The last time we visited Forgemistress’s smithy we talked a bit about special materials and special items. It’s one thing to say that you want your magical whatsits to feel unique and flavorful, but it’s another thing to actually put in the work. Believe me, I know what a pain it can be coming up with the secret history of every +1 apple corer that the party comes across, especially if you’re in a long-running campaign or happen to be the Monty Haul type of GM. However, there is an excellent source of inspiration already in the game, and chances are that your players just murdered it.

If there are any Monster Hunter fans out there, you already know how rewarding it is to carve bits and pieces off of your fallen enemies and turn them into gear. Even Mario gets in on the act from time to time, but all too often in tabletop we’ll gloss over the cool visuals, looking instead at the killer stats that the items provide. Slow down though. Take a minute and look at the opportunity bleeding out on the floor in front of you. Make the monster the treasure. 

Maybe that dead troll has an overactive regeneration factor, and its skin keeps trying to seep into PCs’ open wounds. How about turning it into an amulet of natural armor? Was that bulette super durable? Chances are his corpse would make some excellent bulette plate armor. That stuff leaking out of the dead dragon’s gizzard? That’s naturally occurring elixir of dragon breath. Somebody get a bottle! And if all else fails, you can always use the same resource I did to write this comic: the old 3.5 metamagic components table is great for inspiration.