Pixels & Platforms

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Weird & Wonderful Loot

This is a followup to my last post with (not actually) Four New Weird & Wonderful Fantasy Species (there were five, I forgot the gray humans). I'm doing a one shot in this setting later this month, so I wanted to come up with some ideas for cool loot to help me build out the world. Most of this is not specific to the setting (which I still need to properly name) and could work in probably any science fantasy setting.

Several of the items refer to the core elements of the setting. I like to play with the idea of elements; I think it says something about the world when it's not just the typical Earth, Air, Fire, Water type stuff. It's intrinsically hard to do, since these types of elements are so intrinsic to human civilization and our world (before anyone gets pedantic about it- Fire, Water, Earth, Wood, Metal isn't all that different either).

In this setting, there are four elements, which each correspond to a color and to a shape. That's mostly irrelevant to the rest of this post but I'll leave it here anyway:

Ectoplasm - Translucent - Star Fractal
Phlogiston - Pink - Perfect Circle or Sphere
Yeast - Brown - Spiral
Lymph - Gray - Hypercube

But as I said, I think these loot are mostly setting agnostic, even though they hopefully evoke some sense of a coherent setting.

And now, the list of 20 Weird & Wonderful Loot:

  1. Ectograph Machine: A handheld box and viewing lens powered by ectoplasm. When a button is pressed, a bright and disorienting flash of light captures the image of anything within the viewing lens. The process drains the essence of the objects in view and transfers this essence onto a metal plate. The ectograph machine is more powerful in the hands of those with an eye for composition.

  2. Magic Gyroscope: A magic ball the size and weight of a bowling ball. By chanting and rotating the ball in a defined indoor space (such as a room), the space can be rotated. The wielder rotates with the room, everything else flies and tumbles about.

  3. Gelatinous Suit: A surprisingly lightweight suit of soft, white, squishy, congealed lymphatic tissue that protects the wearer from physical harm and disperses kinetic force. Excessive use leads to the suit being absorbed under the skin permanently.

  4. Hyper-Active Dry Yeast: Drop a packet of this into a body of water (or down a creature's throat) and it will immediately begin to ferment into a zymo-zombie. If it lives, it can be fermented.

  5. Phlogiston Bolt: 3d6 explosive crossbow bolts made of pure phlogiston. If they explode onto anything combustible, it also explodes, and so on. Don't get hit while carrying them...

  6. Lymphagen: A magical lymphatic fluid which, when absorbed by the immune system, coalesces and mutates any contained pathogens or antibodies into an immutant (immunogenic mutant). The immutant destroys the host from the inside, then physically explodes out of the host's body in their last moments of consciousness as a monstrous being covered in sticky white lymphatic fluids.

  7. Ectogramophone: An old timey-looking video phone powered by ectoplasm. The dead dimension exists orthogonal to time as we understand it, and so it stands to reason that anything that will die, will exist in the dead dimension. You may communicate with anyone who ever has or ever will die, if you have their number. However, the dead are notoriously bad at answering their phone.

  8. Jitterbug Bagpipe: A meatsack full of lymphatic fluid and intestinal pipes. Unlike regular bagpipes, the jitterbug bagpipe can be used to produce beautiful music. The music induces joy, a healthy appetite, and good health.

  9. Karma Palm: 1d4+2 open-faced hands of light, psychically controlled by the wielder up to 7 ft around themselves. Can be used to push, smack, and press for 1d6 turns.

  10. Karma Fist: 1d4+2 closed fists of light, psychically controlled by the wielder up to 7 ft around themselves. Can be used to punch for 1d6 turns.

  11. Karma Eye: 1d4+2 eyes of light, psychically controlled by the wielder up to 7 ft around themselves. Can be used to see or shoot karmic laser beams for 1d6 turns.

  12. Anti-Metal Armor: Armor that has been rusted and dephlogistonated. The rusted-looking armor is immune to all explosives, and rusts any other metals that touch it.

  13. Mustard Bomb: A sack of meat fermented in a "special" yeast. The stench of the rotten, putrid meat is noxious, and at close ranges the methane produced by the fermentation may be deadly.

  14. Vorpal Band: A set of rings combined into a shape like brass knuckles, made of a dimension folded in on itself. Pulling on each ring draws a unique weapon, including a vorpal garrote, vorpal disc, vorpal whip, and vorpal stake.

