Players having the ability to buy magic items isn’t actually a problem. It’s the means by which the purchase of magic items is implemented that can be a problem. Functionally unlimited access to a full list of magic items is the problem. Game advancement that assumes the players will accrue magic item upgrades along a vague schedule is the problem.
But if a wizard opens his robes to reveal a necklace hanging from the inside and says “You want necklace? Much magical. Good price. You buy now, yes?” Well then that’s just fuckin’ awesome.
The Curio Shop could take a number of different forms. Perhaps it’s a well known fixture of a capitol city’s wealthy merchantile district. Perhaps it’s a run down shack in the ghetto. It could be a traveling wagon that sets up wherever it finds people; or it could be an extra dimensional room, the entrance to which is any door that you walk through backwards 3 times.
Regardless, the curio shop can only be visited during play. Players can’t purchase from it between sessions the way they might with other shops.
While there are always a large number of oddities available in the curio shop, most are really just there to drain the coins of the unserious looky-loo. For those looking for something more substantive than a cow fetus in a jar, there are always 8 items available for sale.
Each time the players enter the shop, 1d6-1 random items have been sold since the last time the players visited. The empty slots are restocked by rolling on the d100 restocking table, which can be repopulated at the referee’s leisure.
I would recommend that the referee track items randomly removed from the shop. Because, ya know, the fact that they’re gone means that somebody out there in your campaign world bought them. So it serves as a handy list of magic items you can give to an NPC.
Some items in the curio shop are there merely because they appear to be magical, or otherwise impressive. These items will require identification, and may prove to be nothing more than expensive baubles. Other items have already been identified, and are invariably priced much higher. It is important that players be made aware of these facts. While the shop keeper may be trying to fleece the players, the referee should be clear about the facts: “This item may or may not be magical. You won’t be able to find out until you buy it.” That’s an interesting choice, and one that players will take you up on from time to time. And no, the curio shop owner doesn’t want you futzing with his inventory, casting Identify on items before you buy them.
All sales are final.
Currently In Stock:
1. A powder puff. When used, raises your Cha to 18 for one day, but reduces your STR to 3 for the same length of time. Has 8 uses. Cost: 600sp
2. A six sided die which always lands on the last side you tapped your index finger on. Cost: 200sp.
4. A pocket of holding. Once sewn onto pants or a pack, it can hold a single item, which a single character would be able to lift by themselves. When placed in this pocket, the item adds nothing to the character’s encumbrance. Cost: 2000sp.
5. Wooden Rat mask. Painted in a simplistic, tribal fashion. Cost: 2000sp
Identify: When worn, there is an 80% chance the character will transform into a rat (with all the benefits and penalties that implies), and a 20% chance that everyone, including the wearer’s friends, will simply see them as a rat. Only the wearer can tell the difference. Once it has been worn, the mask’s effects will remain the same for 1 week.
6. Flickering Prism Ioun Stone Cost: 1200sp.
Identify: Ioun Stone 151 “The IOUN stone of absolute desperation stores a massive amount of positive energy. The user can employ this stone only a limited number of times, allowing for the casting of any single spell at 1d3+1 levels higher and at maximum effect, causing a -2 penalty on any saves made against the chosen spell’s effects. The stone has a base chance of 50% of crumbling after its initial use, with an increase of +10% per use.”
