20 Things to Discover in a Cave

Adventurers often find themselves investigating caves and caverns. Within lurk degenerate troglodytes, strange aberrant creatures from the Ebon Realm and even worse things.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Many undergound locales, though, hold nothing more than minor points of interest. Use the table below, to generate such features and to add features of interest to the caves in your next delve.

  1. The rubble from a broken stalagmite covers the floor, nearby to its stump that yet juts up from the floor.
  2. A single booted footprint on the muddy floor betrays the passage of previous explorers.
  3. Rubble covers the floor throughout this area, except for an obvious path which has been cleared. Piles of rubble flank the pathway, creating areas difficult to move through.
  4. Mud covers the floor and water drips from the ceiling above. The mud hides several deep hollows in the floor which could trip unwary explorers.
  5. The faint scent of burnt flesh reaches the party’s nostrils.
  6. Luminescent fungi grows high up on one wall. Its faint glow reveals the presence of a narrow passageway slanting steeply upwards.
  7. A narrow fissure little more than a foot wide splits the floor in twain. A faint breeze emanates from below.
  8. Three splintered crossbow bolts lie about the floor. None have any blood on their points.
  9. A rocky outcrop on one wall looks a little like a melted giant’s face emerging from the rock, in the party’s flickering lights.
  10. Water drips from a crack in the ceiling creating a curtain blocking further progress. The curtain blocks vision of what lies beyond, and the sound of dripping water inflicts a -2 penalty to Perception checks.
  11. A cracked skull yet wearing a battered iron helm sits in a small hole in one wall. Its seems to watch those passing by…
  12. Stalagmites and stalactites fill a low grotto to one side of the passageway. Shadows cluster thickly within, providing a perfect spot for an ambush.
  13. A large, almost man-sized, mushroom once dominated this area. However, someone has recently hacked the mushroom down and its remains now lie mouldering near its low stump.
  14. The sound of soft laugher followed by the soft clatter of shifting rocks comes from somewhere ahead.
  15. A wide stream of clear, fresh water runs through the area. Several stones placed several feet apart provide a convenient means of crossing the steam while keeping one’s feet dry.
  16. As 15., but one of the stones shifts underfoot. The character must make a DC 15 Reflex save or fall in.
  17. Bats nest in the roof. A party bringing lights into the area disturbs them. They flutter about until the light source is removed.
  18. Thick webs fill this area. A faint breeze issues from cracks in the rock causing the webs to gently undulate.
  19. Thick mud covers the cavern floor. A discarded spade lies near a partially dug grave. A thick brown sludge of mud and water fills the grave to a depth of about one foot. It is otherwise empty.
  20. Translucent crystals stud the cavern walls. Introducing a light source into the cavern creates a riot of colour. Crystals harvested from the walls shatter and are valueless.

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GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing

If you enjoy the table above and like dungeon dressing, check out GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing. Crammed with over 300 pages of information and charts designed to bring your dungeon alive, GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing is an essential part of any GM’s arsenel.  Additionally, Caves & Caverns presents loads of great features and encounters to add into the caves and caverns in your campaign world!

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