Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What’s in the Excavation site?

What’s in the Excavation site?
By: Jesse C Cohoon

Excavation is an activity that mankind has done from ages past and will continue to do for many years in the future. In many cases, in an RPG, evne if such activity is mentioned, it’s often glossed over and not found to be something interesting, bit with a bit of brainstorming, a moment’s preparation, and these suggestions, it can lead the PCs to some truly unique adventures.

D20 things in the excavation site
  1. Nothing of interest. Maybe some pipes (or the sewer). Just a hole to be used to build the foundation of the building on.
  2. Collapse! Anyone unlucky enough entering the area will cause the walls / roof of the hole to collapse, trapping anyone who’s there underneath the dirt and debris.  
  3.  Something of historical import
    1. Dinosaur bones or other fossils. The entire area is closed off and becomes a paleontologist’s dig.
    2. Pottery shards from a forgotten time. The entire area needs to be closed off and it becomes an archaeological dig.
    3.  A meteorite or crashed space ship
    4. a second basement. Maybe this was a place where slaves hid out enroute to freedom
  4. An underground river or lake that no one knew about before now.
  5. An old cellar filled with wine or other liquors. The wine is in:
    1. Oaken or cedar barrels
    2. Wineskins
    3.  Clay (earthenware) containers/ jugs 
    4.  Distilling equipment
  6. A secret passage connecting all the nearby buildings that would have never been discovered if not for the dig.
  7. An opening to the Underdark or other such underground location in your game world
  8.  A murder victim. Depending on the era of the game, they might be the cause for an investigation to be opened into what happened and why
  9. The remains of a forgotten prison, complete with locked doors/ gates, bars, etc. There may even be a long deceased resident still chained to the wall.  
  10. A mass grave from a forgotten war or a graveyard that was built over.  
  11. An old, boarded up mine.
  12. An old forgotten warehouse/ storehouse that was housed underground
  13.  Gas.
    1. Explosive gas. Better hope no one’s carrying a torch! If they are roll 2d8 for damage to everyone/ everything in the area.  
    2. Noxious fumes. Roll against the PC’s health stat. If failed, the character is nauseated for 2d4+1 rounds and unable to act
    3. Weakening gas. Roll a 1d6: 1) Strength 2) Dexterity, 3) Constitution 4) Intelligence 5) Wisdom 6) Charisma stat is lowered by 1d6+2, and will take that many days to return to normal. 
    4. Mutating gas. Characters exposed to it develop a random mutation. May be radioactive too
    5. Fear Gas. Those exposed to the gas have their fears come to life and attack them.
    6. Roll twice and combine results, ignoring further rolls of 6.  
  14. A long-forgotten military weapon. What it is or how it works is up to the DM
  15. A cursed object. Anyone exposed to said object gets weakened and dies or suffers as per a glyph of pain or the like. Can the PCs discover what’s going on before it claims another victim?   .
  16.  A treasure of some considerable size. What is it and why is it there?  
  17.  A trap is sprung! Choose an appropriate trap and place here.
  18. An entire hidden community of outcasts or slaves beneath the city that no one knew was there
  19. Monster/ animal! (Roll 1d10)
    1. Vermin: spiders or other insects, bats snakes, rats or the like.
    2. Fungus/ mold/ jelly/ spores 
    3. An elemental
    4. A golem
    5. A troll 
    6. Undead
      1. Skeleton/ Zombie
      2. Wraiths/ Ghosts
      3. Ghasts/ Ghouls
      4. Mummy. Mummy Lord
      5. Lich/ Vampire
      6. Revenant 
    7. Rust Monster or beholder
    8.  A werewolf
    9.  A dragon asleep for a millennium. It is not happy about being awakened
    10. An Umber Hulk
  20. A yawning portal to another dimension  

The next time someone asks what’s in the hole, you now have an answer for them, and with it, the ability to expand your gaming world.

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