64 Things to do With an Adventurers Kit

The Adventurer’s Kit is something we all know and love.  Every character pretty much has the same stuff, at all times; “a back pack, a bedroll, flint and steel, a belt pouch, two sunrods, ten days worth of trail rations, 50 ft of hempen rope, and a waterskin” (PHB 221).  These items are a goldmine of roleplaying opportunities, just waiting to be exploited.  Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Back Pack:

  • Obviously you can use a back pack to store things, but beyond the mundane, consider the following uses;
    • Pet Carrier; the ranger doesn’t have to be the only one with a pet.
    • Keep your clothes dry or clean when crossing wet or disgusting terrain.
    • Keep a change of clothes handy.  You don’t want to look all Dragon Age 2 before trying to be diplomatic.
    • Store trophies from each kill.
    • Collect oddities.

Bedroll:

  • Well, besides sleeping in it, you could try some of the following uses:
    • Wrap up precious/fragile cargo.
    • Conceal a small item from inspection.
    • Pad the seat of a bumpy ride.
    • Sacrifice it to be a true gentlemen across a large puddle.
    • Craft a stretcher.
    • Hide a body.

Flint & Steel

  • I’d say it’s a standard action (DC 20) to start a fire with this stuff, a minor to draw it from your bag, then another minor to sheath your weapon, you’d need both hands.  Basically, a full round action to set a fire is pretty fun, but what else?
    • In the stone age, flint was used to make all sorts of tools and weapons with a process call “knapping.”
    • Flint exposed to extreme heat is prone to fragmentation.  This could create a diversion, or maybe even a burst attack that takes 1d4+1 rounds to take effect.

Belt Pouch:

  • Meant to hold your most readily available objects, but what else?
    • Separate “questionables.”
    • Filled with rocks or ammunition it becomes an improvised weapon.
    • Filled with glass or shrapnel, it becomes a 1 square bomb of difficult terrain.  If your DM is creative enough, you could try for “shifting causes slowed (save ends).”
    • Reduce the radius of a sunrod.
    • Filled with down, it becomes a pillow.

Sunrod:

  • I’ve covered the sunrod before, but I didn’t really delve into it’s uses… other than as an absurdly powerful light source of course.
    • In the old days we used to put a glowing coin inside a scroll case to create a flashlight; a blast instead of burst effect.
    • Try using thievery to stick the sunrod to an adjacent enemy that likes to hide a lot.
    • “Humanely torture” with sleep deprivation tactics (if you have time for that sort of thing.
    • Estimate the depth of a cavern or well by dropping the sunrod and rolling dungeoneering.

Trail Rations:

  • Ten days worth of trail rations is most likely a hearty portion of dried beef and unleavened bread, but get creative depending on your background, maybe your character travels with dates and lizard crisps.  Whatever you travel with, try…
    • Leave a trail of food to bait an enemy into a trap or ambush site.
    • Throw pieces at a street tough to start a fight.
    • Hand out treats to poor street urchins begging for a dime.
    • Hide a mound somewhere to attract vermin.
    • Insult somebody by not eating their served food, but rather, your own.

Rope:

  • What can’t you do with a rope?  This is probably the most used item in the adventurer’s kit.  It’s just so versatile.  I’d like to personally thank Dragon Magazine #135 (1988) as the idea behind this post, 20 things to do with a rope:
    • Climb
    • Rappel
    • Lasso
    • Tie-up your mount to a tree.
    • Tie up your captive to a tree.
    • Lower your sunrod to see below.
    • Lower a minion to see if anything attacks.
    • Create a trip line.
    • Lash together stretchers.
    • Create hand bridges.
    • Winch doors and boulders.
    • Winch support beams to collapse buildings.
    • Safety harness.
    • Clothesline.
    • Traps (hold up a falling rock, blade, tiger, etc.).
    • Drag things.
    • Brachiation.
    • Hanging enemies for extreme insult.
    • Subdue and tie-up enemies upside down from light posts (thanks Spidey).
    • Subtly yank a table out from under some drinking patrons, to start a fight.

Waterskin:

  • Every adventurer needs water… but water can be foraged.  What you really need to fill your waterskin with is alcohol, much more useful.  Whatever your preference, you might try:
    • Cleaning wounds.
    • Gardening, who’s to say you can’t carry around a tiny bonsai?
    • Ranged 3, one creature, Dex + 4 vs Reflex.  Hit: The target is covered in blank (alcohol could lead to burning, water might hurt fire creatures).
    • Empty = whoopee cushion.
    • Store a liquid found at a magical pool or fountain.
    • Squirt stuff on beggars hoping for a handout.
    • Squirt stuff on street toughs to start a fight.
    • Douse a fire.
    • Clean up a mess.
    • Restrain a stunned water elemental (save ends).
    • Inflate for a game of (sport).

