20 Things to Find in a Smuggler’s Storeroom

Smugglers are naughty chaps; intent on dodging the lawful taxes of the realm they work at night to bring in valuable or illegal items destined for the black market.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Thus, smugglers’ lairs can offer up a great store of treasure for adventurers intent on stamping out their nefarious doings.

Use the table below, to generate items of value and/or interest the party might find when plundering a smuggling gang’s storeroom. Note, many of the items listed below are not ordinary or typical examples of a smuggler’s normal inventory and should be used to round out the gang’s inventory.

  1. Two small kegs of brandy stamped with the seal of a famed distiller. Each keg weighs 10 lbs. and is worth 50 gp.
  2. The lid of this small coffer is sealed with white wax. The coffer feels light if picked up as if it were empty. In reality, it contains ten sealed packets of exotic spices—themselves each sealed with wax and stamped with a seal depicting a stylised sailboat. The whole is worth 150 gp.
  3. One bolt of blue silk and one bolt of red silk wrapped tightly in an oversized sack. Each bolt contains enough material for five cloaks and is worth 75 gp.
  4. A lidless chest holds six large clay jars packed with straw. Each of the jars holds peaches steeped in whisky. A current favourite among the local nobility, each jar is worth 20 gp.
  5. This large chest contains a mass of junk silver and gold including damaged coins, broken jewellery and blobs of already melted down precious metal. Destined for a jeweller of dubious moral character, the chest weighs 150 lbs. The contents are worth 250 gp.
  6. An exquisitely made silk and lace ball gown is wrapped in a wide and soft roll of cotton.
  7. This small finely crafted coffer contains an exquisite glass decanter along with four matching glasses. Nestled in a cushion of blue velvet the set is with 80 gp.
  8. This large barrel of middling to fair quality red wine contains a secret. Hidden within—in a waterproof sack—are three scrolls of animate dead. The wine itself is worth 10 gp to a tavern or similar establishment.
  9. Wet sand fills this heavy barrel, which is covered in thick blankets. Buried within the sand are two large eggs the size of a human head. They are warm to the touch; what they contain is anyone’s guess.
  10. This rough wooden box is roughly four-foot long and holds the crumbling bones of a halfling or gnome. In life, the deceased was a prominent citizen of a nearby town who was rumoured to know certain secrets of the local nobility. A necromancer desires these secrets and so has secured the individual’s bones so he can use them to speak with dead.
  11. A wooden case contains six bottles of exquisite elven wine; each is worth 20 gp—even the bottles are delicate works of art.
  12. This stiff and dry sheepskin glimmers in the light; silver flecks impregnate the heavy fleece. It is worth 20 gp.
  13. A large cask of cracked salt worth 15 gp.
  14. A single silk shirt wrapped voluminously in faded red cloth. The shirt is impregnated with bubonic plague and is destined to play centre stage in an upcoming assassination.
  15. A pile of fur pelts stuffed into several sacks. Among the more common wolf, fix and rabbit pelts is a full owlbear pelt (complete with clawed hands and beaked head) and a thick, gorgeous winter wolf pelt. Each of these atypical pelts are worth 100 gp, while the others are worth a total of 25 gp.
  16. A robust chest contains several trade bars of precious metals of the type used by mints or jewellers. There are five silver bars (each worth 5 gp), four gold bars (each worth 50 gp) and a platinum bar (worth 500 gp). Each of the bars bears the crest of a nearby kingdom.
  17. Six small flasks hold a rare red dye much in demand due to recent fashion changes. Each flask is worth 5 gp.
  18. A small dark wood coffer contains 12 small packets of exotic incense. The coffer is worth 20 gp and each packet is worth 15 gp.
  19. Six tightly sealed earthen jars hold preserved exotic fruits. Two jars contain pineapples (worth 7 gp each) and three contain pomegranate segments (worth 7 gp each). The final jar is cracked and contains nothing but rotting coconut.
  20. A large cage contains a beaten and starved baby griffon destined to be the plaything of a noble obsessed with owning the most exotic mounts. Although caged and maltreated the griffon is still a proud, violent predator. Characters getting too close to the cage could be in for a shock.

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20Front_#4_220This article appears in  20 Things #4: Smuggler’s Lair, which is available now. It will also appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.

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