7. A compass which will always point towards the location of the last person whose blood was dribbled on the needle. Cost: 3800sp
8. A housecat-sized grizzly bear in a cage. Cost: 500sp
D100 Restocking Table
1.A long-lived, 4 inch tall woman. Claims to be the daughter of a woman who fell in love with a beetle. Does not appreciate being sold as a curio, but is under a curse and must obey whomever purchases her until they die. Even if they wish to free her. Cost: 4200sp
2. An entrancing box of chocolates. When offered to anyone, their reaction roll is immediately considered Friendly. Once offered, the recipient will consume the chocolates, and the item will become useless. Cost: 900sp
3. The crest of the Wizard Overlord for Level 7, Column D. Cost: 4000sp
4. A piece of brown chalk. Cost: 300sp
Identify: When a circle is drawn on the ground with this chalk, a simple one-room hut of wood will appear. Max diameter 15’
5. A door which, when rested against a wall and knocked upon, becomes a real functioning door in the wall. One use only. Cost: 500sp
6. A scroll of Fireball as the AD&D spell. Cost: 1400sp
7. A scroll of Cone of Cold as the AD&D spell. Cost: 2000sp
8. A scroll of Ice Storm as the AD&D spell. Cost: 1700sp
9. A scroll of Shocking Grasp as the AD&D spell. Cost: 800sp
10. Triple Barrel Pistol. Takes 3 times as long to load, but each barrel can be fired individually or together. Cost: 1500sp
11. Sure Tangle Whip. Any non-threatening object which a whip could easily wrap around, the whip will tightly wrap around on a successful attack roll. Rafters or teacups are good examples. Enemy feet or weapons don’t work. Cost: 600sp
12. Unknottable rope. Completely mundane in all respects, save that any knot tied with the rope, regardless of the skill with which it was tied, will immediately come undone as soon as pressure is placed upon it. Cost: 100sp
13. Gloves which chill anything they touch. This cannot be used as an attack, but will keep your drinks from getting warm. Cost: 100sp
14. A codpiece with a large, upwards turning horn on it. Cost: 200sp
15. A stone dagger. Carved elaborately. Cost: 500sp
16. A glass dagger. Cost: 500sp
Identify: A glasstouch dagger, as seen in Magical Marvels 10.
- A small, pocket sized horse made of jade. Cost: 400sp
18. A metal skullcap covered in 6” long spikes, spaced 3” apart. Cost: 3500sp
Identify: Grants the wearer a +2 bonus to rolls to resist charm effects. And, if successfully saved against, the helm deals 2d8 damage to the caster of said spell.
19. A blue speckled egg with the words “Hat of Five Birds” written in gold letters around it. Cost: 1500sp
Identify: A Hat of 5 Birds, as seen in Magical Marvels 14.
20. A deck of Illusions. Each card pulled from the deck will cause an illusion to materialize. (As seen in Magical Marvels 15) Cost: 1200sp
21. A staff topped with a skull, roses grow from the eye sockets. A spellcaster may tap it on the ground, and expend one of their spells for the day, to unleash a blast of spores. Targets must save v. breath or become infected with the sproes. 1 turn later they must make a save v. magic. On success, they take 2d8 damage as the spores die. On failure, the spores wrap around their brain, and they become the spellcaster’s minions for one week, then die. Cost: 12,500sp
22. A snarling cat’s mouth with a blade erupting from it. Somewhat crudely carved on the hilt is the name “Skarper.” This weapon provides a +1 bonus to attack and damage, and the wielder gains darkvision, as well as a +2 bonus to any attempt to flee from or avoid combat. Cost: 2400sp
23. Spear of many. When thrown, this spear magically multiplies into a barrage of 10 spears. If the to hit roll was successful, the target takes 1d10 times normal spear damage. If the roll was a failure, the target still takes 1d4 times normal spear damag. Unfortunately, it takes a full day for the conjured spears to disappear, so after combat, the character must either carry 10 spears around all day, or risk losing the one true magic spear. Cost: 8,000sp
24. A 1” tall featureless figurine which takes on the appearance of anyone who picks it up. Once purchased, it imprints on its owner, and will no longer change shape. At will, the owner may trade places with the figurine, appearing wherever the figurine was, while the figurine appears wherever the owner was. After each use there is a 2% chance the figurine will crumble to dust. Cost: 2500sp
25. A codpiece with a large, outwards spike of steel on it. Cost: 200sp
Identify: Can be used to launch lightning bolts at foes with an aggressive hip thrust. Save v. Devices or take 1d6 damage.
