Mystic Ruins: Unfortunate Discoveries

Wizard’s towers, the laboratories of mad alchemists and the ruins of elder empire: all are favourite sites for adventurers seeking wealth and magic. Not everything found in such places, holds earth-shattering magic…

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

 

Such strange, fell locations are often warped by the experiments and summonings. Such acts often affect the very fabric of reality in the area in which they are enacted. Use this table to generate the details of minor unfortunate, foreboding or worrisome discoveries the PCs make in the dungeon. Reroll inappropriate results.

  1. Several doorways appear absolutely identical, but the room beyond is different every time.
  2. The glass jars stacked off to one side are full of bright green fluid and bobbing organs. The heart, in particular, appears to still be beating.
  3. A skeletal hand lays splayed on the stones; closer inspection indicates it was sliced cleanly off at the wrist.
  4. A unique eye-shaped rune appears in every chamber the party explore; it always points at them as they enter.
  5. A single footprint marks the path, though it was left in a clear splotch of dried blood.
  6. Pebbles rattle and clatter to the floor and onto the heads of explorers. This tunnel may not be structurally sound.
  7. The steady drip of water in the area seems normal—until the PCs notice the droplets are falling up from the floor to hit the ceiling.
  8. A half-dozen large spiders follow the party and skitter out of sight when looked at or attacked. They always return a minute or two later, with a few more now added to their number.
  9. The viscera spattered across the wall looks like globs of burnt fat—but from what is unknown.
  10. What at first glance appears to be a person’s shadow on the wall turns out to be a silhouette charred across the stones.
  11. Handprints have been smashed into the floor, shattering the tiles. The prints look human, but what sort of man could possess such strength?
  12. A mad cackle echoes in the distance, continuing on far longer than any normal lungs should be able to maintain.
  13. A trio of claw marks are gouged into the wall, and the furrows they’ve dug lead to a nearby doorway, where they end abruptly.
  14. This humanoid skeleton has been etched all over, almost as if someone else used it as a journal of their time in the ruins.
  15. A helmet lies discarded off to the side, shot through by a single iron arrow.
  16. Whenever anyone gets near a particular archway, demonic runes begin to glow around the edges with a foul yellow light.
  17. This graven mural is a chaotic mix of monstrous forms and figures that seem to writhe in the party’s flickering light.
  18. Shadows don’t behave properly here. Either there are too many of them or they stretch out too thin and have too many limbs.
  19. No matter how loudly anyone shouts in this chamber, not even the slightest echo returns; it is as if their voice is sucked away.
  20. A PC’s name has been scrawled on the stones here, in blood.

Urban Dressing: Mystic Ruins

If you want more cool details for the mystic ruins in your campaign, check out Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins. Jammed packed full of advice for transforming the ruins of eldritch powers long since gone into an unforgettable dungeon, Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins is an essential resource for GMs everywhere!

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A full-time freelance writer, Josh Vogt has been published in dozens of genre markets with work ranging from flash fiction to short stories to doorstopper novels that cover fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, pulp, and more. He also writes for a wide variety of RPG developers such Paizo, Modiphius, and Privateer Press. His debut fantasy novel, Forge of Ashes, adds to the popular Pathfinder Tales line. WordFire Press has launched his urban fantasy series, The Cleaners, with Enter the Janitor (2015) and The Maids of Wrath (2016). He’s a member of SFWA as well as the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. He is made out of meat.

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