I've written before about rewarding PCs with things other than cash. I suppose you could say that what I explore here is the opposite side of that, making the material items the focus of the adventure rather than the reward for it. While piles of gold coins and gemstones fits better in a fantasy or pulp adventure setting, even in the Far Future there will be rare or unusual items that people will want to own, or to sell to someone who wants it. Here I present twenty unique treasures for adventurers to chase.
|Gold Arm Band with Herakles knot|
- A proof set of coins from the now-defunct government of Narok (pre-Chancellor). Estimated value: MCr 0.770
- An original, unedited holo-vid of the coronation of the last Duke of Holtzmann. Estimated value: Cr 125,000
- A 220 kg stone sculpture by the Faldorian master Pangiovanni, the last before his death. Estimated value: MCr 2.7
- The Untranslated Stylus – an obelisk covered in strange markings of a completely unknown language. Estimated value: MCr 1.6
- One of Silajdzic's hand-crafted target pistols (DM +2 to all range DMs). Estimated value: Cr 6,500
- The hand-written original draft of Sayings of the Emperor (of Lanzhou) with the Emperor's written note of approval. Estimated value: Cr 295,000
- Formal portrait of Senior Baron Allan Hokksen of Stavanger. Estimated value: Cr 79,000
- The altar setting from the planetary cathedral of Miltramos. Estimated value: Cr 35,000
- The one surviving Drumknott painting. Drumknott was Dorothuan, and the Warlord declared all his works offensive and had them destroyed. Estimated cost: MCr 3.85
- The Last Will and Testament of Horace Dunnan, CEO of Dunnan Holdings of Dekalb. The family has offered MCr 1.5 for its return.
- A racing launch (20 tn) built by the Bianchi Spacecraft Works for and raced by Stefano Bianchi, CEO. Estimated value: MCr 29
- The helmet General Arnfeldtsen of Stavanger was wearing when he was killed in action. Estimated value: Cr 57,000
- The Seal, Retinal Scan and Thumbprint of Ernesto VanGoff, fourth ruler of VanGoff's World. Estimated value: MCr 1.8
- An air/raft that once belonged to 'Warhead' Wachouski, a famous entertainer. Estimated value: Cr 550,000
- The laser pistol that assassinated Count Harradin of Pampati.
- An Imperial House sword of Lanzhou, circa 744 SA. Estimated value: Cr 250,000
- The Iridium Sceptre – a gift to the Talaveran Emperor Douglas II (529-614 SA) Estimated value: MCr 3.1
- Information as to the whereabouts of the family of the deposed king of Cadawala. Estimated value Cr 0 to MCr 4.
- The preserved/mounted head of a Ramsan Ice Devil, which are revered as spiritual creatures. Estimated value: Cr 94,000
- A complete set of Mavramorni campaign medals from the Mavramorn-Stavanger War. Estimated value: Cr 7,800
Note that each entry has just a few words of description, but those words should provoke some questions. The answers the referee makes up should be Rumors or teasers for the PC's explorations. Who was this person, when and where did they live? What else is known about them? Where do the PCs first hear about these objects? How did the object come to be lost?
This list is only examples of what a creative referee can come up with. If you want some inspirations, take a visit (virtual if you must, actual if you can) to a museum or art gallery or historical site. There should be ideas enough and more than enough to create strange, rare and wonderful objects for adventurers to pursue.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Smithsonian Institute Museums
The US National Archives
The Library of Congress