A Dungeon Master's guide to debasing and robbing player characters, with a bit of ego bruising thrown in for good measure.
In a word: undead.
The following table shows undead that you can use from the 3.5 Monster Manual, with a min and max Encounter Level (EL). The "min" EL is the Challenge Rating (CR) listed in the Monster Manual, the "max" EL is the highest CR listed under "Advancement" in the stat block for that particular monster.
The Dungeon Master giveth, and the Dungeon Master taketh away. Here's a list of monsters that are good at stealing or destroying treasure that the PCs collect.
|min||max||Monster||What it does|
|3||15||Ethereal Filcher||Steals magic items|
|3||15||Rust Monster||Rusting touch|
|16||42||Nightwalker||Crushes magic items|
In addition to taking away the treasure, you can make the adveturers paranoid about touching it in the first place. Many an item has been refused due to extreme distrust. Cursed items are perhaps the most amusing items in the game. The one thing that makes them more fun is to group them together with similar magical items, mundane items, or monsters.
|Sack||Bag of Holding||Bag of Devouring, portal to an unpleasant plane||Something in the sack (or something big in the bag of holding|
|Cloak||Cloak of (whatever)||Cloak of Powerlessness||Cloaker|
|Several Treasure Chests||stuff in the chest||stuff in the chest||Mimic|
|Garbage pile (with coins & stuff)||stuff in the pile||stuff in the pile||Otyugh, Gibbering mouther|
|Trees, healing herbs & berries||Darkwood stuff||Roper, Dryad, Shambling Mound, Tendriculous|