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A Wearable Dungeon
descriptions for use in your TTRPG
The dungeon rooms can be approached in any order you like. You could even roll for them!
While I wrote the descriptions for a single traveller, you can easily edit them to make room for your whole party. Feel free to change as much or as little as you like, though if you're using them in a public setting, I'd love to be credited (and tagged on social media!). I'd also love to hear about it if you're using them in a home game, but that's just because I'm nosy.
I didn't include any system-specific mechanics, and I only hinted at some possible encounters and scrapes, so get creative! And enjoy!
An imposing wooden door blocks your path. Huge golden hinges reach across it, gripping the vertical slats. An enormous ring hangs opposite the hinges, but as you reach forward to grasp it, the door slowly…
A Cold Embrace
Your skin breaks out into goosebumps as the temperature suddenly drops. You hear the tiniest of splashes as you notice, in the faint glow of your torch, a lake taking up the entirety of the chamber. You wince at the thought of having to swim across the frigid waters, but begin to steel yourself for the ordeal.
As you ready your gear, a single coin bounces free of your pocket, startling you as it plinks into the water. You chuckle to yourself at your own nerves, when out of nowhere three vast green and blue tentacles erupt from the surface of the lake. They curl and wave and splash wildly as you stand on the stone shore, stock still. An eternity passes and finally the bodiless tentacles recede into the water.
You realize the creature can only sense movement within the pool itself. That's when you notice that the lake doesn't take up the entire cavern; there's a foot-wide ledge of stone circling the water, leading to the tunnel on the other side. You inhale deeply, exhale slowly, and take your first step.
Watch Your Step
The tunnel you've been following ends in absolute darkness, the stone floor dropping away in a jagged cliff. A wood-and-rope bridge stretches across the gap, but it does not look like it can hold much weight. The rope is fraying in places and some of the wooden slats are already smashed in half, dangling from one side. You push on the two wooden supports on this side, but they don't give. You tug on the rope knotted around them, and it doesn't budge.
You kick a pebble over the edge to count the seconds until you hear it hit the bottom. 1… 2… 3… … 31… 32…
The pebble never makes a noise.
Farther down the tunnel, the flicker of candlelight draws your attention. You inch forward into what appears to be an empty room. The first thing you notice is the towering bookcase in front of you, full of thick, dusty, leather-bound tomes. Along the adjoining wall is a large wooden worktable, seemingly recently in use, with mysterious bottles and tools laid out across it. A mortar and pestle rest in front of a pushed-back wooden chair.
You wonder who this sanctum belongs to, but then you spin around and see it. A spell circle takes up so much of the floor, you wonder how you didn't spot it immediately. Drawn in shining golden ink, it's surrounded by the candles whose light drew you here in the first place, along with a book lying open on the floor. The markings on the page seem to match the circle on the floor, except… is it missing something? You creep closer to inspect the runes, when there's a FLASH —
Fungus Among Us
Your torch, which has been burning quite nicely, if a little weakly, blinks out. No amount of trying will relight it. You feel your pulse quicken as you start to panic. But then up ahead, you think you might see… Yes! The faintest ghostly blue glow. You figure whatever it is can't be worse than standing still in a pitch black tunnel, so you stride confidently ahead. The passage widens out into a cozy cavern, just over your armspan at its widest and about double your height at its highest point.
The stone walls, from floor to ceiling, are absolutely covered with mushrooms and fungi of every color. Reds and browns and yellows and golds and blues and greens and purples all come together in a glowing rainbow of subterranean beauty. And you do mean glowing: one the mushroom species, a bluish greenish one, is definitely the source of the otherworldly glow you followed in here. There are clumps of them stationed throughout the small chamber, and you realize you haven't been afraid since stepping inside.
Your breath is filled with the comforting scent of earth after the rain, reminding you of what it feels like to be aboveground again. You notice a tiny spot that's not covered in growth, just enough of a space to sit down and catch your breath. In the soft glow of the mushrooms, you dig around in your pack for a quick bite to eat, a few swallows of water, and you suddenly feel like things are going to get… better.
[ If applicable, heal by 50% of your maximum health. ]
All That Glitters
Your torchlight reaches ahead of you, curling around the tunnel. it sends back reflections of glittering light! You rush ahead and find yourself in a chamber of gold. Heaps of it, mountains of it. Gold coins, gold jewelry, gold crowns, gold, gold, gold. You do notice, partially buried in the gold, a very large, off-white structure of some sort. You approach it and it comes into focus: the jawbone of a long-dead dragon. It almost reaches across the entire cavern, and you wonder how it would have fit in here while alive. But who cares?! You're RICH!! You start to shovel as much gold as you can into your pack, your pockets, your waterskin, your boots, anything on your person that's hollow is getting gold shoved into it.
Your whoops of excitement fill the chamber as you fantasize about spending all your treasure. You make such a racket that you don't, at first, hear the noise coming from the opposite tunnel. Until you do. You go still, silent, waiting, holding your breath as coins clink around you, and you realize: the owner of the jawbone may in fact never have been alive in here. It's just another trophy for this hoard. But what could be small enough to fit in here, yet still dangerous enough to kill a full-grown dragon? You hope you won't find out…
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