Load up the loot

As requested here are some thoughts on scaleable treasures for our adventure.

We have so far been working on several power levels for a beginning party, mid level, high and very high level party.

I can also see four distinct bands for the loot. I consider myself a tight fisted GM and tend to give away little treasure. This is particularly true with adventures I share as I don’t want to break someone else’s game.

My original plans for the city of forgotten heroes was to supply magical weapons that had no real value and/or faded away after the next full moon. The big treasure was the jade throne, a one ton mass of evil magic. The sort of treasure that the party may have trouble spending down the tavern.

My first instinct was also to provide magical runes in the form of entire books and potions that may or may not be spoiled. Single use magic and it may or may not be kill you(!).

Not that generous at first appearances.

So we have four levels of wealth miserly, poor, wealthy and rich.

At the rich end there are some nice stock items in Creatures & Treasures.

The Lich King

At the palace location we have the lich or lich-like ruler. Here I would like to see something necromantic, you would be hard pressed to convince anyone you had turned yourself into a lich by accident so the ruler must have had necromantic leanings.

So in order of decreasing power…

Robe of Kazlauskas: This robe was made by Kazlauskas before he became a Lich. It is made of a very fine black cloth with strands of silver lining the bottom of the robe, and it has a belt of silver links. It protects its wearer as AT 4 with a DB of 30 without maneuver penalties. The robe can cast 40 charges per week of the following Essence spells (30th level effect, charge cost in parentheses): Stun Relief II (2), Cut Repair I (3), + 50 Lightning Bolt (5), + 25 Fireball (4), Protection II (2), Telepathy (4), Perceive Power (4), Detect Invisible (2), + 20 Ice Bolt (2), Ache (2), and Shield (1). Artifact.

Kawfigu’s Ring: Forged by Kawfigu the Necromancer long ago, this gold band imparts many powers to whoever wears it. It protects the wearer as a Robe of
Protection. All RR’s against spells cast by the wearer are modified by –15. Further, they may cast up to 50 power points per day (up to 5th level) from the Sorcerer’s base spell lists (at no personal power point cost). Most Potent.

Talisman of Absorption: This talisman can absorb magic spells cast at its owner. The attack level of the talisman is 10th, and any spell failing to resist is absorbed. It can absorb 50 + (1–100 open–ended) power points before becoming inert. Potent.

Whispering Sword: This + 5 short sword uses the two–handed sword table for attack (still using one hand, short sword skill and fumble range), whispers when swung, and floats in water.

I like the Whispering Sword as this has great role playing potential with it giving dark whisperings when in combat.

It is entirely up to the GM whether to include these magical treasures or not. If they are added in then the undead ruler should make full use of them. For a more powerful game or richer game then you can add more than one of these items to the lich king.

The Librarian

I don’t think the Wight librarian needs magical treasure but I can imagine a locked chamber where the most restricted books were stored. There is one book in particular in C&T that is both a great treasure and has the potential to completely mislead the party.

Book of Yesh: This book is an ancient artifact in which much magical lore is written. It contains the names of many Demon Lords and the rituals necessary to summon them. It also describes how to make protective pentagrams which can decrease or negate the chances of a demon–summoning harming the summoner (depending upon the type of demon and the materials used). It lists all the various “Black Channels” spells and how to perform them. It fully describes both the appearance and power of many powerful ancient magic items. The book is 1’x20″ and 7″ thick and bound in black cloth with silver trim. It is virtually indestructible and is written in elvish with a single large “Y” in the center of the last page. Most Potent.

Of the stock items that is the only one I would adds significantly to richness of the location. What you can do though is add runes into the books that have survived in the library. This is a useful mechanic so that if the party are in serious trouble you can make a tome of medicine available that has a rune of the correct healing spell. So a treatise on blood may yield up a rune of clotting. A tome on anatomy may give up a rune of shatter repair and so on. I would suggest that the GM wing this and use it to advance the story and enhance the game session rather than slavishly following a table of random magical items.

The Gate House

I have been thinking about the gate house captain and guards and I simply do not think that the captain and guards should be carrying treasure. If any other adventurers had ever travelled this way before then they may well have killed the guards and captain before. The chances of any magical treasures surviving is slim.

There is an opportunity here to offer a minor magical weapon to a low level party. We can do this by putting a slain body on the road close to the gate house. Someone who didn’t make it. If the party can get to the body and retrieve it or at least loot it then you can give a beginning party a magical weapon, needed to harm the non-corpreal undead.

So those are my thoughts…

3 Replies to “Load up the loot”

  1. I like libraries. I also like adding books to them. Many, many books, with at least titles, authors and contents for those who feel a need to know every single book (me). There are a lot of books of varying use and value that can be added to a library. Books on different skills that might give a slight bonus (both positive and negative; just because someone wrote a book doesn’t mean they know what they are writing about). Books on history, legends and geography that might give clues to other locations and treasures.

  2. I love the Whispering Sword. I used it in a campaign long ago. I would add that sword to the cistern. “You round the final bend in the passageway and it opens to the large underground cistern the Archivist’s diary mentions. There are torches along the wall that are unlit, yet there appears to a dull golden glow from the bottom of the pool. About 10 meters from the edge of the water there appears to be a sword floating in the water…”

    The Book of Yesh always looked interesting to me and now I have a perfect setting in which to use it. I love all of the potential we have with the library. Most mundane books are probably rotted and worthless, but magical ones or ones made of better quality materials would survive, maybe partially usable, give the party members something to research in other quest lines.

    For the Robe of Kazlauskas, I’m probably going to make the spells only be runes. I ‘m not too miserly of GM, but having that many spells available constantly would throw off the balance in my game and the only mage in the group would far outpace the other players. But, if he has to pick and choose his free runes spells carefully, that makes him a little more of a thinking player.

    I can tell that opening of this post is only going to be the tip of the iceberg. We have tons of creative space here.

    1. You can see why I am slightly reticent about adding powerful magic items to adventures in other people’s games. The Robe of Kazlauskas does make sense for that villain in a very high level game BUT only if the players are really made to work for it and the GM uses the robe to its full extent against the players. That then causes another potential problem in that RM can be so deadly anyway and the non-corpreal undead get to ignore so many aspects of the criticals that they can be extremely hard to put down. PCs on the other hand when they reach high level, in my experience are very hard to hit due to extreme DBs but when you do they are just as fragile as they were are 1st level.

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