20 Things to Find in a Discarded Backpack

Every adventurer carries a backpack. Sometimes adventurers lose their packs—either they dump them to increase their mobility—during battle or retreat—or the packs are torn from their limp, bloody corpses.


The PCs might come across such discarded equipment in the course of their adventures—particularly if they are exploring a well-known or oft-visited dungeon.

Use the tables below, to generate details of discarded or lost backpacks found by the party:

Backpack Condition (d6)

Use this table, to determine the backpack’s condition:

  1. The backpack is in good condition.
  2. A bloodstain mars the back of the pack.
  3. One of the straps is frayed and torn.
  4. The bottom of the pack is ripped open; its contents lie nearby in a pile.
  5. The backpack is in good condition but it has clearly already been looted—unwanted equipment lies scattered all about.
  6. The backpack is old and well-worn but in good condition.

Backpack Contents (d4 and d20)

Use this table, to determine the backpack’s contents. Roll 1d4 to determine how many times to roll on the table below before rolling d20 to discover what equipment is present:

  1. 1d4 days’ worth of trail rations. This food may—at the GM’s discretion—be spoiled.
  2. One waterskin.
  3. A 50 ft. long hemp rope attached to a grappling hook.
  4. A crowbar.
  5. A set of thieves’ tools contained in a well-worn leather pouch.
  6. 1d4 flasks of lamp oil.
  7. A hooded lantern with broken shutters.
  8. Three keys, a half-burnt candle and a pouch holding a broken ink pen and a vial of black ink.
  9. A half-full wineskin containing a fairly decent red.
  10. Three pitons tied together with a short length of rope and a small hammer.
  11. A vial of holy water tucked away in a small compartment in the backpack. A hurried search will likely miss the vial.
  12. A bunch of four torches.
  13. A tightly rolled bedroll along with a spare hooded fur-lined cloak.
  14. A spare set of well-worn boots along with a pair of socks. Five gold coins are hidden in one of the socks. A hurried search will likely miss this hidden treasure.
  15. A half-burnt torch, a tinderbox and some old shredded clothes.
  16. Neatly coiled knotted hemp rope about 40 ft. long.
  17. Three wooden holy symbols for well-known local faiths along with the silver unholy symbol of an evil religion.
  18. Three empty potion vials wrapped in a strip of clean cloth and a small steel mirror.
  19. A complete change of sturdy traveller’s clothes.
  20. An empty sack and a set of steel manacles (and their key).

20 Things II_SNE_220This article appears in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.

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