Thursday, January 5, 2017

So You Like Looking in Sacks?

Against the Giants cover by Bill Willingham

Last night I was reading the article What's in the Bag from the latest edition of Dragon+ and it occurred to me that the Giant's Bag is just filled with random, useless shit. It got me to wondering if this was something that began back in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons days or if it was a relatively new phenomenon so I took a look at module G-1-2-3, Against the Giants. Here's the entry:

. . . Giant's Bag Contents: There will be numerous occasions when bags and chests will be searched by the party. The contents of these containers may be determined randomly by using the table hereafter. The number of  items in the bag or other container is simply determined by rolling five four-sided dice (5d4) to obtain a random number of items between 5 and 20 . . .
                  Giant's Bag Contents Table:
Die Roll      ______ Item In Bag or Other Container ______
01 - 03       old axe blade for use as hand chopper
04 - 17       boulders, small (1-4)
18 - 19       bowl and spoon, tin or pewter, battered
20 - 21       brass item, various and sundry, bent
22 - 23       caltrops, iron, large (1-6)
24 - 25       cheese, hard, slightly moldy and stinky
26 - 30       cloak, shabby, wool or hide
31 -32        comb and hairpins, bone
33 - 40       cooking pot, iron
41 - 43       horn, drinking
44 - 47       knife, skinning
48 - 53       linens, various, soiled, patched
54 - 60       meat, haunch of
61 - 64       money, copper (100 - 400 pieces)
65 - 67       money, silver (20 - 80 pieces)
68 - 69       money, gold (10 - 40 pieces)
70 - 76       pelt, fur, worthless and mangy
77 - 83       rope, 10' - 120 ' coil, very strong
84 - 85       salt, small bag or box of
86 - 90       sandals, old
91 - 98       skin, water or wine, full
99 - 00       teeth or tusks, animal, no ivory value (1 -8)
It is suggested that no item be duplicated; roll again if a duplicate item is indicated by any given roll . . . (pg 2 - 3, Gygax)

So it seems that giant sacks have always been filled with crap but rarely have they been filled with anything that could remotely be considered interesting. This seems like something that +Chris Tamm could easily remedy with one of his d100 charts that he's always putting out on Elfmaids & Octopi.  Actually, now that I think about it you could make a pretty epic list just by going through his d100 lists and taking an item from each one until you've made up a giant's sack filled with such bizarre fair that it'll have your players talking about where that giant had been and what it had done for days afterwards. 

You know what? 

I kind of want to make a giant's sack table filled with useless shit now.

Update 1 - 8 -17

+Chris Tamm came by and left a link to his d100 Giant's Sack Table! Check it out:

Works Cited 
Gygax, Gary. Against the Giants. TSR Games, 1981. pgs 2 - 3. Print. 



    more if you look in emo dnd rules page under treasure

  2. The giant bag contents was one of my favorite things about the Giants series when I first played through them when I was fourteen. I don't know what it was about the useless items that was so appealing. Maybe, it was the time spent trying to figure out alternate uses for junk items in Gamma World. Abulafia ( is handy for random item generation. Some of my favorites are Arcanist's Toolbox, Assorted-Objects, Found in a crate, Gonzo post-apocalypse starting item list, Pick Pocket Encounters & Trade Goods. Assorted-Objects & Gonzo post-apocalypse starting item list produce results that are anachronistic to a strictly pseudo-medieval campaign but I don't have a problem with a giant having an umbrella or a Super Soaker in its sack.

    1. I love anachronistic things popping up in my campaigns!


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