Aids Horses in All Ways


The art of a bearded guy inspecting a gemstone, from DMG p. 25.

You know this guy just found a turquoise.

While progressing my full read-through of the AD&D books, I rediscovered the "Reputed Magical Properties of Gems" table on DMG p. 26-27. It lists a bunch of gems and gem colors along with the things they're thought to aid, ward against, or otherwise be associated with. As per the paragraph following the table, the gems don't actually have these powers alone, or even when many similar gems are gathered. The table is intended only to provide some guidance for the DM:

"Regardless of what qualities gems, herbs, and other substances are purported to possess, the mere possession of a score of a type of gem or a bale of some herb will convey absolutely no benefit of magical nature to the character concerned. These special qualities are given herein merely as information for Dungeon Master use in devising special formulae for potions, inks, etc. The information might also prove useful in other ways, particularly with regard to description of magic items, laboratories, and so on. Under no circumstances should you allow some player to convince you to the contrary!" – DMG p. 27

The table is easy to skip over if you're glossing through the rules, or if you wave it off as horoscope-type nonsense without reading the attached paragraph. But it's got some gems in it.


Anyway, I'd like to draw your attention to the "Turquoise" entry, which reads, "Aids horses in all ways (but stone shatters when it operates)."

The "Turquoise" entry on DMG p. 27, which reads, "Aids horses in all ways (but stone shatters when it operates)."

All ways.

This is one of the more mysterious entries on the table. Runners-up include jet being "soul object material" and yellow gemstones being associated with jaundice. The turquoise entry is especially interesting because it's the only one that states that the gem is destroyed when it "operates," and the only one that explicitly says it applies "in all ways."

Let me tell you something: I love this shit. This is prime AD&D! Come for the gameplay, stay for the flavor, the absolute texture of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. "Aids horses in all ways." What does it mean? I get what it means in context but what does it mean in the grand scheme? What line of thought put these hallowed words to paper? Incredible.

Lesser referees would pass this off as Gygaxian nonsense. But not you. You play by the book. Here's how you run turquoises at your table:

All ways.

← Go back home