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Rating: 4.8889
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ID: 1170


June 13, 2006, 3:35 pm

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Cheka Man
Michael Jotne Slayer

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The Malisso Cabinet


The Malisso Cabinet is an ordinary piece of luxurious furniture, but one that might create a lot of trouble for its owner.

Full Item Description
The cabinet is made of the reddish brown wood known as Rustwood. When the cabinet was made four decades ago, Rustwood was the material that the nobility bought. Then a couple of decades followed in which Rustwood was considered out of fashion. In any case: Both of the cabinet doors have been painted with mountain landscapes in earth tones. The doors are solid with a silver lock. The key has been lost though, and the story tells how Count Malisso threw it away in one of his heartbroken fits of rage. The corners of the Cabinet have been carefully carved and the carvings depict leaves and geese catching flight. At the very bottom of the cabinet, the signature of its maker: “Monscillo”, can be found. He was a legendary craftsman whose crafts became very sought after and ultimately ridiculously overpriced. The Cabinet is astonishingly heavy and should prove a burden for nearly any pair of PCs.

After finishing a difficult mission for a noble, the PCs get what he promised: A reward fit for kings. It is the renowned Malisso Cabinet, commissioned by Count Malisso as a gift for the girl he was betrothed to marry. He spent a small fortune on the masterful paintings and intricate carvings on the cabinet, but to his utter dismay his betrothed found love within the embrace of another man and the just finished cabinet became a reminder of a love lost. The noble sold it and with time the cabinet has been connected with a number of unfortunate incidents; the bankruptcy of a wealthy merchant, the death of a champion racing horse and the imprisonment of it’s previous owner; the royal chamberlain (apparently the royal treasury fared noticeably poorer than his personal fortune). Thus the Malisso cabinet gained a reputation as a bringer of bad luck.
Selling it: The Malisso Cabinet is an exquisitely crafted piece of furniture and well renowned among large parts of the nobility and those merchants who know style and fashion. It will bring the PCs a large amount of money, should they be able to actually get it sold. There is the accompanying superstition that will make it difficult to sell. It should prove easy to sell to fences and less knowledgeable merchants, but it will bring less than a tenth of the real price if sold in this manner.  

Usage and hooks: Obviously the Malisso Cabinet could be used as an alternative method of payment. The clever GM might want to take it a step further! Make sure the PCs are well aware of the cost of the cabinet, and exploit their greed to make sure they don’t dump it immediately. Then the cabinet could be used in a number of ways:
· An interested potential buyer approaches the PCs and bargain for the Cabinet. He leaves without buying it, but later thieves will try to steal the cabinet from their possession. Whether they succeed or not will be up to the PCs vigilance, but the timing will be suspicious and the buyer is too wealthy to be targeted by the law. No one will believe the PCs, or they dare not believe them, so what will they do?
· The curse is not real! The PCs get the aid of a competent church, and then discover that the curse is all imagined. The cost of the Cabinet skyrockets, but now everyone wants it. And they are willing to threaten the PCs to ensure that they do get it. Will the PCs make a deal with one party, gaining a lot of enemies in the process? How will the less savoury try to convince the PCs?
· Nurturing the cursed theory: Whenever the players encounter a bit of bad luck (especially when the GM made those unlucky dice rolls), just casually confirm that they were close to the Cabinet, or that they still own the Cabinet. This should be done at a later stage, as it will probably lead to their getting rid of it. A nice way to keep the PCs paranoid when in a stressed situation.
· It is a forgery! The powerful noble whom the PCs helped did not want to get rid of the Cabinet after all. Perhaps he just wanted to lose the attention of troublemakers, or perhaps he is just plain greedy? In any case he ordered a fraud by a skilled, but far cheaper, craftsman and gave the cheap imitation to PCs. Now they have sold their services, endured problem after problem, only to discover that it was all for nothing. The original employer enjoys the cabinet in full privacy, while the PCs get all the associated problems (see above). They get a minimal sum from a laughing furniture connoisseur, how will they react?

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Comments ( 10 )
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October 27, 2005, 16:34
The Malisso Cabinet: story idea

The key has long since been lost, but what if there was something locked inside of it? Perhaps the cabinet contains the remains of Malisso's lost love are inside, wrapped in a thick cloth so that it would not be heard if shaken, and hidden behind a false pannel. Her restless spirit could be responsible for the ill luck.
Voted MoonHunter
November 6, 2005, 19:10
This is a worthy post of a 5/5 It has good bones, it is well presented, and it can lead to a variety of uses.

Voted Nobody
December 16, 2005, 19:25
My word. I don't think that I have ever seen anything quite like this.

What we have here is a normal (if very fine) item, with no truly unique properties other than those of rumor.

I have to admire the boldness of such a thing. I do not think that I would have posted something if it were not somehow special as compared to other like items.

Still, it is not the item itself that is important, it is what the item brings to the game. As far as that goes, this item is fantastic.

Very well discribed, with good detail and specifics that really make it shine. A strong history that you can ACTUALLY REVEAL TO THE PC'S. It's not a sword or armor, and it has no direct combat usage. The drawback to this item is practically the definition of Cruel Irony (the downside is that there is no actual downside). And you added plot hooks to top it off.

I must say that I am impressed. I love it.

Awesome history+Awesome Detail+Unique Item+Bold Idea+Brilliant Drawback+Extra Plot Hooks (Bonus)=5/5 (Awesome one! I'll Find a Way to Use it!)

Nice work. My hat goes off to you.
Voted Cheka Man
January 21, 2006, 18:27
Refreshingly different.
Voted Scrasamax
January 23, 2006, 8:44
And for your reward, you mighty lords among men, I give you this cabinet.

You give us what? He's fooling, yo! This is nuts.

It's worth how much? That'll buy me...

I can just see the PCs finding someone to verify the cabinet, or the look of angst on their faces when they sell it for a pitiance, and later learn of it's 'real' cash value.
Voted Murometz
March 24, 2006, 15:16
Voted Kassy
July 12, 2008, 9:45
A brilliant piece scary for whoever owned it.
Voted valadaar
August 10, 2009, 21:08
What an excellent idea!
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
May 6, 2019, 13:48
I am still amazed by finding posts that I have read and enjoyed many times but somehow neglected to vote and comment on. It's a great piece, somehow also reminiscent of a purer time in RPGs. Excellent and to the point.

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