Thursday, April 21, 2011

Found Items

The Golden Rhino of Mapungubwe - could easily be a Found Item!
Found Items were a curious form of random additional "treasure" found in early Runequest scenarios. In each room description, there was a percentage chance of a Found Item that could be revealed by a Spot Hidden roll in a full search of the room. Some of the items were useless, some powerful, but all intriguing.

For instance, two of the Found Items from Snakepipe Hollow show how the flavor of the typical table:

"4. An arm of a small statue. The arm is 30 cm long, magical and made of copper. The arm is very old and is heavily tarnished so that it is totally green. If the arm touches the bare skin of a person with a disease, it will cure him. The arm can only cure 1 disease per week and after curing 4 more diseases, it will have used up all its power and it will fall to pieces."

"15. A shredded leather jerkin, covered with old blood."

Each of the Found Items could be an adventure seed or plot item in its own right. Do the Chalanna Arroy Sisters revere the statue arm? What statue did it come from? If it can be identified, would restoring the arm to the original statue have extra magical effects? Who did the jerkin belong to? What happened to him? Is it a warning? And so on.

So here is a table of Found Items for Openquest, designated as Open Game Content under the Open Game License, reproduced below under the break.

  1. A rusted and pitted iron sword blade. It radiates faint magic. This was once a magic sword like the Holy Sword of Zunder, but it has been buried and ill-treated long enough that the magic has worn off. If it is cleaned and given a hilt, it will act as a brittle long sword, doing 1d8-2 damage and has a 25% chance of breaking on a successful parry. It will, however, store up to 4 magic points if filled.
  2. A bag of beans. If cooked and eaten, they are exceptionally tasty. If planted, they will grow into Kuragu plants, sacred to healing cults. The leaves of the Kuragu plant will automatically stop bleeding when used with the Healing skill.
  3. A pamphlet written in an obscure dialect of a local language that describes some interesting techniques for unarmed combat. Anyone studying it for a week uninterrupted can add +10% to their Unarmed Combat skill.
  4. A well-folded, magnificent, silken woman's dress, of the latest style, worth at least 1000SP. It has a small cut in the back that could have been made with a knife, but there is no blood, nor any sign of whoever was wearing it.
  5. Three tiny gold figurines - a rhino, a stag and a polar bear. They appear to be worth 100SP for the set, but a critical Trade roll will reveal them to be of exceptional interest to a collector who, if she can be found, will pay 10,000SP for them.
  6. An ornate-looking bronze helmet with a horsehair plume. The helmet is strongly reinforced, giving +1 Armor Points to any armor suit.
  7. Half a bronze breastplate, obviously from the same armor set as the helmet in 6, but cut in half by a remarkably clean blow.
  8. A map of the surrounding area, in great detail, but about a hundred years out of date.
  9. What looks like the fossilized remains of a large octopus, wrapped around an impossibly old harpoon.
  10. A strange wooden bat, actually an implement used in an Elvish game not unlike cricket.
  11. A human finger, clearly bitten off.
  12. Two brass coins, each worth a quarter of a Copper Piece.
  13. Seventy-five marks carved into the wall, as if counting the passage of time.
  14. A skeletal hand protruding from the earthen floor. Digging deeply enough will reveal a full skeleton reaching out of the ground. It is unclear, except perhaps to a critical Natural Lore roll, whether the skeleton was buried like this or whether it was trying to dig its way out.
  15. A terracotta pot, sealed with a set of a magical symbols. If opened, there is a rushing sound, but all it contains is a bunch of rocks.
  16. A set of very heavy shackles and chains. All the shackles are locked. There is no key.
  17. A wolfskin cape.
  18. A velvet pouch in poor condition. Inside are what looks like pulverized gemstones.
  19. A note written on human skin. It discusses a plot to assassinate someone who has the same name as one of the party.
  20. Inside a broken statue head is a gold-plated tongue. If used to replace the tongue of someone who has lost theirs, it will allow them to speak again. The recipient can speak 1d3 additional languages but may no longer speak the words of sorcery spells.


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1 comment:

  1. Great! I love this kind of random treasures too. In the first dungeon in Pavis Rises, the author has also included such a list.