Wandering Monsters — Arena

Any time is a good time to fight, but the best time to fight is when you’re being paid for it! This week we’re taking a trip into the arena. Any adventurer worth her salt eventually says something wrong or breaks the wrong thing and ends up in trouble with the authorities. Rather than face jail time, most of them get thrown into fights at the arena where good fun is had by all. Or, sometimes the more scrupulous (read: boring) types just enter into the fight as part of normal competitions. Regardless of the reason, for those who find themselves visiting the arena, this post’s for you!

As always, many thanks to the Pyromancers dungeon painter tool for helping me create this week’s map.


The pit of this sizable stadium is covered in sand. Simple benches line the stands surrounding the fighting pit.


Click on maps for a full-size version.

The area is more suited within city walls, but can feasibly fit anywhere. The arena could possibly rest just outside of a major city, such as one too crowded to rework the city layout to accommodate something of the arena’s size. The arena might serve more as a local venue for simple events or could be the proving ground for those that cross local royalty or nobility.

Arena Features

The arena walls rise to a height of 80 feet. There is no lighting built in, but the lack of a roof allows natural light to pour in from above. At night, sconces line the inner walls of stands, providing some light for the audience. The walls are made of worked stone.

1. Fighting Pit

The main portion of the arena is the fighting pit. The ground here is sand layered over stone, which allows for simple traversal. The walls rise to a height of 15 feet where they reach the edge of the stands.

2. Stands

The stands are multiple rows of simple benches. Typical prices for seating are 1 sp for seats in the front rows, 5 cp for middle rows, and 1 cp for the far back rows.

3. Luxury Box

This extravagant box houses important nobles or visitors to the arena. It is typically stocked with food and drink and attend to by a servant. A door on either side allows access from the stands and a simple lock on the inside prevents any unwanted visitors. Renting the box requires a deposit of 10 gp and charges up to an additional 500 gp, depending on the event.


The following encounters can take place here.

Encounter Challenge Rating Creatures
Rabid Pack CR 5 4 goblin dogsB1
Barbarian Sisters CR 9 2 sundering axesNPC
The Mad Beast CR 13 FroghemothB1
This week’s Wandering Monsters makes use of Bestiary 1 and NPC Codex.

Rabid Pack (CR 5)

The first event at the arena is a simple fight against a pack of goblin dogs. The dogs are considered a nuisance so they serve as a cheap way to excite the crowd. When the fight begins, the dogs tend to circle whichever target they believe to be the weakest. Once they draw first blood, the dogs let loose and attack on their own whims, occasionally flanking targets if two dogs are close enough to each other. The dogs fight to the death.

Barbarian Sisters (CR 9)

The second fight of the arena is one against the current champions, a pair of dwarf sisters. The sisters are notorious for crowding around a single target and sundering armor and weapons. Together, they flank the most heavily armored target and attempt to completely break that target’s armor before attacking them directly. If one of the sisters falls, the other fight more cautiously, keeping her distance if need be, and surrendering when necessary.

The Mad Beast (CR 13)

The main event at the arena is the mad beast, a local favorite that always draws large crowds. The mad beast is a froghemoth brought in as the main attraction of the arena. When the fight begins, it attacks anything within its reach. If the fight pushes it towards one of the pit’s walls, the beast might start lashing out towards the audience in an attempt to finally break free of its prison. If reduced to fewer than 20 hit points, it finally attempts to flee, clambering over the wall and out towards the outside world. It fights to the death.

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder Lost Omens line and formerly on Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Nova his cat, and walks with his wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos. Consider checking his material on his Patreon at patreon.com/luisloza