Wednesday 13 July 2022

Found Ancient Finds in the Desert

I just got a big box of Tru-TSR POD (avoid all imitations) books. So some more reviews. 

Some more stuff for desert hexcrawling  

d10 Quick Types
01 Remnants
02 Land
03 Nature
04 Bodies 
05 Ruins 
06 Water
07 Sky
08 Monuments
09 Dungeons 
10 Magical

d100 Found in the Desert 
01 Bones of animals exposed by wind (1in4 extra ancient and hard to recognise)
02 Ancient tree stumps (possibly petrified)
03 Small shack or remains of tents in rags
04 Ancient foundations of a building
05 Remains of a recent firepit and some scraps of camel and rice 
06 Stones pointing in a specific direction as a crude sign
07 Rock with some scrawled graffiti
08 Rubble mounds where ancient mud-brick buildings are reverting back to soil
09 Shattered remains of small tomb utterly smashed by tomb robbers
10 Stone monolith with worn markings, once a place of worship
11 Worn cliff face with imprinted fossil remains of prehistoric monsters
12 Shells and fragments of fossilised marine life in sands
 A strange boulder balancing precariously on a column or softer worn stone, messing with it might result in being crushed 
14 Areas of soft sinking sand left after some storm
15 Erosion in the sand has exposed a huge skeleton of some huge prehistoric beast or fish
16 Strange stone pillars exposed by wind eroding softer stone
17 Eroded hills with many caves (occasionally one is a lair or has once been used as a house, some are haunted)
18 Rock hill with an eroded face forming a rock shelter where desert nomads have camped and carved symbols in the rocks for aeons. A good campsite with possible magic properties
19 A rocky ledge would make a good lookout ahead over lower lands
20 A narrow canyon cuts into a rocky bluff leading deep into the hill. Inside d4 1=desert shrine 2=oasis protected by a nymph or dryad 3=cave used by an evil cult 4=bandit campsite
21 Lots of scorpions all out for some reason (occasionally one is extra big or underfoot in sand)
22 Lots of venomous snakes out for some reason (occasionally one is extra big or underfoot in sand)
23 Distant herd of animals travelling (camels, gazelle, deer, kangaroos, whatever)
24 Someone possibly finds tracks of big predatory cats (lions, cheetah, leopard, sabretooth) sometimes the animal travels in a circle and finds tracks of the party and stalks them
25 Small muddy pool between some hills (often a lone surviving predator is starving and hoping for food or rain. Croc, snapping turtle, prehistoric eryops salamander or a big fish)
26 Giant trapdoor spiders hidden pit or a pit with a trapped giant scorpion
27 Dried easily flammable grasses over area, can be worn or used as tinder 
28 Footprints of some small animals could be tracked to burrow
Swarm of bugs attracted to anything moist d4 1=fleas 2=locusts 3=mosqitoes 4=flies 
30 Small green patches of succulent desert plants shielded by rock bluffs from wind or most sight, useful, edible and water producing plants
Old graves partly covered in sand and worn by wind
32 Skeleton holding an empty waterskin
33 Raised mound of a buried scrawny traveller with tiny clay figurines of their family in hand 
34 Human withered body hanging from a post (execution or strange nomad burial?)
35 Body full of arrows
36 Stone tombs in a rocky hillside, many have been opened and robbed
37 Stone barrow mound burials long robbed but still haunted by shadows, ghouls and wights
38 Wooden frame supporting a desiccated horse and nomad warrior, part of a nomad burial rite
39 Mound, not very old. Is it buried treasure d4 1=cult sacrifice corpses 2=massacre of soldiers 3=slaves murdered when party out of water 4=undead cache left by a necromancer cult for a future plot
40 Dried out old well with a dead animal or person close
Remains of a dried-out oasis (good for false hope, often find remains of travellers)
42 An intact well with a small structure, bucket and rope, some have lids and may lead to deep watery cave networks
43 Find a hidden well under rocks in a cliff cleft
44 Remains of a boat half-buried
45 Remains of an ancient irrigation system (ditches, aqueduct or canal mostly buried)
46 Stone shrine remains with carvings depicting a garden and oasis here long ago
47 Damp depression if dug and strained good for a few drinks
48 Watering holes with wary animals drinking, 1in4 have a predator
49 Succulent cacti drawing on seasonal underground moisture 
50 Predatory creatures attracted by moisture d4 1=sandworms 2=landshark 3=dust devils 4=giant sand flies
51 Broken pottery fragments and remains if you dig find remains of a merchant caravan or marketplace destroyed long ago
52 Bricks scattered around a hill in rubble heaps. Foundations are visible in places. Some bricks are mud and decayed, others are fired and some are glazed in colours. Once a thriving city
53 Remains of a stone or brick wall, some sections have been looted for building materials or worn away as longer exposed
54 Ruin in rubble heaps and some are clay tablets with financial information and letters. If you search longer there are tiny carved gem seals and some more interesting texts
