Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Random Table: Location Tension

Summary: A random table featuring various unnerving things happening to your players whilst exploring a dungeon or forested area. Who needs wandering monster tables? Killing your players is so passé, just freak them out.

d20 Dungeon/Underground Forest
1. A piece of the ceiling unexpectedly cracks and falls right next to one of the characters. The sound of snapping twigs is heard somewhere behind the party.
2. A floor tile starts sinking into the ground with a grinding sound, as if it is moved by a mechanism triggered by a nearby character. A deadly trap? A hidden door? Nothing happens. A random character feels tingling on their back for some time, then a sensation as if something is moving. If they look, they don't see anything. Eventually a big spider crawls over their shoulder. 
3. An animal, native to the dungeon, accidentally triggers an unseen trap that the characters passed only moments ago. It dies a gruesome death. Horrible smell of organic origin is suddenly omnipresent, yet the source is unknown.
4. A random object moves and falls, making a loud noise. An unexpected breeze surges through the trees, carrying with itself a whisper. One party member hears the name of another.
5. Strong gust of wind makes the torchlight dance vigorously, as if it will die any moment. The party stumbles upon a small, long extinguished campfire, dozens of teeth found among the ashes.
6. When a party member goes to do anything alone, play out the scene as if they would die a sudden, horrific death. When the next character comes looking for the dead one, they find them just laying on the ground, unconscious.  Rabid barking sounds of some big canine are heard, followed by a yelp and a whine. Dead silence ensues.
7. A door closes behind the characters with a sudden bang. The shine of pale moonlight pierces through the branches, for a second revealing numerous faces staring at the party from the trees. A horrific trick of the light.
8. The ceiling of the room has been clawed by some giant unknown creature long ago. A distant bone-chilling wail echoes through the woods.
9. A bone-chilling sound of a screaming child asking for help echoes through the dungeon. The voices of giggling children are heard all around the party.
10.  Sickly green slime oozes from the ceiling onto a characters shoulder. It colors their armor, looking like the armor is damaged or rendered useless (plate armor gets a rusted color, etc.). It is only an aesthetic effect, yet no need to convey this to the PC. A tree completely covered in carved symbols and blood stains. It looks like the tree is bleeding. 
11.  As soon as anyone makes any kind of noise, the room comes alive as swarms of cockroaches scuttle about and run away. A butchered corpse of an animal is strewn across the ground, the head spiked on a nearby branch.
12.  A random character walks through a spider's web, face first. A nearby tree branch unexpectedly touches one character's shoulder. It's just the wind. 
13.  The ground rumbles and shakes, dust dancing in the room, as if caused by a powerful, but brief, earthquake. The party finds itself in the middle of numerous footprints on the ground. Too many to count and vastly overwhelming.
14.  The whole room is covered with bloody imprints of small hands. Small dolls made out of twigs adorn an entire grove of trees.
15.  This room is eerily quiet, except for the single drop of some liquid echoing throughout.  A lifeless body of a humanoid hangs upside down from a nearby tree, their eyes gouged out.
16.  A swarm of bats rushes above the heads of the characters, save or suffer minor damage. For a couple of moments, complete darkness engulfs the characters, swallowing even their torches. The effect is over as soon as panic kicks in.
17.  A monster from the wandering table rushes past the players, completely disregarding their presence as it flees in absolute fright from some unknown threat looming ahead. A monster from your wandering table rushes past the players, completely disregarding their presence as it flees in absolute fright from some unknown threat looming ahead.
18.  You went too far into the clutches of darkness. Save or suffer uncontrollable nyctophobia. Your torchlight must not die, otherwise it will be the end of you. Random player is bitten by some kind of insect, supposed to be carrying a deadly poison. In reality, it is harmless.
19.  There's no air and no way of getting out of this hellhole. Save or start hyperventilating, until you eventually pass out. These woods are dark and full of horrors. Save or suffer uncontrollable nyctophobia, grasping any kind of nearby source of light. If the light perishes, it will be the death of you.
20.  You are deep underground, in a cramped space with no sunlight. This place might as well be your tomb. Save or suffer a crippling wave of claustrophobia, manifested by a horrible headache and extreme disorientation. You need to rest. You've been wandering the woods for hours, seemingly without signs of an exit. Save or suffer sudden agoraphobia, manifested by a relentless urge to flee the scene, running back whence you came.

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