D&D 5E Weird and terrible things to go into a collection

*The chairs and tables and are all actually hideously mutated and distorted creatures
*Ed Gein style handicrafts. Lampshades made outnof human skin, that sort of thing
*A bunch of people and animals that have had their brains removed and are now hooked up to wired remote-controls
*One of every exotic weapon
*A variety of totutre devices, including fantastical ones like the life-draining machine from The Princess Bride
*A machine that erases people's memories
 

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*An oxygen bar powered by an imprisoned air elemental
*Centimeter wide dire paramecium
*Hallucinogenic stinging urchins
*A liquor made out of bottled fermented cerebrospinal fluid
*A table with no legs that just floats in the air
*Magic storage boxes that collapse down from cubes into flat surfaces (edit: see here)
*A creepy puzzlebox that summons fanatical lower planar members of the Society of Sensation
*A bunch of tesla coils and jacob's ladders
*A device that recharges powerstones by sucking the mental energy out of captive creatures
*Giant carnivorous plants like the Pirahna Plant or Audrey II
*Underground fish that swin through soil
*Samples of various poisons
*Nootropic drugs
*Items collected from foreign crystal spheres
*Some sort of vehicle with a big ol drill on the front
*A human centipede
*A flamethrower
*A sort of bonsai elder brain made out of rat brains (edit: possibly it has the mental stats and psionic abilities of a cranium rat swarm)
*A collection of leucotomes
*The Necronomicon
*Summarized copy of the Pact Primeval
*The Mugwump typewriter from Naked Lunch
*A bunch of failed ceremorphosis experiments where mindflayer tadpoles had been inserted into various unusual creatures
*A pile of garbage with a placard underneath stating that it is an art piece entitled "The Culture of Waste"
*A rectangular obsidian divination mirror
*Quite a lot of drugs, both of the pharmaceutical and recreational variety
 
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TheSword

Legend
*An oxygen bar powered by an imprisoned air elemental
*Centimeter wide dire paramecium
*Hallucinogenic stinging urchins
*A liquor made out of bottled fermented cerebrospinal fluid
*A table with no legs that just floats in the air
*Magic storage boxes that collapse down from cubes into flat surfaces (edit: see here)
*A creepy puzzlebox that summons fanatical lower planar members of the Society of Sensation
*A bunch of tesla coils and jacob's ladders
*A device that recharges powerstones by sucking the mental energy out of captive creatures
*Giant carnivorous plants like the Pirahna Plant or Audrey II
*Underground fish that swin through soil
*Samples of various poisons
*Nootropic drugs
*Items collected from foreign crystal spheres
*Some sort of vehicle with a big ol drill on the front
*A human centipede
*A flamethrower
*A sort of bonsai elder brain made out of rat brains (edit: possibly it has the mental stats and psionic abilities of a cranium rat swarm)
*A collection of leucotomes
*The Necronomicon
*Summarized copy of the Pact Primeval
*The Mugwump typewriter from Naked Lunch
*A bunch of failed ceremorphosis experiments where mindflayer tadpoles had been inserted into various unusual creatures
*A pile of garbage with a placard underneath stating that it is an art piece entitled "The Culture of Waste"
*A rectangular obsidian divination mirror
*Quite a lot of drugs, both of the pharmaceutical and recreational variety
Love these!

I forgot about simple art pieces - Culture of Waste is a great one.

The game Planescape Torment had a brilliant gallery of magical paintings. Your suggestion of art pieces made me think of these. I’ve copied them below with the description of the piece. In the game the commentary was given by the curator but it could easily be read on a plaque or telepathically sent to the mind when the viewer touches a crystal or projected by a magic mouth spell.

The Arcadian stained-glass window.
The hundreds of chips of translucent green glass which made up this stained-glass window didn't appear to be held together by anything, but rather remained free-floating and mysteriously suspended within the iron frame's boundaries. The shards rippled and moved in slow waves, causing bizarre patterns to fluctuate across the window's surface as various portions of it refracted the galleria's light in different directions.

