Previously Super Genius Games has provided a broad plethora of resources from across a range of supplements. After guides to feats, archetypes, classes, spells, magic items and more–here we have a most curious offering of inspirations in the form of the quirky ‘What’s in my Pocket?’ It’s the sort of supplement one might look at and sort of tilt their head, arch an eyebrow–and perhaps muse about what -is- in one’s pocket. Once you’ve finished taking personal stock yourself, let’s see what SGG has in theirs!
I’ll start by saying that when I first read about this product it brought essentially the reaction described above before curiosity was sparked; as the second entry in SGG’s ‘items’ category of material following ‘Rune Staves and Wyrd Wands‘ (which is itself a rather interesting offering,) my interest was piqued. At first blush, a passerby might take a look at ‘What’s in my Pocket?’ and figure it to be a random chart or two and move on–but after taking a peek at the contents, I can affirm that there is much more to be found herein!
‘What’s in my Pocket’ begins with a brief preamble on qualifiers for its contents–objects and entries with essentially negligible value and little actual ‘functionality’ when in the hands of a character. As presented, the intention is instead focused on inspiration rather than a random chart for reference any time a character goes rummaging in said pockets; a GM is encouraged to peruse the entries for ideas–that discovery of these articles might provide story hooks, subtle clues or spark other avenues of interest for aspiring adventurers.
There are 110 entries present and each of them gets at least a sentence description–while many get much more than this. A means of rolling the objects randomly is provided, with those on the tail-end of the chart having an extra rolling method. The majority of the ‘oddities’ presented are quirky mundane items, but periodically an entry has just a touch of magic–again, nothing which affects mechanics per se, but enough to spark curiosity.
In addition to their general flavor, a number of the entries have prompts for skill checks to glean more from them–while the product suggests masking these rolls from the players. This in particular is part of a section at the end of the product with GM advice on its usage–providing a number of suggestions for the implementation of these odd objects. As well, there is a column on targeting ‘fixation’ which I found a nice touch; it certainly bears consideration once these interesting findings hit the table!
All of the entries are at fairly inventive and range from relatively straightforward to bizarre or at times even a touch creepy; I feel it’s a bit of a disservice to refer to them as ‘mundane’ objects if but for the sheer charm that they present. Very few are ‘simple’ (e.g. A vial of blood or A brass ring.) Here are a few examples which I found particularly interesting, to give you an idea of what’s inside:
- A drinking cup fashioned from a monster’s horn–with suggestion that said monster is looking for it!
- The wooden heel of a boot complete with secret compartment for storing items, perception for discovery, etc.
- A glass tube with a magical blue flame that illuminates as a candle
- A small maroon felt beret
- A magic shard of ice which never melts and can cool beverages. Nice!
- A small notebook full of bizarre poetry about pottery
- A crystal jar containing dust that is the remnants of an evil deity, but is essentially an artifact that doesn’t do anything–complete with a hook of obsessed cultists looking for it!
Note that these aren’t verbatim, but should just give a notion of the sorts of quirky things herein. There’s a lot of variety here and many could serve as a springboard for broader plots (a collection of military badges from different companies, for instance–or a list of names and addresses for various nobles with unknown purposes and so on.) Under the premise of providing inspiration for a GM, these are quite neat!
Overall: 8 pages, one dedicated to the intro and cover and one licensing page, with five pages of objects and oddities and one page of GM advice. There’s six pieces of color art in the mix with nice flavor which you may have seen in similar product. Format adheres to the SGG three-column style standard and is clean.
I enjoyed ‘What’s in my Pocket?’ and found it to be both entertaining and to provide a number of surprisingly evocative entries; perusing the more than one hundred offerings here, ideas already began to percolate. In general I’m a fan of supplements which provide flavorful inspiration for a GM and these did not disappoint; I’ll admit that at first blush I had expected a ‘table of random stuff’–which is what most material in this vein tend to be–but was pleasantly surprised. Not that I’d reason to expect SGG would go light on the content–it just tends to be the nature of this particular flavor of supplement.
At this price point, one may be wary given that this is ‘just’ a collection of mundane objects–but really the majority of the entries here are detailed, inventive and out of the ordinary enough to really warrant perusal. There’s plenty of potential inspiration for a prospective GM to glean from this supplement’s contents, some very good flavor and the possibility of spinning short or even long-term story hooks off of any given one of the 110 ‘oddities’ inside.
Frankly, even the ‘mundane magic’ items with entries like the mug that warms your drink or the panes of glass that transpose conversation over a short distance are worth a buck or two by themselves–they’re the sorts of little things I could see players getting a real kick out of and making something memorable out of mere ‘pocket loot’. I was very pleased with the collection on the whole and can see its implementation across all sorts of campaigns; I’m going to go with five stars for this one–if you’re on the hunt for story hooks or simply spicing up your campaign, this meets that value nicely!