12 Pieces of Red Dragon Lair Dressing

Red dragon lairs are different to normal dungeons. Consequently, the minor pieces of dressing should highlight this difference. Signs of previous exploration—dropped and broken equipment, the splintered, burnt corpses of previous adventurers and the like—will also be visible.


Use the table below, to add depth and flavour to the lair’s minor features:

  1. The air is particularly hot. So intolerable is it that anyone without resistance or immunity to fire starts sweating profusely. Explorers lingering in the vicinity too long suffer from heat stroke and extreme dehydration.
  2. A cracked, partially crushed skeleton of a giant lies draped over an upthrust jagged rock. Evidently, something incredibly strong attacked the giant. Perceptive PCs notice the skeleton shows no sign of fire damage. 
  3. A flap of burnt and blackened flesh is stuck to the wall at the end of a large smear of dried blood.
  4. A great swath of fused and broken stone comprises the floor. In the centre of the devastation lies the sooty outline of a humanoid figure its arms outstretched over its head.
  5. The floor is so hot the PCs can feel the heat through their shoes. In places, the leather of the shoes almost sticks to the floor such is the heat radiating from the stone.
  6. Soot, flakes of scorched bone and other burnt, but unidentifiable, things cover everything in the area. Amid the ruin lie burnt and melted weapons, pieces of armour and other destroyed adventuring gear. From the volume of remains, it seems a fair-sized party met their end here.
  7. A single bent scarlet scale the size of a buckler is wedged into a small fissure in the wall. The scale glimmers enticingly in the party’s lights.
  8. A wide fissure pierces one blackened, scorched wall. Within, perceptive PCs make out the tell-tale glimmer of metal. Investigation reveals a skeleton yet covered in bits of burnt, decomposing flesh wedged into the end of the fissure. All around the unfortunate, the stone is blackened, burnt and—in places—partially melted.
  9. A rudimentary carving—perhaps done by the dragon with a claw—of a five-headed dragon decorates the floor. The five-headed dragon is depicted rearing back with all its mouths gaping wide. 
  10. Six grinning skulls glower down at intruders from a high ledge cut into the stone above the entrance to a tunnel leading deeper into the lair. Of the skulls, four appear to be from giants while the remaining two seem draconic. (If the dragon has a familiar or other tiny servant this is a good place for it to be hiding and keeping a watch out for intruders). 
  11. Pools of bubbling water fill gouges in the floor. The water is boiling hot—heated by geothermal activity below. the dragon has placed some minor, near worthless treasures (see Red Dragon Hoard Dressing) in the pools to entice foolish or greedy explorers to risk severe burns to retrieve the objects.
  12. Ripples of smoothed stone—stone melted by intense heat before cooling—comprise the cavern floor. A line of footprints—clearly the dragon’s—mar the otherwise wave-like patterns on the floor.

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