10 Things to See in a Plague-Infested Building

When plague comes to a settlement, death and suffering travel in its wake. Inevitably, houses touched by plague are horrible places; here evidence of the its savagery is writ large. Sane individuals do not willingly enter such places, but sometimes adventurers—or looters—have little or no choice in the matter.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)


Use this table, to generate minor features of “interest” the PCs could discover in such a house:

  1. A bloody blanket lies twisted on the floor. The bloody is dried and from the pattern of the stain looks like it was coughed up.
  2. The remains of a meal—a plate holding some mouldy bread and hard cheese—stands next to a fallen pewter cup.
  3. The door to this room has been crudely nailed shut from the outside.
  4. A terrible smell of rot pervades the house; clearly someone died here. The stench gets stronger as the PCs get closer to the body.
  5. Much of the furniture lies scattered about out of place. Either someone was enraged and took out his frustrations on the furniture or someone has searched everywhere for loot.
  6. Dust and grime covers most surfaces in the house. Faint footsteps lead toward a back room. A PC skilled in tracking can tell the person making the tracks was shuffling.
  7. The rotting corpses of three rats lie on the ground near the body of one of the house’s occupant. The body lies with one arm stretched; many small bite marks on the arm are evident.
  8. The building’s windows are all boarded over…from the outside. Inside, gloom fills the house and dust sifts down through the thin cracks of sunlight piercing the interior.
  9. A body—wrapped in sack cloth—lies in state on a long table. Burnt down candles surround the suppurating corpse and its bloody, grimy wrappings.
  10. A man hangs from a makeshift noose thrown over a rafter. Clearly dead, his neck is broken and insects swarm over his decomposing corpse. In a nearby room, the party find his family’s rotting bodies laid out in state together, under a blanket.

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20Front_#7_220This article appears in 20 Things #7: Haunted House. It will also appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.

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