Or 30 things to find on an adventurer’s corpse.
Holding his guttering torch out into the unlit dungeon chamber, Tarquilos thought he caught a whiff of something putrid in the air.
“Do you smell that Wendell? Something has definitely died in here.”
Wendell poked his head from around his friend’s brawny shoulders, the aroma of rotting flesh assaulting his nostrils.
“You’re right, my muscle-bound companion. I may regret saying this, but let’s go have a look, shall we?”
Cautiously the two adventurers walked into the chamber, following their noses to the corpse of a warrior in rusting mail resting against a slimy wall.
“Well, now we know where the smell’s coming from,” Wendell muttered. “Go see if he has anything valuable.”
Tarquilos shook his head at his companion’s willingness to put him in danger but proceeded gingerly towards the corpse.
“Fine, but if I find a mouse trap like on that dwarf’s body, I’m throwing you down the next well.”
One of the most unfortunate but potentially fortuitous discoveries a PC can make while exploring a crypt or similar hazardous location is the body of a deceased adventurer. Whether the body itself serves as a warning of potential danger, a nifty plot device, or simply as a macabre form of dungeon dressing, invariably PCs will search the body to see what can be looted from it…
While most GMs will include a list of mundane equipment or potential magic items on any such body, most of the stuff found on dungeon cadavers is fairly boring, leading many PCs to forget about the dead adventurer’s corpse as soon as it has been looted. This list of 30 objects has been devised to make the body and its possessions more interesting, provide further opportunities for adventure, or just give the dead adventurer some personality he or she might not otherwise have had.
- A lifelike cockatrice toy.
- An animated orange spider puppet.
- A half-eaten turkey leg covered in nutritious, sweet-smelling black mold.
- A miniature cloak and booties. Tiny golden embroidery on the cloak spells out the words “For my beloved familiar Valmaxus.”
- An origami owl made out of a magical scroll.
- A vampire slaying kit stocked with two vials of holy water and six wooden stakes.
- An empty vial of antitoxin clutched in the dead adventurer’s hand. Nearby in the dirt is scrawled the words “Damn shoddy alchemist.”
- A packet of assassin vine seed mix.
- A starving smilodon kitten.
- A pair of scuffed hobnail boots being used as a nest by a dozen black mice.
- A journal of the adventurer’s life that ends with the entry “I think I’ll check out that chest now,” even though no chest can be found near the body.
- Five evenly matched gloves, each made from the skin of a different humanoid.
- The severed head of a grizzled orc. A note attached to the head reads “return for bounty.”
- A bottle of Firebelly’s Dipping Sauce. For that real kick.
- A slender wand in a sealed glass case. On the front of the case is a note with the words “break for emergencies.”
- A brass cameo containing the picture of a hideously ugly woman.
- A bottle of vinegar filled with dozens of pickled eyeballs.
- A small red dragon’s claw stained with blue ink.
- A battered manual of pixie fighting techniques.
- A sack of 700 counterfeit gold coins.
- A set of wooden polyhedral dice of elven manufacture. The set of dice includes a d4, d8, d12, and d20.
- An explorer’s outfit with a massive rip in the pants (easily missed until someone bends over while wearing them).
- A masterwork steel lute with a triangular body and a headstock that resembles a carved demon’s skull.
- The intact skeleton of a halfling with the number “11” inscribed on its forehead.
- An oversized woolen vest infested with abyssal fleas.
- A stylish leather cape sized for a storm giant that doubles as a handy tent.
- A silver-plated chamber pot and matching toiletries kit.
- A gold and gem-studded crown that matches one worn by a famous king.
- An IOU for the adventurer’s magic items. Fine print on the document transfers the IOU to anyone possessing the items.
- A fluffy pink feather duster and a set of iron manacles.