D&D: 10 Spooky Quest Ideas For Your Campaign

Wizards of the Coast: Ad Nauseam by Jeremy Jarvis
Scare your players with these spooky D&D adventures.

10. The Cursed Doll

Wizards of the Coast: Creepy Doll by Matt Stewart

There's nothing more creepy than a haunted doll.

The Cursed Doll is a 6th-level adventure set in the village of Hollowsbrook.

Setting: A small, isolated village named Hollowsbrook, nestled in a small dark forest.

Summary: The players will arrive in Hollowsbrook just as the town is preparing for its annual Halloween festival. The villagers are friendly but visibly tense and if the players ask around are told of a local legend of a witch whose soul was imprisoned in a doll. Every Halloween, the doll comes to life to exact vengeance on the town.

Challenges: The players will need to find the grave of the witch’s body and the spell she used to transfer her soul back into her body.

The body is located within a haunted maze filled with Illusion magic and creepy creatures. Once they reach the witch’s grave, they’ll find her body which hasn’t decomposed, and the spell she used.

Creatures in the maze:

2x Mummy CR 3

1x Werewolf CR 3

After players get the body and the spell, they’ll need to find the doll which with some perception or investigation checks will be found behind the tavern assaulting a drunk NPC.

Once players use the spell, they’ll need to fight the witch and her doll.

Both the witch and the doll use the Mage stat block which is a CR 6 creature.

After they defeat the witch and the doll, the villagers will throw a feast in the party’s honor.

What’s fun about The Cursed Doll:

  • It provides a perfect blend of spooky and whimsical elements for either a one-shot or your campaign.
  • The adventure has a good mix of everything from combat and exploration to the haunted maze puzzle.
  • It can be tied into a larger campaign by having the witch be a former servant of your big bad or an enemy of your big bad that had their soul put into the doll.


9. The Ghoul Infestation

Wizards of the Coast: Ghoulcaller Gisa by Karla Oritz

Time for a Ghouls’ night out!

The Ghoul Infestation is a 3rd-level adventure set in the cemetery of a large town.

Summary: A powerful necromancer who’s envious of the prosperity of the town has been raising the dead every night from the cemetery to rob the homes of people who live in the town.

Challenges: Players will need to find and stop the Necromancer that’s bringing the dead back to life night after night.

Ghoul Ambushes: At different points throughout the session, the party will be attacked by Ghouls 3 times.

4x Ghouls CR 1

Puzzles/Traps: The Necromancer has set traps in the town and her lair. Players will need to solve the puzzle and avoid the traps.

Once they find the Necromancer they’ll need to fight her.

The Necromancer uses the CR 6 Mage stat block.

What’s fun about The Ghoul Infestation:

  • Your players might decide to work with the Necromancer instead of against her, giving them player choice.
  • Zombies/Ghouls are a pretty common horror movie monster and are great enemies for lower-level adventures.
  • The adventure is on the shorter end and can be completed in a session or 2. 


8. The House of Mirrors

Wizards of the Coast: Mirror March by Johannes Voss 

Can you find your way within the house of mirrors?

The House of Mirrors is a 7th-level adventure that sees your players having to navigate their way out of a house of mirrors.

Setting: The House of Mirrors is a multi-dimensional maze filled with illusions, traps, and puzzles. Each room is adorned with mirrors that reflect different moments in time and alternate realities. The mirrors are how the party navigates out of the house.

Challenges: The party will need to try and find their way out of a maze that is the house of mirrors.

The players can be led astray by traps, illusions, and puzzles. They might even be trapped at a different point in time or transported to an alternate reality.

Breaking any of the mirrors releases that mirror’s guardian who will fight the party.

1x Shield Guardian for each mirror that’s broken which are CR 7 creatures.

What’s fun about The House of Mirrors:

  • As long as the party doesn’t break any mirrors, it can be devoid of combat making for a pure puzzle session.
  • This adventure will let you flex your improv and/or planning skills depending on how many different mirrors the players go into.
  • The adventure is pretty flexible and can be played as a one-shot or tailored to fit into your campaign, especially as a boss’s secret lair puzzle. 


7. The Ghostly Opera

Wizards of the Coast: Obzedat, Ghost Council by Svetlin Velinov

I ain't afraid of no ghosts!

The Ghostly Opera is a 10th-level adventure that sees a ghostly opera form every night, enchanting the town of Soulsbrook with a haunting melody.

Setting: The Ghostly Opera, once the pride of Soulsbrook, has been cursed. The spirit of a vengeful composer, Maestro Veridian, trapped within his unfinished masterpiece, seeks release. The melody he composed, cursed in his anger and despair, binds him to the opera house. As long as the composition remains incomplete, the curse persists, and the haunting music continues.

The adventurers are drawn into the mystery when they meet a talented young bard, Elara, who has a special connection to the cursed melody. With her guidance, the party explores the opera house, facing spectral musicians, riddles, and traps left by Veridian’s spirit. Along the way, they discover the tragic tale of the composer, his unrequited love, and the betrayal that led to his curse.

Challenges: The players will need to face off against each member of the ghostly opera.

