20 Unfortunate Discoveries to Make in an Abandoned Temple

Brave adventurers are always poking around in abandoned temples. Whether they are cleansing the taint of a dark power from a temple’s holy precincts or exploring a shrine dedicated to a now forgotten power, they always hope to find hidden or lost treasures.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)


Use this table, to generate the details of minor unfortunate, foreboding or worrisome discoveries the PCs make in the abandoned temple. Reroll inappropriate results.

  1. The raven-headed gargoyles of this room shift their poses when no one is looking.
  2. Ghastly voices whispering a sacrificial chant continuously echo through the halls.
  3. A great thirst strikes any PC entering this chamber. No amount of drinking can slake it.
  4. A black book is chained to the altar of this temple. When PCs approach, the book twists and struggles against its chains.
  5. Ghostly monks travel through this temple with arms crossed and heads bowed in prayer. Every few minutes they pause to write dire warnings for the PCs on the walls.
  6. Hundreds of spiders cover this stone altar. Each has its two forelegs raised into the air as if in a trance.
  7. A sacrificial dagger floats in the air of this blood-stained chamber. It points its tip directly at the heart of the nearest good-aligned PC.
  8. A bottomless pit drops away into darkness. Strange runes surround the edge of the pit and faint sounds of wet breathing echo up from its ebon depths.
  9. Littered across the floor, ancient skeletons and ruined weapons signal a battle from long ago. Yet fresh blood still covers the ground and sounds of fierce combat ring through the air.
  10. The plants of this peaceful temple garden are gently swaying against the wind. Any blood spilled in this garden immediately soaks into the earth.
  11. A dead dwarf lies at the end of a long hallway with a message written in blood on his shield. It reads, “Look behind.”
  12. The sinful prophecies inscribed on this tablet reference people very similar to the PCs.
  13. The stone lids of these six sarcophagi were all broken open from the inside.
  14. The monks of this temple were all transformed into statues of salt, horrified looks still upon their face.
  15. Empty rat skins, with no meat or bones left inside, are piled atop this holy text.
  16. Gigantic clawed footprints lead away from an ancient summoning circle covered with dust.
  17. The skeleton of an ancient adventurer moulders here, still impaled on a deadly trap.
  18. Twelve corpses hang by their ankles from the ceiling. Each has the word “infidel” scratched into its chest.
  19. Two rows of obsidian obelisks stand in this hall. PCs who touch an obelisk are granted visions of squamous shapes writhing beneath a starless night sky.
  20. A large bronze bull stands triumphantly in this temple hall. Sounds of agonized screaming echo from within its hollow belly.

Want More?

If you enjoy the table above and like dungeon dressing, check out GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressingan essential part of any GM’s arsenal and winner of Endzeitgeist’s Top Ten of 2014! If you are setting an adventure in an abandoned temple, check out Alternate Dungeons: Abandoned Temple and (finally) if you want more free content check out our Free Stuff page.

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