Players are a paranoid bunch. The only thing they hate more than finding a trap is not finding a trap when they are certain one lurks nearby!
Use the table below, when a PC makes a Perception check and finds nothing, but remember to modify the entries to take into account the dungeon environment. For example, if a dungeon has floorboards or worked stone walls you’ll have to do some minor work on several of the description below. Read:
You don’t find anything out of the ordinary, but…
- The floor doesn’t seem completely flat. Several parts are slightly higher than the surrounding areas.
- Dust on the floor is thicker in some places than others.
- A gentle breeze caresses your face. You can’t determine its source.
- The mortar in the walls is old and crumbling. In some places, it has completely disintegrated leaving gaps between the bricks.
- The floor at one point seems to be slightly concave and the stones look slightly damp.
- Your (torch, lantern or other) light casts strange shadows on the walls as if they are not as flat as they first appeared.
- The area seems slightly colder than you’d expect.
- The area seems slightly warmer than you’d expect.
- There is a faint, acrid smell in the air.
- You are pretty certain you heard the faint grinding or groaning of stone on stone.
- The air is perfectly still—it’s as if the dungeon itself is holding its breath…waiting for you to make a mistake.
- The area seems safe, but for a moment you thought you heard a faint clicking sound.
- The ceiling looks a little odd. Perhaps it’s not built properly, but you swear its sloping down toward one side of the room.
- There’s a fair amount of stone dust and small pieces of stone lying against one wall.
- The faint smell of smoke hangs in the air.
- Several sections of the walls have soot stains reminiscent of that left by torches set in sconces. However, there are no sconces present anywhere in the room.
- Scratches on the floor show something large and heavy was dragged through here. However, the scratches stop roughly halfway across the area.
- In three spots, water drips from the ceiling onto the floor. None of the resultant puddles seem very large suggesting the water is draining away somehow.
- Faint growths of mould on the (floor, wall or ceiling) hint at an organised pattern of sorts unlikely to occur in nature. (The pattern could be suggestive of a hidden portal, trapdoor, pit or sigil of arcane of divine nature).
- The proportions of the whole chamber just look wrong. Some pieces of architecture—protrusions and niches—seem to serve no purpose whatsoever and the ceiling seems suspiciously low.
- 10 More Things to Say When a PC Makes a Perception Check and Finds Nothing
- 10 Things to Say When a PC Makes a Perception Check and Finds Nothing
GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing
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