Instead of relying on combat, the players will need to defeat members either through performance(singing)checks or performance(musical instrument)checks.

Once players find the Maestro, they’ll need to team up with Elara to put on an opera of their own to defeat the Maestro.

What’s fun about The Ghostly Opera:

  • The session is entirely devoid of combat and instead, the party needs to rely on performance checks, and intelligence checks for the riddles and have to deal with traps.
  • The adventure can be used for any Bards in the party to show off their musical prowess either through singing and/or musical instrument talent.
  • Each member of the ghostly opera has their quirks and tendencies that can be evoked to make for some fun RP opportunities. 


6. The Lighthouse Spectre

Wizards of the Coast: Desolate Lighthouse by Scott Chou

Lighthouses signal safety, or do they?

The Lighthouse Spectre is a 5th-level adventure that sees the party explore a haunted lighthouse.

Setting: Perched on a cliff overlooking a treacherous stretch of sea, the Lighthouse of Eldermere has guided ships safely for centuries. However, recently, ships have begun to disappear without a trace, even on clear nights.

The once-thriving coastal town of Eldermere is now plagued by fear and uncertainty. Desperate, the townsfolk believe the lighthouse is haunted by a malevolent specter.

Challenges: Players can gather information about the lighthouse and its former keepers or explore it right away. If they explore it right away, they miss out on an item that can bypass a puzzle.

Your players will need to ascend the stairs of the lighthouse dealing with the wraiths of lost sailors.

5x Wraith, CR 5.

They’ll also need to watch out for possessed objects that will be thrown from time to time by the specter. Dexterity saving throws will need to be made. Any player that fails falls down the stairs or falls over them and is dealt falling damage.

What’s fun about The Lighthouse Spectre:

  • Haunted lighthouses are pretty common to hear about, especially during Halloween, so bringing one into your game could set the theme for a fun Halloween adventure.
  • The adventure pretty much just takes place in 1-2 locations depending on what the party does so more time can be devoted towards making for fun encounters and traps.
  • Once the party banishes the spirits, they’ll be allowed to stay in the lighthouse whenever they want, which could be used as a home base. 


5. The Tome of Shadows 

Wizards of the Coast: Mazemind Tome by Randy Gallegos

Do you dare to open the tome?

The Tome of Shadows is a 20th-level adventure that sees your players having to deal with a legendary tome in the possession of a Lich.

Setting: In the quiet town of Edelsoul, a mysterious artifact known as the Tome of Shadows has surfaced. Legends say that this ancient tome holds the key to powerful and forbidden dark magic.

A Lich has recently gotten their hand on the tome and either through being asked by someone else or for their benefit, the party has to stop the Lich and get the tome.

Challenges: The players will be facing off against a Lich who holds The Tome of Shadows. While wielding The Tome of Shadows, the Lich can cast the spells Time Stop and Weird.

1x Lich CR 21.

The fight will take place in the Lich’s lair and the Lich will have lair actions as a result, making the combat even more challenging for the party.

The Tome of Shadows is also somewhat sentient and any character will need to pass a DC-18 Wisdom check or be befuddled by it.

What’s fun about The Tome of Shadows:

  • It’s a level 20 adventure and can be used as the final boss fight if your big bad is a Lich.
  • Players will get to experience what 20th-level characters feel like and the DM gets to run a CR 21 Lich.
  • The players have the potential to receive a high-level magic item in the form of The Tome of Shadows. 


4. The Crypt of the Blood Countess

Wizards of the Coast: Olivia Voldaren art print by Martina Fackova

Can you escape the Blood Countess, or will you become another soul lost to her?

The Crypt of the Blood Countess is a 13th-level adventure where the party will need to fight against a vampire countess.

Setting: In a distant realm, the legend of the Blood Countess has struck fear into the hearts of the people for centuries. Countess Elizabeta Varkov was known for her insatiable thirst for power and blood. She ruled over a dark and secluded castle, terrorizing the surrounding villages with her dark magic and vampiric abilities. Eventually, a group of brave adventurers managed to defeat her, but not before she cursed the land with her dying breath.

Now, centuries later, whispers of the Blood Countess have resurfaced. It is said that her crypt, hidden deep beneath the mountains, holds unimaginable power and treasures. Adventurers from all corners of the realm are drawn to the mystery, hoping to claim the Blood Countess's legacy for themselves. Little do they know that the crypt is guarded by ancient curses, traps, and creatures born of Elizabeta's darkest nightmares

Challenges: The crypt is laden with curses and traps meant to deter intruders. These curses could affect the party's abilities, perception, or even their sanity. Traps might include hidden pitfalls, pressure plates, and illusions designed to lead adventurers astray.

Elizabeta's loyal followers, turned into undead abominations by her dark magic, roam the crypt as guardians.

5x Vampire Spawn: CR 5

2x Stone Golem CR 10

1x Vampire CR 13

To progress deeper into the crypt, the party will need to solve puzzles and riddles. These challenges could be related to Elizabeta's history, her favorite pastimes, or her enemies.

