I was walking on the main street when i saw an emaciated man lying on the side, he was clearly starving, so i decided to give him my lunch.
He devoured it in a few seconds and, incredibly happy, tried give me 3 copper coins as thanks, of course i declined. It wasn't right to take money from such a poor person, but he really wanted to thank me and he proposed to exchange his 3 copper coins with 3 copper coins of mine, i accepted to make him happy.
But i must say that these coin feel “strange”, here, could you please take a look at them?
How does the man looked? Now that's strange, i really can't recall any particular detail about his aspect…
Sometime, more often that you think, you are tested.
It's not entirely clear who the tester is, maybe is a manifestation of fate itself giving you a chance; maybe is some kind of spirit or some forgotten goddess, who knows. For sure it's not just you, but almost anyone has been tested at least one time in his life, often more.
What's important is that you could acquire some peculiar object that will have some hidden influence in your life.
The "test" usually consist in a situation involving someone in hardship or in peril in which there's nothing to gain by giving aid. It don't need to be some task of heroic proportion, often it consist of a beggar asking for change, a child who lost his pet, a woman who can't find her children and so on.
Basically there are three way to aproach this:
1-Give aid: You give help and are rewarded with 3 copper coins.
2-Ignore it: The most popular choice; fate gave you a chance, but you passed.
3-"Be a bastard": Basically you give aid only with the promise of a pay or something similar in return (you get 3 gold coins in this case), or you downright rob the tester.
The coins can't be bought, they can only be exchanged with 3 other coins of the same value.
Their magic can't be detected by normal means.
They came in two variety
The blessed version:
What they do:
These coins bring “luck” to their owner; it's a peculiar kind of luck that must be regulated by the GM. Maybe he'll have a higher chance to meet that npc they were looking for; maybe a deadly attack will be not so deadly, or maybe he'll just be more appreciated by the the people around it.
The important thing here is to not use it as a mechanical bonus (like +1 to ac) but as something more vague. It must be really difficult for the owner to be sure about the nature of the coins ("are they really lucky or the GM is toying with me?"), the kind of luck they bring is subtle.
E.g.: The player is losing a card game but some random event interrupt it, he found the item he was looking for at a discounted price, which by chance is the exact amount of money he have ...
How they work:
After receiving the coins the receiver would always feel that they are “different”, without really understanding why, and his prime instinct would be to separate them from the rest of the coins, to put them is a small bag or talisman and to use it as some sort of lucky charm. But he's not forced to do it .
If the coins are used to buy something they lose their power.
If they are stolen or extorted in some way they act as cursed coins until returned (see below).
The only way to give them to someone is to willingly exchange them for three other coins of the same type (copper usually).
If the owner of the coin find himself in a dire situation, and he's saved or helped by someone, he will feel the urge to trade the coins with the helper ( he's not forced to do it ). If he do it the coins power grow stronger and a tiny bit of luck remain "around" the previous owner. If he don't give them, the coins lose their powers.
Alternative "practical" version:
Every time the owner of the coins is gonna recieve a fatal blow or die in some way, an incredibly unlikely event occur and save him, at the same time one the coins disappear.
The cursed version:
What they do:
This version is obtained when you "help" the man in need only for a monetary gain (in this case the 3 coins are usually made of silver or gold), or if you downright rob him.
Aside from that they pretty much work the same as the blessed version, only they bring misfortune. The owner will hurt himself in some stupid way, he'll break things, he'll be blamed for things he didn't do and so on.
How they work:
They don't lose their power when sold or used to buy something, but instead they pass the curse to the item bought with them. Throwing the coins away is possible but that would make the curse move directly on the poor guy, plus he'll need to retrieve them to get rid of the curse.
Of course, since they don't seem magical, the cursed guy is led to belive that he's been cursed by "karma" (which is true, in some way), at least at first. Given the nature of the curse is hard to really understand what's going on.
The curse can me removed by using the coins to help someone in need. Donating them (along a significant amount of money) to the church of some good deity may also remove it, if he truly regret his actions.
Alternative "practical" versions:
This was inspired by XXXHolic Rei