I’m sure we could get this list up to 100.  Help me out, would ya?  I gotta go.

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About j0nny_5

Mid-thirties and work a full-time job in beautiful northern Colorado. In my free time I play D&D, video games, and walk my two beautiful Bouvier des Flandres.
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3 Responses to 64 Things to do With an Adventurers Kit

  1. Matt says:

    Here is two hours of anime-watching free association. This list is basically unsorted, and varies from essential to eccentric vis-a-vis usefulness. Some non-adventurer’s kit items are mentioned, but all items are mundane and easily obtained.

    2 backpacks, and (some belts?) are probably enough material to craft poor-quality leather armor in a situation where +2ac is more valuable than carrying capacity

    Unlike a belt pouch, large enough to be used as a prisoner hood

    Tie a sunrod to an arrow to make a signal flare

    Trail rations may also distract non-enraged predators

    Guard dogs have been known to ignore intruders for the 2-3 rounds it takes to finish off a steak (thanks mythbusters) [May require real steak instead of trail rations, ask your local dogologist]

    Not included standard, but a candle and rope make for a classic time-delay distraction/deadfall.

    Beeswax (from nicer candles) can be melted by body heat enough to fashion into earplugs

    Melt candle wax to make a cheap intruder alarm, just a smudge at the bottom or top corner of a door tells you if it’s been opened

    Grease anything from floors to foes with lantern oil

    Oiling the hinges of a door perhaps aids a stealth or thievery check to open it without alerting the inhabitants (yes, it wont keep it lubricated like proper oil, but it’ll shut that door up for a day or two, certainly for longer than you need)

    Pitons from a climbers kit can likely be transformed into low-quality caltrops

    A tent is definitely enough canvas to make a sail for a small raft

    If your rations include flour for bannock/griddlecakes instead of pre-made hard-tack, combine it with unused book pages to paper mache anything.

    Have access to alchemists acid? It takes time, but its quiet, and may bypass the hardness of doors, chests, and locks.

    Use thieves tools or cheap copper keys passive-agressively. Break them off in locks so enemies –have- to break down doors

    Not an alchemist? Use a burning feather in place of smelling salts. I mean ‘clarity salts.’

    Journal pages ripped out? Use tracking dust, graphite (if you have access) or soot to read the impressions on lower pages (thanks, bad cop-dramas)

    Cut up backpacks or a large supply of belt pouches, can muffle mounts’ hooves.

    Carefully milled glass can be used like a poison in thick foodstuffs (porridge), or a blinding agent thrown out of a pouch.

    Discourage tracking dogs (and worse) by spilling hunter’s kit scents in a crowded area for thousands of crisscrossing scent trails.

    Slingshot is commonly made from lead, which can be melted for a crude solder at fairly low temperatures.

    In a limited or diplomatic game or situation, keep in mind how many stealthy weapons can be improvised. If you own a flute, a pen (feather), and a sewing needle, you’re one poison away from a successful assassination by blow-dart.

    A bedroll is probably large enough to camouflage (with dungeoneering and or thievery) a cave entrance or pitfall trap.

    Though wasteful, tallow candles can be cut in half, hollowed to hide a valuable item, and re-dipped to create a nearly-impenetrable smuggling container. (keep in mind long-term candles for lighting rooms in this type of world may be up to a foot in diameter, just image search big candles for an idea. As to why travelers would need them…)

    Soak rope in holy water, and let the water evaporate, just leaving the holy! Use for candle wicks and let your undead enemies poison themselves. (warning : your GM may not think this is funny, in which case you will be punished)

    Use foodstuffs or recently slain foes to foul a well. Why you need to perform such an unscrupulous act is probably best left unexamined, but it will seriously inconvenience and or kill dozens to hundreds of people.

    I cant believe this hasn’t been mentioned, but 50 ft of rope will make a medium sized net (probably about 3-4 ft square, ask your local roper). Then use this for fishing, trawling, traps, and other net-related pursuits.

    Need to ignite something far away in a pre-gunpowder world? Alchohol soaked rope functions as a nearly instantaneous fuse.

    Which reminds me, attach weights or grapnels to said net for a bola like weapon, soak it in alchohol and light it on fire for 5? fire damage save ends.

    An iron needle heated red hot, and allowed to cool facing north-south will become a compass. Use dungeoneering outdoors to establish this, then carry the needle into your spooky dungeon.

    • j0nny_5 says:

      Nice list! Though not all items are in a standard Adventurer’s Kit, they are all mundane enough (except maybe acid) to carry around at level 1. Good work! Give yourself 5k xp!

  2. What a great post! I passed the link along to all my players. Thanks for writing this.

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