One-Shot Ideas in DnD 5e: Tips, Resources, How To Run Them

One-shot Dungeons and Dragons, or vanilla D&D, is a “quick start” form of the game. It was created in response to several hurdles that new players found difficult to get over. One of these hurdles was the read-time necessary to create a character (let alone a full party). The second hurdle was high complexity, which could spook people not used to complex games.

One-shots 5e

One-shots are designed for quick introductions into the world of Dungeons and Dragons with as little hassle as possible. A character is created, equipped, and thrown into the meatgrinder of adventure. The game can be played in a few hours, or a week.

One-Shot in DnD

One-shots are often done as a run-through of a campaign with some extra material thrown on top (most often extra information on NPCs in the game and their motivations). As such they are not true campaigns (there is no need to create a full campaign world, and NPCs within the game may be brought into play from any campaign world), but they do offer an enticing glimpse at D&D’s intricacy.

Always check with your DM for rules for one-shots, including information about how to handle PCs outside of the main campaign. The rules in this wiki are not a universal set of rules, and they should not be used outside of this wiki.

One-Shot in Settings

One-shots are not restricted to D&D. In fact if you don’t like one of the settings, try rolling a character up from scratch and creating a new one-shot campaign. This offers many perks: you can play any race or class you want without concern for fitting into an existing setting, you can use any game mechanic that has been published in the game’s setting (if the rules have been released), and you can even create your own campaign world if there isn’t a setting that suits your needs.


Q1.What does your dnd one-shots group usually like out of D&D? 

If it’s just action, your one shot should be action-packed. One-shots are often very high in the CR (Challenge Rating) scale and use a beginning character as a way to get players used to the basics of dnd one-shots. Check with your DM or your home group if this is something you want to do. Many one-shots assume there is no character creation involved (i.e., new PCs are created and all previous characters are discarded). Do not assume this unless you have permission from the DM/GM.

Q2.Does your dnd one-shots group run out of DnD material? 

If so, consider trading one shot when you have some extra players in the area. You can even take it a step further and have a one-shot that reveals the events of a full game, where the players of the full game are NPCs in the one-shots. Feel free to use these one-shots to help spark your own campaign. Some have already been used as full games, while others could be easily converted into campaigns.

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