Sunday, December 13, 2015

Phat Loots

I figured I'd have a brief interlude while I'm working on Council of Wyrms ancillary systems and present a few magic items from an online campaign I've been running with friends for the last couple years. Have I mentioned how great Roll20 is? It's pretty great.

Like many Dungeon Masters who've been doing this forever and ever, I prefer to give my magic items a bit more character. Using the stuff presented in the Dungeon Master's Guide is nice as a basis, but I like giving the items backstories and history as well as some custom powers. Since the online group in question is adventuring in the Forgotten Realms, my items are themed accordingly.

Most of these were acquired over the course of the campaign and go into a generic player swag pile between chapter arcs. As characters come and go (the group isn't necessarily tied to the same characters throughout as they decide to try something new), I let them pull from the heap. They haven't seen a couple of these yet, either because they never got found in previous treasure piles or are up-and-coming loot. Spoiler alert if any of them read this blog. :P

Feel free to pinch any of these or reskin for your own games, of course, or critique as desired.

Black Sentinel

Though its blackened steel blade and ominous silhouette may lead one to believe this sword to be evil in nature, the true story behind the weapon is very different. Crafted and wielded by a fallen paladin that once served Helm, the weapon -- and its wielder -- found redemption and were purified in the light of the god's grace.

Black Sentinel is a +1 longsword that possesses powerful defensive magic. It whispers to its wielder (in an admittedly chilling telepathic voice) whenever battle is imminent, granting a +2 bonus to initiative rolls. Further, whenever the wielder is affected by a critical hit, they may turn it into a normal hit, but only once until the wielder takes a short rest. The blade shows no other signs of being intelligent.

The weapon also warns the wielder whenever an ally is about to be attacked, allowing the use of a reaction to move up to the wielder's speed towards that ally. A short or long rest must be completed before this ability can be used again.

Cloak of Dust

The Cloak of Dust is a stitched leather mantle lined with rabbit fur. If slapped or shaken, the cloak will shed a small amount of dust, as though it were hanging in a wardrobe for some years without being worn. Despite its condition, the cloak does bear a minor enchantment and is said to have been used by Cardinal, a thief of some minor renown in the city of Luskan, before he was summarily caught and hanged after a botched heist.

One will find that the cloak acts as a cloak of protection with the special quality of giving advantage on Stealth checks made while in urban environments. The enchantment seems to cause the eyes of onlookers to slide away from the wearer when they are attempting to remain hidden, or otherwise regard their presence as unremarkable.


The shaft of the magic arrow Excelsior is said to be crafted from a wing bone of a phoenix, and its fletching from the wing feathers of an arrowhawk. When fired, the arrow will never shatter and can always be recovered. The arrow strikes as a magical weapon, though it has no discreet magical bonuses to attack or damage.

Any target struck by Excelsior is subject to its true power, which is to burst into flame. As a bonus action, the owner of Excelsior may shout the arrow's name and cause it to erupt in fire. The victim immediately suffers an additional 8d6 points of fire damage with no saving throw allowed. The arrow is utterly consumed after this effect is used.

Excelsior will return from destruction with the light of the coming dawn, to which its ashes must be exposed. If the arrow is not reborn in the light of the sun within ten days' time, Excelsior is permanently destroyed.

The Flask of Green Glass

This bottle of unusual make is said to hail from distant Rashemen, and contains a translucent, unidentifiable liquid that fills the container about halfway. The volume of liquid approximates to about six ounces. The bottom of the bottle has a handful of etchings that appear to be command words to operate the enchantment upon the vessel.

The Flask of Green Glass can be commanded to change its contents to a substance based on the command worn chosen. To operate the flask, one speaks the command word, opens the bottle, and pours out the chosen liquid. The bottle automatically refills halfway (to its six ounce "capacity") if kept out of sight during a long rest, at which point any liquid previously poured that has not been imbibed or otherwise used will vanish immediately. This peculiarity of the enchantment leads to many questions about the bottle's origin.

The command words for the flask are as follows:

  • "Zoka" will turn the contents of the flask into a sweet-smelling sleeping draught. If completely imbibed, the draught will cause the drinker to enjoy a restful, dreamless sleep. An unwitting victim of the draught is not allowed a saving throw if they drink the entire volume, but if only a partial dose is taken, they are allowed a DC 14 Wisdom save to resist the enchantment.
  • "Malota" will transform the contents of the flask into a scalding acid that burns flesh and leather. Flinging the contents of the flask onto a target within 10 feet forces them to make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 14) or suffer 2d6 points of acid damage. The acid can also be used to dissolve organic material in a more controlled manner based on the situation.
  • "Rulani" will turn the flask's contents into a potent purification solution, turning any other liquid into which its full volume is poured into a completely pure version of that liquid. Poisoned or stagnant water or wine returns to its natural state, free of sediment or lingering effect.

There is space on the bottom of the bottle for more words to be inscribed.

The Killing Joke

This magic wand is a glass rod festooned with colorful gems. Once the property of infamous gnome trickster and illusionist, Barnabis Mossgrove, it changed owners after a particularly displeased dragon devoured him after being victim to one of Barnabis's obnoxious pranks.

The wand possesses three charges, and regains 1d3 charges daily at dawn. A single charge may be expended to cast the Tasha's hideous laughter spell, the silent image spell, or Nystul's magic aura spell. All three charges can be expended to use the phantasmal killer spell. The saving throw DC for any effect from this wand is 15.

Wondrous Wizards' Belt

In addition to being a fashionable accompaniment to the modern adventurer's attire, the wondrous wizards' belt bears enchantment to assist those trained in the arcane. The main pouch, which rests on the right hip just above the thigh, is a specialized holding apparatus that can carry up to ten individual written items with negligible weight, regardless of its size (a "written item" includes a single grimoire, a single scroll, or any loose collection of pages and notes bound together in a binding). Any object that does not conform to this standard, including blank paper, cannot fit into the pouch. However, it can hold unusual written mediums, such as stone tablets, provided the wearer can lift the object and bring it to waist level.

Only the attuned wearer can withdraw objects from the pouch; all others see only an empty container should they open or upturn the contents.

Additionally, the wearer of the belt will float in water unless dragged under regardless of their weight or carrying capacity, and can use the feather fall spell once. The flotation power is always active, but feather fall must recharge after a long rest before it can be used again.

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