D&D: Five Hidden Worlds Lurking in ‘The Player’s Handbook’
There are many, many worlds in D&D. Hiding in the Player’s Handbook, you’ll find a few familiar worlds like Hyrule and Discworld.
Dungeons & Dragons connects worlds like an app connects user data and marketing companies. And just like an app, which hides its privacy-raiding proclivities under the guise of making you see what you would look like if you were also wearing a hat and/or sunglasses in the picture you’re about to take, D&D hides its connections to other worlds in plain sight. We’re going to stretch this metaphor to its breaking point. So let’s open up the EULA, and look a little closer at the worlds hidden in D&D’s trinkets.
Trinkets are such an interesting part of the game – if an underrated one. Pages 160-161 of the Player’s Handbook provide you with a ton of random objects that all have a story to them. These all are meant to inject story and inspiration into your game. Every player has the option of starting with one. Canny DM’s might roll on the table to add an extra touch of mystery to a treasure hoard. You’ll find items like a tiny gnome-crafted music box that plays a song you dimly remember from your childhood. Or maybe the deed for a parcel of land in a realm unknown to you.
These are all things to inspire adventure… but lurking inside this table are artifacts that have drifted in from across the worlds. Let’s take a look at the worlds hidden within the trinkets of D&D.
One of the things you can find (Item 46 Specifically) is a dead sprite inside a clear glass bottle.
Sadly this one won’t save your life when you get flattened by a Goron, but we all know the sound it makes when you open it.
This next item comes to you from the corner store down the road from your house. Item number 34 is a rectangular metal device with two tiny metal cups on one end that throws sparks when wet.
You can use one to power a round, white, metal disc that will emit a piercing screech when it detects your Aunt Glyn trying to make a pot roast, but will never be able to find one when you actually use it.
From the streets of Ankh-Morpork to the far off realms of Fourecks, the trinket that’s item number 45 has been all over the breadth of Discworld. It’s even traveled through time on occasion. Sure it says it’s a tiny chest carved to look like it has numerous feet on the bottom, but we all know those legs will sprout and it’ll come following after its master, no matter what.
Mr. Body’s House
Lucky – or unlucky, depending on how you look at it – players might find an invitation to a peculiar party. One where a murder has happened. So be sure and clue your players in when they’re in attendance.
Just remember that Communism was always a red herring.
This one is more of a self-referential easter egg, but I suppose when you’ve been around for 40 years you’re entitled to a few. Players rolling a 49 on the chart will find themselves owning a silver spoon with an M engraved on the handle.
Of course, Murlynd will eventually come looking for his lost spoon.
There are plenty of other items like this sprinkled throughout the table and other easter eggs hidden in the books themselves.
Which are your favorite? Let us know in the comments!