The world in which the PCs adventure is a brutal, hard place. When magical means of persuasion are not available, villains often resort to torture to get what they want.
Torture chambers are a feature of many dungeons—particularly ones designed to incarcerate prisoners. Use the table below to generate points of minor interest for the PCs to discover in such a locale:
- A pile of bloody rags tossed carelessly in one corner hints at the terrible practises wrought upon the unfortunates brought here.
- An iron brazier full of glowing coals emits a dim, malign glow. Next to the brazier a small wooden bin holds a half-dozen pokers; burnt flesh yet clings to several of their tips.
- A row of manacles is set into one wall. The floor in the surrounding area is stained with blood, urine and faeces. The area smells terrible; here unfortunates are brought to await their fate—or to watch the torture of their comrades and loved ones.
- A bloody piece of sackcloth covers a low table set near a chair itself set with manacles on the armrest. Under the sackcloth lie a collection of bloody knives, saws and other implements of torture.
- Incongruously among the squalor and carnage, an ornate table and several fine chairs stand on a dais in an alcove at the end of the room. Here, the torturer’s master occasionally comes to watch proceedings.
- A scrappy, bloody journal lists those tortured here. Included are their names, date of torture, what they confessed—if anything—and their ultimate fate. A cursory perusal of the book shows that most people brought here do not survive the torturer’s attentions.
- A small iron cage—perhaps a foot square—hangs from the ceiling by a thick rope. Within coals smoulder. A small pile of ash lies on the ground below the cage around a set of stout manacles set into the floor.
- Several iron pegs adorn one wall. Wrapped around them is an impressive collection of whips. All are obviously well used, and several have dried blood upon their tips.
- Under a sack against one wall lies the torturer’s most recent victim. The body is in a terrible way; cuts and burns cover much of the cadaver.
- An iron basket holds a collection of branding irons. Burnt flesh clings to some of the irons, which depict various evil deity’s symbols.
- A blood-stained chair stands in the centre of the room. The chair has thick leather straps upon its armrests. The chairs legs are stained with blood and urine.
- A collection of dirty implements including pliers, clamps and thumbscrews rests on a shelf.
- The sadistic torturer working here likes to take the thumbs from his victims. Once he has extracted his prize he boils the flesh away and adds it to a bone curtain he is making. The curtain hangs over his sleeping alcove and almost reaches the floor.
- A small iron cage hangs from the ceiling via stout chains. The cage is large enough for a human to crouch in. A close inspection reveals dried blood on many of the bars.
- Two oubliettes pierce the floor in a dingy corner of the room. The narrow, rough-hewn holes are filled with black, foul water to a depth of six feet and topped with a locked iron grate.
- A small, half-full barrel holds several gallons of lamp oil. A dirty, oversized ladle, secured with a leather loop, hangs from the barrel.
- Crude pictures daubed on the wall in faded paint and other unwholesome liquids depict various horrendous torture methods.
- A worn and bloody apron hangs from a hook on the wall near the door. A pocket holds a small knife, a whetstone and a small vial of salt.
- A thin leather bound book lies wrapped carefully in clean cloth. Its pages depict a stylised body and show the locations of the major organs, arteries, nerve endings and so on. The book is well thumbed.
- A rough piece of parchment lying on a table details the confession of some unfortunate. The signature is little more than a squiggle; dots of blood mar the parchment.
GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing
Subscribe & Save