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Curious Treasure For D&D To Surprise Your Players

Curious Treasure for D&D to Surprise Your Players

Few questions are asked with more anticipation and excitement at the tabletop than “Do we find any loot?” For a DM, this often means scrambling to come up with some random loot on the fly.

Players love loot. Here’s a secret, though: treasure doesn’t have to be magical, expensive, or a +2 weapon for players to love it. Some of your characters’ most cherished and interesting valuables could well be art objects, musical instruments, or something outright strange. Imagine what could happen when they unearth the crumbling last will of a late king. Now there’s a potentially valuable treasure and new quest all rolled into one.

Here are four curious pieces of treasure for D&D to excite your players’ imaginations and surprise them next session.

1. Miniature Ebony Puzzle Box

A puzzle box is a perfect trinket to provide a little mystery with your loot and allow a puzzle-loving player to shine. Either way, an unsolved puzzle box is almost guaranteed to drive players crazy–once they have it, they’ll need to know what’s inside, whether it’s a trapped ghost or a key to a small, forgotten demi-plane.

2. Finely Preserved Aged Orc Liquor

Somehow, a group of orcs have learned to distill alcohol, which probably means that it’s incredibly high-proof…and potentially lethal to anyone with a low Constitution. If the players find themselves sitting around a tavern, perhaps it could be brought out for a very dangerous drinking contest with a particularly nasty NPC…

3. Green Pearl Playing Dice

Rogues love challenging unwitting NPCs to “innocuous little wagers” over a game of dice, and this strange, eye-catching set of dice could easily become a player’s calling card. For added fun, picking up a dedicated, real-life set of green d6 could add to the immersion!

4. Purple Dotted Jester’s Cap

There’s always that one player who will go to a clothier, pick out something ridiculous or strange, and defiantly wear it from then on, no matter how dire the situation. This Jester’s Cap is one of those weird pieces of wardrobe that will appeal to the kind of player who wants to add some quirk to their character.

Ready to Start Creating Your Own Treasure?

Next time you have your players open a chest, remember the hallmark of a truly great piece of treasure for D&D: it should spark some kind of gameplay other than improving a character’s stats or simply flogging it to the shop for gold.

Need some help coming up with your own? The items in this post have been generated with our Dungeon Discoveries – Curious Treasure card deck, which contains 50 cards that allow you to come up with endless treasure ideas with the flip of a card. Spark your creativity and never be short on things to find.

Christopher Mahon

Chris Mahon is a fantasy writer, speaker, and essayist living in Brooklyn, New York. His non-fiction work has appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, SyFy WIRE, Outer Places, The Portalist, and others. He's also spoken at New York Comic-Con, Columbia University, and the Glasgow International Fantasy Convention. In his free time he runs The Occult Triangle Lab, a blog on trigonometry, fantasy, and ungodly amounts of milk.

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