10 Signs of Violence to Discover in the Dungeon

In all likelihood, the PCs are not the first adventurers to explore the dungeon. Others will have come before them and—sadly—some of them will have suffered grievous, perhaps even fatal, injuries.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Serious injuries and excessive violence leave their mark on a dungeon. Not only does this serve as dungeon dressing, but it give the party warning of lurking dangers ahead. Use this table, to generate such points of interest the PCs encounter during their adventures:

  1. A (now dry) spray of arterial blood decorates the cave wall.
  2. A broken arrow shaft lies discarded on the floor. Blood is smeared across the shaft near the jagged, broken end. Of the tip, there is no sign.
  3. A hacked and splintered large wooden shield lies on the floor, surrounded by shards of wood. Nearby, a broken spear lies against the wall.
  4. The decomposing body of a human has been shoved against one wall. Blood smears on the floor shows the body has been dragged here. Everything of value has already been looted.
  5. Rusting caltrops cover the floor. Several have dried blood upon their tips.
  6. A small wad of bloody bandages lies discarded in a corner.
  7. Rubble from a field of broken stalagmites lies on the floor; water drips down from above onto its jagged stumps. The shredded and sodden remains of a net are draped over a stalagmite.
  8. The decapitated, decomposing body of a goblin leans against the wall. Someone has placed its severed head in its lap; its dead eyes stare up at explorers.
  9. A wide pool of blood coats a decent proportion of the cavern floor. It has pooled in the many small depressions in the floor and is only partially dry. There is so much blood here, it is virtually certain whatever was injured died.
  10. The hilt and jagged stump of a greatsword lie on the floor surrounded by splinters of the blade. A jagged gouge from the cavern walls provides a clue as to the sword’s fate.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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