdy adventure. Christmas gifts might be stolen, a leprechaun’s gold lost, or some other similarly important and silly catastrophe.

Given that it is a special occasion, it is probably best to keep it on the lighter side of things, or better yet, just go with the table’s usual vibe. If everyone is onboard, it can be a great holiday to have with friends and loved ones.


Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons

Original Release Date

E. Gary Gygax , Dave Arneson


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