Odds are we've all been part of this scene or a witness to this scene:
"Well, Bob is dead, too bad we can't possibly get him raised"
"Oh I got dibs on his sword"
"Let's split up his gold"
"He's got two potions in his pack doesn't he? "
"Let's come back for the body later"
"Gee, Clark you can't say that Bob is dead"
"Yeah, we'll get it later (snicker)"
and the party moves down the hall leaving the remains of Bob behind.
That's usually the last anyone talks about Bob unless there are some really cool battle stories to convey at a convention or to fill in slow spots in game play years later.
Ever wonder what happen to the body?
Well wonder no more. Roll on the chart that follows. Some of these will only matter if the brave dungeoneers return to reclaim the body and other will depends on the nature of the campaign and the setting involved to properly bedevil the heartless adventurers.
What Happens with the body?
1-30 Nothing very exciting. It will rot and possibly be slowly munched on but nothing dramatic or immediately noteworthy.
31-35 The body is infested with Rot Grubs, 5-10 turns after abandonment.
36 The body is possessed by a demon or other hateful spirit and goes off to wrack havoc back in civilization. Boy oh boy the fellows former companions will be surprised.
37 The news of the dearly departed's demise were greatly exaggerated. The former PC isn't dead at all and 1-6 days later shows up really annoyed. If the player has already rolled up a new PC then the former body is now an NPC and as I mentioned, really annoyed.
36-39 Where the body once did lie one finds nothing but blood and drag marks leading away until they fade into obscurity leaving no sign as to the where-abouts of the body.
40 The body appears to be almost floating down the hall behind the PCs' a keen mind or sharp eye will realize the remains are beign dragged along and digested by a Gelatinous Cube that is following the party.
41-42 The body is swarming with ants who almost have the remains stripped to the bone. Good luck getting that raised, resurrection might work.
43 The body is harvested by a hunchbacked minion of a crazed manufacturer of a Flesh Golem. Can the pieces be saved in time? Or will the party one day have to face the brute and discover it's visage and left arm are that of the dearly departed?
44 Body Reanimates as a Revenant and stalks it's old chums.
45-46 A Ghost of the departed and abandoned forms at the location of the corpse.
47-48 A relatively harmless Phantom of the departed haunts a member of the party for 7-12 turns each day until the remains are properly buried.
49 The remains are Zombified by the unfriendly local witchdoctor/necromancer. Mayhaps it will be part of the next horde of undead the former companions battle or it will be set roaming on it's own.
50 Giant Rats run past the party carrying bits and pieces of the departed 3-10 turns following the death.
51-53 A Carrion Crawler disposes of the remains and after it's repast stalks the party in look of fresh prey.
54-55 Yellow Mold forms on the body if it is left for 2-5 days.
56-57 A member of the party is plagued by tormenting dreams involving the departed for 2-7 nights and can't get proper rest during that time. Fetching and burying the remain might set the spirit to ease unless of course it's just the dreamers subconscious.
58-60 In 2-4 weeks a local merchant is discovered selling some bits of clothing or gear the party did not strip from the corpse.
61-64 Relatives come looking for their lost kin and are rather unpleased to discover the state of their relatives remains.
65 A local bard starts singing a tale fo the death and betrayal of the dead companion. How did he find out? Did a henchman tell him? Is he plagued with visions.
66 -70 Make a loyalty check for all henchmen 1-4 days later. They depart that day disgusted with parties behavior.
71-79 The body is defiled, possibly setup as a warning to the dungeoneers by residents of the dungeon.
80 The head is missing.
81-90 Someone has completely and utterly stripped the body of every scrap of gear and clothing (assuming the fellow party members have not already done this).
91-96 The body turns up in the larder of the local man-eating humanoids.
97-100 If the party returns to fetch the body they discover two monsters (or two wandering monster rolls worth of monsters) fighting over or near the corpse.