Welcome to the Exotic Marketplace, where anything is available for purchase… as long as you can pay the price. This DnD 5e homebrew vendor is one of nine locations found within this event.
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 interesting to interact with and look forward to.
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.
DnD 5E Homebrew: Welcome to The Exotic Marketplace
This article covers one of the shops that appears within The Exotic Marketplace.
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.
DnD 5e Homebrew Vendor: Mysterious Magicks
This red and black tent smells strongly of cloves. To the side you see a small handwritten sign that reads: “Mysterious Magicks: Unique Magical Services to Persons of All Kinds. Inquire Within.”
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. Here’s one for you that should work regardless of your preferred delivery style:
As you arrive in The Exotic Marketplace, nearest to you stands a red and black circus tent, its colors vibrant yet ominous. The air surrounding it crackles with an electric charge, carrying a hint of smoldering embers and a mysterious musk. As you approach, the grass beneath your feet appears dry and slightly singed, as if touched by arcane energies.
The tent fabric, taut and smooth to the touch, feels strangely cool despite the warmth of the surrounding area. It exudes an uncanny texture, reminiscent of dragon scales, with intricate patterns woven into the fabric that seem to shimmer under the flickering light.
Entering the tent, the atmosphere is thick with an otherworldly aura. The air inside carries a faint aroma of exotic spices, mingling with an undercurrent of ancient incense. Shadows dance playfully amidst the dimly lit space, casting ethereal patterns on the tiled floor and walls of the tent. It is much more expansive inside than you imagined.
A humanoid figure is seated in dark robes at a table in the center of the room. When you enter the tent, a sultry female voice purrs: “Come in. Have a seat. Do not be afraid.”
‘Mysterious Magicks’ Services
This wizard offers random magical effects for a small fee. The payer does not get to choose what the effect is, but will receive a better effect if they pay over a standard threshold, which the DM will set. It is meant as a sort of carnival trick where the wizard can make some easy money by calling upon powers unknown to the players.
There are a few ways you can handle this, depending on your preference. Perhaps your players have already requested something strange and a little outside of the usual D&D offerings. This could be a great opportunity to grant that wish.
You could also preordain benefits or disadvantages for each player, grant both a boon and a debuff, or both. You could decide these ahead of time, knowing what might serve as something for your players to find challenging, exciting, or in alignment with their character and the current story.
Or, Keep it Simple
I prefer to keep it simple. I use roll charts and let the dice decide their 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.
I use one of the roll charts listed below, and if they roll something that just will NOT work, I look for something nearby or have them roll again. Easy. It takes no time to set up, and it’s exciting for all of us.
A Table Here, For Your Convenience
If you don’t want to flip through or pre-screen a huge set of options, how about a D10 chart to whet your appetite? These are ideas I came up with that would be fun and probably make most players excited. You could have them roll, or just choose one for them. This first chart presumes they’ve paid a fair tip to the caster, whatever that may be in your game’s economy.
|D10 Roll Value||Outcome or Effect|
|1||Alter your appearance. Can change height, hair, voice, teeth, skin color, eye color, etc.|
|2||Spawn a small egg. It will hatch into a tiny red peacock in 1d6 days, if kept warm. The peacock can cast Prestidigitation once per day at the request of its owner.|
|3||A mug of unending toxic water. Not poisonous enough to kill anyone, but it’s bad enough to make someone sick 1d4 hours after drinking it. It refills at sunset.|
|4||A purple prosthetic hand that must be attached to the owner’s body in order to function. It allows casting of Mage Hand once per day.|
|5||A pair of dainty shoes with bells attached to the toes. Wearer receives advantage on performance checks that utilize some form of dancing or fancy foot work. Disadvantage on stealth checks while wearing.|
|6||One magical painting of the client’s choice: will include moving images and several spoken lines, which will repeat.|
|7||An extremely realistic model of a medium creature of their choosing, on wheels with a leash.|
|8||Forget one memory. Your choice. Replace it with something else, if you’d like.|
|9||An ornamental version of a weapon in which they have proficiency. It’s a costume jewelry equivalent—worthless in battle, invaluable at a fancy party.|
|10||A tiny creature of your choosing is now friendly towards you in all circumstances.|
Benefits Versus Power
Many of these do not give an immediate benefit, but several of them could become quite (concerningly) overpowered if the players were just a little bit clever and persistent with the details. You’ll want to pick things that you believe your players will find interesting and have fun with, but also won’t end up breaking your game. Such is the never-ending task of the Dungeon Master.
D100 Table from DnD Speak
I love DndSpeak! I supported them on Patreon for a while, and I just find their content to be so fun and so useful. They have a “Unique Magical Services” D100 roll chart that you can use for this tent, if you want a larger scale. Some of the benefits in the chart are overpowered, while some of them would be quite a challenge for a player to roleplay or deal with. You’ll have to decide what’s best for you. Check out the table here.
Another Magical Effects Table
If you need magical effects in general on hand, may I suggest this table here? It is full of 10,000 magical outcomes and requires more than one roll to figure out what’s going to happen, which I think is fun.
Sample Roll Outcome and How to Handle It
Here’s the outcome of a sample roll:
Roll D100: 47. This opens up a subset of options. Then, you roll a D100 again. I got a 93.
Here was my result: “Next puddle stepped in by target changes his alignment until dawn.”
That’s hilarious and weird. So, is the puddle magical? Or, is it that it’s the last straw and now the character is so furious about everything that he goes from pretty great to being a rampaging psychopath for the rest of the day? That much is up to you and your table.
For use in this tent, the NPC could say: “Avoid puddles.”
And that would be that. This might be particularly intriguing if the other players had gotten an outcome that was much more specific or tangible. I wouldn’t give this one out unless a player had either insulted the NPC or paid such a small sum as to be rude, though.
Need a D100?
You can of course use any myriad of digital rollers for free, and I suggest you utilize that option if you’re traveling light. But there’s just something about rolling a die. You know?
If you haven’t splurged on a 100-sided die yet, I have a few 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 Dungeons & Dragons polyhedral dice set. Check out the 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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