The Cabin in the Woods

A cabin in the woods can be many things: from a forester dwelling to an outpost of a monstrous conspiracy with international branches.

A cabin in the woods can double as a hill giant steading, depending on the scale of the map.

The state of the cabin depends on the current inhabitants. It may be a well-maintained home for civilized folk, a half-collapsed abandoned shack, or even the ruined lair of lycanthropes or monsters.

As an ordinary dwelling, the cabin has rooms like bedrooms, kitchen, restroom, and living room.
The cabin may also have additional areas, like a crawl- or ordinary basement, or a loft.


The characters may find the cabin for many reasons, for example:

Traveling the woods, they are surprised by bad weather and takes a wrong turn. They are undecided about whether they should set up camp or attempt to backtrack.
Disappearances in the area spurred the characters to look for themselves or local authorities to hire them to investigate.

They find themselves in desolate parts of the woods and stumble upon an unknown cabin.

Dungeon Features

The cabin is a study wood building. The map uses a 5 ft. scale for human-sized residents and a 10 ft. scale for giant and ogre residents.


There are at least two entrances to the cabin, in addition to the many windows. The cabin has a front- and side door and may have a secret tunnel to the basement and a rooftop hatch.


Usually, residents of remote cabins are ordinary folk preferring the freedom of self-sufficient life in peace. At other times, however, they are not.

  1. 3d4 Cultists
  2. 1d6 Hunters, Rangers, or Druids
  3. 3d4 Bandits and Brigands
  4. 1 Hermit, Warlock, or Witch
  5. 1d3 Werebears or Werewolves


Evil residents sometimes keep slaves, poor souls isolated and forgotten by the polite society of the cities.

  1. Captured Soldiers
  2. Dwarven Crafters
  3. Goblins
  4. Orcs
  5. Traveling Merchants
  6. Villagers

The Secret Master

  1. Demon
  2. Lamia
  3. Lich
  4. Vampire
  5. Wraith Sorcerer
  6. Zombie Master

Secret Areas

Forgotten Barrow. The cabin is built on a barrow, the ancient grave of a spiteful chieftain who was betrayed and secretly buried here. The faint whispers at night sometimes heard between the trees is believed to be the chieftain calling from the grave.

Hidden Loft. Seen from the outside, it is possible to overlook that the cabin has a low-ceiling loft. The residents have hidden secrets up for decades: lost books, stolen trinkets from folks lost in the woods, and stolen goods from the city.

Secret Basement. The cabin basement is used for storage of provisions and all kinds of tools necessary for an isolated life in the woods.
The residents have hidden chests and compartments under the floorboards. Some may hide bodies of hapless travelers and passed relatives.

Secret Tunnels. The land is ancient, and the evil lingering in the cabin is just a manifestation of darker terrors. Hidden in the basement is a secret tunnel leading down to the secrets halls of Things Best Forgotten.

Secrets of the Cabin

A cabin in the wood may hide many secrets, usually in the basement or in the loft.

  1. Forgotten Burial Ground.
  2. Hidden Artifact.
  3. Orders from a Secret Master.
  4. Prisoners or Slaves.
  5. Magic Mirror.
  6. Weapon Cache.

Variant: The Ruined Cabin

Old cabins fall to ruin with neglect and often attract new residents – like wild animals, vermins and insects, orcs, and ogres.
Bands of smugglers and brigands use the secret basement as a safehouse from provisions.

The Ruined Cabin in the Woods

The ruined cabin may also serve as a hill giant lair if you assume the map 10 ft. scale. Hill giants are poor carpenters and maintenance is usually shoddy, unless they have captured skilled slaves.

  1. 1 Ghost
  2. 1d10 Giant Rats
  3. 1d6 Giant Beetles
  4. 1d3 Hill Giants, Hill Giant Chief, or Ogre-Magi
  5. 1d3 Trolls
  6. 1d6 Wights or Wraiths
  7. 1d3 Werebear or Werewolves
  8. 1d10 Ghouls or Zombies


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