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Old 01-04-2019, 09:56 AM   #11
Icelander
 
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Default Re: [RPM] Gem Lore, Lapidaries and Precious Stones as Traditional Trappings

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Always look for the third way solutions. Let the villains steal it, kill them, and dump the diamond into the same grave as the bodies, so they still "own" it if anybody does.
If you know exactly when the villains plan to steal it and how they plan to get out, that's a possible plan.

It does mean that you probably don't have to worry too much about these villains, though, as you evidently were capable of dealing with them at any point you chose, which does bring up some questions as to why you even allowed things to get this far.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: [RPM] Gem Lore, Lapidaries and Precious Stones as Traditional Trappings

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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
Sort-of related. The Hope Diamond is said to be cursed. Its owners have supposedly met with great misfortune until it was given to the Smithsonian Museum. It is currently displayed for the public to see on the second floor of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D. C..

Possible adventures include:
* Save the nation! The curse is about to enact its work on the United States of America, the current owner! The PCs have to somehow get the stone away from the country, by means fair or foul. (Of course, this means that the curse falls to them ...)
* The MacGuffin. Obviously this is a powerful magical artifact. Obviously the bad guys want it to enact their evil plans. The PCs need to stop the jewel heist.

Luke
Of course it's cursed. Everyone who owned it died. Everyone who visits the Smithsonian died or will die.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: [RPM] Gem Lore, Lapidaries and Precious Stones as Traditional Trappings

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
If you know exactly when the villains plan to steal it and how they plan to get out, that's a possible plan.

It does mean that you probably don't have to worry too much about these villains, though, as you evidently were capable of dealing with them at any point you chose, which does bring up some questions as to why you even allowed things to get this far.
If you don't think you can take the main villains, helping some third party steal it and blowing up the airliner they are fleeing aboard over the mid-Atlantic seems well within the ethical boundaries of most PCs.

I'm sure there are less evil options too, though a lot hinges on what other than theft the curse will regard as a transfer of ownership.
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: [RPM] Gem Lore, Lapidaries and Precious Stones as Traditional Trappings

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
If you don't think you can take the main villains, helping some third party steal it and blowing up the airliner they are fleeing aboard over the mid-Atlantic seems well within the ethical boundaries of most PCs.

I'm sure there are less evil options too, though a lot hinges on what other than theft the curse will regard as a transfer of ownership.
All true.

On the subject of PC evil, one of my players designed a sympathetic, merciful, Charitable Monster Hunter motivated by religion. Not a Knight Templar, but a Good Shepherd type, concerned with saving everyone, not punishing evil.

Then he started playing and couldn't understand why everyone was fairly nonplussed with his brutality and ruthlessness. He was upset that anyone would interpret Charitable as preventing the instant and merciless execution of anyone who might hurt another person, whether now or in the future.

The PC was docked character points when experience was awarded, for explicitly choosing to use Intimidation instead of Diplomacy to disarm a confused young man holding a sacrifical knife and axe, both of which he's tried to use on the PC, at defaul, with his eyes closed, while crying "Death! Death!" in the least manly voice since Pee Wee Herman. The player had wanted to use the stock of his shotgun instead of social skills and the use of Intimidation was a compromise because he got some disapproving looks. The literal justifiaction for choosing Intimidation: "I want to make the little **** cry. I think I can make him **** himself on a good roll."

He did.

After that, I had a talk with the player and removed Disadvantages he had never once displayed any sign off in three sessions, except when prompted by others at the table, like Charitable and Guilt Complex. Added On the Edge and a Quirk that the PC is a real ****** when threatened.

Retcon makes the character sheet match the PC being played, rather than the tragic and heroic figure created. And I think it's official. This player, nice as he is in real life, simply cannot play virtuous people. The available range is from utterly amoral psychopath to ******s on the side of good. The Punisher, through Dexter on to Jayne in Firefly or Titus Pullo in HBO's Rome. If they can't casually commit acts of mayhem and at least low-grade comedic sociopathic villainy without violating a Disadvantage, the player is evidently not on board.

I guess some people just want to raise a family, love and provide for them the lifelong day and then, every week or so, eat fast food and pretend to be someone who wants to see the world burn. Or at least bully weaklings into bladder failure and uncontrollable crying, while saving the world through ruthless murder and one-liners.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:11 AM   #15
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Default Re: [RPM] Gem Lore, Lapidaries and Precious Stones as Traditional Trappings

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Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
Gems from a mine in a vile vortex might be more powerful then normal. I see three on land, two in Africa, one in north-east India/south-west Asia.

Modern analysis or a good eye and lots of experience can tell which min a stone came from, mines might be aspected if something drastic happened there.
Just so. I'll have to check if any diamond mines are within the area of the African ones. Haven't checked the exact boundaries of the Zimbabwe Vile Vortex and if it reaches into Zambia, South Africa and other neighbouring countries. I mean, I know it covers more than just some of Zimbabwe, but haven't pulled out a map and worked it out.

A lot of diamonds come from this general part of the world. If the right parts fit into the area I settle on for this particular Vile Vortex, it adds a compelling reason to be very wary of anyone who collects huge diamonds.

Checking a map of diamond mines, I think that there is a reason to assume that Kimberlite diamonds, just as a general rule, are not to be trusted. Are they even native to Earth or have they 'always' been in the earth as the result of something bleeding over from another world in the past?

Look at how they cluster at that particular Vile Vortex!!!

