Thursday, April 16, 2020

1d100 Things to Find in Buried Ruins

1d100 Things to Find in Buried Ruins

Version 1.0

Random city map I used as my guideline for
A subterranean ruin of an ancient city.
Made with Medieval Fantasy City Generator
In a recent adventure that I ran, my players discovered a city partially buried in volcanic glass and sandstone beneath their home city. Ancient streets and waterways became corridors, while houses, plazas, and marketplaces became dungeon rooms and chambers.  It was a survival story where light, edible fungus and water were the most important resources around.

I quickly discovered that my players were curious about what they could find in the various small houses and huts that could be broken into that were meant to be scenery more than locations. I had to think on the fly as my players explored the city map I was using block by block looking for lost lore and riches.

This table is the resource that I wished that I'd had. A table for finding things in sunken, buried, or long-overgrown ruins.  If your PCs ate nosing into houses that have not seen the sun for a thousand years, this is a great way to let their curiosity be satisfied, lead to paranoia, or kill the proverbial cat.

d100What's in here?
00An amphora of wine stoppered with wax that has turned to vinegar. 
01An elegant hookah containing hallucinogens.
02A grove of glowing mushrooms.
03Ancient bones - gnawed.
04A bat colony.
05A giant bat colony.
06A campfire from 50-100 years ago, abandoned.
07An ancient house shrine to a forgotten god with a taper that burns but is not consumed on the altar.
08The bones of survivors of the initial cataclysm huddled together.
09An ancient manuscript that turns out to be a diary detailing events just days before the cataclysm that ruined this place.
10A petrified party of adventurers from centuries back.
11A bronze strong box containing 2d100 electrum pieces.
12A secret door hiding the altar of a forbidden ancient cult.
13A hollowed out and crumbled statue of a Gorton, Medusa, or bassilisk, cast off  from a strange molting.
14A hidden thicket vines with glowing blossoms and luminous ferns full of insects and blind salamanders.
15An amphora of wine stoppered with wax that has been magically preserved, and is still drinkable.
16A grove of giant hallucinogenic toadstools.
17A campfire from 50-100 years ago, with blood stains and claw marks on the bedroll.
18A house with still mostly intact furnishings haunted by an angry poltergeist.
19Sealed cases full of papyrus scrolls containing useless trivia from daily life.  There is a 5% chance of a random magic scroll or treasure map mixed in.
20A cursed idol in a stone case carved with warnings in a lost language.
21A colony of giant venomous spiders. 1d4 unidentifiable humanoid corpses are suspended in their webs.
22A flooded chamber full of pale, eyeless fish or crustaceans.
23Petroglyphs carved into the walls by a mad hermit.
24An ancient manuscript tainted  with dangerous plant life (i.e. yellow or brown mold.)
25Behind a door stoppered with wax, a skeleton sits next to a copper tea service and holy symbol, with a dagger in its sternum. A scroll in a sealed case on the floor nearby details the cataclysm that destroyed the city as an eyewitness account before ending in a suicide note.
26A moth-eaten wall hanging that was once a woven map of the lost civilisation that created the ruin.
27The bleached bones and cast-off scales of a slain young dragon, 2d100 copper pieces and 2d50 silver pieces left behind by it's players in coinage from many different eras gather tarnish and veridian on the floor
28A bad vibration greets the PCs as they enter this ruin, they feel a chill and hear indistinct whispers from the basement.
29A dusty demonic skull sits on a stone pedestal with today's date and the name of the PCs carved into it. Inside the skull is a map to a lost infernal treasure.
30An amphora of wine sealed in wax that still appears drinkable... but that is because it was preserved with a virulent poison.
31A patch of toxic fungus that can be harvested and refined for 1d10 uses.
32The campsite of a lost explorer with 2d3 randomly selected pieces of salvageable gear and a journal that contains three helpful observations... One of which is wrong and dangerous.
33A spellbook detailing a bizarre forgotten spell.
34A fat and extremely bored imp trapped in an advanced summoning circle. It has been trapped for millennia, and desperately wants to be free. It will offer a generous pact, possibly including the true name of an old rival to be set free. It has also learned to telepathically control the local lizards.
35A tablet of laws and a bronze medallion celebrating the ascension of the last king of the original residents of the city. Possibly valuable to a scholar.
36A lair full of vermin; roll 1d4: 1. Giant centipedes; 2. Giant spiders; 3. Giant rats; 4. Giant frogs.
37Bronze craftsman's tools in nearly perfect condition, requiring only replacement leather bindings. 
38A rotted carcass of a six-eyed earless canid - infested with rot grubs.
39A handful of bleached skulls tangled in yellowish waxy roots.
40A 6m long shed snake skin.
41A battered and dented copper coffee service.
42A set of quartz dice with seven sides.
43Glowing cracks in the floor from a magma flow offer illumination and warmth.
44The skeletal corpse of an Alchemist with 1d4 pieces of salvageable equipment laying in a chamber full of strange, bloated fungus. A fungus-covered journal contains experimental notes towards using some nearby plants to make a potion of Infravision. If the PCs follow his recipe roll 1d6: 1-2. they create a foul-tasting emetic; 3-4. they create a hallucinogenic brew that induces a stupor for an hour; 5. they create a potion of Infravision;  6. They create a potentially deadly ingested poison. They will not know which one they have made unless they drink it.
45A wax-sealed amphora with a mummified murder victim sealed within.
46A patch of deadly monstrous fungus. (i.e. Violet Fungus or Gas Spores)
47Corpses of the original residents encased in volcanic dust.
48An enamel coffee cup with strange writing only readable through magic. It reads "World's Sexiest Time Traveler."
49Dusty dry space with a few pottery shards and some battered bronze cutlery.
50Spoor, shed hair or scales, and bones suggesting an animal has been lairing here.
