One Hundred Useless Items

On April 1, 2005, Posted by , In Campaign Workbook, With No Comments

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In a room filled with magical and wondrous things, a plain and useless item sticks out like a sore thumb. This is a list of items are designed to perplex and trouble players as they seem to, and indeed have, no identifiable purpose. Alternately, you could also use them as the indispensable toys of some powerful creature that will kill anyone who has them in their possession. Here isa list of 100 items with no apparent use whatsoever to help add a splash of the mundane into a search through a wererat hoard, and to make the hero say “a what?” whilst wading through the coin of a giants keep.

You may wish to spice up the odd magic item by having its mundane appearance hide a secret. For example #19, the mummified rat corpse astride a ship in a bottle, could in fact be a Jar of the Bringer of Plagues. Once per day this item can summon a swarm of cranium rats which act under the instruction of the summoner for a period of 10 rounds. The item only functions when the user is aboard a ship at sea.

  1. Large pile of dried assassin vines
  2. Map of the room/chamber the PCs have entered
  3. A large fake beholder made of straw and cloth
  4. Two hundred rusty nails
  5. A pair of broken bellows with a spider living inside
  6. A set of false teeth in a jar labelled “teeth of Olath the terrible”
  7. A bald mop with the word “Karreen” scratched into the handle
  8. A broken bucket plugged up with an old oily scrap of ermine
  9. A 4-pint tankard with a hole in the bottom
  10. Sixteen clay stirge statues
  11. A jar of ointment labelled “pig soother”
  12. A scarf made of owlbear fur that is incredibly itchy
  13. A mirror with the words “I am the most” written on the face in goblin
  14. Two dozen stuffed mice in a clay jar
  15. A flag of no discernable country
  16. Seven chess boards all broken in half with dried blood on them
  17. A large pile of worn flagstones labelled “trap this way up”
  18. A broken stone lintel from a window or stove
  19. A mummified rat corpse astride a ship ina bottle
  20. A very poor painting of a sheep
  21. A pair of billhooks bent into the shape ofa heart
  22. Two large dried catfish with mousetraps in their mouths
  23. A pair of papier-maché greataxes
  24. A huge stuffed hippogriff with a treasure chest instead of a head
  25. A stained glass window depicting a prancing spider eater
  26. A mop bucket filled with giant frogspawn
  27. A necklace of troll teeth
  28. Ninety seven dead large centipedes on a hat pin
  29. A glass helm
  30. A statue of a gargoyle with eleven heads
  31. A small collection of mildewed tomes about cheese
  32. Six badger leg bones in a leather bag
  33. A cat saddle
  34. Three melted iron bottle stoppers labelled “efreeti! – do not remove”
  35. A pair of theatrical shields made of cotton
  36. An enormous cheese-grater for a huge or larger creature
  37. A huge iron collar
  38. A collection of various-sized manticore spikes
  39. A headless hammer
  40. A wooden carving of the tarrasque
  41. An executioner’s hood with the eyeholes sewn up
  42. Four hundred and eight spent sunrods
  43. A wand of magic missile with no charges
  44. Two naga skeletons on wooden frames
  45. A clock face set to 4:00
  46. A collection of clothes pegs of huge size
  47. An hourglass without sand
  48. A halfling clay pipe with two stems
  49. A set of breaches for a storm giant
  50. Thirteen black cat silhouettes made of iron
  51. The stretched skin of an otyugh
  52. A ship’s anchor that has been broken in two
  53. A large glass eye with a slit instead of a round pupil
  54. An octopus tentacle painted yellow
  55. A long bench labelled with obscene graffiti in Aquan
  56. A 10-foot-long wooden shortsword
  57. A wardrobe filled to the brim with hats of various descriptions
  58. Two drawers of carefully wrapped deceased stiffened Large snakes
  59. A pillow stuffed with cockatrice feathers and labelled as such
  60. A broken window shutter with the word “Keep” written upon it
  61. A scarecrow head likeness of one of the heroes who found it
  62. A pantomime horse costume
  63. A pantomime nightmare costume
  64. Six corn dolls with rat skull heads
  65. Five large knitted moons with cows jumping over, labeled “moooon”
  66. A set of full plate for a ferret
  67. A book with eleven recipes for chuul written in infernal
  68. A cowbell for a titanic cow
  69. Three brass figurines of imps blowing raspberries at each other
  70. A mask designed to look like a beholder with glass eyes on stalks
  71. A 12-pound green candle
  72. A carved wooden loaf of bread 6 feet wide
  73. A pair of iron spoons, one marked “good” and one marked “bad”
  74. A doormat with “not welcome” written on it in Goblin
  75. A large jar of liquefied grick going slightly mouldy
  76. Three painted blue harps without strings
  77. A torn tapestry depicting a battle between badgers and mummies
  78. A Tiny ale tankard incorrectly stating that it holds a quart
  79. A selection of rusty bent saws
  80. A battered carpet with “speak and | shall fly” written upon it
  81. Thirty-seven stones carved to look like crows
  82. ‘Two hat-stands of enormous size
  83. A black cloth bag filled with odd shoes and gloves
  84. A flat cap made of dire rat skins
  85. An often repaired raft for a single Small creature with “da” painted on it
  86. A small iron castle with a pair of iron dragons circling it
  87. A charred piece of wood labelled “Last of Snurre’s Steading”
  88. A small chest filled with lead dises
  89. An empty jar labelled “do not open, contains wail of the banshee”
  90. An owl teddy bear of great size, possibly for a giant child
  91. A roc-call whistle without a pea but labelled as such
  92. A pair of fishing flies made from griffon feathers
  93. A 20-foot iron ladder which deliberately has only three rungs
  94. A stirge mobile made of wax
  95. A set of iron shoes with steel laces
  96. A jar with eleven eyes in it labelled “Uncle Orb RIP”
  97. A wooden earring carved in the likeness of an anvil and axes
  98. A battered steel horn labelled “call of the xorn”
  99. A weather vane depicting a beholder chasing gnomes
  100. A miniature iron golem carved to look

BY RICHARD PETT
BY JEFF CARLISLE