Decorate Your Dungeon

I know I’ve only made one installment of my Dungeon Accessories series, but I’m already taking a break.  Lately, I’ve been using my Hirst Arts molds to make a clone set of Dwarven Forge’s Rooms and Corridors set.  Unfortunately for you, that’s taken up most of the time I have for molding and building.  Plus, I only mold the pieces I need out of each mold, so there’s not a lot of extra pieces sitting around for me to play with.  I didn’t really think the “clone a set of Dwarven Forge” project warranted a post, since anyone can easily go to the DF site and see what the sets consist of.

I didn’t want to leave you high and dry, however, so let’s make a dungeon accessory that anyone can do, even if there’s no game or story mechanic behind it.

Rugs & Tapestries

It’s nice to be able to fill out a room with little details.  Since many dungeons were once castles, and some dungeons still house intelligent monsters, it’s fair to say that adventurers will come across rugs and tapestries in some of the rooms.  Hey, goblins like nice things too!

Lucky for us, the internet is rife with images of oriental rugs, and tapestries aren’t that hard to find, either.  I’m sure some of you see where I’m going with this.

  1. Do an image search for “persian rugs” or “oriental rugs” or “tapestries.”  When searching for tapestries, it helps to be specific about what kind of tapestry you want, e.g. “King Tapestry.”
  2. Download the images that you like, and open your favorite image editing program. (I use the free program gimp)
  3. Now, you’re going to want to shrink down the images to something that (roughly) covers a convenient portion of the map.  Most rugs are going to have a ratio of about 3″:2″ length: width once you’ve shrunk them, though you can probably also find some long hallway sized rugs as well.  Tapestries vary in their size, and as long as it’s not too tall for your room, you can make it any size you want.
  4. Print them out on cardstock, cut them out, and you’re ready to use them in your dungeon!
  5. I’ve found the best way to affix the tapestries to a wall is to use sticky tack.  Cheap and easy.  You can also do this to keep the rugs in place.

Other than mundane decoration, what can we use these items for?

  • To cover a secret door in a wall, or a trap door in the floor.
  • The tapestries may tell the PCs a story that ties some plot arcs together, or reveal the one weakness of the Big Bad Evil Guy.
  • The PCs have to arrange the tapestries in chronological order to trigger something (History checks, or leave the dungeon to do some research)
  • Anyone feel like designing an animated rug stat block for us?
  • Unweildy treasure.  The rugs or tapestries may be worth quite a bit, but are the PCs really willing to lug them around the dungeon?
  • One of the subjects in the tapestry is holding the magic item/artifact/quest item the party is searching for.
  • You could make the tapestries themselves into a quest: the PCs need to find several tapestries that belong to a set, but have been separated over time.
  • Two words: Flying rug.
  • What are your ideas?

Bonus feature! I’m offering a PDF of rugs and tapestries ready for you to print and cut out immediately.  Check out the downloads page to get it! What you get:

  • 5 Pages
  • 24 Oriental Rugs, different sizes
  • 8 Oriental rug runners (hallway rugs), different sizes
  • 34 Tapestries, including the famous “Unicorn Tapestries” Note: Tapestries are 1.25″ (33mm) high


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One Response to Decorate Your Dungeon

  1. Jeremy says:

    I love this whole series! Thanks for taking the time to lay out these ideas. It’s really helpful to have the craft idea coupled with ideas about how to incorporate the prop in the game!

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