10 Difficult-to-Sell Treasures

Sometimes the PCs emerge from the dungeon laden down with bags of coins, pouches stuffed with gems and jewels and even magic items! Other times, they emerge with items somewhat trickier to sell on…


Perhaps the items are apparently worthless, stolen or just only of interest to a subset of people. Others might have a moral dimension. For example, would a paladin be fine with selling unholy symbols wrenched from around the necks of slain evil cultists?

Use the table below, to generate details of treasure that might be hard to sell after the adventure:

  1. This skull-shaped medallion is crafted from beaten brass. Covered in verdigris, it has a fell aspect. Symbols of death, suffering and damnation are etched into the skull’s forehead
  2. At first glance, this small clay statuette depicts nothing more than a dumpy woman sitting cross-legged on the floor. The figure is poorly sculpted and obviously very old. Although it appears to be nothing more than junk, a collector or sage can identify it as an ancient depiction of the nature goddess.
  3. In lurid detail this disturbing tapestry depicts a slender, bald vampire suckling on the neck of an elven woman. The attack takes place amid the shadows clustering beneath a stand of stunted, gnarled trees. The tapestry is 20-foot square, is rather bulky and weighs 20 pounds.
  4. This ornate ivory candlestick holder stands almost two-foot tall. It depicts a naked, lascivious succubus standing in a provocative, seductive pose with its arms raised high above its head. The demon’s face has a look of pure lust upon it. Clearly, the candlestick was commissioned by an evil, depraved individual.
  5. Bulky, but supple, this roll of worn leather is tied together with a length of faded red silk. The roll contains a small selection of torture equipment: different shaped knives, saws and even a small hand drill. The tools look old and well-used, but are clean—perhaps suspiciously so. The leather is of unknown origin…
  6. This two-foot long slender dagger has a hollow hilt and a tiny pipe leading from it to the dagger’s tip. The hilt’s lid can be unscrewed and the hollow has a suspicious, cloying smell about it. Evil cultists use this dagger to poison their foes—sometimes in battle and sometimes on the torture table.
  7. The top of this dwarven skull has been sliced off and its eyes sockets, mouth and other orifices crudely filled with silver. A cast iron handle has been fused to the skull where the vertebra should be. This macabre drinking cup was once used by a hill giant chieftain to toast his victories.
  8. An intricate carving of a beatific man lying at rest with his hands clasped over his chest decorates the lid of this small, ornate iron box. The box is sealed–welded shut. It feels surprisingly light-weight and contains nothing but a fine grey dust and several bone fragments.
  9. With a plain, battered leather cover this small book at first glance doesn’t seem particularly noteworthy. A PC perusing the text discovers it comprises several short plays. Written by an unknown hand, all the plays lampoon and deride the current ruler of the kingdom. It is a seditious, banned work and is one of a dozen or so copies still in circulation. Those caught with the work are guilty of treason.
  10. This ornate scroll is the deeds to a prominent local landmark such as a bridge, shrine or small fort. Ornately decorated and quite detailed in its description of the property it certainly looks genuine. While it may–or may not–be genuine the landmark detailed belongs to a powerful local noble family. Few would willingly tangle with their retainers and servants.

Related Posts

Related Book

This article will appear in 20 Things #18: Troublesome Treasures, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

If you’d like to support Raging Swan Press, please join our Patreon campaign. Pledge what you want. Cancel when you want. Get cheap books. Even a $1 pledge is epic and helps us pay our freelancers a decent rate!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

5 thoughts on “10 Difficult-to-Sell Treasures

  1. This is a fantastic line of thinking. It trips off some other ideas and is a great source of problematic treasure. Should also inspire some good role playing between the good and neutral types in the party. Really well done!!