What’s fun about The Crypt of the Blood Countess:

  • Your players will get to explore a vampire’s castle and deal with a vampire and her spawn which can make for a classic Halloween adventure.
  • The adventure pretty much takes place in one location which is Elizabeta’s castle, which should make it somewhat easier to prepare for.
  • It’s a classic type of dungeon crawl, taking place in a castle and having to fight enemies and solve puzzles and riddles. 


3. The Haunted Library

Wizards of the Coast: Haunted Library by Justyna Gil

Hopefully, there won’t be any late fees.

The Haunted Library is a 2nd-level adventure that sees your players trying to put the spirits in a haunted library to rest.

Setting: The small town of Autumnbrook is known for its ancient library, which is said to be haunted by restless spirits. Lately, the ghostly occurrences have escalated, scaring away the librarians and making the townsfolk uneasy. The mayor of Autumnbrook seeks brave adventurers to investigate the haunted library, uncover the mystery behind the restless spirits, and put them to rest once and for all.

Challenges: The adventure is meant to be more light-hearted with most of the ghosts being good-natured. Some are more mischievous and will throw books at players. DC-13 dexterity save to dodge a thrown book.

Players will need to find a book that a mage accidentally read a curse from that raised the specters.

The players will need to roll a DC-15 Arcana check to read the cure in the book and put the ghosts back to sleep.

What’s fun about The Haunted Library:

  • It’s a more lighthearted and whimsical adventure that’s devoid of combat. It’s meant to be more of an easier quest, especially after a difficult one.
  • With over a dozen ghosts in the library, the players and the DM will be able to get in some good RP which should be fun.
  • The players get to solve a mystery with a spooky atmosphere set during Halloween. 


2. The Harvest Moon Ritual

Wizards of the Coast: Celebrate the Harvest by Eelis Kyttanen

The villagers will be eating well tonight.

The Harvest Moon Ritual is a 5th-level adventure that sees your players dealing with a cult that finds a less-than-ethical way to help their town have a good harvest.

Setting: A small village has been having bountiful harvests every year for the past decade, but a member of the village goes missing every day before the harvest and is never seen again.

This year, a farmer’s daughter has gone missing and the farmer asks the party if they can find her.

Challenges: The players will need to interact with the different townsfolk and explore the fields to find clues about how the daughter was taken.

Once players have a lead, they’ll be told by a reluctant member of the cult that every year, the cult sacrifices a member of the town so the town can have a bountiful harvest.

The players will need to enter the lair of the cultists and fight them and the entity they’ve been worshiping.

5x Cultist CR ⅛

3x Cult Fanatic CR 3

1x Night Hag CR 5

1x Green Hag CR 3

What’s fun about The Harvest Moon Ritual:

  • Interacting with the farming community provides opportunities for immersive role-playing opportunities. Your players can build relationships, gain allies, and learn about the unique cultures and traditions of the Village’s inhabitants.
  • Time will be a factor and if they take too long, the daughter could be sacrificed and the layers will need to live with the consequences.
  • If your main big bad is a cult leader, this cult could be tied to them or be a rogue sect that has info on the big bad. 


1. The Blood Moon Masquerade 

Wizards of the Coast: Vampire Socialite by Suzanne Helmigh

It's a formal affair.

The Blood Moon Masquerade is a 15th-level adventure where your players will be invited to a masquerade ball.

Setting: The adventure takes place in the vibrant city of Zeanniarea, a bustling metropolis known for its opulent parties and mysterious underworld. Zeannirea is ruled by an enigmatic council of powerful nobles, each with their own secrets and ambitions. The city is situated near an ancient forest rumored to be haunted by supernatural beings.

Zeanniarea is abuzz with excitement as the rare Blood Moon approaches, a celestial event that occurs once every century. To celebrate this occasion, the city's elite have organized the grandest event of the century - the Blood Moon Masquerade. However, beneath the extravagant masks and flowing gowns, a sinister plot is unfolding.

A secretive cult, known as the Crimson Eclipse, plans to harness the power of the Blood Moon to summon an ancient evil that has been sealed away for centuries. They believe that this entity will grant them unimaginable power, allowing them to reshape the world according to their dark desires. The fate of Zeainnarea hangs in the balance as the party members are unwittingly drawn into this nefarious scheme.

Challenges: Identifying cultists or potential allies among the masquerade attendees can be challenging. Players must use their insight and investigation skills to discern the true intentions of masked attendees.

The masquerade hosts might implement security measures, such as magical wards or guards, to maintain order. Players must find creative ways to bypass these measures, either through stealth, illusion magic, or by gaining the trust of the security personnel.

4x Cultists CR ⅛

4x Cult Fanatic CR 2

3x Werewolf CR 3

2x Vampire CR 13

What’s fun about The Blood Moon Masquerade:

  • Characters with high charisma should shine during the ball by helping the party gain allies and information.
  • The ball allows for the perfect opportunity for players to get creative with their characters. They can make elaborate masks, invent captivating alter egos, and engage in role-playing opportunities that allow them to explore different facets of their character's personalities
  • The progression of the Blood Moon creates a sense of urgency, adding tension to the story. The time pressure adds an extra layer of challenge, forcing players to make quick decisions and prioritize their actions carefully.


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