simple magic items as rewards

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
In our next session with an all new group of players, I plan to have a story and RP driven "explore the town" type of session with little to no combat. 
In an attempt to help encourage roleplaying and thinking about skill use, I was hoping to create a small list of simple magical items I can use as gift rewards for players that perform exceptionally.

I dont want anything gamebreaking as my PCs are only level 2 but they have already recieved an appropriate amount of treasure parcels. 

Im thinking something like an amulet that lets you reroll a saving throw once per day for example.
Can anyone suggest any such items?  
Consumable one-shot items that give a retroactive +1 to another player's attack roll or saving throw are always a good reward.
I made a list of such items once... Lemme see if I can find it.  It was mostly made by looking through magic item lists and the Magic Item Compendium and finding useful, or at least potentially useful, items that were between a certain gold range (or higher in price, if the express usefulness to the party appeared low).

At the same time, I remember trying to make up items that stood out to give creative problem-solving tools to the party.  Here's two I can think of off the top of my head: 
Pick of Piercing (removes a forcewall or similar force barrier one per day, I think) 
Amulet of Life Saving (Barrowed from the game ADOM.  If wearer dies, amulet is destroyed and dead character is treated as though Psionic Revivify had been cast on them.  Fun because they have to decide which party member is most likely to die.)

I like that idea. Thanks.

 
I'd second Consumables, such as Potions, Scrolls, Alchemical Items,  etc, but I'd also like to point you towards the low-level Wondrous Items, such as a Restful Bedroll, Sun Globe, and similar items- they don't seem like much at higher level, but can be interesting tools at lower levels. We call stuff like that 'group loot,' and basically keep a pool of items on hand for different situations at low level. Also, give em a wagon and some basic mounts if you haven't done so...it adds more fun to traveling/hauling loot than going on foot everywhere.

Check this out for a cool way to customize a generic wagon, it's a nice spin on a simple item that people usually (IMHO) don't think much about.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
The rewards could also come in terms of favors from the people they meet. Maybe they have credit worth one magic item at so-and-so's store. A nice deal, but it means they have to stay involved with that person.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Non-magic items that give mechanical bonuses are good... A common thing I do for knightly types is that if they can receive a lady's favor, she'll give them some sort of handkerchief or hair-thingy that gives them a morale boost of +2. Some lowly halfling might give them an honorary 'friendship bracelet', that if worn will give a +4 to diplomacy, or allow them to take 10 on the roll or something, with the halfling's brother in the next town over.

A badge of honor granted by the church or the king can give a +2 diplomacy check when dealing with certain folks... . Entering into a fraternal order might grant use of the clubhouse for entertaining snobbish dignitaries or allow someone to meet NPCs who share an interest in the same knowledge skills.. or horses... or collectors of antiquities to sell stuff, or is a collector of masterwork exotic weapons?
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.

 As the others have said, in-game RP elements such as favors from nobility or important persons works well, as do some of the more off-beat or just really useful minor rituals, minor wondrous items like restful bedrolls, one-shot consumables the players wouldn't otherwise consider using and non-magical "magic" items.
(As for the latter, any sort of thematically appropriate trinket that gives a minor bonus to one skill and doesn't take up a magic item slot can be very entertaining. It's also a good way to let the characters develop areas of their character they may not have had the resources to during character creation - a heroic fighter with a 10 Charisma earns a "warrior's necklace" from a tribe that gives him a +2 to Diplomacy or Charisma-based checks.)
 If you're handing out stuff that doesn't particularly help the character with their main schtick but broadens their options, you can hand out a fair amount of it without raising their overall power level.

 One thing I tend to hand out a lot of is completely "useless" items that have a lot of RP potential such as magic childrens' toys, a very rare book of poetry that only tangentially ties into the current story, a finely-crafted smithing hammer or a cloak that magically either cleans itself once per day or just never gets dirty. Whenever I give the party something like that, I also try to throw in a situation at some later point where the useless item may actually be helpful - a teddy bear that can record and repeat things it hears may in another adventure be placed to overhear something incriminating or the afforementioned ever-clean cloak might be used to transport a body...

