Oddities for a Treasure Hoard!

Clint Staples

Ever need to stock a treasure hoard? If you are a GM, the answer to that question is going to be a yes! Sometimes it can be difficult to get beyond random coinage and some gems. AND players often really look forward to innovative and exciting loot to go along with a successful troll/ogre/dragon-slaying, or infiltration of the wizard's tower. So what is an overtaxed GM to do?

We at Skirmisher Publishing are here to help!

In keeping with the theme of our next live episode on Magical Economy, and to coincide with the upcoming release of "100 Oddities for the Wasteland", the latest in Skirmisher Publishing's fabulous Oddities line of gaming supplements, our current effort is Oddities for a Treasure Hoard!

I have contributed 25 starting objects to the hoard, which is fine if you ONLY need to do up a hoard for a middling wizard or a troll. But we need more to make this worthy of an ancient red dragon - so feel free to contribute your own! Or just stay tuned and check the comments as others do the heavy lifting (gold is heavy).

One more thing before we jump in:

Exploding Dice:

Whenever you see a dice reference with an "x" after the dice type, this signifies that if you roll the highest value (say a 6 on a d6) roll again and add the roll to yout total, continuing until you don't roll the maximum value.

 

Another More thing before we jump in:

The "Legend" Check:

Because of the nature of this Oddities list, we have added this mechanic. Without getting game-system specific (we want you to be able to use our hoard with ANY RPG you play) if thee is a notation for a Legend Check, this is what can happen:

Player characters with a Legend Lore, Mythic Lore or other knowledge skill that your system uses for such rolls, to make a roll to see if they know anything about an item. On a success, the GM can parse out the suggested information according to the degree of success by which the roll was made.

The Legend Check is optional, so you don't have to use it. Or you can modify HOW you use it, changing the details that a success confers to match something in your setting, etc.

 

OK - on with the Oddities:

1. 100 x 1d6x coins of an unknown metal, with indecipherable script, belonging to no known nation.

2. An ivory tablet with matching stylus. The stylus can mark the tablet as though the surface were of wax. The marks remain until the flat of the stylus is wiped across the surface, at which point the marks are removed completely.

3. A plain but heavy gold ring. When worn by a king, each day at dawn, it will generate 10d10x gold pieces.

4. A slender stiletto, with a blade seemingly forged from solid shadow. When drawn, anything the weapon touches is silenced magically for as long as the weapon is in contact.

5. A glowing green crystal about the size of a human head. Those in proximity to the crystal have strange visions of ancient times, and possibly other lives they have lived.

6. A silver war-helm with the snarling features of an angel for a mask, under a mantle of feather-like scales. The helmet is enchanted. Roll 1d6: 1 – The silver is stronger than steel, conferring superior protection from damage and causing fear in were-creatures; 2 – The helm allows the wearer to fly for 2d6 minutes per day; 3 – the helm once belonged to an arch-angel who resents having it in the possession of unworthy mortals; 4 – The helm grants inhumanly high charisma to its wearer, who can use it to quell mobs, instil fear in foes, even charm monsters; 5 – The wearer of the helm can project an potent eyebeam of fiery devastation 1d4x times per day; 6 – 2d6 on the table and combine the results. If you roll a 6 with one of these dice, roll again. If you roll a double , add its result again.

7. A pile of small golden scarab beetles. Under certain circumstances, they transmute into a voracious swarm of actual beetles. Roll 1d4: 1 – The beetles animate when tomb-robbers touch the treasure they guard; 2 – the beetles animate at when exposed to any light; 3 – The beetles animate when exposed to direct sunlight; 4 – The beetles animate and are controlled by a nearby monster.

8. A humble wooden cup that smells of hops, barley and molasses. Once per day, when filled with water, the cup transforms its contents into a rich and satisfying dark beer that confers all the benefits of a full meal, as well as granting a morale bonus to attacks, saves against hostile magic and against fear for 1d4x hours thereafter.

9. A golden platter bearing the runes of the sun god. If in sunlight, whenever a single magical item is placed on the platter, the magic of the sun god will replenish one charge in that item per full day for which it remains there, up to the maximum charges the item can possess.

10. A milky crystal orb, unremarkable until touched. When touched by a living person OR a spellcaster of some sort, the orb is revealed to be a gem that glows simultaneously green and black. It is obvious to anyone with any magical ability that the gem is magically potent, but the only way to unlock this power is to remove one’s eye and replace it with the orb. The “wearer” of the orb need not be a mage to access the powers of the orb. Roll 1d6: 1 – The orb confers great vitality, adding a bonus to Hit Points, Strength and Constitution; 2 – The orb allows the wearer to hurl a green-black beam of devastation 1d6x times per day; 3 – The orb is home to an ancient eldritch intellect that wishes to possess its wearer; 4 – The orb grants the ability to see in total darkness, to perceive the ebb and flow of nearby magic, and to see with greater acuity and perceptiveness; 5 – roll 2d4 on this table and take both results; 6 – the orb has all four of the properties above. Finally, there is a 50% chance that a very angry, one-eyed wizard is seeking the orb, which was stolen from him. Legend Check: This is the Black Emerald, the ancient eyeball of a powerful undead sorcerer of the Elder World. It is said that the Black Emerald is still somehow linked to its owner, but has incredible powers that have caused it to be sought, and used, for centuries.