51A collection of rough clay figurines of farm animals, a broken and crumbling doll house, and ancient stone game pieces.
52Corpses of the original residents encased in amber.
53Glowing cracks in the floor from a magma flow fill the room with poison gas.
54An eerie tableaux of skeletons wired to hold their form are posed with ancient cutlery, plates, and drinking vessels to suggest a cannibal feast. A disturbing image of a tentacled horror is painted on the wall.
55If the PCs rest here, they will be woken by the sound of heavy knocking on an interior door. If they open the door, however, they find only rubble from a collapsed room beyond.
56The floor of this ruin is unstable and will collapse dropping the PCs into a well below.
57Corpses of the original residents and furnishings, perfectly preserved by harsh radiation.
58An open secret door reveals a disarmed trap and empty treasure chest. Faded graffiti on the wall reads "Mulwyn was here."
59A fine flint razor, wash bowl, and bronze comb can be extracted from a mess of fungus on melted soap in the water closet,
60A sealed amphora of lamp oil. (52 flasks worth)
61A patch of screaming fungus.
62A flooded room  has a pool of parasite-infested water.
63Corpses of the original residents preserved by a magical anomaly.
64The remains of an explorer dead 50-100 years at with 1d4 pieces of randomly chosen salvageable gear.
65An ornate cauldron with copper lining sits in the hearth.
66Ancient skeletons still huddle in this almost completely buried structure in postures of prayer.
67Pale giant solifugids lie in ambush in this room.
68Harmless bio-luminescent slugs cover the walls of this damp, mossy oom.
69This damp ruin is caked with nitre. When the door is opened, the PCs are exposed to a severe irritant as they break up a delicate sheet of it on the door. The characters must save or be irritated, having fits of coughing and sneezing as well as impaired vision. There is also a 1 in 3 chance that their torches flare up, then sputter out.
70Fluorescent minerals cause this ruin to glow an eerie colour. A character who is a trained lapidary and has appropriate tools can extract 2d7 gems worth 50gp each.
71Radioactive minerals cause this ruin to glow an eerie colour. Characters exposed to this chamber for long periods may become poisoned.
72The roof here is unstable. Roll 3d7 to determine stability. Each time a character makes a loud noise, moves quickly, opens or closes a door, or drops an object, reduce the stability by 1d4. Each time the roof loses a total 4 stability describe plaster falling from the roof, creaking wood, or a similar warning, When stability reaches 0, the roof collapses in a rain of plaster, rotten timber, brick, and angry spiders, damaging and potentially burying all inside. The noise may also draw predators.
73This structure is eerily empty and clean, with an acidic smell; possibly a sign  of nearby oozes.
74A teleportation circle hidden under a decayed rug.
75An ornately glazed broken amphora
76A flooded chamber has a pool of spore-tainted water.
77An ancient skeleton clinging to a crumbling prayer book.
78Supernatural cold makes this room slippery and covered in frost. Some doors are frozen shut. The furniture is remarkably preserved, although the wood is warped.
79Strange purple subterranean cacti grow in clumps here. Their needles are sharp enough to punch through leather.
80Cave crickets shriek with eerily human sounds as they leap out of the darkness at anyone carrying a light sources.
81This building was converted into a mass grave after the cataclysm; dozens of linen-wrapped bodies lay mummified by the dry conditions in the chamber. They are entombed under a cover of spiderwebs and a crust of nitre.
82Strange decorations made of bone, sinew, and household objects are glued to the wall by a hard organic resin. Anyone within feels like they are being watched. Something lurks on a parallel plane...
83The remains of an adventuring party, their possessions have been ransacked, and they appear to have been murdered in their sleep at least a decade ago.
84A lone doll of crude material sits in the middle of the room.
85A gelatinous cube that has been trapped by a closed door for some time.
86An ancient bronze smith's workshop with 5d12 bronze ingots (5gp ea.), a full coal bin, and at least a few serviceable tools.
87The door to a room in this structure is warded, magically sealed, and guarded by an alarm. Protective magical sigils and a circle of protection are marked within. This appears to be a relatively recent safe house for a magically skilled explorer, and is still relatively safe... assuming the PCs can get in.
88A stockpile of salted meat, honey, dried fruit, and nuts has long gone past edibility in large pots in this home. Two amphorae of brackish water can be boiled to potability, however.
89A fine brass lamp covered in artistic knotwork.
90An amphora sealed in wax holding a hungry ooze.
91A flooded chamber has a pool of safe, potable water.
92A collection of lacquered plates bound by brass rings serve as an ancient bestiary.
93An ancient magician's atellier holds a surprised looking mage and his exploding experiment trapped forever in amber.
94A child in a magical stasis bubble. Roll 2d6 to determine the child's true nature: 3. Avatar of a forgotten god; 4-5. Illusory bait for a trap; 6-8. A sorceress that botched a time travel spell to escape the cataclysm; 9-12. A child protected from the cataclysm by a magician in the family; 13-15. A local hero reborn through the power of an artifact after they died trying to save the city; 16-17. An otherworldly entity hiding from its enemies on this plane; 18. A genie or demon in disguise.
95Dust and bone fragments.
96An ornate alabaster statue of a minor god with a gemstone in a hidden compartment.
97A collection of lacquered plates bound by brass rings contains ancient elven erotica.
98Scorch marks from some forgotten spell battle.
99The walls of this ruin are pockmarked with holes. If a PC reaches in to one roll 2d6 to see what they discover: 2. A Cave Moray; 3-4 A fistful of nutritious mushrooms; 5-9. Insect castings, spider webs, and dust; 10-11. Poisonous toadstools; 12. A small ruby

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. By Brian C. Rideout.

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