The Evil DM

The Evil DM
The Evil DM

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Stair Creaked, and a Squeaky Mouse Scurried Noisily Through the Wall

The title is a line from the story The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs. A band of adventurers enters the old ruined castle. They find a staircase leading down. They found the entrance to the dungeon. As they carefully go down the stairs, one of the steps creaks.

Creaking steps are common in old buildings. The party investigates the creaking step. They find a hole in the wood. When they look into the hole, they see several pairs of eyes looking back at them. The party rips up the stairs. They find a nest of mice living inside the staircase. The mice have torn open a rag doll and used the stuffing as their nest. The rag doll is in tatters. In the doll's hair is made of yarn. An ancient ornate ivory hairpin holds the last dirty strands of yarn to the dolls tattered head. Carved into the hairpin is the name, "Lorinda".

Adding the details to the simple act of going down the steps adds suspense, a sense of danger, and intrigue. Who was Lorinda? Killing a few mice will not provide much experience. The name Lorinda could be the start of an entirely new quest.

Staircases should be another place to add interesting things. In the movie Blade Runner, Gaff leaves small origami creatures for Deckard to find. What would a band of adventurers do if they found an origami unicorn on the staircase?