Little Spaces Design: Gruesome Graves

As I work towards my first “big little” product in a few weeks, I’m working on filling in the spaces between what I already had. One of those spaces is graveyards. There’s something spooky about old graveyards… the markers, mausoleums, and macabre shapes are enough to give you the creeps. And somehow our PCs just keep invading despite attacks by zombies, skeletons, mummies, and more. So I guess that means we need to design a few encounters!

143-gravestone-q75-1024x768Following the same pattern as the other Little Spaces products, you roll on a series of three or more tables. Pick one or more senses (roll a d8), an element to describe (roll a d20), and a sensory descriptor for each sense (roll a d100). You then use this collection of ideas to help formulate a description or encounter for your game session.

Here are the first five items on the descriptive elements table:

  1. Gravestone
  2. Statue
  3. Fog
  4. Crypt
  5. Grave

Here are the first ten items on the sense descriptor table:

  1. Fresh
  2. Open
  3. Rank
  4. Disturbed
  5. Dark
  6. Musty
  7. Moldy
  8. Overgrown
  9. Broken
  10. Toppled

And here are a few ideas I came up with on the fly by rolling a few dice:

  • Touch/Stone/Barren – A long stony table rests at the center of the hilltop burial ground, surrounded by sterile earth. Nothing grows here. And as you touch the crudely cut basalt, you can sense the many lives ended here.
  • 140-graveyard-q75-1378x818Taste-Smell-Sight/Statue/Shiny-Shallow-Decaying – There are few stones left standing in the ancient graveyard, but a lone broken statue stands guard over a new shallow grave. The scent of decay hits you as you approach, strong enough your gag reflex brings up a bit of your last meal. And atop the disturbed earth you see two shiny coins glinting in the moonlight.
  • Smell/Rain/Empty – The small temple has a small plot of memorial stones within a brief walk of the front door. You can see a small iron fence that surrounds it to keep animals away even as you see a storm on the horizon, the smell of rain in the air. Though empty of visitors you suspect it is frequented often by the number of offerings left before some of the markers…
  • Sight/Bench/Traumatic – Hit by the sudden realization of the death of your friend, you find a sturdy bench in the graveyard to rest on for a moment. As your sorrow passes, you begin to feel the strange carvings worked into the stone. Standing, you see the faded, worn images of an ancient cult dismembering the dead and are traumatized, wondering why anyone would put such a thing in a place of remembrance…
  • Hearing/Ceremony/Marble – Even as you approach the small burial ground in the forest clearing, you can hear voices chanting. A white marble table is stained with blood and a circle of robed individuals are passing a chalice from person to person…

Feel free to use any of those if you’d like. But it should give you some ideas of what you might generate.

Stay tuned for a new random generator showing up in the list above as well as Gruesome Graves hitting virtual shelves soon! And there’s a big announcement coming next week as well. A larger product in the same vein of Little Spaces and Brick by Brick!

Looking for more inspiration? Be sure to check out the other Little Spaces products available now!

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