Yesterday was Towel Day, and some people may be wondering just how useful is a towel anyway. If you are one of those people who wonder why, beyond the obvious, a towel would be useful, you are probably one of those people who never had a security blanket. I was one of those people who had one. I even got called Linus quite a bit, but my blanket was very useful. I could use it for comfort, warm, dresses, and a bindle. While I still have fond memories of my blanket, I put some thought into it, and a towel is infinitely more useful, and I'll tell you why.
The obvious use for a towel is to dry yourself or others off, but when I decided to write this article, I wanted to go beyond the obvious. Then there are the places where towels and blankets overlap. You can use both as a pillow, to lay on, as a pet bed, to cover you for warmth, to cover you for protection (-2 penalty to attack rolls), emotional comfort, physical comfort (folded up for a seat cushion, wrapped around the hand as a pot holder/oven mitt, placed under knees when kneeling on hard floor, as a makeshift saddle, or seat cover in a hot vehicle), a bag of holding, a gag, a welcome mat, as a costume effect (i.e. pregnant, beer gut, or ghost), kindling for a fire, to communicate long distance with smoke signals, a garrote, to muffle noise (giving a +2 to sneak attack), as a makeshift ironing board, window blinds, privacy curtain, exercise equipment, packing material, a surface cover (such as picnic blanket, tablecloth, bread basket liner, candle mat, or craft mat), first aid (as a sling, a brace, a makeshift stretcher, a bandage, or a tourniquet) and as clothing, including: diapers, a head cover in sunny places, a face mask in windy or smelly circumstances, makeshift gloves if halved, a poncho, an apron, a sari, a lavalava, makeshift shoes if halved, and a death shroud.
What sets the towel above and beyond the blanket is that it can also be used to clean up messes, as a canteen of sorts (a good terry cloth towel can absorb and hold a lot of water), and in the following ways:
A towel deals 1d4 points of nonlethal damage. When dry, it deals no damage to any creature with an armor bonus of +1 or higher or a natural armor bonus of +3 or higher. When wet, it deals no damage to any creature with an armor bonus of +3 or higher or a natural armor bonus of +5 or higher. The towel is treated as a melee weapon with a 3-7 foot reach, according to type of towel, though you don't threaten the area into which you can make an attack. In addition, unlike most other weapons with reach, you can use it against foes anywhere within your reach (including adjacent foes).
Using a towel provokes an attack of opportunity, just as if you had used a ranged weapon.
You can make trip attacks with a towel. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can use the towel to disarm your attacker.
When using a towel, you get a +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an opponent (including the roll to keep from being disarmed if the attack fails).
You can use the Hoopy Frood feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Charisma modifier to all Diplomacy checks while carrying your towel.