Looking to run a one shot for your gaming group? Well, good news, because after the Adventure April challenge this year, there are hundreds of free one shots to choose from! This blog post will feature our favorite ones, so keep reading!
Want to create one-shots like the ones in this list? Head to World Anvil and start creating!
Adventure April winners
The two one-shots chosen as winners by Roll20 are “A Night at the Gala” by Emily Armstrong (system-agnostic with suggestions for D&D and Call of Cthulhu), and “Exhibition at the Vollan Rue”, by RiverFang (Storybook System).
A Night at the Gala by Emily Armstrong (system agnostic/D&D/CoC)
In this mystery one shot, the party will have to look for clues to discover the cause of the weird things going on in the Festival Gala in Beckettville. As the GM, you’ll have absolutely all the resources you need! A ton of maps, description boxes you can read aloud, and even specific mechanics for D&D 5e and Call of Cthulhu. Check out A Night at the Gala!
Exhibition at the Vollan Rue by RiverFang (Storybook System)
The players have received a letter, inviting them to take part in a test to prove their strength and wit! This one shot includes pre-generated characters, player handouts, several scenes and encounters to choose from, and, of course, maps! It also includes the rules of the Storybook System. Check out Exhibition at the Vollan Rue!
DND 5e free one shots
The Abandoned Lighthouse by Devinsxdesigns
The players are hoping to catch a ship in Faypond… but something in the city doesn’t seem quite right. After asking some questions, they find out that there have been some mysterious disappearances lately, and so begins the adventure! You’ll find maps, NPC portraits, and anything you would expect from a one-shot. Check out The Abandoned Lighthouse!
Welcome to Tanglewood Faire by Tybarbary
This one-shot is all about having fun in a festival! There are several mini-games you can run for your players, and there’s even a boss battle! It has tons of read-aloud texts, statblocks for the NPCs, and even reference art. Check out Welcome to Tanglewood Faire!
Rumble in the Jungle by Dazzlinkat
It’s time to be a pirate and sail the seven seas! Well, more or less. After disembarking, the players will find themselves as an escort to a group of merchants that need to travel through the Brokenveil Jungle. The one-shot has several maps, as well as six pre-generated characters for your players! Check out Rumble in the Jungle!
Mind Over Mimic by ZeConster
Ever wondered how an escape room game show would look in a D&D game? Well, stop wondering because that’s what this one-shot is! The Game Master, an evil wizard, has kidnapped the player characters to make them play his game. Also, there are mimics, which is the only reason I need to play! Check out Mind Over Mimic!
Secrets in the Swamp by Kefkejaco
The party is travelling through a swamp, when they find an abandoned caravan with clear signs of violence! You can run this one-shot as part of a campaign or just by itself. It has interactive maps, statblocks, and a ton of lore to make the setting feel deeper. Check out Secrets in the Swamp!
Cult of the Sun Lion by scholarmage
The adventurers are in a desert town, when they realise a dangerous cult is attempting a kidnapping! This is a combat-heavy one-shot with several encounters, a very atmospheric writing, and beautiful maps to go with them. Check out Cult of the Sun Lion!
What Ails You by Nightflyer0ne
The party has been guarding a caravan, but they are now stranded due to a sudden lack of trade. This is when the Town Mayor approaches them to offer them a job. This beautifully formatted one-shot has everything you need and more, including maps, NPC portraits, read-aloud texts, and statblocks! Check out What Ails You!
The Kris by frigid_lich_dnd
This is an action-packed rescue mission where the player character will have to find a missing noble! The one-shot includes a detailed dungeon with branching paths, magic items, statblocks, and maps. Check out The Kris!
Race to the Ruins by George Sanders
Vlad needs the help of the party to retrieve certain magical artifacts. But there’s a catch: a wizard is also trying to gather those same artifacts. This one-shot is a time challenge between the party and the wizard. It contains reference images, statblocks, and even supplements like tips for running the one-shot and warm-up questions! Check out Race to the Ruins!
Where Is My Alligator? by kitoypoy
As the party was getting ready for a Karaoke Night with hot food, cold drinks and electrifying entertainment, they discover a giant alligator has disappeared! This is a fun one-shot with mystery and combat, and it includes pre-generated characters so you can get set it up in no time! Check out Where Is My Alligator?
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Pathfinder free one shots
Saving Sprites by Lnphysics (PF 2e)
The forest your players live in has experienced some sudden changes: the weather patterns have shifted and plants have been developing new abilities! The party is asked by the town elder to figure out what’s caused these changes. Check out Saving Sprites!