55 A muddy marshy depression with a muddy overgrown hill in the middle, remains of a great building. There are bricks, receipt tablets and wine vessels and broken flint tools in the rubble
56 Stone pillars and rubble in an open
57 Stone sphinx or heraldic beast worn by wind and alone, by night is quite eerie and attracts encounters
58 Small shrine or monolith to some forgotten desert spirit
59 Roofless temple structure with broken columns and statue
60 Abandoned commoner's farm or shack or animal pen
61 Distant bird of prey crying and circling some prey
62 Flock of vultures
63 Blinding sun makes being outdoors in sunlight dangerous for overheating and dehydration
64 Circling vultures around d4 1=dying animal 2=were-vulture 3=bloody mess & bones 4=lost struggling travellers
65 Tiny iron meteoric steel nugget in a small burned crater
66 Air shimmering looks like water in the distance to the ignorant
67 See some clouds overhead that pass, possible tease with some distant rain
68 Dust storm lasts d6 hours
69 Dry hot wind lasts d6 hours
70 See distant dust devils dancing in wind, natural phenomena or elementals?
71 Small ruined fort with curtain wall and building, some old outpost possibly with human remains scattered
Borderstone of some ancient kingdom with symbols of gods and ancient script
73  Ancient necropolis, area full of graves and shunned by locals
74 Abandoned small villages (1in4 also campsites of bandits or monsters)
75 Huge statue of rulers or a god carved into a rock outcrop
76 Relief rock carving of a king and several languages carved in cliff
77 Broken chunks of huge statues
78 Stone heads of ancient gods
79 Obelix or stelae with carved writing, a monument to some past victory
80 Stone circle of large boulders on a hilltop
81 Wind has revealed an ancient rock-hewn tomb (possibly now a lair)
82 A sinkhole into an ancient buried complex, sand from the surface is slowly flowing inside and it is easy to fall in (possibly a giant scorpion or other monsters inside) 
83 See a series of box-like small tombs on a rocky hill but a nest of some flying monsters attack anyone in the area for generations
84 A simple stone building has a blocked shaft inside to some underground forgotten complex where degenerate cannibal survivors live among ruined finery. They are survivors of ancient civilisation
85 A storm uncovered a warn rock but closer you can see it is eroded bricks of a monument. Ancient supernatural creatures guard it 
86 Huge mausoleum has stood for centuries and is shunned 
87 Top of a buried tower, ziggurat or pyramid. May be possible to find a secret entry 
88 Remains of a stadium or theatre with tunnels inside and understructure, haunted by ancient performers and monsters
89 An eroded hill covered in natural stone towers has been hollowed out by some creatures who left long ago. Now an underground complex of monsters
90 Ruined sanctuary of stone temples and shrines and the rest of has long gone
91 A great burning pit, a planar gateway to hell or elemental fire
92 A glistening bejewelled city inhabited by djinn and efreet seeking slaves. Illusion covers a ruin and has planar portals and areas inside magic paintings 
93 Glinting shining beacon in distant rocky hill, actually a trap by supernatural monsters who use the beacon when hungry. The beacon is a magic item and has many traps and wards 
94 Flags and banners in the distance. Some exotic warriors or wizards have camped, and possibly humanoids await a challenger for a wishing ring (actually a cursed delusion ring). If beaten and flaws exposed the warriors are enraged. They have treasure and a map or portal  to their secret home
95 A lone weird rock, a demon was bound here in torment long ago by a stone age wizard
96 In the shimmering distance a strange ruin is seen, an elder pre human city of reptilians with great monuments, tombs and tribal reptilians. Their alien mummies may be found in crypts and a great vault of sleepers in crystal coffins is in the deep where few dare look
97 An ancient worn black stone dome half buried with obsidian pillars surrounding it. There is no opening. If broken through there is an older temple inside like some deep sea crustacean. Inside is a liquid horror guardian of the elder gods guarding strange cursed magic relics 
98 A stone altar on a hill where if a horrible sacrifice is made an elder god can be released. Releating the sacrifice draws it back then to its home plane. The ancient script can be learned like a 5th level spell if decifered. There is no controlling the demon other than sending it back but a wizard might bargain with them
99 A shimmering magical palace most believe is an illusion but really it is an echo from another world. If the barrier can be breached their is a city full of loot and in the great palace dozens of liches are sleeping who killed all life on this world long ago and await the forces of entopy to destroy this world. There are no stars, birds, bugs and not even weather 
100 Clouds above seem to have buildings and towers and garden palaces of them, what mysterious people live up there? Perhaps gods or immortals

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