I saw this thread on reddit the other day, and was inspired! I’m making a list here for those who may find it useful, and to document them for my later use. The redittor who proposed it is linked next to the item. Read and enjoy!
A good magic item should offer some kind of tradeoff, special clause, or difficult method of use. A +1 Magic Sword isn’t very interesting, nor is a Fire Sword. But a Fire Sword that burns the clothing of the wielder (or any scrolls, etc) is MUCH more interesting. Magic items should add new elements to your game.
Here are a few of my favorites from that thread (with credit given to the creators).
- Magic item
My thoughts on it, what I would change, how I would use it, etc.
- Crossbow of poison. Poison cloud in 10ft radius around bow when fired.
I like the idea of a ranged item that affects those nearby when used.
- Sling of Reloading +1 (will reload itself with any small, dense item within 10ft)
This could be fun, kinda like the junk cannon from fallout. Fire coins, pebbles, valuable gems, etc.
- Wand of Cure and Dimension Door (Heals target and teleports the wielder randomly)
Another example of a ranged item that affects the user, potentially negatively.
- Boots of extreme grounding. Grants energy resistance 5 against electricity, but all spells with the electrical descriptor will target the wearer.
This is a neat idea. Give some resistance, but draw more danger to the player
- Boots of instability. Large penalty to anything requiring balance, but bonus ranged AC.
Another good example of tradeoff, if a players uses this, then they much be even MORE careful to keep away from close combat.
- Bag of hand holding. Appears to be a mundane bag with a human forearm and hand sewn to the bottom. If you hold hands with it, the nondimensional space opens allowing you to access it as a normal bag of holding, but the hand will hold on to yours for 1 hour (high str check to escape).
Just a funny item with a very strange cost.
- Mace of spades: a +1 mace which turns into a shovel on a natural 1 attack roll, and remains a shovel until a five cubic foot hole is dug with it.
Pretty interesting, although I can only think of shovel knight when I read this.
- Boomerang Arrow. – need I say more?
If you miss with this item, you’ll need to dodge the returning arrow. For even more fun, the arrow can just keep tracking nearby targets until someone misses their dodge roll
- Ring of charitable good fortune
The original useage increases the gold earned, but I like the idea of something that generates 50-100 gold a day, but half of it must be used to give to those who need is most (giving to another party member won’t count)
- Robe of Make-believe – A +1 Magic Robe, whenever someone puts it on, roll 1d6 on the following chart. The wearer believes the sentence to be true until they take the robe off, or for 1d4 hours, whichever is longer.
Note: none of these have any effect. they are only delusions.
1 – My dark power will destoy the world, and only [randomly determined party member] can stop me!
2 – I’ve been transfigured into an offensively stereotypical version of [randomly determined playable race]
3 – I’ve lost all of my magic powers!(alternately, if I had no magic powers, I have gained mastery over [randomly determined school of magic])
4 – I’ve been betrayed by [randomly determined party member]. Have at thee villain!
5 – I can heal/damage people for 1d4 hp by touching them.
6 – Welp, I guess I was wrong about my sexual orientation…
I LOVE this one. It would be great to give a role-player, and I know a few of my players who would have a ton of fun with something like this. This could be any kind of useful magical item. I’d change the options a little, but it’s a good idea. Here are some others:
– I am the leader of this party, and must exert my authority
– An immediate and intense desire to do something else, and start a new adventure
– I must befriend [party member] at any cost, now matter how much they dislike me
– Act as if you were another class (warrior buys a bow and arrow, the thief tries to learn magic, etc)
- Ring of Nothing – The ring seems as a magical artifact and its magic is looking like something magical and very valuable. It has no other effects and you can’t take it off.
This is kind of a dick move, but it could be useful to make your players more cautious about magical items
- Ring of Disguise as a Local: When worn, you look like someone from the local area – however there’s a good chance that you’ll look like a well-known person, such as the barman – or, indeed, the person you’re talking to.
This is neat, and would be fun to give to a group trying to infiltrate a town or fortress.
- Ring of the Eternal Mustache – when worn, an impressive, stylish mustache appears on the wearer’s face, possibly granting social bonuses in some cultures. But thereafter, it grows at a rate of 2 inches per day, and cannot be cut except by a blade of pure crystal. Obviously a giant mustache will cause several penalties, at the GM ‘s discretion.
My Own Favorites
The Journal of Tasks – A player writes down what they want on one page of the journal. On the next page is written a task for the character to perform. If they perform that task they get what they want. The task is usually completely unrelated to the desire of the character, and someone can only request one task at a time.
The Armor of Delayed Pain – During a battle you only take 1/2 damage, however once you attempt to take off the armor, all of the damage you’ve been protected from is applied instantly. The armor grows heavier the more it protects you.
Hand and a Whole Sword – A very powerful sword, but once wielded can never be sheathed or let go. Overtime it will bond with your hand, replacing it entirely.
Burial Box – When a player character dies, you may plant a finger, or other small part of them in the soil of this small wooden container. If it is watered and tended to, the party member will be reborn in d10+5 days, with more plant parts than they had before.
Compass of Desire – It will point towards something you desire, but it may not be something that you consciously wanted or pursued.
Scroll of Mis-information – Whenever you consult it, this scroll will display 3 pieces of valuable information, one of which is completely false.
Cloudy Pipe – A simple looking Churchill pipe (think Gandalf) that when smoked will create pleasant smelling cloud that can obscure a 20×20 space. Unfortunately, this cloud of smoke can cause dizziness, sleepiness, and an extreme contentment with life.
While I was working on this, David Guyll of Good Awful Games reached out to me and gifted me his newest supplement: 10+ Magical Items v2. Check it out, he’s got some great stuff in here!