Are all concentrations of Kimberlite diamonds outside this Vile Vortex somehow conneted to it? Or at least to another Vortex? Are they Places of Power?
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:36 AM   #16
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Default Random Fact About the Bahia Emerald

From Wikipedia about the Bahia Emerald

The Bahia Emerald is one of the largest emeralds and contains the largest single shard ever found. The stone, weighing approximately 752 lb (341 kg) (approximately 1,700,000 carats) originated from Bahia, Brazil and is emerald crystals embedded in host rock. It narrowly escaped flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 during a period of storage in a warehouse in New Orleans. It was subsequently reported stolen in September 2008 from a secured vault in South El Monte in Los Angeles County, California. The stone has been valued at some $400 million, but the true value is unclear.

Say, what, now?

What is the true value?

What being, magician or band of magicians needs this much power?

What kind of rituals does emerald help?

Also, love the wording in a linked Wired article on Wikipedia:

"Fourteen individuals or entities, plus the nation of Brazil, have claimed the Bahia emerald is theirs."

Heh. Entities.

Edit: It just gets better!

A house burned down. Three people filed for bankruptcy. One man alleges having been kidnapped and held hostage. Many of the men involved say that the emerald is hellspawn but they also can’t let it go. As Brian Brazeal, an anthropologist at California State University Chico, wrote in a paper entitled*The Fetish and the Stone: A Moral Economy of Charlatans and Thieves, “Emeralds can take over the lives of well-meaning devotees and lead them down the road to perdition.”


Ahahahah!

Then, according to some (apocryphal) tellings of the emerald’s history, the mule team dragging it through the rain forest was attacked by panthersor some other animal—and the miners themselves had to carry the 752-pound emerald the rest of the way to civilization.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:29 AM   #17
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Default Re: [RPM] Gem Lore, Lapidaries and Precious Stones as Traditional Trappings

Would diamonds from the Canadian diamond mines be especially attractive to the cold entities? Two of them look like they are north of the Arctic Circle.

The Jericho Diamond Mine was the third diamond mine in Canada and the first in Nunavut territory. It is located about 250 miles northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The mine was opened by Tahera Diamond Corporation and produced diamonds from 2006 to 2008 but the company lost money. In 2010, Shear Minerals, Ltd. acquired the property with the intent of bringing the mine back into production.

https://geology.com/articles/canada-diamond-mines/
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:10 AM   #18
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Default Re: [RPM] Gem Lore, Lapidaries and Precious Stones as Traditional Trappings

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Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
Would diamonds from the Canadian diamond mines be especially attractive to the cold entities? Two of them look like they are north of the Arctic Circle.

The Jericho Diamond Mine was the third diamond mine in Canada and the first in Nunavut territory. It is located about 250 miles northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The mine was opened by Tahera Diamond Corporation and produced diamonds from 2006 to 2008 but the company lost money. In 2010, Shear Minerals, Ltd. acquired the property with the intent of bringing the mine back into production.

https://geology.com/articles/canada-diamond-mines/
Well, I don't know how large the Vile Vortices over each Pole are, but I'm going to go out on a limb and state that by the basic laws of magic, diamonds mined in freezing areas like the north of Russia or Canada have an extra chance of being mystically significant to the Keepers of the Last Flicker.*

And, oh, any suggestions for famous or valuable diamonds that are owned by someone on the West Coast or stored there would be great. The PCs discover that there have been a lot of diamond thefts in the US in the last couple of months, some reoported in the media, most not appearing in open source publications, for one reason or another. I'll need to drop names of famous stones and/or famous people who've been victims.


*My as-yet-not-used-in-play term for the villainous cult associated with the Lords of the Last Waste. Until actually discovered by the PCs in play, I can change it, so if it sounds cheesy or someone has a better idea, chime in.

The image I want to convey are men clustered around a small campfire, burning low, surrounded by endless darkness. I considered using 'embers' and 'hearth' as part of the title, but haven't found anything that pops.

The most evocative thing the concept made me think of iunfortunately doesn't seem suitable for the title of their organisation, it's a phrase from a poem by Dylan Thomad and the title of a G.R.R. Martin story, 'The Dying of the Light'.

The villains' title should be interpretable to infer that their organisation is maintaining the last campfire, not seeking to douse it.

They can use the phrase as a recognition signal, though, and one of the antagonists is carrying a credit card with a name that appears in Martin's story.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:05 AM   #19
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Default Diamonds Owned by Hollywood Stars

Does anyone know who among Hollywood stars or other rich (and probably famous) California people might own a collection of diamonds or perhaps just a single very valuable one?

Without any evidence, I assumed that the area around LA was substantially above average in the world in terms of how many really valuable diamonds could be found in private collections there. But perhaps diamonds are too classy for Hollywood and it's mostly European old-money people who own the top thousand most expensive stones in the world?

Even then, there have got to be some notable diamonds in the hands of Hollywood stars?

Where might I start to look?
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:34 AM   #20
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Default Re: [RPM] Gem Lore, Lapidaries and Precious Stones as Traditional Trappings

Googling biggest diamonds in Hollywood led me to https://www.harpersbazaar.com.au/cel...nt-rings-14812

and http://www.capetowndiamondmuseum.org...s-of-all-time/

which might have some other useful articles

and https://www.pinterest.com/hancockjew...-in-hollywood/

https://www.worthy.com/blog/for-what...-diamond-ring/

from the last article sounds like you want
Quote:
Mouawad has acquired a collection of diamonds that is arguably one of the world's finest in private hands. Some of the largest diamonds in existence take their place among the stunning treasures in this museum-quality collection.
https://www.mouawad.com/en/diamonds/diamond-gallery
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