Saturday, December 29, 2018

What's for Sale at the Ghoul Market?

Vacant Ritual Assembly is an OSR zine put out by Clint Krause and Red Moon Medicine Show. Issue #1 came out in 2014, and (among other things) describes the Ghoul Market. The Ghoul Market is an underground bazzar when denizens of the underworld ply their wares. 

As described in the zine: Beneath a defiled chapel, the scavengers of the dead emerge from their tunnels to barter with the living and the damned. Inhuman travelers peruse black-shrouded stalls and dine on artisanal cadavers.

I love the Ghoul Market, and I'm very excited that my players will be visiting it soon. According to the article, at any time 1d10 magic items can be found for sale at the Ghoul Market (I will drop that to 1d6). This gave me the flmsy excuse to come up with a bunch of interesting magic items of low-to-middle power that I canuse to seperate the PCs from their money. 

Below is my list of random magic items. Many of them are one-use, so they shouldn't throw off the pwer balance too much. I just kind of eye-balled the prices based on magic item construction costs in the LotFP book. I don't claim that the prices are mathematically perfect. The list includes 16 new magic items, along with a boring old healing potion, plus random scrolls, wands, and spellbooks. 

Most of these items are sold by Handsome Gamal, a strangely charismatic, partially mummified ghoul who wears dusty old silks and tarnished gold jewelry. He will absolutely not warn his customers about the negative aspects of any of his goods.

Use and enjoy!

Random Magic Items from the Ghoul Market

1) Dead Man’s Tobacco
  • Sticky, foul-smelling, black tobacco in a skin pouch.
  • Blow smoke into corpse’s mouth to speak with dead.
  • Ask 3 questions. Corpse can be dead for any amount of time, but mouth, lips, and tongue must be intact.
  • Price: 1000sp per dose

2) Bottled Undead Faerie
  • Emaciated gray faerie with piranha teeth in a smoky glass bottle.
  • Feed blood to make faerie glow with light only donor can see, illuminating like a lantern. 1 turn per hp of blood.
  • One use only, then the faire turns to ash.
  • Price: 1000sp

3) Hand of Glory
  • Mummified left hand of a hanged man. Dipped in human tallow and wicks placed in each finger to make a macabre handle.
  • Casts sleep on everyone in a house. Lasts 1 turn per finger
  • Price: 7000sp

4) Zombie Wine
  • Black bottle of think, glowing green liquor.
  • Feed to a corpse to create 2HD zombie. Loyal to the person who fed it the wine, for now. (Loyalty starts at 12. Loyalty is reduced by 1 each night. Test loyalty every midnight.)
  • Price: 1000sp

5) Burglar Worms
  • 1d6 Finger-sized green maggots kept in a tin box of rotten soil.
  • Automatically opens any key-based lock in 1d10 rounds, then turns into fat disgusting (but harmless) fly.
  • Price: 500sp per worm.

6) Basilisk Powder
  • One dose of course gray powder in a small silk pouch.  
  • Mix with wine and drink. Save or turn to stone until dawn. The drinker can voluntarily fail the save.
  • Price: 1000sp

7) Black Cherub Feather
  • Large black feather with a razor-sharp quill.
  • Jab it into your flesh to heal all damage, poison, or disease, but every prepubescent creature in a 1d6 mile radius suffers the damage and maladies you just cured.
  • Price: 2000sp

8) Mummy Dust
  • Fine, greasy powder like gray talc in a pocket-sized clay sarcophagus.
  • Mix with water and drink. You become immune to normal weapons for 1d4 turns.
  • You take triple damage from fire.
  • You cannot benefit from cleric spells, and can be turned/destroyed as undead.
  • You take 1d6 CON damage per turn of duration after effect ends (save vs posion for half).
  • Price:  2000sp

9) Love Potion
  • Blood-red syrup that smells of opium and rancid meat in a clay vessel with two spouts.  
  • Someone drinks half, someone else drinks the other half. If both fail their saves vs. poison, the two fall madly in love until the spring equinox.
  • Price: 500sp

10) Satyr Juice
  • Milky, pearlescent potion in an obscene brass flask.
  • The next time the drinker has sex, they will become pregnant regardless of sex, health, or biology.
  • Price: 500sp

