There are plenty of Halloween adventures out there (I really liked using ‘All Hallows Eve’ from Drivethru RPG and the creator has continued building on it over time) but sometimes its hard to find one that fits your table. Maybe you want to run a one shot on its own instead of shoehorning it into your regular game. Perhaps you want something a little spookier feel than the standard dungeon crawl.

Tricks, Treats, Trinkets

Just about any trinket can be reskinned with spiders, skulls, or bats for a Halloween game, be it Addams Family inspired like a silver spider hair pin or a handkerchief made of cobwebs. Puns and not so subtle nods to horror movies also helped in brainstorming this list I put together for a game some years ago (also available on drivethru rpg for Pay What You Want).

D20Trinket List A
1A wide brimmed, conical hat with alternating stripes of black and hot pink
2A miniature model of the Vampire State Building
3A silver whistle shaped like a wolf
4A caramel apple studded with razor blades
5Novelty banner that reads, “Resting Witch Face”
6Pumpkin backed playing cards and rules for playing Black Jack
7A black pillow embroidered with crossed silver scythes
8A black satin coin purse that reads ‘A ghoul and his money are soon parted’
9A can of zom-beans and Hallo-wieners
10A stuffed squeaky bat with googly eyes
11A turnip carved into an ugly face that seems to be trying to say something that you can’t quite hear
12A knitted purple shawl patterned with stars and moons
13A giant spider fashioned into a skull cap with pompoms
14A wind up clockwork raven
15A doll made of corn husks
16A teddy bear hanging from a noose
17A rolled up mat covered in mystic symbols and smells of incense
18A bone flute that only plays a single haunting tune that is most appropriate for funerals
19A black tunic with a crudely painted skull on the front and ‘lean, mean, fright-ing machine’ painted on the back.
20A bag of brown (almost chewy) supposed candy of an indeterminate age

Lean hard on these themes and reskin magic items like a candied apple as a healing potion, a fistful of mini chocolate bars as a haste potion by way of a sugar rush. Unleash the puns like a ‘a cure for coffin’ label on the potion of cure disease.

Alternatively, there are many traditional celebrations at this time of year that have nothing little to connect them to other autumn and harvest festivals and maybe you wish to use that as the inspiration for your Halloween game and likewise into your items. For example, I looked to Thanksgiving, Samhain, Diwali, Guy Fawkes, and even the Greek myth of Persephone’s abduction as source material for some of these items. To go a little further, It wouldn’t take too much to upgrade one of these trinkets into a reskinned magic item.

D20Trinket List B
1A crudely made doll that is surprisingly flammable
2A pocket mirror that shows only the bones in its reflection
3A clay candle holder that floats for as long as its candle remains lit
4The wishbone of a cockatrice
5A dish shaped like a dragon that transforms liquids into gravy.
6A silvered vegetable masher
7A cranberry scented candle
8Pants that magically stretch to comfortably fit up to a large creature.
9A miniature sickle pin
10Five loud but otherwise harmless firecrackers
11An inflated pigs bladder suitable for throwing
12A mummified hand that has been decorated with feathers and a beak
13A carved wooden skeleton wearing a beaded black doublet
14A tin of white face paint and a black eyeliner
15A bouquet of marigolds that refuse to wilt
16A quivering reddish purple ooze in a jar
17A long tapered tube capped with a squeezable bladder
18A fork and knife that grow sharp at every dawn
19A preserved ham on a stick, adorned with small yellow cubes of sweetness
20A half-eaten pomegranate

And of course, adding a cursed item or two of a minor nuisance (and usually very temporary) meets the quota for a ‘trick’ now and then, particularly if the players are being jerks.