26. A specially designed pistol with a brace of 20 capsules. Each capsule can be fired at a target within 5’, exploding in a puff of powdery smoke from the end of the gun, and being inhaled by the victim. That target must save v. poison to avoid the effects of the powder. On failure, the one who fired the gun must make a charisma check, with the target’s hit dice as a penalty. If they succeed, the target becomes their obedient servant for 2d4 weeks before the powder wears off. If the charisma check is failed, there is an 80% chance the target will become crazed and violent, gaining a +4 to both hit and damage rolls. The other 20% of the time, the target’s head explodes. Cost: 5,000sp
27. A small cymbal the size of a saucer. When rapped with the knuckles, it creates no sound. Instead, any undead creatures within 100’ wail loudly in pain, revealing their locations. This does not reveal the location of the party, though intelligent undead are likely to realize some foe is nearby. Cost: 400sp
28. A bracelet with simple stick-figure depictions of weapon fighting around it. Cost: 400sp
Identify: A weapon up to medium size can be stored in an extradimensional space inside of this bracelet. As a move action, the weapon can be launched into the owner’s hand.
29. A chainmail bikini. Grants a base armor class of 18, and uses only 1 encumberance. Cost: 4000sp
30. A ring of tinkering +1. If the tinkering check is failed, character takes a -4 on any saving throws that would result from failure. Cost: 700sp
31. A ring with a large diamond on it. The ring allows the player to grant any other person’s wish. However, the wish ceases to function if the player who granted the wish comes within 500’ of the person whose wish was granted. (Resuming function once they are again sufficiently far apart). A wish cannot be coerced. Cost: 3000sp
32. A ring which makes the hand that wears it completely invulnerable. If the sun goes supernova, your hand–ending at the wrist–will be all that remains. Cost: 1100sp.
33. A ring with a small length of string sprouting from its outside edge–perhaps 1/3rd of an inch. Cost: 300sp
Identify: Anything thrown with this hand, while wearing this ring, will return to the hand as soon as it stops moving, flying backwards through the battlefield. Ammunition from bows, crossbows, etc do not count.
34. A ring which makes any weapon the wearer holds poisonous. (If damage rolled is in the upper half of the weapon’s damage range, target must save v. poison or take 3d6 Con damage over 2 turns). Once put on, this ring can never be taken off without removing the finger. (“You feel a dozen spikes around the ring drilling through meat and deep into the bone of your finger.”) While ring is worn, your own poison save is reduced by 1. Cost: 2000sp
35. A mummified finger. If your own finger is cut off and this one attached in its place, you permanently lose 1 point of charisma, but gain the use of a “Hold Person” touch attack once per day. Cost: 1300sp
36. Box of Snuff. 20 doses. Cost: 500sp
Identify: When used, you may act twice per round for the duration of the combat it is used in. (Using it counts as an action in combat). At the end of combat, save v. poison, or pass out for 1d4 hours.
37. A bullseye lantern. If shined in the eyes of a foe (An attack action) they must make a save v. devices or suffer the same blindness as if Light had been cast on their eyes. Cost: 800sp
38. A 10’ pole with a permanent “Knock” spell on the tip of it. Touch a door, and the door will pop open. Does not work if the door is locked with a mechanical lock of -1 difficulty or more. Does work if the door is barred from the other side, or Wizard locked. Cost: 1800sp
39. A muddy pair of boots and overalls. When worn, no one will remember what you look like if they try to describe you later, unless you specifically speak to them. People who might already recognize you from seeing your face previously must make a wisdom save to successfully recognize you. Cost: 800sp
40. A book. It is locked (tinkering required to open it). If “Read Magic” is cast on the runes on the cover, it reads “Do not begin a thing you cannot finish.” Cost: 2000sp
Identify: Anyone who begins reading the book cannot stop reading until they are finished. Unfortunately, the book is supernaturally long, and they cannot eat, drink, or sleep while they read. The base time to read the book is 3 days. Make an Int check. For each four points by which the check succeeds, it takes one less day. For each two points by which the check fails, it takes one more day. Characters take 1d6 damage each day. If they survive, their Intelligence is permanently increased by 1d3, to a maximum of 18.
