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Gemstones as Treasure
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TOPIC: Gemstones as Treasure
#53501
Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
When dealing with gemstones as treasure in your campaigns (as DM or player) do you prefer to stick with "big name" gems, or do you include lots of obscure gem-quality minerals? How many different gem types makes for a good variety without becoming confusing?
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#53502
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I use the Gemstone generation tables in the old D&D Dungeon Masters Manuel.

I like a wide variety of gems as lower value oddities may have greater value to alchemists who never see some varieties or to cults requiring specialties for dark purposes....etc. etc.....

One of the great things is when everybody goes for the huge gems and find they don't have trade value in small villages as the values cant be easily converted to small denominations.
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#53506
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I like to have more than just 'Diamonds, Sapphires and Pearls'. But agree too many is just un-necessary.

The Table on D&D Wiki is pretty good.
One important item that needs to be included are Pearls. They are a common spell component and it is good as a DM not to overlook them:

www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Treasure#Table:_Gems

Simple rule - If you do not know what the 'Example' looks like. Don't use it..

Table: Gems
d% Value Average Examples
01–25 4d4 gp 10 gp Banded, eye, or moss agate; azurite; blue quartz; hematite; lapis lazuli; malachite; obsidian; rhodochrosite; tiger eye turquoise; freshwater (irregular) pearl
26–50 2d4 × 10 gp 50 gp Bloodstone; carnelian; chalcedony; chrysoprase; citrine; iolite, jasper; moonstone; onyx; peridot; rock crystal (clear quartz); sard; sardonyx; rose, smoky, or star rose quartz; zircon
51–70 4d4 × 10 gp 100 gp Amber; amethyst; chrysoberyl; coral; red or brown-green garnet; jade; jet; white, golden, pink, or silver pearl; red spinel, red-brown or deep green spinel; tourmaline
71–90 2d4 × 100 gp 500 gp Alexandrite; aquamarine; violet garnet; black pearl; deep blue spinel; golden yellow topaz
91–99 4d4 × 100 gp 1,000 gp Emerald; white, black, or fire opal; blue sapphire; fiery yellow or rich purple corundum; blue or black star sapphire; star ruby
100 2d4 × 1,000 gp 5,000 gp Clearest bright green emerald; blue-white, canary, pink, brown, or blue diamond; jacinth
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#53520
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I tend to cherry pick the rules I use based on the group. Different mixes of players sometimes call for different emphasis to maximize the fun. Some folks like strict encumbrance rules, others like to keep it simple and general. Some people want intrigue and grey areas, others want four color shenanigans. For me the point is to tell an awesome story together that everyone has fun with.

If we're doing something with a bigger emphasis on RP and skills, more variety is great. It makes appraise, streetwise, and knowledge for a specific area all more important. If the group is more of a hack and slash crowd the big names would be the route to go. If the group carries a mixture, you kind of adjust between the two as suits. Sorry if it seems a bit vague, I shoot from the hip with some prepared elements (like a handful of locations, npcs, and data on goings on) more often than I run premade adventures.
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#53549
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I tend to stick with the big five: diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, pearl, and sometimes throw in something weird like a black pearl or a yellow sapphire.

Other gems just don't tend to be worth enough to even mention past the first few character levels. So, if the party ever does find any gems and they are worth less than 50-100gp, then i just say "you found two 25gp gems"
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#53550
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I'm not fond of the D&D table, for a few reasons.

1. Two of the listings are actually classes of stones, and their sub-classes are also listed on the table.
2. Ruby is actually missing from the table.
3. It lists value by type, but doesn't really factor in size or quality.

I am trying (with limited success) to come up with a way to generate one factor based on the others -- gem value, size, quality, type. Thus, if you know you want the party to find a high-quality diamond an inch across, you can figure out the value. Or if you want the party to find a tiny jewel of decent quality that's worth 50gp, you can figure out what kinds of gem that might be.

It's a work in progress. Slow progress. And it gets overly complicated very quickly.

------------

Anyhoo, secondary question: In a fantasy setting, do you see a problem using real-world gemstones that were discovered after game period?

For example, alexandrite was discovered in 1834, hiddenite in 1879, kunzite in 1902, red beryl in 1904, and tanzanite in 1967. Should they be included in a medieval or renaissance fantasy setting?

In a similar vein, should synthetics be included, from the correct period or not?

"Goldstone" is a synthetic stone having solid color and tiny gold flecks, which dates back to 1626. "Mystic Quartz" is a clear colored stone with a radial kaleidoscope rainbow of colors in bright light, made from a process that was developed (commercially) sometime in the last decade or so. Both are pretty, and add some variety to treasure, but should they be included?

And yes, I know it's ultimately my decision in my game, but I am interested in other opinions to minimize eye-rolling and history lawyering.
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#53555
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
For gems, you could always use this:

Kaiser's Bazaar: Jeweler Exchange

www.rpgnow.com/product/18345/Kaiser%27s-Bazaar---The-Jeweler%27s-Exchange?term=kaiser+ba&it=1
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#53562
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
Are you recommending this as something you've read and used, or suggesting it as something you found?
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#53566
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I don't play the Rule Lawyering in RPGs as it ruins the game.

I also like to keep it simple so I tend to use the D&D Dungeon Masters Guide as I've had it on hand for the last 30+ years.... There are a few Gem/Jewel generator programs I have seen on the internet but haven't looked for them in a long time as I like to roll stuff up and modify as needed and you have to be where you have web access which doesn't always happen when we get together to play.

Ruby is listed ...DMG pg. 182 under Gems and Jewels
Several of the stones/gems are listed in various ways due to high quality name vrs. low quality name.
The examples that gems/stone weren't discovered by the dates posted has more to due with them being 'Discovered' by Westerner's South American Indians discovered most of those 1000 years earlier. Its kind of like the 1700's to mid 1900's Botanical Society's cataloging plats and discovering everything the Native had been using since time began.... I always find that funny.

You just have to find what works for you and stick with it.
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#53568
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
South American Indians did not discover alexandrite, tanzanite,or red beryl, as they don't occur in South America. Note also that colonists were fairly adept at identifying local resources through trade with (or seizure from) the natives, and exploited those resources. And since we are discussing medieval/renaissance fantasy based on western civilization, those dates actually hold up for the purposes of the question asked.
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#53579
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I have it, and it it quite comprehensive: gives rules for rough or cut, flawless or not, and how many cp per carat, then gives a multiplier for around 100 different gems (broken down by type and sub-type) plus a description of each.
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#53584
Re:Gemstones as Treasure 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
Well.

That's pretty much everything I was going for. Thanks, I'll download it later.
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