Every dungeon has statues. Perhaps one of the most durable pieces of dungeon decoration, statues are also often trapped or sometimes even animate to slay intruders!
Wise adventurers do not lightly approach a statue—particularly a suspiciously detailed one. Some, however, are just decoration. Use the tables below, to breath life into the statues in your dungeon.
Not all statues are in pristine condition, when discovered by adventurers. Use the following table, to determine the statue’s condition:
- The statue’s plinth is corroded and pitted as if the rock were decomposing or rotting away from the inside.
- This statue holds its left arm out pointing at the entrance through which the party entered the area. The arm ends in a jagged stump; the hand once attached lies on the floor nearby.
- A small pile of rubble lies about the statue, but the statue itself does not seem to be damaged.
- Someone has thrown a ripped blue cloak over the statue. The area around the rip is smeared with dried blood.
- Drag marks on the floor adjacent to the statue betray its original position 10 ft. away.
- Close examination reveals the statue to be suspiciously clean; no dust or cobweb mars its appearance.
- Someone or something has tried to paint the statue; they failed spectacularly—their effort looks terrible.
- The statue is pitted and gouged as if someone had struck it repeatedly with a large, blunt object.
- Generally in good condition, the statue is nevertheless unstable. Even though it is solid stone, it is badly balanced and relatively easy to tip over.
- The statue has been smashed in half; the top half lies on the floor nearby to the jagged stump comprising its legs and waist.
Statues can depict a wide variety of subjects. Use the following table, to determine the statue’s subject (keeping in mind the style and flavour of the dungeon in which it rests):
- The statue depicts the artist’s view of a perfect orc warrior; massively muscled the male orc stands in a fighting pose; he wears only a loincloth and a snarl mars his already ugly face.
- This statue is wide and long; it depicts a hapless adventurer being “consumed” by a gelatinous cube. The artist has done a particularly good job capturing the terror on the unfortunate’s face.
- A large, powerfully built snarling dog stands atop a low stone plinth; the dog’s hackles are raised and it wears a spiked collar about its neck.
- This statue is a smooth-faced pyramid about as tall as a grown man. The pyramid’s zenith comprises a small concave hollow. Clearly designed to hold something small such as a gemstone, it is now empty of everything except dust and a desiccated spider’s corpse.
- With the appearance of an intricately designed wizard’s tower, this statue is incredibly detailed. It conceals several secret compartments that may—or may not—hide small treasures.
- A large stone skull sits atop a slender 4 ft. high rough hewn plinth. The skull has dull black eyes that seem to glower at the party. Investigations reveal the eyes are actually small, sculpted pieces of coal.
- A regal man stands with his legs apart and his chest stuck out. He wears fine clothes and his face is set in a disapproving stare—aimed straight over the PCs’ heads.
- With the head of a lion—complete with flowing mane—this stone warrior stands on guard, a longspear grasped in both hands. He wears fine scale mail and faces an identical statue on the other side of the room.
- A warrior clad in full plate with his visor lowered stares impassively into the chamber. The statue holds a bastard sword up in front of its body—perhaps in salute or perhaps as a warning to come no nearer.
- A stone oak tree seemingly grows out of the floor of this area. Investigation reveals the tree to be a statue but it is well detailed, right down to the tiny stone acorns hanging from its boughs.
This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.
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