Scotty Makes Games: SWSTS - Trinkets

Ooooh fancy acronym! I decided on a title for the campaign but it is a spoiler of sorts so I've made it an acronym, given that this is a public platform. It should, however, make identifying posts specific to my developments of this campaign easier to track.

Anywho, this week's post is about trinkets. I love the 5th Edition trinkets table and what it adds to gameplay. Trinkets are conversation starters between a player and their character. They are great contributors to character backstory with as much significance as the player wants to give them. Another thing I love is the variety of homebrew trinket tables the community is coming up with. You guys are awesome! Specifically for SWSTS, I've made my own trinket table.

My thinking when making these items was primarily on the themes of the campaign, with the odd quirk and useful one to mix things up. There is an overarching morbidity that hangs over everything here, similar to the way the Curse of Strahd trinket table is essentially 100 items you could start a ghost story with. I wanted these trinkets to be 100 items you could spin a grizzly backstory on. So without further ado, here is the trinket table for SWSTS:

1. The knucklebone of a young bronze dragon that makes anyone who holds it feel lonely.

2. A soft white feather that gives the owner a powerful (but not undeniable) urge to climb to high places.

3. An ace of spades from a deck of cards that was used to decide the fate of a living creature.

4. The tiny malformed foetus of an unrecognisable creature in preservative liquid.

5. A leather glove that binds to the flesh of anyone who puts it on (the owner discovered this the hard way).

6. A clear gemstone that reflects a face the owner doesn’t recognise in its facets.

7. A tiny marble figurine holding their face in their hands that looks remarkably like the first party member the owner meets.

8. A bottle of yellow pills that has had its label forcefully removed.

9. A handkerchief bearing the crest of a family whose bloodline ended a century ago.

10. Cologne that incites immense lust in those who smell it.

11. A bracelet of teeth from a variety of humanoids.

12. An undying, ethereal flower that only exists on the Material plane when in the owner’s possession. The owner can still see it when it’s on the Ethereal plane.

13. A shred of paper with a word written on it in blood in an exotic language.

14. A crossbow bolt that shrieks loudly when fired.

15. A black stone found in the gullet of a basilisk.

16. The last page of an elven funeral prayer book.

17. A glass teardrop earing that purifies salt water it is placed in.

18. A block of incense that smells of apple and cinnamon otherwise, but smells of burning hair when burned.

19. A silver coin that has the owner’s face on it instead of the Queen, found in the change given by a travelling merchant.

20. A book of murder mysteries that has a different ending depending on who reads it.

21. A pocket sized painted portrait of a woman painting on a pocket-sized canvas.

22. A long hooked fingernail covered in dried blood at its wide end.

23. A glass arrowhead.

24. A sealed urn that moans forlornly when shaken.

25. A pressed daffodil inside a scripture book given to the owner by a street preacher.

26. A simple silver chain necklace whose clasp disappeared after the owner put it on.

27. The insignia of an officer from a foreign army.

28. A puzzle piece that depicts a bright yellow, bloodshot, slit-pupiled eye.

29. A blank letter addressed to the owner bearing the seal of an unknown noble.

30. A woollen poppet that makes the owner weep if it is cradled by another.

31. A leaf that never rots as long as it is carried by its owner.

32. A tiny pouch of blue sand that can absorb an entire gallon of water without getting any heavier.

33. A shard of sharp metal that gives anyone who sleeps with it in their hands vivid nightmares of murders committed in a distant city.

34. An invitation to dinner party from a long dead lover.

35. A tattered scroll with a sketch depicting an alien-faced woman swallowing the stars.

36. A buckled leather strap that prevents the wearer from moving more than five feet away from the nearest wall when worn around the wrist.

37. A matchbox that contains the ribs of small animals instead of matches.

38. The petrified eye of a humanoid creature that always looks skyward when rolled.

39. A district map from the Plague City of Kaladoss.

40. An unspecified I.O.U. on a shred of parchment from someone referring to themselves as “Blacktooth” whom the owner has no recollection of meeting.

41. A music box that plays some kind of speech backwards no matter what way you turn the lever.

42. A broken compass that points in a specific direction that isn’t North.

43. A platinum key forms a telepathic link between the owner and anyone who swallows it.

44. The severed ear of a creature from the same race as the owner.

45. The engagement ring of the owner’s first cousin’s fiancé.

46. A vial that supposedly holds the last breath of a once immortal being.

47. The clapper of a small bell that rings when shaken.

48. A hand mirror that reflects darkness as light and light as darkness in the eyes of the holder.

49. A headscarf that has a two torn holes in it roughly where the wearer’s temples would be.

50. An etched tile from an exotic game the owner has never played, seen or heard of yet somehow knows it has a value of “nine.”

