(One more for April's RPG Blog Carnival.)
Last week, I wrote about random chimeric monsters and mentioned that you could do the second part of the "wonky monster trifecta" by rolling for random loot and making up a reason why and how some weird dungeon critter is mimicking it.
(The third part is just random weirdoes like flumphs and flail snails.)
Then I got inspired and figured that I might as well write up some ideas. Let's go down the list on the right of this page (skipping categories and psionic items):
Coin: An insect with a coin-shaped shell with random patterns on the "upside". When it's lying flat on the ground, no legs or head can be seen. Attentive characters will notice that it doesn't have reeded edges, and the "emblem" of the coin is just random lines. If it is touched, the bug attacks and injects a strong poison. Then it skitters away and waits for the prey to die.
Gem: Same idea as for the coin, really, though I'm imagining something larger and more crab-like. Picture this Caribbean hermit crab with a bigger and more shiny shell - big enough for the crab to hide entirely within.
Potion: Honorary mention really. "Potions" that are really poison are a classic, though a miniature ooze stored in a flask is a nice twist.
Rod: Imagine this squid, but with an external shell (if it isn't already, the article doesn't tell) that it hides within. Looks like a really nasty rod, doesn't it. Well, "nasty" is right. Touch it and a bundle of tentacles emerge and attacks! For bonus weirdness, the shells might be useful for making actual magic rods.
Ring: What looks like a plain metal ring is actually the feeding orifice of an interdimensional beastie. Yes, I stole this idea from the Bag of Devouring. Yes, both sides of the ring lead into the maw of the beast, don't ask me how that works.
This also works for bracers and circlets.
Wand/Staff: A viper/constrictor having evolved a woody texture so that it looks like a wooden shaft when lying on the ground. Attacks when handled.
Lots of mollusks and insects with fancy shells, eh? In my defense, that's how many official monsters work too. Hope it helps someone and wasn't just silly.