  15. Mapmazer: An interactive scroll upon which a space can be mapped. So long as the mapping is accurate, it may be used to test routes in already explored regions of the mapped space and see the contents or occupants of rooms or corridors. In order to use the mapmazer, one must trace through the map like a maze. Normal rules of mazes apply, and mazing oneself into a corner can wreak all sorts of devastation within the space of the map, or alert other occupants to the users presence.

  16. Escape Rope: A magical rope that allows a group of up to 20 to immediately escape a dungeon. There is a group-size in 20 chance that instead of exiting the dungeon they instead are transported to 1d6:
    1. Somewhere else in the dungeon only a little closer to the entrance.
    2. Somewhere much deeper and more dangerous in the dungeon.
    3. The dead dimension.
    4. A sexy place.
    5. A not sexy place.
    6. A place of madness and eldritch horror and OH GOD WHY!?

  17. Rare Candy: A strange candy that makes one grow a year older (or equivalent for their species) and gain a level. On 1 in d100 the rare candy induces an extreme mutation, like an evolution into an entirely new species. Each time one consumes a rare candy in their life, the die size decreases (1 in d100, d20, d10, etc.), unless they evolve, in which case it resets. After an extreme mutation, they return to level 1 and lose all class abilities beyond first level abilities but keep any other attribute bonuses, saving roll bonuses, or other special abilities.

  18. Good Vibes Machine: Everyone knows that a dungeon has bad vibes, but not many people know why. I don't know either, but what I do know is that a Good Vibes Machine (tm) will solve all your problems. After you've cleared out a dungeon, plant one of these gizmos right into the hot corpse of the boss monster, and this dungeon will be cleared forever. FOREVER. Over time, a bunch of cool cats will find their way into this dungeon; it'll be like the Brooklyn of the Underdark, and maybe it's also your new base and you're like a legend bro.

  19. Mr. H: A mechanical man. He has limited functionality, but can be used for simple tasks like carrying stuff or one single complex task as programmed using punch cards (sold separately) which allow him to take the place of any number of other hirelings.

  20. Magic Mercury: A bubbling, shimmering, colorful liquid that looks, tastes, and sounds like pop rocks candy dropped in coke in an endless loop of explosive carbonation. Induces extreme psychedelia for 1d20 hours, except where on a 20 the effects are permanent. Under the effects of magic mercury, one gains Heavy Metal vision. Everything looks like Frank Frazetta art with neon highlights and every sound twangs with an electric guitar or thunder. One cannot help but become the 1970's-80's pubescent male fantasy action hero they see in themselves. As a rule, it is impossible to fail at any task that would make the user seem uncool, unless the results of failure are so cool that it would be uncool to succeed, in which case the user necessarily fails. Cool is determined by the GM. None of this is actually happening, and at the end of the fantasy and/or on death, the GM and/or group as a whole retcon what actually transpired over that course of actions (they can still have succeeded, but not in as impossibly cool a way).


  1. Thank you, there is a lot of interesting things. I especially like the mechanics on Rare Candy - an anti-exhaustion die of sort where the more something is used the more side-effect becomes risky but it still has enough lure to keep using it even after a few times.

    1. Thanks! The rare candy started as an obvious Pokemon parody but I actually think it maybe deserves deeper exploration. Could work well with my "It's Okay to be a Monster" pitch from a little while back.

  2. These are fascinating and hilarious. This is one of my favorite posts you've ever done. Only you could make me want to be a Yeast Bender. Also: "Unlike regular bagpipes, the jitterbug bagpipe can be used to produce beautiful music." That killed me.

    1. I am so glad you mentioned the bagpipes. I cracked myself up with that lol so I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that was funny 😂.

  3. Cool system-neutral yet very usable loot. Do you have a relational system in mind for these elements like the classical elements (hot/dry/wet/cool) or wuxing elements (water generates wood but is overcome by earth)? Feel like this could also be interesting with that magic item crafting system Cavegirl posted a while back.

    1. I tried not to overthink this elemental system too much because that often turns into a trap for myself where I come up with this schema that is so complex that it gives me no flexibility to grow out the setting lol. So I'm generally thinking about those things, but trying to let it come naturally.