Gremlin Kidnapping by SochaL (PF 2e)
The adventurers find themselves in a deserted town, where only the mayor remains. As it turns out, a group of gremlins kidnapped everyone to make them work in the mines! This is a fun qquick one-shot that you can play as a stand-alone or easily fit in any campaign you’re already playing. Check out Gremling Kidnapping!
Handfuls of Death by MGatta (PF 1e)
This is a location-based adventure, which means that the players will have freedom to explore the three at will: the wizard’s tower, basement, and well. Most of the information is contained in an interactive map, which makes running it a ton easier! Check out Handfuls of Death!
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System-agnostic free one shots
Search for the Missing Research Vessel by Chrispy_0
A research vessel went silent two months go… it’s up to the party to investigate and determine the fate of the ship in its crew! This one-shot is based on narrative d20 checks and includes four pre-made characters, maps, reference images, and everything else you need to run it! Check out Search for the Missing Research Vessel!
The Purloined Rapier by RPGDinosaurBob
The players are going shopping for a new weapon, but it looks like the weaponsmith is having some problems! In this fantasy one shots, the adventurers will have to help the shopkeeper before they’re able to get new fancy weapons. This can easily be integrated into any campaign, thanks to the GM advice that the author included in the one-shot! Check out the Purloined Rapier!
Farewell by Escritora Novata
An important member of the community has disappeared during her coming of age ritual! In this fantasy one-shot set in 2012, the players will have to get to the bottom of this mystery and save their community from crumbling down. Check out Farewell!
Dragon Bone Talisman Detected! by SoulLink
The players are part of a retrieval team with the mission of tracking down dragon bones and dragon bone talismans. And this is exactly what the one-shot is all about! The one-shot can also be played without combat, which means that integrating it into your current campaign should be pretty easy. Check out Dragon Bone Talisman Detected!
Haunted Errands by sh4d0wpho03n1x
Ever wanted to roleplay a recipe for a soup? Well, that’s a exactly what this one-shot is about! The players will need to find the ingredients to make the yummiest soup they can. There’s even a final boss: the Boss Onion! Check out Haunted Errands!
The Stews Must Survive by Naelin
This one-shot is designed for a single player and a GM and the player’s goal is to preserve the tastiest recipes for future generations to come! The one-shot includes three characters for the player to choose from and all the tools and resources the GM needs to run the adventure. Check out The Stews Must Survive!
Free one shots for other systems
Carbon Copy Paradise by mashd (Biocore Quickstart)
The players have infiltrated a hotel operated by a mafia, but when a rogue AI takes control over the building, they’ll have to cooperate with the survivors to escape! This is an action-packed one-shot with three different pre-defined endings, so your players will be able to change where the one-shot is going without derailing the whole thing! Check out Carbon Copy!
Marigold County by innokha (Dread)
This is a 3-player one-shot where the party will investigate the disappearance of a little girl in a natural park. It includes a character creation questionnaire with 13 questions per character that make sure the player will know who they’re playing as! Check out Marigold County!
Lost in the Woods by Laura Bones (custom 2d6 system)
In this one shot powered by a rules-light homebrew system, the players will play as goblins who have become lost in an enchanted forest! It’s a very fun and light-hearted little adventure that will give you and your players a chance to have fun around the table. Check out Lost in the Woods!
To Mercy Hospital by Toblin (Ten Candles)
This is an apocalyptic horror and tragic one shot where all characters will die with no chances of survival. If that’s the sort of adventurer you’re looking for, you can’t miss this one! The plot is immersive and all the scenes include a read-aloud description to help the GM set the scene. Check out To Mercy Hospital!
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Solo RPG free one shots (Choose Your Adventure)
These are adventures you can play by yourself. They are all written in a choose your adventure format, which means that they have branching paths (so you can replay them multiple times!)
The Lost Relic by PanthersEye
There are rumors about lost relics, and while you’re not interested in the nobles’ intrigue and scheming, finding a lost relic could solve the financial problems you have to feed and care for your family. Check out The Lost Relic!
The Troublesome Tiara by melior64
In this adventure, you play as a thief for hire! The adventure begins when, inside a coin pouch you’ve just stolen, you find a note addressed to you by name. The story has 16 unique endings, so go check out The Troublesome Tiara!
Capture that ship! by Jacob-W
You play as the captain of a pirate ship! This is a fun and short adventure that you can play by yourself or with a GM. Regardless of that, there are a couple of fun mechanics (crew morale and chance of success) that make for an interesting play! Check out Capture That Ship!
Want a handy checklist for creating a one-shot? Download this free printable worksheet!
Have you tried playing any of these free one shots? Let us know in the comments! And to create your own one shot, create your free World Anvil account today!
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