20 Things to Loot From a Smuggler’s Body

Smugglers pick up many things on their day-to-day travels. Perhaps they’ve purloin a little bit of merchandise from a shipment or engaged in other nefarious activity.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


No matter how they came into his possession, a smuggler is bound to have some small knickknack about his person when encountered by the PCs. Use the table below, to determine what the PCs find:

  1. This small, dented steel hip flask is full of cheap brandy. A terribly engraved crest of a sailing ship decorates one side.
  2. This pouch contains a black scarf large enough to be wrapped around the lower part of its owner’s head. It smells of salt and sweat.
  3. These fine, much-worn, but well maintained, thigh-high leather boots conceal a thin dagger in a specially made sheath sown into the left boot.
  4. This voluminous scarlet cloak has a similarly all-concealing hood. Several hidden pouches sown into the cloak’s lining are large enough to contain a full coin pouch or several pieces of jewellery and the like.
  5. A small bag holds several clumps of dried seaweed cut into small strips. The pouch smells strongly of salt and the sea.
  6. This smuggler wears a golden earring crafted to resemble a leaping dolphin, in his left ear. The earring is tarnished and worn and the tiny gems that once filled its eye sockets have long since fallen out and been lost.
  7. Clad in faded and ripped clothes, this smuggler had clearly fallen on hard times. Observant PCs searching the body discover a worn gold ring on one of the man’s toes. The ring is worth 10 gp.
  8. A necklace of long, sharp teeth—perhaps from a small shark or other marine predator—hangs around this smuggler’s neck. The teeth, hanging from a thin leather thong—clack to together in an annoying way when the wearer moves (which reduces the chance he has of moving silently).
  9. This wide leather belt has a secret compartment big enough to hold five coins. Only observant PCs examining the belt are likely to find the (empty) compartment.
  10. This smuggler owned an old map of the surrounding coastline. The map is old, faded and torn in two. It is, however, carefully rolled up around a short length of smooth, polished wood and stored in a small leather belt pouch.
  11. A pouch at this smuggler’s waist holds a lump of driftwood, partly whittled into the shape of a great whale.
  12. A small pouch holds strips of dried fish wrapped in thin cloth. The fish is chewy and tastes of salt and smoke.
  13. This smuggler wore a jaunty, wide-brimmed hat decorated with a thin crimson sash.
  14. A stone figurine of the capricious sea god is draped with seaweed and jammed into a pouch barely big enough to take the statuette.
  15. This ragged yellow velvet cloak is ripped at the hem and bears several obvious, but unidentifiable, stains. In its current state, the cloak looks worthless. However, if cleaned and cannibalised to make a short cape, the garment could be sold for 2 gp.
  16. Carvings of crashing waves decorate this small wooden box holding several small keepsakes: a lock of blond hair, a small painting of a plain-looking woman with similar coloured hair and several wisps of silken fabric.
  17. A small flask of linseed wood, a grimy cloth and several small knives all stored in the smuggler’s backpack identifies him as a woodcarver.
  18. A strip of woollen blanket is wrapped round the battered remains of a spyglass, which is missing most of its lense; only glass shards remain.
  19. A thick pair of sealskin gloves is wrapped round this smuggler’s broad leather belt. The gloves are in excellent condition.
  20. This smuggler wore a clever crafted pouch wrapped around his left ankle. Lying almost flush to the skin, only a careful search reveals its presence. Inside, the smuggler hid four small black stones (onyx, each worth 20 gp).

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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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5 thoughts on “20 Things to Loot From a Smuggler’s Body

  1. A typo – Item 18. Reads “lease”; I believe that you wanted to write “lense”.
    Love your 20 Things lists and everything else on Raging Swan.
    Keep up the great work, Creighton!