by Thor, that’s a lotta ewers

Ewer: A pitcher, esp. a decorative one with a base, an oval body, and a flaring spout.

I’ve mentioned the unnatural overabundance of ewers in D&D treasure, but I didn’t support my thesis with excessive evidence. That’s not like me, and it changes today. Here are the ewers-in-treasure sightings in core D&D rulebooks:


I’ve already mentioned the cover of the 80s Red Box, but let’s show it again:

You know this Viking is just going to keep the ewers and throw the rest of this treasure away.

But that’s not even the only ewer in the Red Box. Here’s a treasure illustration:

if you're american in the bedroom and american in the kitchen, what are you in the bathroom? Ewer a-peein'

And here’s one from the Expert set:

Look at all these great ewers, guys!

Look how fast that elf is throwing treasure out of those boxes so she can make room for those two ewers.

1st Edition

That dwarf has his eyes on the prize.

This picture from the DMG shows no less than nine vessels, although technically they may be jugs. We have some oval bodies here, but not really flaring spouts. Can we get a ruling from the judges?

2nd Edition

I don’t have any pictures from 2nd edition, because I do not own 2nd edition books. I bet there are ewers in them. Can anyone with the 2e core books confirm?

3rd Edition

ewer my shining star

From the 3.5 DMG, here’s a classic treasure hoard, with two full-on ewers front and center, and a jug lurking in the back, trying to decide if its spout is flaring enough to play with the big boys.

And there’s more from the DMG!

Here is a sort of architectural drawing of an “artifact decanter”, but you and have discerning eyes, and we know that that is a ewer.

4th Edition


More ewers, although they might be functional ewers filled with mummy-making unguents and not treasure ewers.

Bonus ewers

So far, all my ewers have been core rulebook, but I thought I’d just peek in the Adventurer’s Vault. Here’s one from AV 1:

What the heck is that behind that ewer?

The full pic is of a guy running away with some treasure, mysteriously leaving the overturned ewer behind. DUDE, THAT’S A REAL EWER!

And here is the cover of Adventurer’s Vault 2:

I bet there's like a million ewers in that chest.

That’s definitely a ewer in the left, in addition to the jug on the right and lots of silver plates.

So there you go. More evidence that ewers need to be upgraded to a major form of D&D treasure.


5 Responses to “by Thor, that’s a lotta ewers”

  1. Had a really hard time keeping myself from laughing at work.
    “I bet there’s like a million ewers in that chest.” Haha!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Meredith, RPG Bloggers Network. RPG Bloggers Network said: by Thor, that’s a lotta ewers from Blog of Holding #RPG […]

  3. Philo Pharynx says:

    Think about life in a pre-technological society. No running water – you need to go to a communal well or fountain to get it. And the water isn’t always drinkable. Other beverages often come in barrels and casks that are too big to handle easily. There would be a lot of ewers out there, and the wealthy wouldn’t want some simple earthenware ewer when they could have a fancy one.

    And then you have artists who need to draw big piles of treasure. You got your gold, and your chests, and your swords and armor. Then what do you do?

  4. 1d30 says:

    Damn it you come up with this right after I have an idea about a Tarot-based game setting. (That is, I read this a couple days after having the idea. You posted this quite a while ago)

    Four classes, each tied to a specific Tarot suit. Each class is either the only one able to use related magic items or else related items have greater effect wielded by the right class.

    Cavalier: swords
    Sorcerer: wands
    Mountebank: coins / pentacles
    Viking: cups (EWERS)

  5. […] build, but I did add a few little things: new treasures like a Jacinth of Estimable Beauty and a ewer (can you believe I almost missed an opportunity to include ewers in a game?) I also added Iron […]

Leave a Reply