Skulking Though The Necropolis…

Wherein your humble scribe, drawing on the “All The Dice” random generator concept (tip of the hat to Grim), presents a random table for your nerdly needs. This stuff is built for Labyrinth Lord + Advanced Edition Companion, but you should be able to tweak it to suit your needs for just about any other old school fantasy RPG.

Now why on earth are your players rummaging around in a cemetery? Is the entrance to a dungeon hidden in one of the graves? Did the Thieves’ Guild hide something with someone who will tell no tales? Did a certain Doctor hire them to bring back a few spare parts? In any case, if all they have to do is make a beeline for a specific spot then you probably don’t need this chart. But if they have to hunt, or if you want to add some flavor, grab those dice and get to rolling.

Date Of Death, 1d4

  1. Distant Past (100+ years ago)
  2. Long Ago (21-99 years ago)
  3. Recent Past (10-20 years ago)
  4. Recent (0-9 years ago)

Headstone Type, 1d6

  1. Unmarked Grave
  2. Simple ground-level grave marker
  3. Classic “Tablet” Tombstone
  4. Monument
  5. Statuary
  6. Mausoleum

Language Of Inscription, 1d8

  1. Common
  2. Human Dialect
  3. Druidic
  4. Elvish
  5. Dwarven
  6. Arcane Script
  7. Human Dialect
  8. Common

Condition Of Marker, 1d10
(roll again for offering: 1-6 none, 6-8 fresh flowers, 9 foodstuffs, 10 unique: a bottle of wine, a filled pipe, a deck of cards, etc.)

  1. Weathered, appropriate to age
  2. Weathered, unnaturally so
  3. Graffiti-covered
  4. Vandalized
  5. Shattered
  6. Recently cleaned
  7. Well-maintained, appropriate to age
  8. Well-maintained, unnaturally so
  9. Cracked & chipped
  10. Fallen over

Age At Death, 1d12
(see Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion, p. 23 for ranges by race)

  1. Infant
  2. Child
  3. Adolescent
  4. Adolescent
  5. Adult
  6. Adult
  7. Adult
  8. Middle Age
  9. Middle Age
  10. Middle Age
  11. Elderly
  12. Venerable

Ornamentation, 1d20

  1. Unadorned
  2. Holy Symbol
  3. Holy Symbol
  4. Arcane Symbol(s)
  5. Horse & Rider
  6. Angel, full
  7. Angel, wings only
  8. Book
  9. Scroll
  10. Vines/Roses/Tree(s)
  11. Military Insignia
  12. Nationalist Symbol
  13. Sword, or other weapon
  14. Shield
  15. Animal (bird, dog, etc.)
  16. Soldier
  17. Crown
  18. Hammer & Anvil, or other sign of craft or trade
  19. Celestial Insignia (planets, sextants, etc.)
  20. Likeness of deceased

Examples – Because They’re Fun

  • This simple ground-level marker bears the insignia of the Duke’s Infantry and marks the resting place of an adolescent who died some 13 years ago, during the bitter war between Dryndland and Nemetstaat. The marble is unnaturally well-maintained for its age, and the inscriptions are in Common.
  • This shield-shaped tombstone likes shattered atop the grave it marks. The fragments, which are written in a dialect spoken by the Humans of the Eastern Continent, reveal that the person buried here died exactly 50 years ago today, after living to the utmost limits of the human lifespan.
  • The middle-aged individual buried beneath this statue of angelic wings died only 9 months ago, according to the Druidic inscriptions found upon the its base. The blatant vandalization of the grave marker stands in stark contrast to the still warm basket of muffins that rests at its base.
  • Buried more than two hundred years ago, the adult occupant of this grave was important enough to warrant a tall monument, which has weathered quite poorly. Numerous baskets of freshly cut flowers have been placed about the its base. No name is given, but the birth and death dates are inscribed in the language of the distant land whose ragged flag honors his interment.
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0 thoughts on “Skulking Though The Necropolis…

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Huzzah! I’m several months off schedule with this one – it would have been a natural fit for Halloween – but it still seemed like it needed to be written. Glad you dig, amigo 🙂

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Thanks, Mike. Hopefully it gets some more use than just the few examples I rolled up 🙂

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