Commentary: "A stained-glass window found hovering on the third layer of Arcadia thirty-two years ago, foretelling a scene that had yet to occur. When the event came to pass, the images faded to leave what you saw behind. It is believed to have captured both the light and the darkness from the Orb of Night and Day on Arcadia, then slowly release it, creating a brief but slow fade of dawning and dusk - but only within the glass itself."
"Arcadia is a Plane of peaceful order, also known as the Land of Perfect Good. The Orb of Night and Day is a sphere set in the top of Arcadia's highest peak; each half emits either light or darkness. The turning of the Orb gives Arcadia its day and night."

The battle-horn of Acheron.
A massive horn of beaten lead, wound with brazen chains. The horn was horribly mangled, as if some tremendous force had crushed it. Jagged blades protruded along its length, almost as if it were meant to be used as club by some gigantic creature, as well as a battle-horn.

Commentary: "Ah, the Cleansing Horn... a horn of beaten lead, metal drawn directly from the cube of Acheron. It is said that the Cleansing Horn last sounded where the Companies of the Jackal and the Gouged Eye Clans met for their battle at the Disputed Lands. Legends tell us that this horn's power was used near the battle's end to draw the floating cubes together, crushing the routing Company of the Jackal before it could escape."
"Acheron is a Plane of harshly enforced order, where conformity is more important than good. It is composed of gigantic, metallic cubes which float through an endless void... many cubes are large enough that cities or entire kingdoms have been built upon their

The Dark Birds of Ocanthus.
Several shards of black crystal - or ice - swirled within the freezing wind that this ornate pedestal gave forth. Each shard looked razor sharp; touching or grabbing one could be perilous.

Commentary: "All of them are chipped from the great magical sheet of black, infinite ice that rests in the black belly of the Plane of Ocanthus. It is said that this sheet of ice is the final destination of the River Styx, and that the recollections of all that have plunged into the Styx's memory-destroying waters still lie frozen within the ice."

The ruby statuette.
It stood on a pedestal, carved into the image of a winged humanoid. The figure was either demonic or angelic in nature... but it was difficult to tell which, because it refracted the light in the galleria strangely. There was no placard indicating what, exactly, the statuette was.

Commentary: "That piece was found in a cathedral in the fertile fields of Elysium on the first layer, Amoria the Untroubled, where it bordered the River Oceanus. The name of the piece is not known, but the skill and craftsmanship are believed to be one of the most striking examples of gem crafting in the Planes. The mere way in which the piece captures, distills, and enhances the light through its facets is part of its breath-taking wonder. It seems to bring to light the possible ideological connection between even the most evil and the purest beings in the multiverse... fascinating."

The kyton's animate chain.
An animated, bloody iron chain, coiling and uncoiling upon itself. The chain itself seemed to bend and weave like the spine of a snake.

Commentary: "The chain comes from the city of Jangling Hiter, the city of chains that hangs on Minauros, third layer of the Plane of Baator. The chains there are the finest in the multiverse, but the inhabitants of Jangling Hiter are malicious and cruel, using the chains as living weapons against all that enter their city and violate their laws."
"Kytons move about the city of chains as spiders upon webs, adorned in chains woven tightly around their bodies. Kytons possess a power known as the 'gift of chains,' which allows them to manipulate chains with their minds. It is believed that my galleria's chain was animated during a battle in which the kyton controlling it was slain with a cursed hammer... its life essence then passing into the chain itself."

The statue of the screaming man.
The statue looked like it was about to make some angry proclamation. The sculptor had captured the essence of fury magnificently; the chiseled tension lines around the neck and forehead alone must have taken many long months to get correct. Fine cracks ran over the entire statue.

Commentary: "This statue is believed to be the final fate of the Etherserian sorcerer Gangroighydon. Attacked by a conclave of rival sorcerers at the height of his dream madness, he was imprisoned with a spell that turned his flesh into stone. Gangroighydon is said to have been frozen with a final, awful curse still upon his lips, a curse so terrible that it was never meant to be spoken by the lips of a living man."
"It is said that the fury of the curse was enough to blister the flesh from the bones of those that heard it, and that it could even shatter the stones themselves."

