Unique Magic Items

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Among the amazing new rules initiated by D&D Next is a system to assign unique quirks and origins to even mundane magic items. As WoTC is currently forbidding anyone to discuss their rules in a public setting, we won’t go into here. 

If, however, you are already taking part in the D&D Next play test, consider adding these extra options to your Magic Item Details tables. 

CREATOR/ORGIN

  1. Barbaric
  2. Chromic
  3. Folk-Crafted
  4. Meteoric
  5. Nature-Wrought
  6. Pure

Barbaric

Barbaric items are crafted from the preserved and specially prepared body parts of slain monsters. Massive serrated fangs, desiccated snouts, and thick sloughs of scales compose these items. Though crude in appearance, barbaric items are crafted to last through many battles. Most pass from heir to heir, each recipient adding their own flourishes. The wielder of a barbaric weapon may find he commands more respect with savage tribes than he otherwise might, even as civilized societies find him more repugnant.

Chromic

These items are entirely clad in a highly-polished, mirror-like material. They gleam and glint in even the faintest candlelight, and shine like beacons when drawn under full sunlight.  Chromic items tend to be very stylized, featuring smooth, sweeping windswept curves. The method of crafting these items has long since been forgotten, but none who witness their glory soon forget it. 

Folk-Crafted

These items are brightly painted or intricately carved with animals, broadly-rendered faces and simple nature motifs. Bright primary colors are used in strong repeating patterns all across the item’s facade. Such artifacts proudly proclaim the history of the people who made them, and are generally handed down within a lineage. Folk of the region from which it came recognize a bearer of this item at once, and are likely consumed with curiosity to know how it came to be in their possession.

Meteoric

Whoever made this item crafted it from a lump of fallen star metal. Any metal, stone or wood aspects of the item are instead made of this very dense, black stone-like metal. Meteoric metal is hard to work, so often these items are often very plain looking, save for the striated silver flecks that mark the dark material. Meteoric items are surprisingly dense for their size, weighing up to a third more than usual, and usually take people off guard when picked up.

Nature-Wrought

These items are not taken from nature, but crafted from it’s living flesh. Trees and other plants are coaxed into the shapes by gentle crafting, growing for years or decades before achieving their final form. When it is time to harvest the completed item, a secret ritual is used to preserve the life of the plants – allowing flowers to bloom and berries to grow from the finished item as long as it is carefully tended.

Pure

Pure items have been crafted in the rarefied air of isolated monasteries devoted to peace and balance. The meticulous crafting of these items is a form of intense, years long meditation where attention is paid to every detail. These items look identical to other items of their sort, except that what is wood in them has been taken from trees which were painstaking tended to by hand, that the metal was quenched in pure spring water, and the fittings planned precisely over many days. In addition to the superior craftsmanship evinced by these items, they are usually marked with a single, bold brush stroke of black ink. Purified items are strongly neutral, and are prized by spirits of balance everywhere. Individuals with extreme natures can rarely abide them.

Cool Cards Go A Long Way

MINOR PROPERTIES

  1. Awe Inspiring
  2. Magnetic
  3. Rejuvenating
  4. Runed
  5. Soothing
  6. Stone Hewing

Awe Inspiring

This item lends an aura of overwhelming confidence to it’s bearer. Though the wielder is personally unchanged, others find they have trouble meeting your suddenly cool and penetrating gaze. The character gains +2 to skill checks to Persuade.

Magnetic

This item can be used to detect large amounts of metal (100 lbs and up) within 30’. The magnetic properties of the item also allows the wielder to attract small (½ lb or less) metallic items within 10’ as a standard action. 

Rejuvenating

This item lends strength to the wielder’s limbs where normally they would fail. The item grants a +2 bonus to constitution checks to resist fatigue (from extended periods of marching, swimming, going without sleep, etc).

Runed

The design of this item conceals numerous runes expounding on a certain topic. The item grants a +2 bonus into a specific Knowledge skill.

Soothing

This  item grants advantage on saving throws against spells and effects that causes strong emotional states (fear, rage etc).

Stone Hewing

This item hungers for stone, and hews into it with strange ease. The wielder applies double his strength modifier when calculating damage dealt to stone objects with this item.

MINOR QUIRKS

  1. Ashen
  2. Drunken
  3. Plant-kin
  4. Slippery
  5. Sticky
  6. Unstable

Ashen

A strange otherworldly heat burns at the core of this item, just visible through fine cracks and fissures in it’s surface. In addition to making the item perpetually lukewarm, the internal flame produces a continual residue of soot that forever settles upon the wielder’s clothes, gear and surroundings. In addition to rendering the character perpetually grimy, the telltale trail of soot makes it easier to be tracked. During the day, the wilder takes -2 Sneak checks to avoid being found.

Drunken

Although the exactly history of this items creation has been forgotten on some alcohol soaked night, the effects speak for itself. Anyone bearing this item feels at all times to be very slightly tipsy, or “buzzed”. Though this does not impair the character’s abilities, imbibing alcohol of any sort immediately renders a character drunk. This effect extends even to the consumption of foods made with trace amounts of alcohol.

Plant-kin

The fey creatures who crafted this item placed powerful wards on it which render it utterly incapable of damaging plants or wood. The item cannot hack, crush or otherwise render harm to any living plant or dead wood. Any attempts to do so result in the item bouncing off, or passing harmlessly over the target.

Slippery

This item was either imbued with at it’s creation, or acquired through misuse, an antipathy toward being held. This resentment manifests as a sort of “slipperiness” – the item revolts against being lifted and always attempts to slide from it’s users grip. Anytime a creature attempts to pick up this item they must first make a DC 12 Dexterity check or drop it immediately.

Sticky

This item continually exudes a thin coating of tacky, translucent goo. While not thick enough to cause any problems with the handling or use of the item, it does tend to adhere to the user’s body during use. Putting down sticky weapons or hand-held items requires a move action for the user to pry his fingers free. If the item is a suit of armor, the time it takes to fully remove the suit is doubled. 

Unstable

A fundamental instability was introduced into this item during it’s creation. If a natural 1 is rolled on an attack roll, or if the item is struck by a critical blow, the character must make a DC 12 Dexterity check. On a failure, the item shatters in a handful of fragments. These broken pieces are still imbued with the power of the item and will mend themselves together if ten minutes is spent carefully realigning the fragments.

-By David Crennen
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