Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Dozen Dungeon Diversions

Sometimes, you just need a bit of "dungeon dressing" or an oddity to leave your players scratching their heads ...

- A stone statue of a goblin, paper-thin and hollow. If the statue is broken, goblin bones tumble out.

- Seven mushrooms growing from a rotted leather satchel, each one's cap being a different colour of the visible spectrum.

- An intricate set of gears and levers set into a hollowed-out panel in the ceiling or wall. The clockworks move continuously but have no obvious purpose.

- A small, white and friendly kitten with glowing eyes. The kitten will follow the party everywhere; if it is killed, the next night there are two kittens.

- Shattered and freshly bloody chains left in a haphazard pile in an otherwise empty room or corridor.

- A white marble doorframe replacing a normal dungeon door. A hour after the doorframe is passed through, the party's shadows turn white for a day.

- Leaning against a wall, a pyramid made from fourteen dead tarantulas.

- Fifteen knucklebones laid out in the shape of an arrow (perhaps pointing at a secret door, perhaps at nothing at all) on the floor.

- A pool of phosphorescent water seeping in through the dungeon walls. The water is safe to drink (tastes fruity!) and detects as magical, but has no special properties other than its glow.

- A sudden breeze carries the scent of marigolds, scorched metal and blood.

- At head-height, a rusty dagger is thrust into a wall; from the pommel-nut dangles a leather thong strung with teeth and walnut shells.

- Sprawled against a wall, an elven skeleton wearing the tattered remains of a kobold hide as a mantle. The fingerbones appear to have been sharpened.


Caedmon Skysoul said...

Nice. thank you.

Xyanthon said...

Very nice! This is the kind of stuff that I really love and could use more of.

Anonymous said...

Noooo! You Fool! Now I am going to have players spend two hours trying to figure out the magic combination of mushrooms, trying to figure out what their significance is!

So many games have been derailed by Window Dressing... :)

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

I've missed you :)

taichara said...

@Caedmon Skysoul:

Welcome ~

@Johnathan Bingham:

Thank you! Hopefully I'll manage a few more posts :3;;


But it's the good kind of derailing :D


Aww. Thank you :3;;

Anonymous said...

Now I am tempted to run a one-level dungeon with three d12 tables - this, wandering monsters, and traps - and making the room descriptions up on the spot :)

wordverification: musillyc - a musical mollusc

taichara said...


I rather like that idea --!

And aha, a challenge ;3

Zak Sabbath said...

Love these.

I think dungeons need to have them, since traps make PCs suspicious of everything, unattached details that don't do anything are, in effect, part of the trap.

And it's always excellent when you post.