The painting 'Outland Raiders.'
Tall, black cliffs against a blood-red sky. There looked to be figures hiding amongst the crags of the cliffs but, whenever I squinted at the painting to try and make them out, the images faded into nothing.

Commentary: "An interesting piece, yes? The painter managed a most interesting effect with the forms in the cliff's shadows. The woman who brought me this piece told me she found it in an abandoned camp on the Outlands... the original painter was never found. Presumably, they were slain by the same raiders whose image they captured in the painting."

The painting 'The Folly of Udo.'
A dark cityscape, a far-away view of some giant center of civilization being burned to the ground. The streets of the place were empty, however, absent of soldiers, refugees, and even corpses.

Commentary: "This painting illustrates one of the legends of the Prime world Goha. Udo was a wizard-king of such skill and power that he set to casting a spell that would turn himself into a Power, and the people of his great nation into divine servants. With the spell's completion, lightning crashed down around Udo's palace setting it ablaze and, before the thunder had died away, the city was empty... not a living thing to be found. Over seventy-thousand people vanished, without a trace, in a heart-beat. No one knows the fate of Udo or his people."

The painting 'Moment's Glance from the Walls of Moch'chma.'
An abstract work of greens and purples, which writhed and rippled as it was watched.

Commentary: "Moch'chma is a githzerai fortress which floats in the Plane of Limbo. The Moment's Glance was painted by the chaos-scholar Dy, who remembers everything she sees with perfect clarity when she is not stricken with madness."

Other paintings include…
  • Karasuthran Shoreline
  • Hazazoth at the Consumption of N'gar
  • Surface of Thalasia
  • The Library
  • Vale Beneath Clanggedin
  • Gray Hag of Oinos - A strangely familiar hook nosed and chinned figure.
  • Wave Motion Study #7 - A pale grey white piece that peacefully ripples and undulates.

 

aco175

Legend
I always been a fan of having things in suspended animation. Something in a jar or encased in ice that will come back alive. So maybe there is a demon or dragon there that you can bring to life as a lair action. There may be a chance it attacks randomly instead of just attacking the PCs. You can also throw future hooks in like a floating Hand of Vecna sitting in a jar. Now the PCs have another problem to deal with. Also a great place to put new magic items. Something like in the movies where a PC picks up something and says, "I wonder what this does." as a disintegration ray comes out of the ring.

I would skip this guy unless you need to pause the action for some NPC dialogue about how to point the ring.

