Gemstone Table

This week we’ve been working on a gemstone table for Red Hack. We started by looking at Gary’s tables from the AD&D 1E DMG, and aiming for the similar base values and odds of the value increasing or decreasing.

We ignored the chance for values between the base values as too fiddly. If you wanted to get into detailed appraisal I’d assume that the gradations between the base value categories are where the gem dealer makes his money, most gems are worth more than their base price, and a PC with an appropriate background might get access to a gem trading/cutting subgame to take advantage of this excess.

Most PCs just see a gem and know “that’s got to be worth at least 50.”

One advantage of doing it this way is that every (standard-issue) Ruby is worth the same amount – you don’t need to write ‘a ruby worth 1,000gp’, you can just write record it as ‘a ruby.’

I had the aid of my partner in preparing this, table. Building your own fantasy heartbreaker is a fairly solitary experience so it was nice to work together on this part of it. She loves to collect shiny stones and has strong opinions on where different gems belong on the table, which was ideal because I don’t care.

The only gem on the table that isn’t a real thing is the Violite, as we couldn’t find a fabulously valuable purple gem (she declared Tanzanite unworthy of the top spot).

So to the table: Roll 1d20 for base value, and 1d10 for colour. If you roll a 1 or a 10, shift column and roll again.

If the value goes off the top or bottom, keep rolling, the other categories of value are

⮕ 10k cn ⮕ 25k cn ⮕ 50k cn ⮕ 100k cn ⮕ 250k cn ⮕ 500k cn ⮕ 1m cn (max)

0 ⬅ 0.1 cn ⬅ 0.5 cn ⬅ 1 cn ⬅ 5 cn ⬅

A zero value gem might be a cunning glass fake (roll again on the table to find out what it appears to be, perhaps using 1d10+10 or 1d6+14 instead of d20 because nobody is going to make a fake quartz.)