Full Item Description
Assorted gold and silver jewelry with necklaces and rings being the most common, since it is pretty easy to lose one earring and they should be had in pairs.
It is customary in almost every society for the bodies of the dead to be laid to rest with some sort of offering. while some may take it to the extreme, with massive temple-tombs and hosts of ritually sacrificed slaves to the austere bundle of flowers laid on a stone cairn. Coins my be laid over eyes as passage to the blessed afterlife, while in other cultures the dead are decked out in their finest clothes and their finest, non-heirloom jewelry. Rings adorn cold fingers and lockets are placed between still breasts. All of this is done with respect and reverence, with love and remorse.
Then some a-hole with a sword and a torch comes along and muchs things up. Snatching the jewels and breaking brittle dry fingers to steal rings.This ranges from honest to goodness graverobbery to inconsiderate looting by PCs.
I hack the zombie and take the gold and XP.
Except that the gold was the zombie’s wedding band worn for a decade after his wife died. Tch tch tch. Bad form.
While the anger and rage of the dead is powerful, if it was as powerful as cursed and haunted items demonstrate the living would cower in fear of the wrath of the dead. It takes a massive amount of ego on the part of the deceased, and a massive amount of desecration on the part of the living to create the powerful relics of undeath. These are the less powerful, or possibly the least powerful and the most common.
The grave goods of the dead carry with them the ill will and malice of the desecrated. The gold coins carry a stigma. The bearer might be more likely to get mugged violently, or may find himself or herself coming down with mild but constantly irritating illness. Dreams could be made unpleasant or into sweaty nightmares, depending on the callousness of the acts involved. (Degree of desecration)
Last but not least, the who are privvy to the worlds of the dead, such as funeral priests, necromancers and such will recognize cursed grave goods as such. A nosy priest could certainly cause a PC party some trouble if they are turned into the authority as grave robbers.
Temptation of the Gold - The PCs are given a basic morality test and have to deal with the consequences. They are offered a chance to loot a nice tomb, laiden with several valuable pieces of silver and gold. Certainly enough to buy up to the next character level, purchase magic item X, or whatever else their munchkin dreams desire. Their gains demonstrate themselves to be ill-gotten, and the PCs are afflicted by bad luck.
Thieves! Thieves! - After a tough battle with some undead, the PCs are accosted by locals who want to know why the PCs have some of the treasure that was buried with poor insert famous local dead guy. They will demand that the PCs return what they have stolen, or else.