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Gemstone and Jewelry Generator
Did Marco Polo return from China with a caravan loaded with chests of silver and gold?
Of course not. Marco Polo is said to have returned to Venice disguised as a beggar, concealing countless jewels sewn into the lining of his clothes.
I only recently discovered D&D 5e, having last played decades ago when AD&D first arrived on the scene. For my campaign setting, I've decided to starve low level characters with lack of gold and magic, allow mid levels to be free of the burden of working to pay for their next meal, and encourage the highest level players to rub elbows with royal sovereigns and renown sorcerers.
As such, most adventuring types face similar challenges as Marco Polo might have: how do you carry your amassed treasure from locale to locale without attracting unwanted attention? Without a Templar-style banking industry in my campaign world, the roaming adventurer will naturally gravitate to converting loot into the mobile currency of gemstones (and the occasional magical item that may be offered for sale). And, how better to gain that audience with the local Count (your hopefully soon-to-be-patron) than with a gift of a finely wrought piece of jewelry?
Linked below is a random gemstone (and jewelry) generator. It's mostly keyed to the 5e base values for gems: for average size, quality, and finished stones the gp value is roughly similar to the values given in 5e.
The only user input required is to enter the CR of the gem owner (i.e. the creature defeated to acquire the gem, or the NPC seller). Higher CR will obviously have more rare, larger size, higher quality quality, and better finished pieces to loot/steal/purchase. There are still slight chances for a low CR to have an exceptional stone (a 3rd level thief could be surprised to find that he pilfered a serious score), or for an epic villain to have a relatively low value item (sentimental value, gift from an underling, once better piece that has become damaged, huge mundane stone set in an ornate scepter, or raw stone that has yet to be finished and set). But, the generator has been weighted to result in items mostly expected for a particular CR level.
The biggest deviation from the 5e basic rules is probably the size property. Obviously not every diamond is the same size or quality, so why would every diamond found be worth exactly 5,000 gp? Gem sizes include:
Other properties may be viewed in the IPP table. The gem types don't precisely line up with 5e tables - I took some liberties with personal preferences for my campaign setting. Feel free to adjust the tables and value formula as you see fit for your campaign.
With some testing of the posted version, the upper limit I have reached is near 100,000 gp in several hundred draws at CR=30. Pieces in the 20,000 - 60,000 gp value range are not all that uncommon for CR=20+, but seem to pop up pretty infrequently. Mid level CR's result in frequent items of a few hundred to a few thousand gp value, which is the sweet spot in staying true to the 5e values.
The way I intend to use the generator in practice is to use other 5e rules/treasure tables to determine a foe's treasure, but reroll gems and jewelry using this generator for more interesting role play. My campaign world will also make gems more common as treasure and portable currency, with dealers in large towns and cities catering to exchanges with roaming adventurers.
This is my first experience with IPP. I put this together just to learn the syntax and see what it could do. Any feedback would be much appreciated.