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*Living animals or people with no faces
*A metal or crystal trinket in the shape of a uniform polyhedron that compels nearby creatures to try and grab it but causes intense pain to any creature that successfully touches it
*A tree with branches from several types of fruit tree grafted onto the trunk so that it now bears multiple kinds of fruit on one tree
*A bunch of dissected dwarves and drow behind glass.
*A crystal that interferes with the formation of new memories by living creatures within 5 feet of it. The effect ends when the creature leaves the aura. Possibly combine this with item 2 above (the painful but attractive trinket)
*Hyperbolic crochet
*What appear to be a pile of coins but are actually HD-Rosettas
*A psionic martial arts manual for a fighting style that combines psionic attack/defense modes¹ with Diamond Mind initiation²
*A device that implants false memories
*An electric chair
*Some sort of sonic obliterator gun
*A psionic scroll of sorts consisting of flayed skins with psionic tattoos on them, clearly tattooed before the creature was skinned.
*A painting in a style reminiscent of Jackson Pollock. This particular painting, however, was created by acquiring several different types of creatures with all different colors of blood, and then, one by one, shooting them execution style on top of the canvas
*That spinning pillar thing with all the dismembered body parts tacked to it from the beginning of Hellraiser 1 and the end of Hellraiser 2
*A monster truck horse with a normal horse body but freakishly huge legs
*Surgically altered freaks that perform the function of modern appliances, like in the defunct webcomic "Deep Rise" (BTW, if anyone can point me to an archive of said comic with intact artwork I'd very much appreciate it)
*A bunch of heads that have been carved up like jack-o-lanterns
*A candle (or torch or whatever) that radiates darkness instead of light
*A dagger that inplants anyone who comes near it with an urge to pick it up and kill themself with it.
*A crystal that on command shatters into hundreds of razor sharp shards that fly around the immediate vicinity in a whirlwind pattern ripping everything to shreds before putting themselves back together
*Several detailed statuettes made out of chunks of meat and organs. They were created by carving a petrified creature into several statuettez and then turning it back into flesh
*A lyre that causes all who hear its music to contract a plague
*A magic bowl which if pointed towards a creature while the command word is spoken will cause that creature to be shredded into mincemeat and fly into the bowl.
*A ring that temporarily petrifies any creature that puts it on for a short fixed period of time. Good for avoiding effects that specifically target living creatures
*A reverse centaur that's like a normal horse but its legs are human legs
*What look like a bunch of disembodied/dismembered arms with hands on both ends of them. If you hold one up to the side of your torso, one of the hands will grab onto you and you can use the arm as if it was part of your body
*An item similar to the sorting hat from Harry Potter, except instead of assigning dormitories its job is to determine whether incoming captives are fit for labor or should instead be slated to be devoured
*manacles with cursed key; a prisoner may unlock themself if they willingly accept the key and thus also the key's curse
*Items made from iron mined in the core of a star
*A shadow illusion based Holodeck room
*Ouija board with living cell tissue culture grown on the planchette replacing the celebrants/mediums
*That device for sucking people's vital fluids out from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Couples Skate"
*A club that, instead of being spiky, is studded with teeth from different cretaure
*A tiny earth elemental in a terrarium labeled "pet rock"
*A tiny squid that is usable as an inkwell
*Haunted boardgames in the vein of Jumanji and Zathura. Possibly a boardgame version of Polybius.
*A portal gun
*A device that extracts information from the brains of dead people
*A gouged out but still functional beholder central eye mounted on a pole or on the wall like a security camera or a loudspeaker or a lamp. A switch elsewhere in the room activates and deactivates the antimagic field
*A tank of piranhas
*Shelves ensorcelled so that nothing will fall off of them no matter how much they are jostled.
*A werewolf chained up like a dog which is kept permanently locked in wolf form by a moon rock on a pendant around their neck
*A weapon that's basically a scaled up, heavily reinforced metal straw with one end slanted and sharpened. It's intended for piercing people's skulls.
*Tattoo equipment because psionic tattoos are a thing for some reason


¹A small set of special psionic combat powers (Mind Blast, Ego Whip, Id Insinuation, Mind Thrust, Psychic Crush, Empty Mind, Intellect Fortress, Mental Barrier, and Tower of Iron Will) that prior to 3.5e used a different set of rules from regular psionic powers

²A martial discipline from Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords focusing on concentration and thought
 
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*clones and body doubles of famous and/or influential personages
*Animals surgically raised to human intelligence Dr.Moreau style
*Items that follow old versions of the rules from previous editions
*A room or suite of rooms with non-euclidean geometry.
*A device that can ignite nearby flammable objects but does not directly produce any flame or heat of its own
*On a similar note, Chlorine Trifluoride
*Surgical tools
*IIRC in some editions Mind Flayers thrived in damp swamp-like conditions and required something akin to a fremen stillsuit to operate for prolonged periods in normal humidity, so maybe have some of those hanging up somewhere
*A painting that shows the thoughts of the closest person looking at it
*Masks made out of people's faces, possibly enhanced to fit over heads that by all rights they shouldn't be able to fit over
*Statues done up with an exterior of real preserved skin
*Clothes and armor made out of people leather
*Plastinate anatomical specimens
*Psionic weapons and appliances that use the brains and/or psychic energy of small animals as a power source
*A reverse ladder that allows the user to descend into solid ground
*A fountain of blood or bile or something like that
*A crystal that glows in hypnotic colors
*A bunch of souls trapped in a jar or something
*A painting that shows everyone who looks at it something (tailored to the individual viewer) so frightening that it scares them to death like a Phantasmal Killer spell
 
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