About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whittled Jewels

A long time ago (last March) in a galaxy far far away (my pre-Mac computer days), I published an article about Phoenix's gem system.

I really like gems, and I have always loved complicated generation systems for them. This love was inspired by 2nd edition D&D.

That being said, it doesn't work for my new project. My new project requires a whittled down ruleset. So, I had to come up with something simple for gems.

First, I combined gems with jewelry. The theme I'm working with is fantasy, but it doesn't require a bunch of details on such objects.

Each treasure includes a definition for its Jewel dice (dJ). So it might be d4, d6, d10, 3d6... whatever is appropriate. It can have multiples, like 2dJ or 3dJ, which means there are 2 or 3 rolls on the Jewel table.

This is the Jewel table. Recall that I use a silver-piece based economy, and also recall that I use exploding dice (so a d4 roll can get a 5 or higher sometimes). Also, 1 GP = 100 SP for me.

Simplified Jewel Types for Phoenix

That's it.

Detailed descriptions of the gem types, filigrees, et al can be provided by the GM, but in the game I'm working on, I think it will usually come out something more like, "You find a crappy amulet on that dead gremlin."

This is the sort of whittling I've been doing, and I'm happy with the results so far. I can't wait to play some games and share my results.


  1. This is more along my style of gem rewards (if you recall I wasn't the biggest fan of the Phoenix gem system).

    I've recently been playing a game called Bard's Tale on my Android. That has a reward system where a trash item that drops is immediately sold for it's worth (e.g. a wolf's fur drops and you get 5 silver). Doesn't work immersively, but I love not having to deal with/track grey items in my inventory.

    Maybe a cut down version of would warrant a similar implementation?

    1. These jewels can be used as currency, so it is mostly what you are talking about... I rarely give out truly grey items like wolf fur :)

      Also, is that the Bard's Tale from 1985 remade for Android, or is it a new version?


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