51. A set of coin scales that always tip to the right regardless of what weight is put on them.

52. A manuscript from an unpublished play that retells memories of another party member’s childhood, albeit with different place and character names.

53. A wooden carving of an owl that turns invisible whenever anyone but the owner looks at it.

54. A small glass sphere that holds imagery from whatever the owner dreamt of the night before.

55. A holy symbol made of solid magnesium devoted to an unknown entity.

56. A tatty rag that leaves things remarkably clean when used on them.

57. The shard of a meteorite that is unaffected by gravity.

58. A vial of murky grey liquid labelled “Essence of Werewolf.”

59. A vase that spoils any food put within it.

60. A stone that looks like a perfectly symmetrical crescent moon. It feels unnaturally cold during the night.

61. The severed clenched foot of a large bird that will not open.

62. A pillow that makes it impossible to wake the sleeper who uses it before they have finished a proper long rest.

63. A diminutive box that makes anything put within it disappear.

64. A black lily that blooms when held up to the night sky.

65. A page torn from a human anatomy book that has tiny cuts across every major artery.

66. A blunt, rusty longsword with the words “Kingslayer” inscribed up the bottom of the blade in dwarven.

67. A velvet bag that contains the tongue of a human child (or Halfling, it’s hard to tell).

68. A dried reed from the shores of the Silver Lake.

69. An ornate brooch made of an unknown material that dissolves in saliva.

70. The shrunken head of a Halfling that appears to be smiling when viewed from the right angle.

71. A hipflask filled with exotic alcohol that makes drinkers dream of dryads.

72. A sheet of glass with fine engravings on it that depicts an animated scene of people dancing when moonlight is shone through it.

73. A severed tentacle of an unknown creature that is unnaturally cold to touch.

74. A bent fork that makes any food eaten with it taste sour.

75. The shoe of a child that is splattered with a glossy black liquid that is sticky to touch.

76. A five foot length of fine silk rope that never holds a knot for more than two minutes.

77. A clockwork beetle that builds up a static charge as it walks until it releases it in a small burst that flips it on its back.

78. The spine of a rodent that writhes when exposed to direct sunlight.

79. The skull of an infant that has a tiny immovable apple stuck between its teeth.

80. A jar of bile from an unknown beast that tastes suspiciously like cherries.

81. An alien seashell that sounds like distant unintelligible whispering when held up to one’s ear.

82. A white undershirt that has a small bloodstain just below the heart that refuses to be dulled by washing.

83. An hourglass that holds thousands of tiny spiders in it instead of sand.

84. The venom gland of giant insect of some sort that has a single dose of poison in it.

85. A candle that won’t light but drips wax whenever someone nearby is scared.

86. A piece of cloth that steals the voice of anyone whose mouth it is placed in. The voice is held within the cloth until it is washed.

87. A stuffed sparrow that chirps when taken more than thirty feet below ground.

88. The finger of an ally (50% chance the ally is still alive).

89. A pennywhistle that plays a note that only those who are not hostile to the user can hear.

90. A tiny bottle of salty water extracted from the tear ducts of a large amphibious reptile.

91. A glass that when drunk from, compels the drinker to tell the truth for the next hour.

92. A set of teeth that looks uncomfortably real attached to a wind-up gnashing mechanism.

93. A plain white mask that has no eyeholes but two X’s scratched over where they should be.

94. The charred skull of a humanoid that has a strange symbol branded on its forehead.

95. A half inch metal cube willed to the owner by a dead wizard they never met.

96. A bronze scorpion that is never in the same place where you left it.

97. A rusting horseshoe that compels its owner to sleepwalk towards water every full moon.

98. A small vial of liquid that is unnaturally pink in colour and glows faintly when the owner is alone.

99. The collar of a small beast that bears the same name of its owner’s childhood pet.

100. A snowglobe depicting a shivering gnome that makes anyone who shakes it feel five degrees colder.

Some of them are directly inspired by the trinket list in the 5th Edition Player's Handbook. Some are based on other trinket tables I've seen and liked (I believe the salt water tear earing comes from a list I found of 'Three alternative uses for trinkets in 5th Edition' or something - give it a Google and see what comes up). On a whole I think they set the tone pretty well and I can see some of my players incorporating them into gameplay rather well.

I'm about to go off the grid for about a week which is why you kids are getting a post this early in the week. I'm greatly looking forward to what 2017 holds for me and I hope to share a small portion of that with you guys up here at Scotty Talks Games. I hope you all have an excellent new year. Lot's of love - Scotty