10 Things to Find in an Abandoned Dwarven Workshop

Dwarves are near-peerless crafters of metal and stone. Many dwarves make their living creating tough and beautiful objects for use or trade. A fallen dwarven hold likely contains many workshops and forges.


Use the table below, to generate details of the objects found in a workshop or forge:

  1. A large anvil of blackened iron, forged in the shape of a clenched fist, stands in the middle of the floor. Bumps and dents—testimony to the service it has seen—cover the anvil’s clenched fingers.
  2. Shelves cut into the living rock fill one wall. Choked and cluttered with rubbish, broken tools and mouldering, unidentifiable things they appear—at first glance—devoid of loot.
  3. A broken hammer lies on the floor near the door. Nearby lies a skeletal dwarf his—or her—head caved in by one terrible blow.
  4. A stone workbench juts from one wall. The bench is almost one-foot thick; cunningly fashioned drawers pierce its side. Most have been pulled out and ransacked, but one remains tightly closed. Chip marks on the drawer front show where someone tried—and failed—to prise it open.
  5. A fire pit topped by a smoke-hood fills one corner of the chamber. Dusty coals fill the fire pit. Nearby, a stone bunker holds yet more coal ready to feed the long-dead flames.
  6. An overlooked curled-up bloodstained parchment lying under other rubbish and detritus bears plans and sketches for the dwarf’s next creation. The plans are intricate and ambitious—almost a work of art in their own right. They might even be worth something to someone in the same trade.
  7. A small forge stands against one wall. Next to it, a once neatly stacked pile of seasoned wood is scattered across the floor. The wood is bone dry and burns fiercely. Perceptive PCs notice one piece of wood is hollow and contains a slender silver necklace (worth 50 gp) wrapped in a strip of brown cloth.
  8. Scattered broken tools cover the floor.
  9. A wrought iron chandelier wreathed in magic light illuminates the workshop. Forged in the shape of a skeletal dragon in flight the chandelier is bulky and difficult to remove without damaging the dragon’s outstretched wings.
  10. The workshop’s stone door is heavy and cumbersome. The workshop owner was clearly paranoid as the door has slots for two heavy bars on the inside. Two iron bars lean against the wall by the door. (This feature can make the workshop a safe place to rest).

Want More?

This article appears in 20 Things #23: Fallen Dwarven Hold.

For more free content, check out our Free Resources page.

If you’d like to support Raging Swan Press, please join our Patreon campaign. Pledge what you want. Cancel when you want. Get cheap books. Even a $1 pledge is epic and helps us pay our freelancers a decent rate!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply to Jeff Cancel reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 thoughts on “10 Things to Find in an Abandoned Dwarven Workshop