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Old 10-23-2020, 08:17 PM   #1
Pragmatic
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Default Best objets d'art found in adventures?

I think this is system-agnostic...

So many adventures have generic two- or three-word names (gold/ivory chess set, for instance).

But every once in a while, the adventure includes a really fine piece of art that makes you say, "forget the selling price, this is going into our headquarters!"

One I remember (vaguely, don't remember where it was listed...) was a painting of elves hunting animals, and the scene was animated (like a Hogswart portrait).
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Old 10-24-2020, 04:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

An elephant made of finest wood with ivory inlays. We kept it and promptly renamed our adventuring party "Company of the Elephant".
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Old 10-24-2020, 06:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

Well, in our Shadowrun campaign it's not a single object. It is more that the rigger suffers from some kind of "hamster-instinct" (?) and keeps every vehicle the group "finds" for himself. No matter what size or kind, he keeps it because "we maybe could use it".

His backyard must look like a used-car dealership.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

Definitely the shield (it never had a name as such everybody knew what you meant), an outsized buckler with a polished bronze face and a blackened boss forming a very detailed bulls head. Not in anyway magical or, as a working shield, particularly well made but very striking.

It turned up in a collection of junk piled up in a cultists shrine and triggered a bit of an 'It must be mine!' response amongst the PC's, a group of exiled soldiers going by the title of the Company of the Black Bull.

After several PC deaths and much cultist slaughtering it passed into our hands, or more accurately into the hands of our almost completely ineffectual NPC leader (a deposed civic leader we had, unwillingly, followed into exile) where it served as a standard for the company throughout their almost successful quest to restore him to power.

The big joke is that it was created as a throwaway detail in the description of a room by the GM before the campaign derailment that left us exiled and before we chose the name.

Last edited by Frost; 10-25-2020 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

In our fantasy campaign, the cosmology include the forces of Destiny, Fate and Luck as personified, not Gods, but definitely Involved Forces.

So, when it came time to reduce a long-established and successful island of pirates in the Neva river, the infiltration phase included an attack on the Pirate King's stash.

Some gold, a few jewels, numerous quality weapons, and at the bottom among the bric-a-brac, a dirty-grey ivory piece carved like a wolf, his head and tail up as if howling.

Since the Grey Wolf is the chooser of paths, and the Pirates had a choice of sides of the island to attack passing ships, I kept it, thinking I'd broken the Pirate's run of 'luck'.

They were finished that day. Since then, PC and pals have gained enormously, but mine is visited by a wolf (eyes as big as millstones!) who seems to stick his head into the room from another dimension, who asks 'So which way? Die today or die tomorrow?'

So far it's always been 'Die tomorrow'.

Feels like the Chinese proverb: 'Who rides the Tiger's back should take care not to fall off'.
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

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Originally Posted by sgtcallistan View Post
In our fantasy campaign, the cosmology include the forces of Destiny, Fate and Luck as personified, not Gods, but definitely Involved Forces.

So, when it came time to reduce a long-established and successful island of pirates in the Neva river, the infiltration phase included an attack on the Pirate King's stash.

Some gold, a few jewels, numerous quality weapons, and at the bottom among the bric-a-brac, a dirty-grey ivory piece carved like a wolf, his head and tail up as if howling.

Since the Grey Wolf is the chooser of paths, and the Pirates had a choice of sides of the island to attack passing ships, I kept it, thinking I'd broken the Pirate's run of 'luck'.

They were finished that day. Since then, PC and pals have gained enormously, but mine is visited by a wolf (eyes as big as millstones!) who seems to stick his head into the room from another dimension, who asks 'So which way? Die today or die tomorrow?'

So far it's always been 'Die tomorrow'.

Feels like the Chinese proverb: 'Who rides the Tiger's back should take care not to fall off'.
Did you at least offer him doggy treats? or a beer when he shows up?
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:33 PM   #7
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

Is an armoire an objets d'art? The thing my group will never forget (and they prove this by reminding me at every opportunity) is a bronzewood armoire found in an Eberron module.

It was a throwaway detail in a room at an abandoned magical research base and I'd bet pretty much anything that the module writer thought "bronzewood" was like double-special oak and only worth 2 or 3 times as much as regular wood.

Instead it is a magical substance unique to Eberon and so tough that incredibly affluent but clumsy Druids are supposed to make plate armor with. It costs 500 GP pe rlb. So that was the easy part. The hard part was figuring out how much this piece of furniture weighed.

It might not have mattered if the PCs had not had a wagon but the writer gave the bad guys a wagon and guess where that wound up? This also enabled them to take the adamantine doors and the 2000 sunrods. No, they haven't forgotten the sunrods either.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

The Holy Grail. (pendragon campaign. They don't get to keep it, but they do get to witness it and benefit from it.)

I've had players ask for details of the various crowns they find in treasures in various games; Pendragon and The One Ring are particularly prone to players asking.

One player in Pendragon took a statue from a Roman villa (Roman as in in Rome), the statue being of some roman goddess.

In Arrowflight, the players hired a carpenter to make a gorgeous dollhouse... which was the new home for the faerie PC.

One crypt they encountered had gorgeous bas-relief walls depicting the battles of the one buried within... They were there to put him back in the sarcophagus. (D&D homebrw world campaign.)
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

It might not quite count, but in one campaign the party finally came across the basilisk that petrified the princess. They beat the creature, take the statue, and head out, swinging by their headquarters on the way. One of them sets the princess up as a statue and the others all remark on how nice she looks.

As the GM I casually remind them how much the king is asking for and when one of them thinks on how to fix the statue an IQ roll reminds them about the curse remover they found four adventures ago. Standard thing, the adventure was one and I could easily wrap things up there.

But instead, they decide to keep the statue because it fit the room so well. And they all remembered how much they hated the curse remover, so the next session ended up being about travelling there, murdering the (admittedly terrible) man, then lying and convincing the king the quest ended in failure.

No, I wouldn't say this party was lawful good.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best objets d'art found in adventures?

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
T

In Arrowflight, the players hired a carpenter to make a gorgeous dollhouse... which was the new home for the faerie PC.
)
In Curse of Strahd my character found a toy merry-go-round. Of course it showed wolves chasing children which was suposed to have creeped out that normal person the writers always assume you'll bring into a Ravenloft game.

However, my character was a Half-Orc Barbarian who was raised by wolves and it brought back happy memories from his childhood. After that he started collecting toys. He eventually had a scale model of Castle Ravenloft itself.
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