1d10 Roadside Shrines

Today I’m back with a new, and possibly, regular thing.

I like what I’m doing in this blog. However, I do believe I a lot of room for improvement and that I can provide more to you. So I’ve been thinking about a (possibly) weekly post in which I’ll provide some sort of resource. This resource can be a roll table(like today), a magic item, NPCs, characters generated by me, and whatever else I may come up with.

For all these to happen, however, I need your feedback. I need to know if you are interested in this kind of thing and also what stuff you’d like to see if this ends up being a regular thing. Anyway, let’s just jump into it.

Roadside Shrines

I don’t remember how this idea came to me but I’ve been obsessed with it the last couple of days. I was thinking about shrines and how often you can find them at the side of the road, at least here in Greece. I was trying to think how I can use such a simple thing in my game. Then I decided to make a roll table and post it here.

A shrine is a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific figure at which they are venerated or worshipped. The figure can be a deity, hero, ancestor, or even a demon. Pretty much, anyone can make a shrine for anything they want. At least that’s how I see it, and especially for D&D.

Now, it’s important to note that when I say shrine I don’t mean a building of some sort. I’m thinking of something smaller, like an altar for example, which is used for worship. Also, sometimes the things that may be used as a shrine don’t really have to scream “Hey, I’m a shrine!”. At least when it comes to D&D, and tabletop roleplaying games in general, I try not always follow the rules of reality.

And with that in mind, I have a d10 table with roadside shrines for you.

  1. You can only find this shrine only while traversing heavy mist. It’s a simple stone shrine dedicated to a deity unknown to you. There always seems to be a camp set, along with a fire, food, and drink, but nobody is there. There is only a 5% chance that someone or something is resting at the camp.
  2. This shrine can be found near the sea. It actually is made of a big seashell. On top of it there’s a statue, crudely made out of driftwood. It’s difficult to discern details, due to the quality of the work and the material, but you think it depicts some sort of a female humanoid form that has tentacles instead of legs. In a 10 foot radius, centered at the shrine, there is only sand and no vegetation.
  3. The shrine is carved into the trunk of a tree. While it seems that the alcove that has been created is deep relatively to the size of the trunk, the tree looks completely fine. In the alcove, there are four small statues that have also been carved into the trunk of the tree. The two center ones are a little bit taller, and depict a man and a woman. The other two, one next to the male and the other next to the female, look like children. Offerings of fruits are at the feet of the statues.
  4. A well kept obelisk can be seen at the side of the road. It’s around 10 feet tall and made of some sort of white stone. As you approach, you can see that all the surfaces of the obelisk are covered in carvings but you can’t seem to identify the language. It appears that there’s some sort of festival around the obelisk. There are carts selling various things, including all kinds of food and drink, as well as oddities. You can always hear music, since there are many artists around. However, at some point the music suddenly stops and everyone turns towards the obelisk, fall to their knees, and start praying.
  5. As you walk on a mountainous path, you see an alcove carved in the rock. Inside the alcove, five candles are placed in a circle and, while it’s a bit windy, the flames don’t seem to be bothered. In the center of the circle lies is a single gold coin. A life size face of a Dwarf is carved on the back wall of the alcove.
  6. A pedestal stands next to the road. It’s made of a black material, possibly obsidian, and it’s about 3 feet tall. A small blue flame levitates a few inches above the top of it. The ground a few feet around the pedestal is scorched black. If you try to get closer to it you can hear a voice in your head inviting you to approach.
  7. A pile of bones can be seen in the distance. The pile is at least 9 feet high. On top of it there’s a big horned skull, the likes of you’ve never seen before. The ground around the pile looks like gravel but, once you step on it, it sounds and feels like walking on crushed bones. Suddenly, behind the pile appears a skeleton. It isn’t armed and it doesn’t appear to be hostile towards you. However, it holds a rake in its bony hands and seems like it’s trying to even out the ground where you’ve stepped on.
  8. You see a lot of people waiting in a line. A Gnome is on top of a stool shouting “Come all to the shrine of Karmandook. Drink from the sacred fountain and be cleansed of every illness or evil that has befallen you. Only 1 silver piece per sip!”
  9. Okay, this shrine isn’t actually on the side of the road. Well, it used to be, but now the path is long forgotten and has been reclaimed by nature. You need to be seriously lost to come across this one. What’s left of the shrine now lies abandoned in a forest glade. There is a statue of a beautiful Elven woman, that is full of vines. Curiously enough, the vines do not touch the face of the statue. An Elf is sitting in front of the statue, playing a flute. Next to her lies a sleeping bear.
  10. In front of you is one of the weirdest sights you’ve ever experienced. There is a crater in your path. It’s not really big, but big enough to easily fit about a dozen people wearing long red hooded capes. In the center of the crater lies a strange device. You can’t really describe its shape but you can see it has a lot of cogs and makes weird noises. The hooded people have formed a circle around it and are on their knees chanting.

For your convenience, the table is also available in PDF form.

I hope you find the table useful. Again, I’d love to have some feedback on not only the table, but also the idea of creating resources like this one(and more) every week.

And that’s all for now. I wish you an amazing weekend full of gaming. As for me, I’m planning to run a one shot on Sunday in order to introduce a new player to the game. Wish me luck!

And until next time, have fun!

If you like what I do here on the blog and want more, in the form of early access to the articles, sneak peeks, and exclusive content, you can consider supporting me on Patreon.

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