Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Making Gems Fun

I like to make finding gems an exciting experience for the players in my campaign, and here are some tools to help you accomplish this.

Gem Tokens

Download the PDF below, print a few copies on card stock, and cut out the gem tokens as needed.  I keep a stack of the lower base value tokens handy, and cut out the higher base value tokens as needed.

Gem Tokens PDF

Finding Gems

When PCs discover gems as part of a treasure, determine how many they find, and the base value level of the gems.  Use your discretion as DM.  If they're in a low-risk environment, the base level would be 10gp.  Deeper in the dungeon, the base level would be higher.  As a reminder, the base gem value levels from the DMG are:



Have someone in the party roll a number of d6's equal to the number of gems found.  For each 1 rolled, that particular gem goes down by 1 base level (if it's above 10gp).  For each 6 rolled, that gem goes up 1 base level (if it isn't already at 5,000gp).

These 1's and 6's are exploding dice.  For example, if a player found a 10gp base gem, and rolled a 6 for it, the value is bumped up to a 50gp base.  They then roll that die again.  Another 6 means another bump up to 100gp, and keep going until a 6 is not rolled.

Distribute the Loot

Reach into your gem token stacks and give them a gem token for each gem found.

Using Gems for Rituals

This is a completely optional house rule that I instituted for my campaign.  I felt that there was not enough cost to performing rituals (basically a time cost only).  So I established that you need 50gp worth of gems per spell level to cast a spell as a ritual.  The gems are consumed in the process.

Appraising Gems

Players can visit a gem shop in a settlement to appraise, cash in, and exchange gems.  During this process, the gemologist might determine that an individual gem is worth less, or more than its base value.  The cost for the service is 1gp per gem.  Have the player roll 1d10 for each gem being appraised.

If a die comes up a 1 or 10, consult the tables below.  Roll on the Gem Flaws table for 1's, and the Gem Bonuses table for 10's.  Then, roll that die again, repeating the procedure, until a 1 or 10 is not rolled.  You might wind up with an unusually large, finely-cut, exceptionally clear garnet that's worth more than a diamond.

Gem Flaws - d4
1. Smaller than normal, value halved
2. Cracked, value halved
2. Flawed, value quartered
3. Unusually cloudy, value quartered

Gem Bonuses - d4
1. Larger than normal, value increased by half
2. Exceptionally clear, value increased by half
3. Striking color, value doubled
4. Unusual and exquisite cut, value increased by 100-400%.

Do it Yourself

Any PC with proficiency in Jeweler's Tools can spend a Short Rest or longer appraising gems themselves.

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