Everyone expects a dungeon to smell musty and damp. But they do not always have to be so. Some dungeons may be in a desert, or in a frozen tundra, and the smells would be very different.

When I am laying out the description of a dungeon room, I like to include a smell as part of that description. It’s a great way to introduce or foreshadow future events/encounters, for dropping hints about the use or history of a chamber, or as a clue to a puzzle.

The following d30 chart is designed to get your imagination going…

  1.  Under the mustiness, something faintly smells like cloves
  2.  Moldering wood
  3. Faint tang of ammonia
  4. A hint of cinnamon
  5. Sharp, metallic taste and smell
  6. A minty, herbal aroma
  7. The earthy smell of cumin
  8. A peppery scent that makes your eyes water
  9. The smell of wet stone, after a rain
  10. The smell of hot iron
  11. The acrid smell of burnt fat
  12. A hint of woodsmoke
  13. Is that a perfume? Like jasmine?
  14. The smell of cut grass
  15.  A putrid, low-tide smell
  16. The charnel reek of fresh blood
  17. The stink of animal waste
  18. The warm aroma of old leather
  19. The odor of old sweat and fear
  20. Just a whiff of smoky peat
  21. The fragrance of roasted onions
  22. A bouquet of wildflowers
  23. The stench of unwashed bodies
  24. The funk of a wet dog
  25. The smell of herbal incense
  26. The powdery aroma of chalk
  27. The funk of drying fish
  28. The stink of burnt hair
  29. The foulness of a rotting carcass
  30. The spicy tingle of squid ink
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