Welcome to the Exotic Marketplace, where anything is available for purchase… as long as you can pay the price. This D&D 5E homebrew vendor is one of nine locations found within this event. These vendors would are compatible with most tabletop games, with only minor modifications.
Use this location on its own, or as part of the larger Exotic Marketplace setup within your D&D 5E campaign to give your players something a little different to enjoy.
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
D&D 5E Homebrew Vendor: Welcome to The Exotic Marketplace
This article covers one of the shops that appears within The Exotic Marketplace.
If you missed it, make sure you check out the first vendor in this series: “Mysterious Magicks.”
The Exotic Marketplace is a collection of magical shops that appear at a Dungeon Master’s discretion. It can appear as often or infrequently as you’d like, and only requires a small field in which to apparate. Check out the full details of the event here.
D&D 5e Homebrew Vendor: Anything and Everything
This curious tent, adorned with yellow and black diamonds, emanates a strong and unusual smell of licorice as well as an underlying, unpleasant scent of something rotten. A sign perched over its entrance beckons with the intriguing promise of “Anything and Everything.”
I’m not a huge fan of reading box text, but I like to have a written description on hand to reference or to paraphrase. I’ve had some DMs in the past that prefer to read exact descriptions, so a shorter script for the tent is above, and a longer one is below for your convenience:
Nestled beneath the cool, velvety embrace of a star-studded night sky, this enigmatic tent beckons all who visit The Exotic Marketplace. The tent fabric, adorned with a pattern of yellow and black diamonds and bathed in the soft moonlight, seems to shimmer as you draw near.
As you walk closer, you smell a pungent blend of licorice with an undertone of something rotten.
Suspended above the entrance, a splintered piece of rotting wood bears the burned inscription “Anything and Everything.”
‘Anything and Everything’ Services
This tent is particularly delightful because it puts the creative onus onto our players.
Players will enter the tent, greet the salesman, and then tell him what they’d like to purchase. They will pay with an unusual currency, which is often something more valuable than gold.
When the PCs enter this tent, they see someone they trust and admire standing behind a black counter. They must all make a Wisdom save (DC 18) to find out if they can see through this disguise. On a successful roll, they instead see a creature wearing a yellow jacket (a likeness is pictured below).
Homebrew Vendor: The Yellow Tent Salesman
This creature is lawful evil, and uses its shapechanging abilities to put potential customers at ease.
When players enter the tent, after noticing the salesman, disguised or not, the creature says:
In my shop where dreams take wing,
For sale, my friend, is everything.
Stars, love, a golden ring?
Step inside. What will you have? Buy anything.
Regardless of the Wisdom save, most characters with even a modicum of Intelligence or Wisdom will know something magical and probably a bit nefarious is going on.
Your players can state what they’d like to buy. Maybe they are looking for something a bit less tangible. Maybe they have a specific item in mind. You’ll want to use your good judgement, of course. The salesman isn’t intended to be a reproduction of the “Wish” spell.
If your players are looking for magic items and you’re interested in finding some fresh ideas on what to sell, be sure to check out our article here for some help.
Handling Difficult Requests
If a player asks for something outrageous or game-breaking, there are a few ways to handle this. One is to give a powerless facsimile or only part of the item, alongside a different gift you believe the player would appreciate. Perhaps a promise of more power in the future would be help, here.
Another option is to have the salesman tell the PC they will need to complete some kind of quest or series of tasks to acquire such a powerful item or boon.
Finally, the way I’d handle it at my table, is I would allow just about anything, but the price would be enormously high. A set limit on their lifespan, with the soul going to the salesman after a set amount of time, or a massive disadvantage, such as reduction of ability scores or removing levels of experience. The idea is to balance the power, not punish the player. It is likely that the player wouldn’t want to pay that high of a price.
I would only resort to this extremism if they asked for something like the Deck of Many Things, for example. And, if you’re interested, there’s an amazing version of this item with lenticular artwork linked below for you.
The Price to Pay This Homebrew Vendor
Instead of using gold to pay for these requests, this sunny vendor prefers to charge something a little more personal.
I like to keep the mechanics and gameplay simple. I use roll charts and let the dice decide the players’ fate (mostly). My players are gamblers by nature and love the excitement of something interesting happening to their character. Plus, I believe they trust me not to ruin the story or our game.
To determine the price paid, I either use the roll chart linked on the button below, or I make up a list special to their characters ahead of time. If a player rolls something that just will NOT work, I look for something nearby or have them roll again. Easy. This option takes no time to set up, and it’s exciting for all of us.
A Roll Chart For Your Convenience
If you don’t want to scroll through or pre-build a huge set of options, how about a D10 chart to whet your appetite? Below are a few ideas I came up with for payment that would probably make most players feel the decision was a bit weighty or interesting. You could have them roll a D10, or just choose one for them.
|D10 Roll||Price Paid by Player for Request|
|1||One appendage. Your choice.|
|2||Your entire inventory. You may only carry five items from now on.|
|3||10% of your income for the next year as a tax.|
|4||You must multi-class to either a Warlock or a Bard (or DMs choice) for your next level up.|
|5||You must advertise this shop to every new NPC you meet in creative and unusual ways.|
|6||You have to babysit an imp named Yodel for an indefinite amount of time. He’s quite the troublemaker.|
|7||I have a collection of cursed items I need you to dispose of. They need to be given as gifts and worn by the recipients.|
|8||You must steal the most valuable item that each of your party members carry and bring these back to me undetected.|
|9||In addition to the item I give you, you must also take this small, locked box. Find a way to unlock it, and return it to me unopened.|
|0||The item is free, but you owe this NPC a favor.|
The favor, of course, could be a side quest you’d like to incorporate, or a hook into content that seems otherwise unrelated. Maybe you’ve seen a one shot you want to try but don’t have a great way to build it into your main story. This could be a way to do just that.
Make sure to check out our article on creating engaging side quests, too!
Need a D100?
If you’re on the hunt for a fun D100 to use for the roll chart I linked above, fear not. I have a few fun ones for you to take a look at below.
You can of course use any myriad of digital rollers for free, and I suggest you utilize this option if you’re traveling light or on a tight budget.
If you’re in the market for one, I have a few D100s I can recommend at different price points. They are similar to golf balls since they have so many sides, and they do not typically come with a polyhedral dice set.
Check out these Amazon finds below.
Metal Rainbow D100
This die retailed for about $50 as of this writing, and comes in lots of colors. If you like the feel of heavier, metallic dice, this one is a winner for you. It’s also the most expensive on this list by far.
At a much more economic range of about $15-$20, this D100 comes with a variety of inclusion options, including ducks and bunnies. Cute, weird, and a good price point. Check it out here.
Green and Black D100
The most economical of the three is the one shown above, which at the time of this writing retailed at about $9 and came in four colors. Take a closer look here.
Dark Elf Dice
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Dark Elf Dice. I buy most of my dice from them, and I can get you a 10% discount, which is pretty awesome. Check out their store here. You can use the link, or the code “MALICEINNANDTAVERN” to get your 10% off. Enjoy!
The Exotic Marketplace is a great opportunity for a Dungeon Master to present their players with a unique set of vendors that provide a variety of utilities to both players and the DM. Whether you’re looking to loosen the PCs of coin, give them a fun new toy, or simply provide a memorable session, The Exotic Marketplace can deliver for you.
Did you implement this vendor or the marketplace as a whole in your game? I’d love to read about it in the comments below.
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