Sea Treasure Tables, by Aaron Feild

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The illustration of the hidden cove is ‘Treasure Island’ by Kaitlynn Peavler and Cheeky Mountain Parrot Games for Conquering Corsairs, and from the Prismatic Art Collection. It is under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. <http://www.prismaticart.com/collection/treasure-island>.


Many a treasure horde has been lost beneath the waves – some belonging to famous pirates who met a grisly end, some thrown overboard to save a sinking transport; still others deliberately cast down to rid the world of their foul influence. Use this as a treasure table for any long-forgotten place, but especially the sea floor. There are 18 entries, suitable for rolling a d20, two d6 plus a bonus, one d3 for a column followed by a d6, or simply choosing from. Sometimes several items are listed; choose one, roll a die, or use them all in combination as you like.

treasure_island

2. A magical artifact of terrible power: a ring of invisibility, a sword embedded in stone, and the hand of a dismembered demigod. It calls you, it tempts you with potential, and you know in your heart that it will corrupt every last decent part of you. If found underwater, it was delivered there deliberately by someone who will not allow it to resurface.

3. A map to an important location: marked with an X, encoded with mysterious directions, and missing the other half. If found underwater, the map depicts an island, the material has begun to rot, and the ink has spread and become indistinct. (If the indicated location holds treasure, choose from this table again.)

4. An ancient mechanism: a gear with strange markings, an enormous screw, and a door. It was clearly part of a larger device. It is rusted, encrusted with sand, or otherwise damaged, but its function could still be determined with careful study. If found underwater, it was being transported with other loot (pottery, marble statues, and choose again from this table), which can be found scattered around the same location.

5. The remains of some creature(s): a massive whale carcass, the watery grave of some poor souls, and a Triton war camp. Something valuable may still be recovered from it (oil, teeth, shackles, rations). If found underwater, many smaller scavengers are feasting or living among the remains.

6. A salvageable ship or other vehicle: a full-sized vessel, a lifeboat, or a submersible. With several cannonball holes in the hull, and a broken mast, wheel, or other means of propulsion. If found underwater, it is the perfect hideout for prey fish, and the predators they attract, or other dangerous animals. You’ll also need to get it back to the surface. (If this vehicle was carrying cargo, choose from this table again.)

7. A load of trade commodities: dyed silks, odorous spices, and casks of goblin wine. If found underwater, multicolored corals have grown into and around the items, producing wild and unpredictable effects.

8. A chest of valuables: old coins of historical interest, precisely cut precious gems, and metallic false teeth. If found underwater, the metal has corroded and the gems have scratched each other by their motion with the waves (though the gold, adamantine, and diamonds are immune).

9. Bubbly Pearl (0 weight)

This pearl shimmers with a magical light and produces small bubbles of breathable air that stream upwards. When held in the mouth or nostril, it allows you to breathe comfortably, even at perilous depths. You exhale as normal, sending bubbles to the surface. Try not to swallow it.

10. Fashionable clothes, several centuries out of date: finest dresses fitted to a queen, pants with enmeshed silver threads, and fancy armor gilt and painted in shades of green. If found underwater, the designs mimic fins and scales, and leave room at the bottom for a protruding tail.

11. The diary of a historical figure: the true story of their escapades, valuable observations and drawings of the world, and some strange indication of their manner of death (the black mark, blood stains, claw-torn pages). If found underwater, the historical figure was a seaman, the most interesting pages are too fragile to handle, and the book must be painstakingly dried before reading.

12. Merman’s Trishula (Reach, +1 damage, 2 weight)

A heavy spear with a forked head, this trident is formed of a strange alloy of gold unknown to the peoples above the waves. Wielded by some Triton Tidecallers as symbols of their religion, these are often blessed. When you swirl the Trishula through water and make the sound of a sea creature, roll +Cha. On a 10+, that creature or a school of them makes its way to you and aids you in one task. On a 7-9, the creature or school comes, but behaves instinctively instead of aiding you directly.

13. A memorable sight: the brilliant light display of thousands of deep-sea fish, a chasm leagues deep with a line of glowing magma engraved below, or a stroll within the double skull of the extinct mega-baneth. Such an experience cannot be sold; nor, however, can it be stolen from you. If found underwater, you suffer the fisherman’s curse – no one will believe the size or scale of the tale you tell.

14. A helpful spirit: a mermaid, the ghost of a drowned girl, or a glowing fairy. She can tell you what you need to know, heal you, or otherwise aid you. (If she offers an item, choose again from this table.) If you tell her your righteous cause, she may choose to follow you until you accomplish it. If found underwater, a gentle current guides you to her.

15. Citrus Bag (1 weight)

Sometimes on a journey, even with plenty of rations to go around, you find yourself growing sick. Reach into this heavy, lumpy bag, my friend, and find the zest you need to continue. When you pull a fruit from this bag and consume it, roll +Con. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 2:

  • Temporarily remove a disease or debility.
  • Heal d4 hit points. (You may choose this twice.)
  • Take +1 forward.
  • When you next undertake a perilous journey, treat the quartermaster job as having rolled a 10+.
  • Ignore one annoyance of travel for an entire day. Describe the annoyance, and tell how wonderful the fruit tastes to distract you from it.

On a miss, the GM may allow you some of the effects, and may reverse some of the effects.

16. A room or building, still intact: admiral’s quarters with trapped air, an abandoned floating house, and the interior of the Giant of Torchhold. One could get used to a place like this, though admittedly the decorations could use some updating. If found underwater, this place is practically unassailable, given that it has one of the widest, deepest, and most monster-filled moats in the world.

17. A king: wounded and trapped, held hostage by sahuagin, and incorporeal. He swears to return the favor threefold if you help restore him to his people. If found underwater, the deity of the deep grants you a boon while you perform this quest (your boots or feet become flippers, you breathe normally underwater, and your skin luminescences in distracting patterns).

18. A rare plant or creature: lavaweed, a fire fish or bird, and the slimy leavings of a magma snail. It would be nearly priceless if captured and returned to a civilized land. If found underwater, it is only found near deep-sea vents of scalding water, or magma fissures.

19. Captain Yellowtooth’s Tricorner (0 weight)

One of the most feared and respected pirates of the Crystal Ocean, Yellowtooth died as she lived, barking commands to salty sea dogs while boarding a galleon laden with war loot. While you wear this hat aboard a naval vessel, anyone carrying out a direct order from you tries their utmost to succeed and takes +1 forward.

Sea Treasure Table (PDF)

Sea Treasure Table (ODT)

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