One aspect of the fourth edition (4e) of the Dungeons & Dragons game that separates it from it predecessors is the formulaic nature of treasure placement. Determining if this aspect is good or bad is a task best left to blogs that debate such things. It is beyond debate, however, to say that the 4e game doesn’t include tables for random determination of specific pieces of treasure, art objects, or gems, favoring instead static lists of generic “treasure parcels” for parties of every experience level. Sadly, the variety of monetary treasure and the realism added to the game by well-described treasures as seen in prior editions are entirely absent.
Therefore, with deference to the producers of Pimp My Ride, the RPG Athenaeum presents its seventh episode of Pimp My Treasure Parcel, where a few, more descriptive, treasure parcels are presented as possible replacements for those in the 4e Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG).
This week’s episode, Levels 22 to 24, provides new monetary treasure parcels for parties having experience of the indicated levels. Each list presented below begins with parcel No. 5, as the first four parcels listed for every experience level are occupied by magical items in the 4e DMG treasure parcel tables. As there is virtually no difference in value between any parcel listed below and its corresponding parcel in the DMG - parcel No. 7 in the level 23 list below carries the same value as parcel No. 7 for level 23 in the 4e DMG, for example – any parcel listed here may be freely interchanged with those listed in the official rules.
Prior episodes of this feature can be located through the following links:
No. 5. 4,500 gp, 750 pp, a wineskin made from black dragon hatchling hide, inlaid with gold and studded with pearls, containing two draughts of Potion of Vitality (2,500 gp), a spool of astral thread (5,000 gp), five matching fire opal gemstones (1,000 gp each, or 7,500 gp if sold as a set); a suit of hide armor, woven from silver strands of giant spider webbing (10,000 gp), a gold statuette of a rampant lion, with large rubies for eyes (15,000 gp); and a set of two wrought platinum bracelets with matching wrought platinum rings – and each ring is set with an astral diamond (60,000 gp for the set).
No. 6. 7,100 gp, 529 pp, an adamantine cube, warm to the touch and engraved with primordial runes and geometric forms; a hero making a DC 27 Arcana check realizes that, by pressing on the runes in a certain sequence, the cube can be opened to reveal a self-sustaining elemental flame (25,000 gp), and a wrought platinum crown, embellished with gold filigree and set with six large diamonds flanking a fist-sized, transparent blue sapphire stone (75,000 gp).
No. 7. 265 pp, 25 ad, a wrought platinum cloak clasp inlaid with a black sapphire gem (6,000 gp), a box made from engraved ivory panels inlaid with platinum, secured by a puzzle lock (DC 30 insight check to decipher the combination, value 5,000 gp), containing a green velvet winter traveling cloak lined with sable fur (10,000 gp), a large, perfectly transparent ruby (10,000 gp), a chain belt made from links of solid platinum (12,500 gp), and a wrought mithral ring set with three matching diamonds (15,000 gp).
No. 8. 16,300 gp, 167 pp, a plain ring wrought from celestial gold, that glows with its own inner light (2,000 gp), a wrought platinum stamp, that produces the seal of an ancient eladrin family (5,000 gp), a pair of wrought platinum earrings, each set with a fiery orange jacinth stone (6,000 gp each, or 15,000 gp if sold as a set), a scepter, forged from meteoric iron, bearing sharpened flanges and topped with a huge fire opal carved to resemble a leering, fanged skull (35,000 gp), and the following gems, stored in a pouch made from elf flesh: three rich purple, transparent Oriental Amethysts (1,000 gp each), five emeralds (1,000 gp each), four matching deep blue spinels (500 gp each), and a star ruby about the size of a golf ball (10,000 gp).
No. 9. 125 pp, an idol carved from solid onyx in the likeness of a primordial beast (5,000 gp), a celestial gold buckle, fashioned to resemble a half moon (7,500 gp), a bracelet made from 10 matching opal gems, each delicately carved to resemble twinkling stars and connected with wrought platinum links (15,000 gp), and a black velvet pouch containing three matching rubies (5,000 gp each).
No. 10. 16,200 gp, 98 pp, 1 ad.
