20 Pieces of Slum Dressing

In dimly lit, muddy streets and amid the ramshackled, tumbled buildings of the city’s poorest folk lurk danger and opportunity in equal measure…

Alley Lurker. Artwork © 2008 Jeff Freels, used with permission

Alley Lurker. Artwork © 2008 Jeff Freels, used with permission


Every now and then, the party’s exploits draw them into a city’s slum. Use this table to add minor points of interest to their exploration. Roll a d20 and consult the table below:

  1. The rotting carcass of a dog lies against one wall of an alley. Rats gnaw at its flesh.
  2. An overturned rusty bucket of human waste oozes its contents over the muddy ground.
  3. A large rat darts passed the party. Moments later a skinny dog rushes after its prey.
  4. A long foul smelling puddle cuts the alleyway in half. A few chunks of stone serves as steps for the nibble to cross without getting their feet wet.
  5. The broken remains of a wooden crate are stacked haphazardly against the wall.
  6. Two cats—one a large black cat and the other a tabby with a torn ear—arch their backs and hiss at each other, oblivious to the folk around them.
  7. Brown, viscous excrement covers the wall below an open window. It drips down onto the street. The area smells foul.
  8. A heap of rubbish, including discarded animal carcasses and household waste, partially blocks the alleyway.
  9. A drunk, comatose man clutching an empty wine flask sits slumped against one wall. He wears worn, stained leathers and stinks of alcohol, sweat and vomit.
  10. A small, skinny girl sits on the ground crying he eyes out. If approached she continues cry and begs for food. This is (in part) a scam. Her mother watches from a nearby window and rushes out if the party take too much interest in her daughter.
  11. A sludge-encrusted jerkin with a bloodstained gash on the back hangs from a window cill.
  12. The shards of a broken earthern pot lurk in the mud ready to slash the feet of passersby.
  13. Graffiti identifying the street as belonging to the Black Run Boys covers one wall.
  14. A rubbish drift leans against one wall; rats lurk within and a large cat sits nearby eyeing the pile hungrily…
  15. Rats feed amongst a pile of steaming offal dumped outside a back street butchers.
  16. Overhanging buildings create an area of deep shadow that fills the mouth to a narrow alley. This is a spot ripe for ambush and murder.
  17. A discarded, empty scarlet belt pouch has been trodden into the muddy ground.
  18. A semi-feral pig, bleeding from several superficial cuts, darts passed the party. Moments later, a gaggle of children armed with sharp sticks dashes after it.
  19. Two cats—their backs arched—hiss at each other. Between them lies the mauled corpse of a large rat.
  20. Part of a nearby shack’s wall has collapsed, partially filling the street with debris. Shabby curtains now serve as walls and provide a modicum of privacy for those still dwelling within.

Urban Dressing: Slum Town

Do you need more for the slums in your game? Why not check out Urban Dressing: Slum Town and make your adventures come alive with NPCs, businesses and sights and sounds designed specifically for the slums in your campaign!



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