A table and some rules I use for my 5e setting, inspired largely by the tinkers in the Kingkiller Chronicles, as well as something I saw on the excellent Signs in the Wilderness blog.


“A gold piece, a silver piece, and a copper piece”

“A tinker’s advice pays kindness twice”

A Tinker’s Debt Is Always Paid

Once for any simple trade. A character who trades with a tinker will generally find some use for the items they received, often more than they expected. (Tinkers have a knack for offering things PCs will need for some upcoming challenge in the adventure).

Twice for freely given aid. Aid in return, such as tips or directions; additionally, all rolls against the character have disadvantage for a while (DM’s judgement).

Thrice for any insult made. All rolls against the character have advantage for a while (DM’s judgement, dependent on the severity of such insult; generally, I wouldn’t recommend more than one encounter.).

Also, if a tinker offers a bargain that the character doesn’t accept, always find a reason for them to need the thing they could have gotten.


Roll up a random Tinker:

d6           Appearance

1              Pack almost as big as the bearer

2              Pushing a small cart

3-6          Riding a (1-3) shabby cart/(4-6) brightly painted cart, pulled by a (1-3) eland/(4-6) elk/(7) yak/(8) ox/(9-10) pack dog/(11-12) Plainsbird.


d4           Attitude

1              Cheerful

2              Friendly

3              Alert

4              Sleepy


d52         Advertises 9 of:

1              Eggs and berries and mushrooms

2              An old coat or hat or pair of shoes

3              Silk scarves

4              Writing paper

5              Sweetmeats

6              Belt leather

7              Black pepper

8              Fine lace

9              Bright feather

10           Small clothes

11           Rose water

12           Heath blankets

13           Feather-plumes

14           Plains-melons

15           Pipe-leaf

16           Summerwine

17           Moose cheese

18           Rice cakes

19           Goat cheese

20           Sharp knives

21           Sweet apples

22           Juicy peaches

23           Pure salt

24           Stead Ivory

25           Wild ginger

26           Warm furs

27           Tea leaves

28           Sour Lemons

29           Sweet Plums

30           Sugarcane

31           Apricots

32           Pomegranites

33           Olives

34           Paadria hats

35           Straw caps

36           Rice wine

37           Sharp arrows

38           Bells

39           Candles

40           Iron Chain

41           White Chalk

42           Healer’s kit

43           Holy symbol

44           Ink and inkpen

45           Lamp and lantern

46           Soap

47           Tinderbox

48           Whetstone

49           Artisan’s tools

50           Gaming set

51           Musical Instrument

52           Herbalism kit


d12         Service/Skill

1-6          Knife-sharpener

7-8          Cobbler

9-10       Story-teller

11-12     Knows trails and back ways for miles


d4           Looking For

1              Supplies – rope, cloth, food, tea

2              Something to pass the time – alcohol, pipe-leaf, a musical instrument.

3              Something to use as a gift – a silver locket, shell beads, a golden bracelet, fine gems.

4              Tack and saddle


d4           In Need Of (but does not mention):

1              His feet are bare and bloody.

2              His cloak is more patch than fabric, and full of holes.

3              His stomach growls audibly.

4              Wearing the remnants of a hat.