An epic vorpal sword, +3 armor and a helmet that lets you read your opponents mind so you always have advantage. Late in a campaign the players are the ultimate power, equal to gods. But that’s not where most adventures start. Most of the time PC’s start at a low level with only the clothes on their back, a simple weapon and a few gold coins jingling in their pocket. With that they can hardly overpower anything in the world, but it does not mean they are powerless. All it means is that they have to use their wits and make use of any advantage they can get. All it takes is a trip to the nearest merchant shop and ask them about their stock of adventuring gear and tools. These are in my opinion the most underused items in Dungeons & Dragons.
Ball bearings (bag of 1,000) – 1gp – 2lb
“Following the hoodlum into a small alleyway, the guards knew it was a matter of time before they caught him. A couple steps further though most of them were on the floor while the rest lost his track.”
If you need to make a quick getaway or if you want to lay a trap, all you have to do is spend an action to drop 1 gold piece worth of ball bearings. These tiny metal balls cover 10 square feet an everyone moving over that area needs move at half speed or might fail a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw and fall prone.
Hunting trap – 5gp – 25lb
“The rest of the hunting party woke up to a horrific howl. The hunting trap had caught something much larger than expected. Although the Manticore could have taken them all, the fact that it took him some time to get out of the trap gave the hunters enough time to pepper him with arrows and spears to eventually take him down with minimal casualties.”
Use your action to set up this nasty looking trap and make the creature moving across it roll a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d4 piercing damage stopping them in their tracks. It takes an action to try to release yourself with an DC 13 strength check but on a fail you take another point of piercing damage and you remain rooted in place.
Oil (flask) – 1sp – 1lb
“The party was crossing the small underground lake to reach the treasury room of the Kobold lair until they were spotted. The Kobold pulled the lever and gallons of oil were floating on the water, ready to be set ablaze and burn the little boat in a sea of flames.”
This seemingly harmless flask of lamp oil can be poured or thrown on a creature. If the creature takes fire damage within a minute the oil ignites and they take 5 additional damage. Poured on the ground and lit the oil creates a 5-foot area of fire dealing 5 fire damage to anyone that moves through it. The damage isn’t much but that is only with one bottle. You can end up making it really interesting with the right opportunities and the willingness to create some pyrotechnics.
Rope, hempen (50 feet) – 1gp – 10lb
“Using Polymorph and taking one end of the rope the Druid was able to wall-climb across the huge gap and tie it on the other end for the rest of the party.”
What can’t you do with 50 feet of rope? You can climb, tie up, connect and set traps with only 1 gold piece worth of hemp. It can only be burst with a DC 17 Strength check or when cut for 2 hit points.
Signet ring – 5gp
“”Move aside! Don’t you know who I am?!” Yelled the bard while waving his ring in the guard’s face. With a reddening face the guard stammered a apology and stepped out of the way.”
This item has no special functions, but makes for a great roleplaying prop. It can be part of your disguise, your signature with which you will become known and have a family history connected to it.
Looking for more equipment to get the most out of? Check out these other 5 normal items and enjoy!
Fan fiction D&D one-shots
Are you ready to play some D&D, and do you want to further explore fantasy worlds like that of Harry Potter, Pokémon, Hunger Games or Avatar? Try out these free one-shots!