41. A hairbrush. Cost: 150sp
Identify: When you brush your hair with it, your hair’s color changes. Takes 1 turn, can change to any color that exists.
42. A simple leather belt with a bronze buckle. Once per week, wearer may give stern orders to anyone of their same species which is still considered a child. (12 and under for humans). The child is beholden to follow all orders from the wearer for 24 hours, as if under the effects of Charm Person. However, the child is intimidated, not charmed. Cost: 800sp
43. A snorkel which legs longer the deeper the wearer goes, or the higher the water rises. Air will always reach someone using this snorkel, so long as there is a straight line between them and the surface. (Won’t function in underwater caves, for example). Cost: 600sp
44. Goggles of detect magic. While worn, it is as though you are constantly under the effects of a Detect Magic spell. For each turn worn, roll a save v. devices. On failure, you go blind for a number of days equal to the number of turns the goggles were worn. Cost: 1300sp
45. An admiral’s hat, with ribbons on one side. Cost: 200sp
46. A plumed headdress. Cost: 200sp
Identify: While worn, you can speak to birds.
47. A tri-corner hat. While worn, you have a chance to cut off some creature’s heads on a hit roll of 20. For creatures with 1-2 hit dice, the chance is 100%. 3-5HD creatures at 50%, and 6-7HD creatures at 20%. Cost: 10,000sp
48. A band of gold to wrap around your head, gems stud the outside of it, Four large golden horns curve up to the center, where they meet high above your head. Cost: 10,000sp
49. A band of gold metal to go ‘round your head. Flowing golden cloth encapsules your hair, and falls down around your shoulders. (Like a pharoes headdress) Cost: 8,000sp
Identify: The headdress of the god king. A reaction roll of 12 with HD1 creatures will cause them to revere you as a god.
50. A human scalp, reinforced with hard leather. Grants a +6 on saving throws versus magic or devices. Allies all suffer -1. Cost: 4000sp
51. A crinkled wrapping of thin, soft metal. It is shaped to be fit over the head. When worn, you are immune to any mind affecting spells, or psionic attacks. However, everything which comes out of your mouth is pure maddness. No one can have a reaction roll better than neutral with you. Cost: 1500sp
52. A pocketwatch. Only tells time when a monster is encountered. If the individual monster with the highest HD has more HD than you, the watch will read “Time to Run,” if they have equal, it will read “Time to talk,” if they have less, it will read “Time to crush the weak!” Cost: 1000sp
53. A cuckoo clock which chimes anytime someone is about to attack you from hiding. Comes with straps so it can be worn as a backpack, requiring a full encumberance slot. Cost: 600sp
54. Sandles of peaceful travel. While traveling overland, you get where you’re going with no encounters, and no memories of having travelled. Save v. poison or lose 1d6 x 5% of carried coinage. Cost: 1200sp
55. A dwarven beard-ring which causes your beard to look particularly grand. Dwarfs react at plus 2, and goblings & giants of 10 HD or less (total, as a group) must check morale or flee immediately before you. Cost: 2000sp
56. A monocle. Those who don’t know you assume you’re landed gentry, regardless of any other clothes you’re wearing. Cost:600sp
57. Sash of holding. Each such sash may hold 1d4 + 1 weapons without adding anything to encumberence. The sash itself is 1 item. Cost: 1600sp
58. Sash of dancing. You become the greatest dancer in the world whilst wearing this. Only the gods themselves could challenge your skill. Cost: 3000sp
59. A mask which, when worn, takes on the appearance of your own face, only upside down. While wearing it, you may attempt to turn undead as a cleric of half your hit dice once per day. Cost: 1000sp
60. A blank mask. Grants +1 to Vanish checks. Allows non-specialists to make vanish checks at 1-in-6.
61. A goat mask. Devils will treat you as though you are the very lowest ranking form of devil. (Because all goats are devils).
