List of common Public Domain Artifacts
- Ark of the Covenant
- Brazen head
- Crown of Thorns
- Crystal Skulls
- Four Treasures of Ireland - the Lance, Cauldron, the Sword, and the Stone
- Or the (possibly concurrent) Thirteen Treasures of Britain
- The Holy Grail
- The Imp Bottle
- Imperial Regalia of Japan aka Ama no Murakumo
- Liberty Bell
- Magic Beans
- Magic Lamp - aka Djinni in a Bottle
- Mjolnir - Thor's hammer
- The Monkey's Paw … a magic lamp that you don't want to rub.
- Philosopher's Stone
- Ring of Solomon
- The Sampo - an enigmatic artifact of Finnish folklore.
- Shroud of Turin
- Spear of Destiny - aka Lance of Longinus, aka Holy Lance
- Thirty Pieces of Silver
- Fragments of the True Cross
- Vorpal Sword
Game and Story Use
- As with Mythological Characters or Mythological Places, most of these will have name recognition (or popfinition) for your players, making them an instant plot device.
- Mention the bad guy is after a particular Public Domain Artifact, and the players will race him for it.
- Some fun can be had by taking one of the more recognizable items, and never explicitly say it is or isn't the famous one.
- In WWII the PCs storm a bunker complex, and find a cache of items including a spearhead, several old silver coins, and some fragments of wood. Watch their eyes bulge. They don't know if it's legit and actually valuable, and even if the characters are atheists and the setting's been magic-free thus far, they'll struggle hard to keep this stuff out of Hitler's hands.
- Copyright free! You can feature them prominently in your story, adventure, or published RPG without opening a can of legal worms.