Are the unique (purple) items in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning always found in the same place? I just found an awesome sword in a nondescript chest while on my way to a quest, and I'm wondering if it would always be found there. If not I'm wondering if there is a chance to find similar high-level items in all chests in the game.
Yes, it is possible to find purple items in all random nondescript chests and even dropped by complete scrub enemies. No, they are not in fixed locations... with the caveat below.
To go into a little more detail on how this works (at least on the PC version), it seems like the contents of a chest are randomized the first time you enter a zone or dungeon. At that point, you can save and reload, or run around the world and come back as much as you want, but that chest is always going to have the same contents. If there was a certain purple item in there, there will always be a certain purple item in there (for that character). If there wasn't, there won't be.
However, if you save your game before entering the dungeon for the first time, and then run in and open a chest, you'll find that if you reload to your save and then once again run into the dungeon and loot the chest, the contents will be different. Again, this is because the contents are randomized the first time you enter the dungeon. Maybe the chest had a purple the first time but not the second. Or maybe two different purples. Or no purples at all.
Enemy loot drops, on the other hand, seem to be completely random. You can kill an enemy and he'll drop a purple item, then reload your game and do it again, and he will drop something totally different.
I have found the same purple item in a chest before and after dying / reloading my game, but IIRC creature levels are generated when you enter some areas - I'd assume that it's possible that items use a similar system.