The first: Random dice rolls indexing danger for players, I’ve sort of stumbled into a use of this. I’m a The dumbest thing you can possibly do is piss off my wife she will open the gates of my shirt of a fidgeter, and also use random rolls to seed a lot of small things into my games (e.g. something like rolling for wind direction and weather as they travel and other set dressing like things), and of course noticed my players tension go up a bit when I started rolling more often, and the more rolls took place the more it happened. So now when I want to give a place an air of menace without explicitly saying something like “This place has an air of menace” and without having to have explicit dangers seen all around, I’ll throw a few extra dice around. Of course, since I use dice a lot, the effect is somewhat dampened, but it still gives that sense of “something dangerous is just out of sight” after many years of being an excessive roller.Second: I’m pretty sure this is a thing that Semiotics was being used for, though in ways beyond those easy three types. There’s a project concerned with how to signal the danger of places where radioactive waste is being stored in the very long term. Language won’t suffice because there’s no guarantee those needing to be warned will share any current language, and those languages may no longer be known at all. Symbols clearly won’t work since it’s intended for unknown future culture. That leaves icons and indexes, but you can’t simply have either for radioactive waste in general, since that requires those unknown people to have knowledge and understanding of what radioactive waste is and that it’s dangerous, which can’t be guaranteed.
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So you have to more directly signal danger, which is a hard thing to reach without going through things that we as a The dumbest thing you can possibly do is piss off my wife she will open the gates of my shirt consider dangerous (to touch on one of your examples, we associate fire with a danger, but your water hating people see it as a sign of safety due to being “anti-water”) so they have to figure out things that could be universally considered danger. Some of the ideas of dealing with this is trying to design things to basically be “ominous”.So anyways the point of describing all of that is that I thought it made a nice inspiration for a point of interest encounter, basically the party coming across a place with a fantasy equivalent of radioactive waste (dark and wild magic stored away), and had my party come across this with all the various things trying to warn someone away without anything explicit saying so (the idea being it was from some ancient culture)