DM: A search of the necromancer's tower uncovers 4500 gold pieces, a Shield +2, and a 1700Gp gem encrusted ring.
Player: Another gem encrusted ring? Who buys all this crap?
Who buys gem encrusted crap indeed! An oft-ignored (until now) treasure table in D&D has been 'Art Object'. This is well and good, except the DMG fails to embellish much, and many DM's are left handing-out three pieces of "art": Gem encrusted rings, Golden statues, and Elvish tapestries.
If you run a 'Hack n' Slash' game, I suppose that would be just fine. Kill, Loot, and do it again next week. But for those of us who run more elaborate campaigns, we have all new ways of (psychologically) torturing PCs
. We have horse thieves, taxes, entire legions of undead to threaten helpful NPC villages... But always have Hero's enjoyed the valuable 'Gold piece'. But now I suggest you put even more of the BBEG's total treasure value into 'Art Objects'.
After all... Do you own stuff, or do you own nothing and have all your money in a shoebox?
Yes, most of us BUY stuff. Playstations, couches, Mail-Order-Brides, compact disks, towels, cars, motorbikes, deer rifles. And since we buy stuff, we must assume most BBEG's like to spend money too (except possible dragons who sleep on mounts of gold and still cut coupons). Since BBEG's tend to be wealthy, intelligent types; they will spend money on 'Art Objects'..... Because plasma TV's haven't been invented yet.
BUT!, say the DM's, we dont know what Art Objects are! Thats OK. Just think of any object, and chances are there are super-expensive items that do the exact same thing, but people buy anyway: $2000 pens, $1,000,000 stereos, BMW's, etc etc
Why more ART? Because A: Its harder to haul out of the dungeon
B: PC's now have to find an Art-Dealer to sell it to
C: Its funny to see what PC's "collect" themselves.
Fumbuck the 1/2-Orc barbarian: "This is my mahogany davenport with solid brass accents and a polished marble top. It was hand-carved by halfings in the village of HappyFunLand and I found it in the possession of an Ogre-Mage who's skull I smashed with a hammer. Would you like to see my collection of ceramic rustmonster miniatures or maybe my Electrum dwarvish-whiskey shotglass set?"
Introducing Wereooze's Fine Art aka. The Dunegon Decorators Collection.. to stock a BBEG lair with, or add spice to your campaign world!
(based on Table 7-6:Art Objects of DMG 3.0 ). Inspired by a copy of The Home Decorators Collection that showed-up with todays junk mail.10gp
*ceramic figurine/statuette. about 6" long and hand-painted. Can be of anything: rustmonsters w/ pink bows, beholders, orc-Hobos. Be sure that any statue type (such as Orc hobo or rustmonster) as an entire series of statues by a famous ceramic statue designer that the PC can collect. (collecting rare statuettes can make for interesting side-quests and annoy fellow PC's)
*Scrimshaw. Ivory with design etched onto it. Usually boats & nautical themes as it is a popular hobby with whalers. Put scrimshaw on regular items to make them worth more treasure room... like pocket knife handles.
*Electrum whiskey glasses (emblazoned with the name of a famous tavern)
*Gold body jewelry
*hand-crafted chairs (pair), in Teak, Walnut, or Mahogany. Certain to be comfortable and add some flair to any dungeon chamber. Geometric patterns, leaves, or skulls carved into the chair-arms along with an upholstered seating area (embroidered to taste) are common at this range. Remember that any BBEG worth his salt is going to have at least 8 chairs around any masterwork dinner table (105gp).
*Copper framed wall mirror. The hand-wrought frame surrouns a mirror of silvered glass. dragons & leaves are common styles. They make really good treasure 'cause they break easy!
*Painting. It might be still-life, surreal, or maybe Orcish impressionism of the third age. But 55gp paintings are usually ho-hum and 24"x36".
*silver flatware. The eating utensils. made of silver. Service for 8
*Masterwork cooking pots. Ceramic enamled cast-iron baking goods available in most colours. Add a +1 to any Cooking skill DC.
*Leatherbound, gold leafed book. A tome on any skill or knowledge, determined randomly. A character may use it to refrence at time of spending skill points... or just sell it.
*Crystal decanter and wine-glass set.105gp
*Dinner Table. for 105 gold pieces its so shiney it looks wet and the legs have decorative 'claws' on the ends. Or maybe dolphins..whatever floats yer boat. (Be sure to include chairs...mentioned above).
*Booze cabinet. Prbably manufactured by the same halflings as the table & chairs, this tall armoire-like piece of old-growth kindling has shelves for a whole array of fine glasses & goblets, decanters & meauring shakers. Also a second storage bin at knee-level holds bottles of wine/spirits
*ornate silver goblets, set of 8. Shaped like squids , human skulls, or just bizarre arcane sybols... silver wine glasses say alot about your kind of person.
*gold flatware, service for 8
*painting. still 24"x36" but this class of painting is of intresting subject matter: nude elves, decapitations.... something to make up for the price.
*Pair of boots designed by snooty high-end boot maker. Bards (and women) love footwear with nose-bleed prices.
*lifesized marble bust of famous person. I'd personally have Vecna myself
*masterwork dagger w/ ivory handle
*Silver tea set350gp
*King-sized bed to match your table & chairs
*masterwork oversized harp that nobody knows how to play
*20' long tapestry of some battle
*3' tall ceramic vase. Painted by elves of some remote island. Heavy & easy to break. holds flowers
*Intricate waste-paper basket. Made from an Owlbear leg!
*Walking stick. Gold handle
*2' long oriental dragon statue made of gold.
*Winterwlf fur coat
*masterwork dagger with ivory handle & minor jewel pommel550gp
*Floor of residence professionally tiled with marble & soapstone tiles by dwarven mastercraftsman. Lets see the PCs try to hock that in town....
*Arched interior door crafted of old-growth teak, set with blackend steel hinges, and a brass lock.
*Ornate ironwork torch scones. set of 50. may be shaped to resemble skulls, music notes, etc
*leaded-glass fireplace screen. With stained-gass picture effect. covers any 5' wide fireplace.
*5' marble statue
*platinum framed spectacles with smoked glass lenses. to look cool and protect from harsh solar rays.
*masterwork dagger with dragonbone & platinum handle1000gp
*masterwork dagger with scrimshawed dragonbone handle, platinum fittings, and jeweled pommel.
*masterwork glazed bone-chian plates w/ silver serving platters
*wastepaper basket, made from dragon leg!
*undead brain-in-a-jar. Sci-Fi style decor for your alchemy lab.
I'll be sure to add more to my dungeon catalog when I've got more time. I hope you have as much fun making your PC's try to sort & sell all of this crap as I will :D