20 Things to Loot from a Dead Warrior

Adventuring is a dangerous business, and not every adventurer lives to return to the local tavern and spend their hard-earned coin.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


While these fallen adventurers aren’t to be emulated, sometimes treasures—or at least items of interest—are found among their remains. Hopefully the PCs can put these items to better use than their former owners, avoid whatever faults might be hidden within them and maybe even finish what their predecessors started.

Use the table below, to determine what the PCs find:

  1. A map of the local area and/or dungeon, apparently drawn by the adventurer. Much of it is stained in blood, but some portions show areas the party has not yet found.
  2. A once-fine cloak, maroon coloured with a gold trim, now somewhat torn and worn from age. Careful examination reveals a hidden pocket containing 3 pp and a signet ring with a gold wyvern crest worth 45 gp.
  3. Clutched in the slain adventurer’s hand is an unopened potion of cure light wounds which has a light blue colour and smells faintly of mint when opened. Two empty vials lie in a fine leather satchel at his waist, one of which instead smells of sulphur. Also in the satchel are some dried herbs and other ingredients that, although musty, may produce more potions.
  4. A small collection of letters carefully folded and tucked away. The letters are from the adventurer’s loved ones, and have clearly all been read multiple times. The last page is actually a note meant for whoever finds the fallen adventurer, begging that her loved ones are informed of her fate.
  5. A pack containing thieves’ tools, along with a grappling hook and fifty feet of rope. At the bottom of the pack in a supple leather pouch are 10 gp and 7 sp.
  6. A map leading to local caches of treasure that also shows where the traps protecting them are located. In reality the opposite is true: the locations marked with traps contain treasure, and the locations marked with treasure contain horrible death-traps.
  7. A string necklace made up of various bits of bone and teeth, presumably trophies from the adventurer’s travels. Most are from kobolds, goblins and the like, but the centrepiece tooth appears to be from a young dragon.
  8. A compass that appears to be in remarkably good condition. However, it seems someone played a cruel joke on the fallen adventurer; the compass spins wildly at random, for random periods of time, hampering any attempt at navigation.
  9. A metal flask, decorated with engravings of a paladin fighting a dragon, worth 10 gp. Although it is still sealed whatever liquid was inside has gone sour and tastes foul.
  10. A tattered journal, written in Dwarven and recording the former owner’s travels and experiences. The most recent entries include information about the local area including known traps, monsters and the fallen adventurer’s suspicion about a nearby hidden chamber.
  11. The fallen adventurer is at the bottom of a 10 ft. wooden ladder, which can be folded up for easier transportation.  It appears the adventurer’s neck was broken in a fall.
  12. A pickaxe, shovel and crowbar of surprisingly fine craftsmanship but obvious heavy use. The pickaxe is lodged in a nearby wall, marred by several other gouges (made by the pickaxe).
  13. A small leather pouch full of various items, most of which are shiny to some degree. Most are bits of odd rock or metal, but mixed in among them are 3 sp, 7 cp and a small pearl worth 50 gp.
  14. A large sack full of various sets of clothing, including common peasant clothing, a military uniform from the region, a jester’s outfit and fine clothing fit for a minor noble.
  15. A holy symbol of a good-aligned deity still hangs around the fallen adventurer’s neck. The unfortunate yet clutches the symbol with one hand. While not magical, it is of fine enough make to be worth 5 gp.
  16. A wooden scroll case full of maps of various dungeons. Notes added to the maps suggest the fallen adventurer was visiting the dungeons in some sort of order. Several maps are unmarked; presumably ones yet to have been visited, but the map for the current dungeon is missing.
  17. A small mirror on the end of a rod, the kind used to peer around corners. It appears the fallen adventurer was using it for this purpose when he was attacked from behind. It lies near her out-stretched hand.
  18. A letter from a local ruler, which appears to detail the job the fallen adventurer was pursuing when he died. It includes a detailed description of a jewelled dagger believed lost in the dungeon, along with details of the 100 gp reward the adventurer would have received for its recovery. The letter concludes with directions to a representative of the ruler in a nearby town who will provide the reward upon receipt of the dagger.
  19. A trapmaker’s kit, including caltrops and the materials needed to make a series of tripwires, snares and jaw-traps.
  20. A pack containing everything needed to care for weaponry, including whetstones, oil and assorted tools. They seem virtually new; a shattered sword lies near the fallen adventurer’s body.

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20Front_#2_220This article appears in  20 Things #2: Looting the Body, which is available now. It will also appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.

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Seamus Conneely has been delving in dungeons and running for his life from kobolds for more than two decades. He’s also spent most of that time designing dungeons for others to delve in, and has set more than one kobold warband on an unsuspecting party. He’s quite proud to take some of that experience and put it to good use for other adventurers and GMs with Raging Swan Press. Seamus has also written for Beer Star Games, and is currently a contributor for the Mad Adventurers Society (madadventurers.com), looking to put an adventure on every table! You can find Seamus at the Society or on Twitter @RGM79Ace.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “20 Things to Loot from a Dead Warrior

  1. These are quite nice. I’m especially fond of numbers 6 and 20. The old Joker gambit never gets old, and flavorful treasures are always a plus.

    I might add…
    #21: Ten bronze lockets, worth 10 gp as a set, each containing the picture of a different beauty and a small lock of hair. Each smells of a different perfume.

    #22: A worn, leather bound pocketbook filled with children’s stories based on the adventurer’s travels. The last entry is incomplete and tells the tale of a mischevious faerie dragon near where the body rests.