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Troy’s Crock Pot: You Can’t Take It With You
Posted By Troy E. Taylor On January 21, 2010 @ 4:06 am In Crock Pot,GMing Advice | 7 Comments
One of the most intriguing — not to mention challenging — dungeon spoils are those things that are simply too large to carry easily or at all.
Usually these things are intended as stationary effects. The item is fixed in a location and generates a magical effect or grants a one-time boon. Imagine an obelisk that wards a room against undead creatures or a fountain whose waters grant cures or healing.
Most often, the player characters will recognize such artifacts as dungeon dressing — a little bit of meta-gaming that actually works in the GM’s favor — utilize the thing as intended, then move on.
Inevitably, though, a player character is going to want to haul the thing home, dismantle it and reconstruct it even, ala Napoleon and his spoils from his Egyptian campaigns.
Big winners on the “Price is Right” quickly find out they have to pay taxes on all their loot — which certainly takes the thrill out of hearing “C’mon down!” One strategy they employ — other than forfeiting their prizes outright — is to sell some of it to pay the taxes on the things they really wanted.
PCs may have a choice. The cost of extracting and reconstructing that fixed item may require them to sell some of their other prized gear.
If the mountain can’t come to you, then you go to the mountain. Sometimes it’s just easier to have the PCs relocate their base to the site of the wonderfully fixed item. Of course, this only works if the location is otherwise suitable for a player hangout.
Tips for decorating the new digs can be gleaned from watching hours of HGTV.
Invariably, there is almost always a magical solution to any problem. Some powerful spell that transports the item intact may be the most efficient way of dealing with the situation. Such a spell would be costly and require a powerful spellcaster — who just may have their own ideas about decorating their lair with your stuff. PCs should always think twice before exploring this path — or have a benevolent uncle in the magical transportation business.
Hirelings, lots of ‘em, can be employed to get the thing from here to there. Of course, the problem with some hired help is that things may not exactly arrive in the condition that they started out in. Moving things piecemeal also requires organization — and someone good at putting the pieces back together again. Don’t forget the cornerstone …
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