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Treasure Tables: Baubles & Trinkets

Illustration of an alchemy workshop. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.What happens to all the treasure that adventurers find? If it’s not useful, it usually gets sold. Should you find yourself frequently liberating others’ possessions, the following can be used to add a little variety to your loot or even as inspiration for a story hook. The value of the items can vary at the GM’s discretion but are suitable replacements for a quest reward or as the centerpiece for a small collection, although they could be worth more to the right person. You can roll randomly for a result below using the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d20. You can also pick one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.

1. A pale gray, formless sculpture. While nothing about the piece gives the impression of movement, you get the vague impression that it has shifted every time you look away.

2. A small blue glass butterfly attached to a barrette. When the clip is opened, the butterfly stirs and gently flaps its wings.

3. A plain iron goblet with a cracked rim. It is filled to the brim with a frothy, clear amber substance that resembles a freshly poured lager frozen in place.

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Prepared!: The Forgotten Assistant

Alchemist SymbolIn great laughter, wonder, loss, and grief it is there—water at the corner of eye.

—Archdruid Naqua of Tellwood

Dungeon delvers discover that an abandoned alchemist’s lab has one remaining assistant in today’s elementally imbued scene.

The Forgotten Assistant

Your footsteps echo off the crude stone walls as you proceed down the corridor. Here and there strange fungus grows, and everywhere you hear the persistent drip of water striking stone. Rounding a corner, you find the floor littered with broken bits of clay and glass. Ahead, at the edge of your vision, a wooden door stands slightly ajar along the right-hand wall. A faint bubbling noise can be heard emanating from the room beyond.

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Howling Tower: A Need for Speed

Idylls of the King“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in.”

―Napoléon Bonaparte

A combat turn in most RPGs represents 5 to 10 seconds. If you spend much more time than that deciding what to do on your turn, you’re wasting time.

That doesn’t mean your turn can’t take more than 10 seconds. It means you should answer the basic question, “what am I going to do this turn?,” in 10 seconds or less. Figuring out specifically how your character performs the chosen action within the allowances and restrictions of the rules can take substantially longer than that, especially if a fancy maneuver, an unusual weapon, or a complex magic spell is involved. But the basic question—”What am I going to do this turn?”—should be made quickly.

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Grand Duchy: Adulterine Castles of the North

Claude Gellee - The Enchanted CastleA persistent, even nagging, feature of the Imperatrix’s reign has been the presence of adulterine castles, fortresses without royal license or outside the crown’s control. Across the great northern kingdom are scattered hundreds of castles, fortresses, and towers. These adulterine strongholds are something of an incongruity in a kingdom that is otherwise stable and secure.

Ancient Ruins

A few of these castles are ruins of the Great Retreat and the Mage Wars, imposing relics of a darker age, all thought to house things sinister and wicked. Many of these sites also feature a secondary fortification—a counter-castle erected outside bow range by opposing forces to establish a competing base or as a platform to launch siege attacks.

Lost and Forgotten Baronies

Far more common, though, are freestanding bulwarks that became forgotten and abandoned in the constant shifting and rearranging of Dornig fiefdoms and lesser holdings, all part of the land’s changing political landscape.

While these more numerous strongholds may lack the dark lore of their older brethren, they also have reputations as haunted places or serve as lairs for the fell races, bandits, and outcast sorcerers.

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