11. A bone whistle that is silent when blown, but emits a haunting refrain when exposed to the wind after sunset.

12. A simple canteen that magically fills with cool clean water each dawn.

13. A handsome set of gilded spurs, fit for a knight.

14. A light chain of pure gold, with a single slender manacle of the same material.

15. A small bottle of ink that replenishes itself each evening. The magical ink also grants a bonus to the scribing of magical texts, scrolls, tattoos, etc.

16. A pair of cups crafted from human skulls, beautiful, if grisly, work – with golden bowls, bejewelled rims, and gems fitted to the eye sockets. Roll 1d4: 1 – the skulls once belonged to the brothers of a king, who had them slain for their treachery; 2 – the cups are nothing special. The skulls are real, but the gold is gilding, the gems paste, all fashioned to intimidate the court of a bloodthirsty but insecure monarch; 3 - The souls of those whose skulls were used inhabits them still. If the drinker will aide them in their vengeance, wine drunk from them will be of the finest vintage, and bestow visions of great power, prestige and wealth to be had; 4 – The skulls once belonged to the sons of an evil rival king, crafted to be simultaneously a “’gift” and a declaration of war.

17. A finely made scabbard, with silver chape and throat, fixed on a matching belt of manticore leather. No sword fits it, even one that is made expressly for it. On close inspection, there are tiny runes worked into the decoration on the silver. The runes spell out the name of the sword that fits the scabbard. Legend Check: The sword is famous/ infamous from the history of the campaign world OR the scabbard is what makes a sword magical and must be magically “attuned” to accept another sword.

18. A claw of some unknown crimson metal, extremely sharp, suspended as a talisman on a leather thong. Roll 1d4: 1 – The claw, though extremely sharp, is a mere curiosity; 2 – The claw once belonged to a metal monstrosity, destroyed by a hero of old. A portion of its ferocity in battle imbued the talon with magic that grants prowess in battle; 3 – The talon allows the wearer of the talisman to create spectral red claws that grant her deadly unarmed attacks – as deadly to spirits as they are to mortals; 4 – Once per day, the talisman can summon the bestial golem to which the claw belongs. The golem will serve the summoner faithfully for the duration of a single encounter.

19. A pile of loose silver coins, all of which prove to be blank on both sides when examined. These coins are magical quicksilver. Roll 1d4: 1 – When in contact with other coins, a quicksilver coin destroys the other coin completely; 2 – When they coin contacts living flesh it becomes a liquid that permeates the skin and poisons the contacted person; 3 – each coin may be “spent” by its bearer, at which time the coin turns to mist and is gone. For 1d6x turns thereafter, the spender’s speed is tripled; 4 – As long as a coin is carried, the bearer’s movement is reduced by 10%. However, a coin may be “spent” to heal a wound, or cure a poison or disease afflicting the bearer.  The spent coin dissolves into mist and disperses.

20. A vat of viscous red fluid, bubbling slowly as if boiling, even though there is no heat source. Roll 1d4: 1 – The liquid is concentrated magical energy which will replenish energy lost to spellcasting, fatigue, even old age; 2 – the fluid is troll’s blood which, when drunk, regenerates wounds (Legend Check: There may be other side-effects); 3 – The liquid smells delectable and is difficult to resist imbibing. Drinkers find too late that a slender white worm suspended in each draft of fluid begins rapidly to grow in the body of the imbiber, granting increased strength and regenerative power, at the cost of domination by the wizard-king who created the vat.

21. Chameleon Coins: 3d6x plain copper coins with only vague, indecipherable markings on their faces. In the pocket or purse these coins mimic other coinage, the highest denomination with which they are in close proximity. They maintain this semblance for 10 minutes after being removed from its presence. After that time the coins revert to their default state. Legend Check: It is said that, for a devotee of the Trickster God, these coins can be made LOYAL, such that they magically return to their owner 1d3 days after having been spent.

22. A set of 1d6x small matching garnet earrings, not particularly expensive as stones, though they are handsome. But their magical communication ability makes them far more valuable. All those who wear one can communicate across significant distances by whispering while touching the garnet with their index finger.

23. A pair of bone dice with a grinning skull in a jester’s hat in place of the ones pip. In gambling games, each time the result is double skulls, 10% of the stake disappears. Legend Check: The missing percentage is said to go directly into the coffers of a trickster god or demon.

 24. A fine fur mantle, with a heavy gold chain and brooches to secure it.

25. An elaborately decorated amphora, painted with figures of warriors and demons in vigorous combat. The amphora contains fine wine, so heady that it could be magical. Roll 1d6: 1 – Though potent and incredibly delicious, the wine has no magical powers; 2 –As result 1, but the wine also never causes a hangover, and the imbiber rises after her next sleep feeling refreshed and invigorated; 3 – The wine is from a fabled land, thought long lost to the modern world; 4 – The wine is made by the elves and causes visions of the future; 5 – the wine is a gift from the god of drunkenness and debauch and is magically potent, such that even a drop on the lips is enough to cause inebriation. 6 – The wine is laced with vampire blood, making imbibers susceptible to the master vampire’s powers for 1d8x hours; 

 

Got any bits and bobs lying around that belong in the treasure hoard? Add them in the comments!