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🎲 Random Things - Alternate 5E Trinkets

This post was originally published on the previous iteration of the Red Dice Diaries blog* on 19th March 2016; prompted by a request from Ria on Twitter, I dug it out of the database copy I have from the old blog and present the original text below:*

These random things articles are designed as quick idea generators for time-pressed GMs who want to inject some additional details into their game, in this article we look at trinkets. Trinkets were one of my favourite things about character generation in D&D 5th Edition, each character starts with at least one, a small item or curiosity that has some odd property or something strange about it, it's not a powerful magic item, just something interesting that could spur conversation and plot.

The trinkets below can be substituted for the table in the 5E PHB by rolling a D100:


  1. A small round coin with a hole in it made of a strange black metal.
  2. A tiny doll depicting a blonde, blue eyes child, when placed down it's eyes appear to follow people.
  3. A piece of cloth that absorbs any material staining it, becoming fully clean over the course of an hour.
  4. A facsimilé of a human skull made from interwoven oak twigs.
  5. A small charm made out of seashells strung onto a piece of leather thonging.
  6. A whistle made from the shell of a large mollusc.
  7. A piece of stone that changes colour based on the mood of it's owner.
  8. The preserved skull of a corvid.
  9. A hessian sack full of bird feathers in the most fantastic colours imaginable.
  10. Metal rank insignia from an ancient kingdom or war.
  11. A silver thimble engraved with the image of a rose.
  12. A reel of thread that never frays.
  13. A metal tankard with the sign of a hammer and the initials T. E. engraved on it.
  14. A set of bamboo windchimes.
  15. Three primitive, flint arrowheads.
  16. An ivory comb that when used changes a person's hair colour.
  17. A wax seal stamp with the design of a crown on it.
  18. A stick of bright green sealing wax that smells like rosemary.
  19. A bundle of fragrant smelling herbs that, when burnt, release a relaxing aroma.
  20. A rough map that shows the local area but occasionally changes to show an unfamiliar continent.
  21. A strange idol of blackened glass that sometimes glows with an inner blue light.
  22. A flint and tinder that causes any fires light with it to be purple in colour.
  23. A list of people's names, it gets to four people and then the fifth is smudged and crossed through.
  24. A set of tarot cards depicting each figure on the cards as a skeleton.
  25. A wizened, shrunken head.
  26. A small tin containing fish eggs.
  27. A small violin that is missing all but one of it's strings, remarkably when played it sounds as though the other strings are present.
  28. A wolf-skin fur cloak that sometimes causes the wearer to growl under his breath.
  29. An amulet depicting the Orc god Gruumsh, anyone who wears it finds themselves compelled to keep one of their eyes closed.
  30. A parchment showing the constellations in the night sky.
  31. A crystal ball, when looked into the person sees themselves reflected but looking 10 years younger.
  32. A horseshoe that never becomes worn or needs replacing.
  33. A tankard that is capable of changing a drink poured into another drink of similar potency (ale into stout for instance).
  34. A goin coin that always comes up heads when flipped.
  35. A set of bone dice that emit an eerie cackling when rolled.
  36. A club made out of a twisted ogres thigh bone.
  37. A small, wooden toy horse.
  38. A crystal that refracts the light strangely and has an odd dark deposit at it's centre.
  39. A religious icon that once belonged to an ancestor.
  40. A small empty book wrapped in a red velvet covering, embroidered with a the sign of an open hand.
  41. A clothes brush that can clean a set of clothes just by touching it.
  42. A twisting brass horn that produces a haunting melody when blow.
  43. A map of a fictional city, anyone who sleeps near the map dreams of exploring a fantastic city.
  44. A single rose, the colour of blood that never seems to wither or require water.
  45. A metal chisel that never goes blunt.
  46. A set of childs wooden building blocks, when left on their own unobserved they occasional spell out words.
  47. Three triangular platiunum coins bearing the marks of an unknown kingdom.
  48. A pearl necklace, when there is an eclipse the pearls change from white to a black colour.
  49. A small handkerchief that is capable of absorbing and holding four pints of fluid, it can be wrung out at any time to release the fluid.
  50. A tin of purple powder, when the powder comes into contact with blood it glows for ten minutes.
  51. A fake moustache, when worn it adheres to the wearer and has to be shaved off.
  52. A set of comfortable house sleepers that keep the wearers feet at an ideal temperature.
  53. A set of toy metal soldiers, each immaculately modelled to depict the livery of some forgotten nation.
  54. The fire-blackened claw of some great beast.
  55. A small stuffed vole.
  56. The playbook from a performance where many of the audience died in a suspicious fire.
  57. The script for a never-published play about an author going mad, the writing gets noticably less neat and more frantic, eventually stopped before the final page.
  58. A roll of old, bandage that has been inked with strange pictograms.
  59. A small glass jar containing a vibrant blue dye that stains the skin for many days.
  60. A tin whistle on a chain, there is a single goose feather attached to the chain.
  61. A small pillow stuffed with soft feathers.
  62. A bedroll that seems to change it's colouration slightly to match the environment.
  63. A leather pouch containing irregular iron nails, some of them bent out of shape as though used.
  64. The pickled tentacle of an illithid.
  65. A glass jar that appears to contain boiled cabbage, vinegar and several spices.
  66. A tapestry depicting a mythological scene.
  67. A set of spectacles that give everything an amber hue when worn.
  68. A red woolen cap that appears to be stained with blood.
  69. A set of leather riding gloves with the initials J. M. branded onto them.
  70. A bone knife and fork.
  71. An ivory plague mask, the beak stuffed with fragrant poseys.
  72. An oddly shaped, small stuffed toy depicting a goblin, sometimes it seems to wink at the owner.
  73. A quill with a small ink reserve carved into it.
  74. A small glass orb containing sea water, it grows murky when their will be a storm at sea.
  75. A lantern that glows black, making previously lit places dark.
  76. An artificial nose made of copper that has a leather thong attached to it.
  77. A wide cap made from the preserved remains of a Flumph.
  78. A woolen scarf that is knitted with the words of an ancient elven prayer.
  79. A lock of white drow hair.
  80. A pamphlet for Irytor's World of the Spectacular, the phrase 'closing down' has been scrawled on it in faded ink.
  81. A sloughed off piece of snakeskin that has words written on it in a strange language.
  82. An apparently empty green glass bottle that is sealed with red wax.
  83. A locket containing a picture of young halfling couple.
  84. The stuffed and preserved head of a gnoll.
  85. A small pot containing yellow ink, when used it is barely readable but becomes progressively darker as time passes until eventually it is black.
  86. A series of fortune-tellers ivory tiles with letters from the common alphabet inked onto them.
  87. A preserved eyeball with a label attached saying 'Eye of Lich.'
  88. A small set of pruning shears.
  89. A glass jar containing a harmless clear gel, the jar is labelled in dwarvish as 'Gelatinous Cube - Deceased.'
  90. A piece of black stained parchment that pertains to be a map of the Underdark.
  91. A brooch made of elven silver that seems to flow to fit the contours of the wearer.
  92. A small leather pouch of pebbles that rattles audibly whenever there is an avalanche or significant other geological movement about to occur in the area.
  93. A halfling sized set of breeches.
  94. A wooden dresser with a secret compartment.
  95. A metal branding iron showing the design of a dragon's wing.
  96. A blunt carving knife with the word 'toothpick' in the language of giants carved into the handle.
  97. A sack of Owlbear feathers.
  98. A walking cane topped with a metal sculpture of a hydra.
  99. A belt made from the preserved tentacle of a Displacer Beast.
  100. An ash divining rod that twitches when water is close.

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