10 Pieces of Flotsam & Jetsam

The sea holds many things of interest and hides many treasures. Often, though, all it carries to shore is worthless debris.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)


Use the table below, to determine what worthless leavings the PCs find washed up on the beach (or floating in the swell):

  1. The shattered, sodden remain of a wooden crate. One side of the crate is smashed and splintered. A merchant’s sigil—a balanced set of scales—is still visible burned into the wood.
  2. A splintered deck plank has been worn smooth by the tread of many feet.
  3. A ripped piece of brown hemp sackcloth. The sack is still tied with a gaudy red string, but its bottom has been ripped out.
  4. A large branch stripped of all lesser growths and leaves. It shows signs of being gnawed at one end.
  5. The rotten, half-eaten carcass of a large fish. Its head yet remains vaguely intact, but something has removed its eyes.
  6. A small wooden cask. The cask is watertight and miraculously not much water has found its way inside. If the lid is pried off, the PCs discover a mass of straw. Packed within the straw are a dozen packets of exotic spices (worth 75 gp in total).
  7. The ripped shreds of a large fishing net; the decomposing body of a large fish caught in the net either anchors it to the beach or keeps it just below the water’s surface.
  8. A small, beautifully carved wooden fish. The fish is exquisitely detailed and obviously took a long time to craft. The sigil of the sea god is carved into the fish’s back. (This is an offering to the sea god made by a merchant before an important voyage).
  9. A ragged pair of bright green trousers. The seat of the trousers is missing—all that remains is a jagged hole clearly made by something large…with teeth.
  10. A large chunk of black porous, buoyant rock. The rock could have been floating in the sea for decades—it slowly made its way here from some distant volcanic island—or it could be the result of some pirate wizard’s bizarre experiment. (Perhaps, the pirate wizard hopes to craft a boat from stone and use it to crush his rivals).

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GM’s Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing

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This article will appear in the upcoming GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things compilation releasing in 2016. You can read more about the book, here and check out loads of similar lists here.


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