No. 5. Four rosewood chests with wrought platinum fittings, each inlaid with ivory and onyx sigils representing the basic elements of air, earth, fire and water (3,000 gp each). The “air” chest contains an ornately carved jar, fashioned from a single piece of crystal (10,000 gp) containing a pint of distilled moonlight (12,000 gp), a non-magical wand wrought from celestial gold, studded with smaller diamonds and set with an enormous diamond at the working end (15,000 gp), and a small statuette, forged from solid mithral, shaped in the form of an ascendant pegasus (20,000 gp). The “earth” chest contains 20,000 sp, 18,000 gp and 370 pp. The “fire” chest holds a covered, cold-iron brazier, studded with a dozen fire opals and bearing eldritch runes inlaid in mithral; speaking the runes and lifting the lid conjures forth a campfire-sized elemental flame that needs neither air nor fuel to burn indefinitely, and closing the lid re-extinguishes it (57,000 gp). The “water” chest contains a sphere of elemental ice that perpetually regenerates itself, even as it melts back to its plane of origin (25,000 gp), resting upon a bed of 270 perfectly-formed white pearls (100 gp each, total pearl value 27,000 gp).
No. 6. 4,700 gp, 1,053 pp, a book (with covers and a spine fashioned from platinum and inlaid with bloodstone, onyx and garnets) with pages formed from thin sheets of ivory with text fashioned from astral gold leaf, that reveal the true names of four powerful extraplanar entities, one each from the Feywild, Shadowfell, Abyss and Far Realm (100,000 gp), and a hooded cloak, with matching belt, boots and shoulder satchel, fashioned from a gorgon’s hide – the cloak is nonmagical neck slot item requiring cloth armor proficiency that grants a +3 item bonus to AC (100,000 gp).
No. 7. 3,100 gp, 369 pp, and a pair of vambraces with matching bandolier, stitched from demon hide and reinforced with cold-forged iron (25,000 gp); the bandolier holds 10 perfectly balanced, matching throwing daggers, made from cold-forged iron with handles of celestial gold (7,500 gp each).
No. 8. 50 pp, a pouch woven from the hair of a unicorn’s tail (10,000 gp) containing five diamonds (10,000 gp each), and a celestial gold arm spiral rendering a sun and moon in filigree, centered around a light-emitting white crystal (the crystal is actually part of a living star – value 75,000 gp).
No. 9. 7,700 gp, 133 pp, and a hollowed-out dragon’s horn, etched with arcane symbols indicating it was once part of the dragon Xanthicron, grandson of Io. Divinatory rune tiles contained in the horn, fashioned from Xanthicron’s body, can be used as the components for a single use of the Loremaster’s Bargain ritual – using the runes for this purpose contacts Xanthicron’s spirit for the ritual, and provides a +5 bonus to the required skill check rolls for that use of the ritual only (50,000 gp).
No. 10. 5 ad.
No. 5. 21,300 gp, 1,037 pp, a celestial silver ring, fashioned to resemble a pair of angelic hands cradling a flawless diamond (15,000 gp), a longsword scabbard, coated with silvery, interwoven strands of astral spider silk and studded with celestial silver (25,000 gp), a brooch, made from celestial gold and set with five matching rubies (35,000 gp), and a tile of veinless white marble, three feet on a side, bearing the true fingerprint of Moradin and still crackling with primordial energy (100,000 gp).
No. 6. 750 pp, and a nonmagical orb of solid onyx, approximately one foot in diameter and set with studs of celestial platinum in a configuration matching the stars in the game world’s night sky (75,000 gp), set within a cosmolabe fashioned from celestial gold that depicts the location of the Feywild, Shadowfell, Abyss and Far Realms (100,000 gp).
No. 7. 704 gp, 243 pp, and a belt of prayer beads, consisting of 12 diamonds and 120 sapphires, threaded upon a slender cord woven from Sehanine’s hair (150,000 gp).
No. 8. 15 ad, a walking stick, carved from a massive dragon claw with caps of mithral(15,000 gp), a statuette of a pixie, forged from celestial silver and bearing wings made from paper-thin sheets of precious gemstones (20,000 gp), and a four-foot-tall alabaster vase, studded with jewels (25,000 gp).
No. 9. 896 gp, 191 pp, a mithral comb (5,000 gp), a small box fashioned from demon teeth with platinum fittings and clasp (10,000 gp), a primordial idol, fashioned from elemental magma (20,000 gp), and a pair of celestial silver bracelets, each set with a half-dozen amethyst gemstones (15,000 gp each, or 35,000 gp for the pair).
No. 10. 1,050 sp, 2,095 gp, and 578 pp.