10 Things to Find in a Wagon

Bandits, brigands and worse lurk in the wild places of the borderlands. Here, they pounce on hapless merchants and despoil them of their goods.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


In my Borderland of Adventure campaign—many moons ago—the PCs happened upon a merchant and his daughter who had recently been attacked by bandits. The encounter was meant to be a throw away, random affair, but it propelled the PCs into a completely new adventure. I wish at the time, I’d had this table handy to add minor features of interest to the merchant’s cart!

Use the table below, to generate things of minor interest a PC might find in a merchant’s wagon, beyond the merchant’s normal cargo.

  1. The wagon has a cleverly hidden compartment in its bed. The compartment is small and is filled with a bolt of pale green silk (worth 100 gp).
  2. Crude graffiti carved into one of the wagon’s sides depicts a stick horse kicking a stick man.
  3. Hidden behind a couple of sacks wedged into one corner a small cask holds fine brandy worth 80 gp. The cask is stamped with the sigil of a burning tree.
  4. An unloaded heavy crossbow and a bolt case holding six bolts is strapped behind the driver’s seat.
  5. A small chest is nailed to the floor at the rear of the wagon. It contains two bedrolls, a supply of sturdy (but plain) traveller’s clothing and three days worth of trail rations.
  6. A thick blanket has been hung up in the back of this covered wagon to divide up the internal space. The portion of the wagon nearest the driver’s seat is set up as a cramped bed chamber of sorts.
  7. A box seemingly contains nothing but dirty rags. However, the merchant has buried at the bottom of the box a pouch containing 13 gp, 17 sp and 21 cp.
  8. A spare wheel is strapped to the underside of the wagon. While well-worn, it is sturdy.
  9. The carter’s personal weapons—a spear and handaxe—lie near his seat in case he should need them in a hurry. Both are well-worn, but in good repair.
  10. A pile of smelly, cloth heaped in one corner of the wagon serves as the bed of a huge wolfhound who views the wagon as his own, personal territory. He barks loudly at anyone except his owner climbing onto the wagon.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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