20 Things to Find in an Abandoned Village

Villages are abandoned for many reasons—war, plague, disaster, famine and more. Such places rarely stay truly abandoned for long. Bandits, raiders or even mundane predators often claim such places for the shelter and safety offered by the abandoned structures.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)


Use the table below, to add minor points of interest to the party’s exploration of such a locale:

  1. A dense stand of weeds and brambles grows by the side of the road. The gleam of white bones is visible within.
  2. A wildly overgrown hedgerow stands hard against the road. Brambles and ivy coil through the dense undergrowth.
  3. A dilapidated, partially collapsed fence marks the boundary of one of the village’s properties. Much of it is rotten and covered in moss and lichens.
  4. Several large apple trees grow in front of a dilapidated house. Rotten, decomposing apples litter the ground.
  5. The roof of a nearby house has completely collapsed. Birds nest among the ruins and take wing if anyone enters the building.
  6. Weeds and grass grow over the disused road. Only deeply gouged wagon tracks show where the road ran.
  7. The nearby field is overgrown and wild. The rustle of small creatures moving through the tall grass is easily audible.
  8. A riot of wild flowers covers the bank by the side of the road.
  9. At some point in the past, this building caught fire. The surviving structure—part of one wall and the chimneystack—are blackened and scorched. Charred timbers are the only remnants of the rest of the building.
  10. The hinges of a shutter obscuring a window of a nearby house suddenly fail. The heavy shutter falls to the ground with a crash.
  11. The doors and windows of a nearby building gap wide; gloom cloaks the interior and deeper shadows within hint of some lurking, unseen menace.
  12. Three large crows perch atop the roof of a nearby structure and seem to intently watch the party as they pass.
  13. A thin smudge of smoke rises from behind a distant building. By the time the party reaches the site, and discovers a campfire, the area is abandoned. Clearly, the party is not the only ones interested in the village.
  14. A broken wagon wheel lies by the wide of the road.
  15. The bones of several large animals—cows, horses or the like—lie amid the gloom of an abandoned barn.
  16. Saplings—new growths—cluster thickly about the bounds of the village’s fields and gardens.
  17. Most of the village’s buildings appear to be “normal” abandoned buildings. One, however, on the village’s outskirts is different. The doors and windows of this building have been nailed shut…from the outside.
  18. A large tree has fallen across the road and into a small building, smashing the roof and gouging a huge hole in one exterior wall. The tree’s trunk blocks the road.
  19. Wind chimes still hang from the gutters of several houses and clatter gently in the wind.
  20. The decomposing body of a wolf—several arrows protruding from its hide—lies in the street. Examinations reveal several small predators have been at the corpse.

Related Article

Alternate Dungeons: Abandoned Village

If you enjoyed this article, check out Alternate Dungeons: Abandoned Village for all the tools a busy GM needs to make an adventure in an abandoned village truly memorable! Written by Daron Woodson, Alternate Dungeons: Abandoned Village is an essential tool in any GM’s arsenal!

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