Friday, March 7, 2014

Of Mice and Men and Living Dungeon Trappings

So, I was sitting at my desk trying to brainstorm a post for the blog (it wasn't coming easy - today was a nearly a 14 hour work day) when I heard my wife scream.

Yep, there was a mouse in the kitchen.

I fail to understand how a mouse can run across the top of the stove when I have a cat that is a proven hunter in the house.

Still, there is a post hidden behind that mouse, as it's gotten me thinking about "dungeon trappings", the things that bring dungeons to life (as opposed to "dungeon traps", designed to remove life in dungeons).

Sure, we can always have 9 giant rats in a room waiting for the PCs to slaughter them for a pile of coppers, but where are the mice, the insects, the spiders and the dust bunnies. We'll mention the color of the walls and the stone cut of the floors, but what about the life that scampers about?

Shit, talking about scampering, i guess I'll have to put out some traps myself to remove some of the "extra life" roaming around The Tavern's kitchen.

You know it's been a long, cold winter when the mice are willing and able to brave the cats...


  1. Hit up Richard LeBlanc to make a d30 set of tables for random dungeon trappings. A few adjectives, qualifiers, and nouns (3d8 scrawny nervous voles) and you'd have an always-fresh set of random background filler.

  2. Funnily enough I was reading Lankhmar the other day, it had completely passed me by during my teens - so why be content just have the smaller inhabitants scuttle, get the players down on their level.

  3. Something I've tried to add to my encounter tables are conflicts that the party stumbles on. For example, they hear crashing down the hall and find an ogre fighting a group of zombies, or a displacer beast and a pack of blink dogs.

    Something to remind the players that the area is dangerous and give them a sense that things aren't just waiting around to fight them specifically.

    And you may get the added fun of them getting attacked later by a zombie ogre who looks familiar.


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