20 Strange Experiences in a Lich’s Lair

A lich’s lair is a terrible and dangerous place. Few adventurers are brave enough to explore a lich’s lair (and fewer still are powerful enough to survive the experience). Such a place should be memorable and flavoursome; this is not an average, run-of-the-mill dungeon. Strange—and perhaps deadly—sights and sounds should be the norm.


Use the table below, to add strange sensations and experiences to the lich’s lair:

  1. A booming sound—akin to that of mighty waves breaking against a beach—fill the air. The sound is rhythmic— perhaps even hypnotic to those with weak wills or who are easily distracted.
  2. The faint, but heady, scent of roses hangs in the air. PCs sniffing the air get a sudden image of impossibly vast roses swaying in the night air at the edge of a fecund jungle
  3. The clacking of bone on stone—a skeleton skulking just out of sight—reaches the ears of the most perceptive PCs. A few moments later, the loud clatter of bones collapsing to the floor splits the air.
  4. A deep, mournful sigh redolent with despair and melancholy washes over the party. For a moment, it seems like the lair itself is beset by sorrow. 
  5. All around the party, the air comes alive with the sound of crackling, sizzling electricity. Hairs stand up on the PCs’ necks and the back of their arms. The smell of ozone accompanies the sound; perceptive PCs may even hear faint, seemingly distant, screams that fade away as the smell dissipates.
  6. A distant, powerful voice, redolent with power and fell intent, rises into a fiendish cackle before slowly fading away into a low cackle.
  7. The overpowering smell of formaldehyde and other unidentifiable, but foul-smelling chemicals, hangs into the air. Investigation reveals the stench emerges from a deep crack cutting across two walls.
  8. The rattling of chains and the low moaning of a creature in terrible pain reaches the party. It slowly fades away, no matter which way the party move.
  9. At seemingly random intervals, a loud chime—a single, chilling note that seems to grate on the PCs’ souls—sounds throughout the complex. 
  10. A loud dripping sound comes from around the next corner. As the PCs approach, it speeds up significantly. When they round the corner, the PCs discover a large, irregularly-shaped puddle of blood on the floor. As the PCs watch, blood dripping from the ceiling feeds the puddle.
  11. The temperature is only just above freezing in this area; the PCs’ breath is visible in the air. The cold is unnatural, and those with a strong connection to nature—druids, elves and rangers in particular—are most afflicted by the effect.
  12. The party’s light sources—even permanent magical effects—flicker as if caught in a strong wind. Mundane sources of light are extinguished by the strange effect. 
  13. One of the PCs becomes certain an unseen watcher is observing the party. The feeling does not dissipate, until the party leaves the lair.
  14. A sudden sharp, stabbing chest pain, causes one of the party to double over in agony. No wound is evident, but it takes several minutes for the pain to pass.
  15. One of the PCs’ vision blurs and grows dim. For the afflicted PC, it is as if all the lights had suddenly gone out. (This might be particularly disconcerting for those normally able to see in the dark). 
  16. Wisps of shadow descend from a corner where the ceiling meets two walls. The wisps float down as if drawn to the party’s lights. Once they touch a light source (magical or mundane), they fade into nothingness.
  17. Each PCs’ largest metal possession—probably a suit of armour, shield or weapon—begins to vibrate subtly. After a minute the vibration increases in intensity before abruptly ceasing. Afterward, the object remains slightly magnetised for 1d4 hours.
  18. If the PCs use light sources, their shadows on the wall appear more blurred and indistinct than usual—as if some unseen barrier stood between them and the light. The effect is particularly pronounced with non-magical lights. 
  19. A blood red rune slowly coalesces on one wall. The rune is massive—easily the height of a grown man. As the party watch, it begins to move and writhe like a snake. The rune is identifiable as the lich’s personal glyph.
  20. The shadows cast in this area do not seem to completely match the movements of the creatures making them. It is almost like there is a slight delay before the shadow mimics the action.

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One thought on “20 Strange Experiences in a Lich’s Lair

  1. The smell of lilies- flowers associated with grieving- in life the lich lost someone important and built a mausoleum (think Taj Mahal with a side of Game of Thrones) the mausoleum originally had the most wondrous gardens of lilies.

    but in the course of things she (the lich) became obsessed with dead/dying/and immortality. Hence the change to lichdom.