Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Random effect generators are so much fun for a one-shot Dungeon and Dragons adventure. If you don’t have anything planned, just throw a Deck of Many Things, a Wand of Wonder, or a Bag of Beans at your party and watch the fun happen.
We call these Jumanji Adventures, wherein the players may or may not have a secondary goal beyond the initial goal of survival. For example, in the original Jumanji, the characters had to finish the board game despite all of the incursions from the feywild into their suburban town.
This post is all about the Bag of Beans. Similar to the Jumanji board game, the bag of beans produces a random magical effect whenever you plant a bean. It could be a buff, a bane, or even a summoning. There is no telling, and the effects will definitely change the direction of the adventure.
What Is a Bag of Beans in DnD 5e?
A Bag of Beans is a Rare magic item that produces a random effect whenever a bean is planted.
Bag of Beans Stat Block
Wondrous Item, rare
Inside this heavy cloth bag are 3d4 dry beans. The bag weighs 1/2 pound plus 1/4 pound for each bean it contains.
If you dump the bag’s contents out on the ground, they explode in a 10-foot radius, extending from the beans. Each creature in the area, including you, must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5d4 fire damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful one. The fire ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried.
If you remove a bean from the bag, plant it in dirt or sand, and then water it, the bean produces an effect 1 minute later from the ground where it was planted. The GM can choose an effect from the following table, determine it randomly, or create an effect.
Giving Bags of Beans as Rewards
DMs, there is much you can do with a Bag of Beans. If you feel like you can roll with the changes that such a random generator can do to a session, then an item like the Bag of Beans can ease up your preparation requirements for a week.
Also, if you make your own chart or otherwise create a situation where you and not the players make the roll for the random effect, you can always hide your dice and simply decide what happens.
Do your characters need to plane shift? Do they need to find an old NPC? Do they need a random effect generator in order to distract their enemies? A Bag of Beans can do any of these things for you. Do not be afraid to hand this item out.
The Amazing Effects of a Bag of Beans
New and Improved Bag of Beans Table
At some point, you must begin to take your abilities as a storyteller and create a random effect chart. When you do so, you can create a few themes that your chart will follow. When you create such a chart, you control the flow of entropy by being prepared for each scenario to some extent.
This chart follows this theme statement, “The effects will alter the character, the plot, or the landscape in some way.” To reflect that theme, the characters could wind up with a new ability. They could create a dangerous or helpful environmental change. They could even wind up in a brand-new location.
Furthermore, you want to make the effects tempting. To that end, anything the bean sprouts into can be eaten. If you take a bite out of it, it acts as the goodberry spell in addition to whatever effect it may have. This is also true if the bean sprouts into a sentient or monstrous creature.
Eat it. You probably won’t be sorry.
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I played the game a lot as a kid, back in first edition. Over the past few years since 5e was released, I’ve really started getting back into it. Currently, I run a campaign online for some friends and my brothers, and we also play a side-sesh just to mix things up.