Random Things: Alternate Trinkets for D&D 5E

These random things articles are designed as quick idea generators for time-pressed GMs who want to inject some additional details into their game, in this article we look at trinkets. Trinkets were one of my favourite things about character generation in D&D 5th Edition, each character starts with at least one, a small item or curiosity that has some odd property or something strange about it, it’s not a powerful magic item, just something interesting that could spur conversation and plot.

The trinkets below can be substituted for the table in the 5E PHB by rolling a D100:

1A small round coin with a hole in it made of a strange black metal.
2A tiny doll depicting a blonde, blue eyes child, when placed down it's eyes appear to follow people.
3A piece of cloth that absorbs any material staining it, becoming fully clean over the course of an hour.
4A facsimilé of a human skull made from interwoven oak twigs.
5A small charm made out of seashells strung onto a piece of leather thonging.
6A whistle made from the shell of a large mollusc.
7A piece of stone that changes colour based on the mood of it's owner.
8The preserved skull of a corvid.
9A hessian sack full of bird feathers in the most fantastic colours imaginable.
10Metal rank insignia from an ancient kingdom or war.
11A silver thimble engraved with the image of a rose.
12A reel of thread that never frays.
13A metal tankard with the sign of a hammer and the initials T. E. engraved on it.
14A set of bamboo windchimes.
15Three primitive, flint arrowheads.
16An ivory comb that when used changes a person's hair colour.
17A wax seal stamp with the design of a crown on it.
18A stick of bright green sealing wax that smells like rosemary.
19A bundle of fragrant smelling herbs that, when burnt, release a relaxing aroma.
20A rough map that shows the local area but occasionally changes to show an unfamiliar continent.
21A strange idol of blackened glass that sometimes glows with an inner blue light.
22A flint and tinder that causes any fires light with it to be purple in colour.
23A list of people's names, it gets to four people and then the fifth is smudged and crossed through.
24A set of tarot cards depicting each figure on the cards as a skeleton.
25A wizened, shrunken head.
26A small tin containing fish eggs.
27A small violin that is missing all but one of it's strings, remarkably when played it sounds as though the other strings are present.
28A wolf-skin fur cloak that sometimes causes the wearer to growl under his breath.
29An amulet depicting the Orc god Gruumsh, anyone who wears it finds themselves compelled to keep one of their eyes closed.
30A parchment showing the constellations in the night sky.
31A crystal ball, when looked into the person sees themselves reflected but looking 10 years younger.
32A horseshoe that never becomes worn or needs replacing.
33A tankard that is capable of changing a drink poured into another drink of similar potency (ale into stout for instance).
34A goin coin that always comes up heads when flipped.
35A set of bone dice that emit an eerie cackling when rolled.
36A club made out of a twisted ogres thigh bone.
37A small, wooden toy horse.
38A crystal that refracts the light strangely and has an odd dark deposit at it's centre.
39A religious icon that once belonged to an ancestor.
40A small empty book wrapped in a red velvet covering, embroidered with a the sign of an open hand.
41A clothes brush that can clean a set of clothes just by touching it.
42A twisting brass horn that produces a haunting melody when blow.
43A map of a fictional city, anyone who sleeps near the map dreams of exploring a fantastic city.
44A single rose, the colour of blood that never seems to wither or require water.
45A metal chisel that never goes blunt.
46A set of childs wooden building blocks, when left on their own unobserved they occasional spell out words.
47Three triangular platiunum coins bearing the marks of an unknown kingdom.
48A pearl necklace, when there is an eclipse the pearls change from white to a black colour.
49A small handkerchief that is capable of absorbing and holding four pints of fluid, it can be wrung out at any time to release the fluid.
50A tin of purple powder, when the powder comes into contact with blood it glows for ten minutes.
51A fake moustache, when worn it adheres to the wearer and has to be shaved off.
52A set of comfortable house sleepers that keep the wearers feet at an ideal temperature.
53A set of toy metal soldiers, each immaculately modelled to depict the livery of some forgotten nation.
54The fire-blackened claw of some great beast.
55A small stuffed vole.
56The playbook from a performance where many of the audience died in a suspicious fire.
57The script for a never-published play about an author going mad, the writing gets noticably less neat and more frantic, eventually stopped before the final page.
58A roll of old, bandage that has been inked with strange pictograms.
59A small glass jar containing a vibrant blue dye that stains the skin for many days.
60A tin whistle on a chain, there is a single goose feather attached to the chain.
61A small pillow stuffed with soft feathers.
62A bedroll that seems to change it's colouration slightly to match the environment.
63A leather pouch containing irregular iron nails, some of them bent out of shape as though used.
64The pickled tentacle of an illithid.
65A glass jar that appears to contain boiled cabbage, vinegar and several spices.
66A tapestry depicting a mythological scene.
67A set of spectacles that give everything an amber hue when worn.
68A red woolen cap that appears to be stained with blood.
69A set of leather riding gloves with the initials J. M. branded onto them.
70A bone knife and fork.
71An ivory plague mask, the beak stuffed with fragrant poseys.
72An oddly shaped, small stuffed toy depicting a goblin, sometimes it seems to wink at the owner.
73A quill with a small ink reserve carved into it.
74A small glass orb containing sea water, it grows murky when their will be a storm at sea.
75A lantern that glows black, making previously lit places dark.
76An artificial nose made of copper that has a leather thong attached to it.
77A wide cap made from the preserved remains of a Flumph.
78A woolen scarf that is knitted with the words of an ancient elven prayer.
79A lock of white drow hair.
80A pamphlet for Irytor's World of the Spectacular, the phrase 'closing down' has been scrawled on it in faded ink.
81A sloughed off piece of snakeskin that has words written on it in a strange language.
82An apparently empty green glass bottle that is sealed with red wax.
83A locket containing a picture of young halfling couple.
84The stuffed and preserved head of a gnoll.
85A small pot containing yellow ink, when used it is barely readable but becomes progressively darker as time passes until eventually it is black.
86A series of fortune-tellers ivory tiles with letters from the common alphabet inked onto them.
87A preserved eyeball with a label attached saying 'Eye of Lich.'
88A small set of pruning shears.
89A glass jar containing a harmless clear gel, the jar is labelled in dwarvish as 'Gelatinous Cube – Deceased.'
90A piece of black stained parchment that pertains to be a map of the Underdark.
91A brooch made of elven silver that seems to flow to fit the contours of the wearer.
92A small leather pouch of pebbles that rattles audibly whenever there is an avalanche or significant other geological movement about to occur in the area.
93A halfling sized set of breeches.
94A wooden dresser with a secret compartment.
95A metal branding iron showing the design of a dragon's wing.
96A blunt carving knife with the word 'toothpick' in the language of giants carved into the handle.
97A sack of Owlbear feathers.
98A walking cane topped with a metal sculpture of a hydra.
99A belt made from the preserved tentacle of a Displacer Beast.
100An ash divining rod that twitches when water is close.


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