Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dungeon Dressing: Mildew

The sage Emmerline classifies mildew as being any dungeon mold that is non-carnivorous and non-motile. Mildew is omnipresent in dungeon environments where moisture is available. Typically, mildew is little more than a nuisance, but there are notable exceptions.

Mildew can form a dangerous slippery scunge in hazardous areas. Uncertain footing can spell disaster near a chasm, underground river, or in a combat situation.

Some rare species emit a natural light, making it possible to navigate in complete darkness. Unfortunately, attempts to remove this species from its natural environment invariably destroy its luminous properties.

Mildew is occasionally edible forming the base of the dungeon food chain. Adventurers should only use this food source in desperate situations, however, as mildew may accumulate poisons or magical contagion in the surrounding area. Areas with mildew deposits are known to harbor an unusually large number of mutant denizens.

Mildew can also spell utter destruction for books, tapestries, and other perishable loot left unattended for long periods of time where no magical protection is employed.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a noticable lack of this stuff in most dungeon modules. Many I've seen don't go into much detail or depth and it's almost assumed that they are dank, dark, and dingy but the flora and fauna are most often left out.

How often have people gone into a tomb and seen moss and lichen growing on the walls? Water seepage and even the barest amount of light makes this stuff breed like no tommorow.

Adventure idea: Make a dungeon based inside a mushroom (think James and the Giant Peach) and stack it full of fungus stuff!

March 17, 2010 at 8:06 AM

Blogger Trey said...

Good post. This is an underlooked topic. Of course, non-carnivorous fungi/poisonous need not be wholly benign to humanoids either...

William Hope Hodgson's "A Voice in the Night" offers an angle to conisder:

March 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM


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