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

I've never been a DM, but as a player I would LOVE this kind of rewards, and I really like the woundrous items for that kind. What Dwarf would say no to a Cask of Liquid Gold? Restful Bedroll seems very nice. I know the rouge in my group considers buying a Mountebank's Deck just for the flavour. Floating lantern och Glowing Globe would be perfect for those without hands left for holding sunrods. And my Knight would really like a scabbard for his longsword. Other things that might come in handy but probably won't change mechanics a lot are Instant Campsite and similar.
consumable items of up to level +7
and alchemical items up to  +7
low level wonderous items
any affect from a magic items as a "one time use"
ritual scrolls from rituals of up to thier level +5. even if they have a itual caster, 5 scrolls of endure lements and 3 of water walk can be really nice
RP related magic items of your own creation.
    if the character likes to drink tea, a teapot that heats itself, and summons water.
    if the character is a strong man, a dumb-bell that can infinitly increase it's resistance (but not it's weight, to prevent dropping it and crushing stuff)
    a magic picture frame that shows a live image of the characters home town, or someone they hold dear
   
I like Vitamin_Q's idea.  I'd much rather my wizard find a teapot that makes tea itself than a Staff of Fireballs +1.  That teapot will always be a useful and sentimental object rather than "the best loot at the time."
I really like this topic! Consider some of these ideas "borrowed".
I'm not the most creative person, but I have a couple to add, though not all of them are items...
An ever-writing pen, that never needs ink, or a stylus that can write on any surface and never needs sharpening
Magical seeds, which sprout and grow to full size overnight (I'm not talking "Jack & the beanstalk" magical, but my group built a fortress in a matter of days, and it looked bare with nothing growing)
Skill points or custom feats only usable in a specific, quest-related situation
Also, regarding the player who wanted a scabbard, how about a sharpening scabbard, which automatically sharpens and oils the blade?
"Can a boat make a hide check?"
We just did a session at a festival where there were a lot of little RP items floating about.  As players who care about having a good RPing game we loved all the little things we could do with it.

Here are some examples:
A little imp that records things for you in a notebook or another imp that draws the faces of people you meet.
A mechanical beetle in a jar that makes a humming sound that is "quite pleasant and relaxing".
A tiny ivory statue of a squirrel that permanently tastes of licorice.
A token that wards off "evil intent" (evil creatures less likely to target that person, but no strong reflective mechanic on that power).
A blanket that puts you in a slightly better mood if tucked inside your bedroll when you sleep. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
If your group is focusing on 'role' play rather than 'roll' play, the magic teapot can be just as cool as a +79 sword of blood explosion.

Besides whatever use the "mundane" magic item has, players often come up with other cool ways to use it. They might use it as trade items, or figure out an unexpected aplication.

Things that are practical and make life more comfortable give alot of easy ideas. Anyone would like them.
    A pair of socks that make it so your feet don't ache after a long hike.
    A tent and bedroll that sets itself up.
    A pouch of infinte spices so your trail rations taste less bland.
    A "compass" that always points to the way back out of the dungeon. (ie, left, straight, right, left, etc)

Although these are flavorful, they might not be the most useful for solving problems. That where I like single use items. I like to make them strong, but have some drawback. Makes them question when they really want to use it.
    A magic skeleton key, gives a +25 to a single thievery check to open a lock. After it is used, it 'explodes' into a large cloud of colorful sparks, and plays a loud 18 second advertisment for the locksmith that created it. (i.e. your stealth is screwed, arbitrary -50)
    An elixer that gives +10 on edurance checks to endure pain and cold. Unfourtunatly makes you dizzy and can't see straight, -5 to acrobatics, stealth, and perception. (might just be moonshine)
    A pair of gloves that give +15 to climb, +25 for smooth surfaces. You can't be knocked off as long as one hand is touching the surface. However, each time you roll a 1-4, a glove loses it's charge and suddenly stops working, forcing a hard DC dexterity check to avoid falling. (Mission Impossible: ghost protocol)
    A spying stone that records all conversations in a room for up to 8 hours, and is nearly invisible. However, when it replays the conversation, it is in an incredibly annoying or confusing way.
    

Also nice are items specific for a character, things only they could use, or only they might like.
    A magic feather that recolors the fletching on arrows to whatever you want. (fasion conscious ranger)
    A short piece of olive branch that detects the precense of meat and animal fat (vegan druid)
    A pair of boot laces that tie themselves on command(really dumb barbarian)
    A pair of boot laces that tie themselves together on command(rouge who likes to prank the barbarian)
    A violin that can be heard by only people you choose (bard who is learning violin)
    A pair of goggles that make it look like your feet are on the ground (fighter who is afraid of heights)
    A pair of underwear that magically resists being soiled. (easily frightened wizard)