Oddities for an Abandoned Mall

William T. Thrasher

When the apocalypse goes down, the first place the scavengers hit is the mall! Yes, for food, fun, and fashion in a future hellscape, the mall has it all! From feral packs of mutated dogs to zombies who like endlessly walking in circles, all these and more can be found in the endless, shifting corridors. But that's just what people expect to find. What about the strange, the unpredictable, and the odd?

The madmen behind Oddities for a Graveyard and Oddities for a Wizard's Tower are back with a new ever growing, ever evolving table of unusual items, encounters, and NPCs to delight and bedevil the players in your next post-apocalyptic campaign!

A note on shops: We're getting ambition with this new oddities entry. If addition to the items and encounters you've come to expect, we'll also include shops and kiosks that once did business in the mall itself. Each of these "shop entries" will also have its own subtable with oddities unique to its retail environment.

And now, on with the oddities!

  1. A pair of escalators, side by side, stretching up into another floor of the mall. There is a 50% chance either of the escalators is working, still creaking along to convey patrons to the floor of their choice. If either escalator works, a zombie persistently shambles against the motion of the escalator in a futile attempt to get to something living on the next floor.
  2. A fountain dominates a nearby intersection of mall corridors. Though the fountain doesn't work, it is still filled with water. Mold and algae grows is a thick layer on the surface of the water. Assorted small change is easily scavenged from the fountain. However, there is an equal chance 1d6 koi fish, an alligator, a waterlogged zombie, or an amphibious mutant dwells in the fountain.
  3. An old piano sits atop a dais surrounded by chairs, all the remains of the mall's attempt to go up-market. 1d6 minutes after its discovery, the piano begins playing by itself. There is an equal chance the piano is haunted, a still-functioning player piano, or bait in a raider's trap.
  4. A map of the mall with an index of its stores. Scavengers have scribbled on the map with crayons and markers indicating which shops are rich pickings, which have been tapped out, and where threats lurk. A seemingly random part of the mall is marked with an X and a notation reading "Dig Here!"
  5. A cluster of artificial plants decorates this section of the mall. There is an equal change these plastic plants are a carnivorous plant evolved to resemble a cheap decoration, a camouflaged raider, or the concealed entrance to a bomb shelter built into the foundations of the mall.
  6. Security cameras across the mall suddenly become active, following the movements of the adventurers with great interest. However, the cameras become still and feign malfunction under scrutiny.
  7. The bodies of 2d6 humans hang from clothes racks and other sturdy display pieces. Hanging from the ceiling just behind the bodies is a banner than once advertised holiday savings. Written across the banner in threatening letters and garish spray paint are the words "ThiS PlAce iz OuRS!" There is a 50% chance one of the humans still clings to life.
  8. A zombie drives in circles on a still-functioning courtesy cart, a random collection of unopened goods piled high in the cart's basket.
  9. A group of 2d4 capuchin monkeys, descended from the stock of an exotic pet shop located elsewhere in the mall, comes swarming past the adventurers, filling the mall with their chattering laughter. The next time the adventurer's check their gear, each will discover a small item missing from their person.
  10. A miniature replica of the mall stands in a glass case. The replica is exact down to every detail except for a new wing the model was commissioned to advertise. The models is also infested with roached, who have evolved to the point where they conduct business in the shop replicas, playing out the daily life of the mall at its height.