62. A pig which has been fed all of its life on a steady diet of dragonsbane. If a dragon eats it, they must save v. poison or die. Cost: 2000sp
63. A black potion with purple bubbles. Cost: 500sp
Identify: Raise all stats to 18 for 1 day.
64. A modern revolver with 2d12 bullets. The bullets cannot be manufactured, due to the high amount of precision required. Has a +2 to hit for ease of use, and deals 2d10 damage. If either die rolls a 10, the target must save v. poison or die. Cost: 1500sp
65. A vest which grants the wearer gaseous form as the spell at will, but only functions if no one is looking at them when they use it. Can be worn with other armor. Cost: 4000sp
66. A large robe, cannot be worn with any other armors. Grants spell resistence of 10% to the character which wears it. Cost: 3000sp
67. A cape which allows the wearer to perform minor acts of prestedigitation. Pulling rabbits from hats, and creating entertaining sparkles of light, etc. Cost: 700sp
68. A hand drill which drills completely silently. Cost: 200sp
69. A dragon’s heart. If eaten, save v., poison. If you fail you lose 1d6 con. If you succeed you gain 1d2. Cost: 300sp
70. A trained monkey. Loyalty 6, climb is 5-in-6, stealth and sleight of hand are both 3-in-6. Cost: 1100sp
71. A bronze snake headed staff. Cost: 1200sp
Identify: Allows a magic user to speak to serpents. Intelligent reptiles encountered must save v. magic. On a failure the caster gainst a +2 to their reaction roll, on a failure they take a -2 penalty because it is shameful for a non-reptile to have the staff. Staff also allows wielder to cast “Sticks to Snakes” once per day.
72. A silver snake headed staff. Cost: 1200sp
73. A pokearm which can be set against a charge, and will remain set in that spot even if you walk away. Does not move until it draws blood (which can be a harmless finger prick if you need to pick it up again). Cost: 900sp
74. A sling which always hits whatever you aim at, but never deals any damage. The impact is always just a firm tap. Cost: 600sp
75. A vampire’s tooth. While held, any cannibalism you engage in restores 2d6 hit points. Additionally, if you ever encounter the vampire whose tooth it is (1% chance each time you encounter a vampire), the tooth will give you some small measure of power over the vampire for as long as they don’t know you have it. (If they see it, your power is broken, and they will hunt you to the ends of the earth). Cost: 1100sp
76. A quill, made of peacock plume. Cost: 300sp
77. A quill, made from parrot feather. Cost: 300sp
Identify: If dipped in a person’s blood, then anything written in that person’s blood, they will say out loud as soon as you finish writing it. (Max 1 page.)
78. A bright blue potion which swirls of its own volition. Cost: 250sp
Identify: Heals 1d10+1
79. A potion which fades from pink to purple depending on the our of the day. Cost: 250sp
Identify: The imbiber can levitate up and down only. Spell ends when their feet touch the ground.
80. A black potion which looks white around the edges where it touches the container. Cost: 250sp
Identify: A potion of deliberation. No random encounters occur. Any creature you seek to encounter appears within 1 turn of beginning your search.
81. A bronze cooking pan. Cost: 150sp
Identify: Anything cooked in the pan is seasoned and marinated excellently. It’s a bitch to clean, though.
82. Teapot. Cost: 200sp
Identify: Any water in the teapot will boil within 1 minute.
