Gold coins and silver doubloons make for fine treasure, but there are a lot of items you can pass on to player characters through reward or discovery. Here are d100 gems and minerals for your consideration.
In the old days of me playing TTRPGs (late 70s/early 80s), I’d say about 90% of all treasure was in coin form. These days, you see a lot more variety—for a good reason. Valuable gems are easier to transport, and gems and minerals of varying value can be used as spell components, ingredients for potions, parts of alchemical processes, or even straight-up “real world” science.
One thousand gold pieces are nice and all, but it’s easier to slip a diamond into your pocket.
The tricky part with gems and minerals is figuring out their value. Because game systems and settings can significantly differ in how they handle economics, I hesitate to say too much about how you should treat each item’s monetary value.
That said, show a bit of restraint, so you don’t break your game world’s economy. Unless otherwise mentioned, precious materials like diamonds, platinum, or gold should be found in pretty small amounts—a pea-sized diamond or emerald, a walnut-sized hunk of gold, and so on. More common minerals can be found in larger amounts, such as a bucket’s worth of coal, a wagon load of slate, and such.
Of course, it can also be fun to see what players might do when confronted with a 3-ton priceless opal statue—especially if there is no magic on hand to facilitate safe transport.
This list is system-neutral and magic-free. Anything on this list should be equally at home on a scientist’s shelf or workbench, an alchemist’s lab, a spaceship’s cargo hold, an Old West prospector’s saddle bags, a goblin’s cave, my bedroom closet, and so forth.
And as I do with all of my d100 lists, this can double as a “special item” d20 list. Simply roll a d20 and multiply by five.
And now, without further ado:
d100/d2 List of Gems and Minerals
5. A diamond perfectly made of glass
10. A large, but slightly flawed pearl
15. A chunk of pink salt the size of a human head
20. An ounce of mercury
22. Uncultured pearl
23. Sea coral
25. An ounce of finely crushed diamond
27. Raw mithral
28. Melted brass
30. Lightning glass
35. An ounce of fine gold dust
40. Fossilized poop
45. A fist-sized piece of amber with an ugly caterpillar trapped inside
47. Tiger’s Eye
50. An extremely rare piece of red turquoise
51. Broken shells
54. Petrified Wood
55. A fist-sized piece of quartz with a thick vein of gold running through it
60. A crudely carved cube of electrum
65. A piece of meteoric iron
70. A small fossilized shellfish
73. Steel bar
74. Broken glass
75. Three walnut-sized pieces of bezoar
76. Gold wire
80. A fist-sized lump of iron that has been thinly coated in gold
83. Red Diamond
84. Geode half
85. A hunk of rusted metal which, upon close inspection, are a dozen or so shackle keys melded together by rust and time and are totally useless
88. White quartz/granite mix
89. Green quartz
90. A hunk of flint that has scrape marks on it
91. Rose quartz
92. Smoky quartz
93. Lapis lazuli
95. A rock that sort of looks like a dog
98. Red beryl
100. An egg made entirely of solid gold
What would you add or change? Let us know in the comments!
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1 thought on “d100 Gems and Minerals”
This is good stuff and I understand your caution about value, but it would be helpful to have a comparison of relative values or an estimate based on the mythological “typical game world”. I’d be very happy to see a sequel (or even a series) that explores value in more detail, particularly how values have changed historically in the real world.
For example, aluminum was first isolated as a metal and named in around 1808 and in Victorian England, Aluminum was more valuable than gold. Then, much better and cheaper processes for refining it were developed and now we make beer cans out of it. In a pre-industrial, but magically enabled society, aluminum might very well be known, but it would probably be very expensive to make.