every book’s a sourcebook: African Civilizations: Ballana

African Civilizations by Graham Connah

African Civilizations by Graham Connah

Last week I mentioned that I used a tomb from the Nubia chapter of African Civilizations by Graham Connah as the centerpiece of a dungeon delve. I recommend you do the same.

(The illustration is below.)

Every part of this illustration makes me want to light a torch and venture underground looking for lost royalty. The “king” and “queen” skeletons have silver crowns; when the King and Queen inevitably come to life (as they did in my campaign), their silver crowns will probably give them eldritch powers (they did in my campaign). In my campaign, the king and queen (but no other skeleton in the tomb) mysteriously had tails. There’s nothing that makes a PC hesitant to don a new head-slot item like the possibility that it might grow you a tail.

The tomb is scattered with weapons and treasure. It has a few odd features (the cow? The servant skeletons, one with a “lamp standard?” If these come to life, they will add a little weirdness to the proceedings.) And the tomb is walled up behind small mud bricks, obviously a different type of construction than the rest of the tomb: hidden, but sure to draw the adventurers’ eye. And the crowning touch: hidden in a room filled with hundreds of jars and cups, there’s a “wooden box containing scarabs and small gold ingot”. If the PCs search systematically enough to find the box, I bet you anything there is a needle trap on its lock.


One Response to “every book’s a sourcebook: African Civilizations: Ballana”

  1. Sean Holland says:

    Very nice. I find history that is endlessly inspiring for gaming. I may have to see if I can find anything easily translatable to gaming in my current history reads.

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