Dungeons & Dragons is deprived of much of its atmosphere of mystery and frightfulness when it loses its element of surprise. Experienced player/dungeon masters know all the monsters, and nothing comes as a surprise to them, excluding the inventiveness of the presiding dungeon master.
Moreover, what’s a good dungeon without thick cobwebs and odd stains, not to mention the screams wafted randomly on the wind? What does silence mean if there is no noise to contrast it? Non-surprising monsters could make themselves known by noises, ie. drumbeats, cheers, curses, shouts, and the tramp of many feet could announce the arrival of a band of Orcs.
But some noises could be heard that have no bearing on play. Try these tables on some unsuspecting players and watch them get very cautious!
Every 30 minutes, there is a 25% chance of hearing a random noise. Such noises will either cease if investigated, or lead investigators away, possibly to a trap. These noises will seldom lead into a position where their prospective cause could be seen.
These sounds are also good for “noise rooms”. And these noises could be distorted, or sound more distant due to the acoustical qualities of dungeons.
For the same chance, a few visual goodies are also frustrating. Note that these apparitions are real to all senses, including touch, but they vanish immediately after the party has left.
|Pick or Random Die Roll||Sound|
|1||Moans or groans|
|2||Screams or shrieks|
|3||Rattle of armor|
|6||Sounds of battle|
|7||Scratching / Scraping|
|13||Whispers (unknown language)|
|19||Screetching / Cawing|
|23||Water (stream, droplets, etc.)|
|Pick or Random Die Roll||Sight / Find|
|1||Blasted or melted stone|
|2||Cracks in walls, floor or ceiling|
|8||Bloodstains or pools of|
|12||Shadows are wrong|
|13||Footprints or trail|
|14||Pitted or corroded spots|
|15||Trail of blood|
|16||Rusted, useless armor or weapons*|
|19||Corpses shackled to the wall|
|25||Broken incense burner|
|34||Broken Magic items|
|36||Torn Map Piece|
|48||Vial with something|
piles of rust.