11) Memory Mirror
  • Small silver hand mirror decorated with Greek goddesses.
  • Reflects the image of the last person to look into it.
  • Cost: 3000sp

12) Inquisitor Cobra
  • Three-foot long cobra with a grey-and black hide and a yellow cross on its hood.
  • Whisper a question to the cobra and point to another person. The cobra will ask that person the question. If they answer truthfully, the cobra bites them. (+4 to hit, 4d6 CON damage. Save vs poison for half.)
  • After each question, roll 1d6. On a 1, cobra says “My work here is done!” and dies.
  • Price: 2000sp

13) Brass Goat Statue
  • Fist-sized sculpture of a shaggy goat with large horns and a curious expression on its face.
  • Weights 15lbs, but somehow doesn’t take up an encumbrance slot.
  • Through subtle space warpage, allows the character to carry 5 more items before gaining their first encumbrance point (using LotFP encumbrance rules).
  • Once per day (at 1d24 o’clock), 1-in-6 chance of “eating” a random item the PC is carrying.
  • This chance grows by 1 per day until the goat eats something, then resets to 1-in-6.
  • Price: 2000sp

14) Ghost Shroud
  • Old and dusty funeral shroud of stained gray linen.
  • Wrap it around yourself and become ethereal, invisible, silent, and can fly for 1d6 turns.
  • At the end of the duration, roll 2d6+CHA modifier.
    • 10+: You return to normal, and assuming you weren’t in flight or inside a solid object, you’re fine.
    • 7-9: You return to normal, as above, but you’ve lost something in the ethereal plane.
    • 6 or less: You are forever lost in the ethereal, and something returns to the physical world in your place.
  • Price: 6000sp

15) Wolf Heart Woad
  • Thick purple paste in a small bone jar.
  • Spend 1 round smearing on your face and eyes.
  • At the start of the next round, before initiative is rolled, you turn into a wolfman.
  • This transformation destroys your clothes and armor, and you drop the rest of your gear.
  • While transformed you act on your own initiative roll. You have an AC of 14 (+DEX modifier). You are immune to fear and charm effects.
  • You take double damage from silver weapons, and are burned by holy water (1d6 damage).
  • Your movement speed is increased by 50% (180’ in LotFP).
  • You have +2 to attack, and can make two claw attacks for 1d6 damage each.
  • Every round you must attack the nearest living target, friend or foe, or move towards the nearest target.
  • You can suppress this bloodlust for 1 round with a successful save vs magic (-2 at night, -4 if the moon is full).
  • The transformation ends after 1d4 turns, or you’ve been unable to attack someone (successful or not) for 6 rounds.
  • Price: 2000sp

16) Nice and  Pleasant Tea Kettle
  • A small tin tea kettle painted with simple blue and yellow flowers.
  • The kettle can make up to 4 cups of tea at a time, in the usual fashion.
  • Once per day, you can brew an usually pleasant batch of tea. A wounded person drinking a cup of this unusually pleasant tea heals 1 hp.
  • A person can only benefit from this unusually pleasant tea once per day, and the tea loses potency if it grows cold.
  • You must provide your own water, heat, and tea leaves.
  • This is one of the rare magic items with no horrible side effects.
  • Price: 2000sp

17) Medical Potion 
  • Bitter brew, thick and black, in a leather flask
  • Drink to heal 1d6+1 damage.
  • Price: 300sp each, 1d3 flasks available

18) Wand
  • Random spell: level 1-3; 4d6 charges
  • Price: spell level x charges x 600sp

19) Spell Scroll
  • Roll 1d6: 1-4 wizard spell, 5-6 cleric scroll.
  • Random spell and level.
  • Price: 500sp per spell level

20) Spell Book
  • Contains 1d6 random spells of random levels
  • Price:  total spell levels x 1000sp


  1. This is the good stuff! Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Stellar stuff, my friend!
    I'll be adding this directly into Vespero's market in the inner courtyard of Castle Zagyg!

    1. Thanks, boss!
      Vespero the Antiquarian? I love that guy! He's got a shop in Berlin in my campaign.

  3. Brah, I wish my magic items could be as sweet(and weird)as these. Thanks for writing this.