83. An urn. When opened, an ash beast will be released, and attack your foes. When your foes are destroyed, the ash beast will attempt to leave. If you hold the urn towards the creature, it must save v. device. If it fails, it is returned to the jar. If it succeeds, the urn shatters, and the creature will attack you. Cost: 800sp
84. A bull headed staff. Cost: 2000sp
Identify: The wielder of the staff gains +2 strength. Those hit with the staff (with a melee attack roll) must save v. device or be knocked backwards 1d4 x 5’. If the wielder of this staff stands in the path of a charging beast, the beast must save v. magic or stop its charge. (It will still be hostile. If it succeeds, the MU will be hit by the charge. Minotaurs who see someone wielding this staff will become enraged.
85. A unicorn headed staff made of lightweight metal, unfamiliar to you. Cost: 2000sp
86. A steel staff. The top twists like a net around a dozen rattling rat skulls. Cost: 2000sp
Identify: The wielder of this staff may summon a swarm of 12 rats each day. The swarm understands his verbal commands, but is unable to perform any task which would require more than normal rat intelligence.
87. A staff of red wood. At the tip is an eternal candle flame. Cost: 2000sp
88. A longsword which can’t hit in melee. It only hits targets which are at a distance. Targets 10’ away can be attacked normally. For each additional 10’ of distance, the attacker suffers a -2 to their hit roll. Cost: 3000sp
89. A longsword. On a successful hit, roll 1d4. On a 1-3, the sword deals only 1 damage. On a 4, the sword deals 10 damage. Cost: 1900sp
90. A Shortsword. On a killing blow, the victim explodes in a 20’ cone of boiling blood away from their attacker. Anyone in that area takes 3d6 damage, save v. breath for half. Cost: 2000sp
91. A crossbow which ignores all armor, but takes a full round to reload. Cost: 1500sp
92. A crossbow which fires bolt with a string of light attached to them. On successfully dealing damage, target must save v. paralyzation or be pulled into melee range with the crossbow wielder. Cost: 2000sp
93. 3 charming arrows. Those who are struck by them must save v. device, or be affected by a charm spell until the arrow is removed. Cost: 200sp each
94. Arrow of Unmaking. Target of a successful hit must save v. poison, or the arrow goes back in time and kills one of their parents as a child, making it as though they had never existed. Cost: 400sp
95. A shield which floats in the air, allowing the wielder to use two handed weapons. However, the shield gets in the way a bit, causing a -2 to attack rolls. Cost: 900sp
96-100. Roll a random Ioun Stone from Quann’ra-tioll Moorchlyne’s Most Excellent Compilation of all the realm’s known Ioun Stones. (A superlative game aide. There is nothing more to be written about Ioun Stones.)
Ideas for Replacement Table Replacements
-An arrow which causes all of the target’s ammunition to teleport to you.
-A Shield Shatter Arrow
-A shield. Each arrow that misses you has a 15% chance to ricochet at an enemy.
-A shield. Pour lantern oil on it, it becomes a giant lantern.
-A shield which can be sacrificed to negate a breath effect for the entire party.
-A suit of plate which grants a +2 to saves v. breath, but a -20’ penalty to movement.
-A suit of plate which can be slept in without any penalty.
-A suit of chain. When foes roll a 1, their weapons get stuck between the links of your armor, and they cannot get them out.
-A suit of chain which grants 1 more AC than normal, but missiles fired at allies have a 50% chance to redirect towards you.
-A suit of chain which can cast remove curse on the wearer once every 3 months.
-A halberd which is spectrally attuned. It strikes incorporeal creatures as if they were corporeal.
-A sword which, when drawn, releases a cloud of ash.
Randomly removed from the shop:
- A bottle of decent-ish red wine which replenishes its own contents as it is drunk. (You drink a cup, it restores one cup’s worth.) Cost: 400sp
- A 1’ long rod with a switch on the end. Once pressed, the rod will never move from its current position relative to its environment, until the switch is pressed again. Cost: 700sp
- IIoun Stone 598, Small Grey Cube. “Once per day for the duration of 2 rounds, this IOUN stone allows its owner to use the stone sensing abilities of a Dwarf. Dwarves do not gain any benefit from this stone” Cost: 1500sp