Warner's Glorious Collection: Homemade or Published Magic Items

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Hey gang! 
I'm curious about magic items in your campaign.  As a DM, do you design your own creations with original names, powers and histories, or do you use the many published magic items from the source material when it's time to reward the players?

Feel free to include in your post: your favorite magic item, your most commonly awarded, your most unique home-creation,  or least liked items.      

Generally the pregenerated items from the DMG work just fine for me.

Sometimes I have items that are a bit of a puzzle themselves like this customized sunblade: When deciphered right the runes on the blade give you the ability to cast Bless, Protection from evil and Neutralize poison (3,2,1 times per day)


Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

Axe of Haldor, Warden of the Empire (LN Intelligent Great Axe) ~ Level 1 - EXP: 0

INT 10 (+0)    WIS 12 (+1)    CHA 10 (+0)

EGO: 20    Value: 15,320gp

Weapon Abilities: Adamantine, Axiomatic (+2d6 Damage vs Chaos)

Purposes: Defeat opposed alignment (Chaos), Defend particular race (Man)

Abilities: Language: Common, Knowledge - Law 5 (+5), Senses (30 ft), Telepathy

Level 2:     Cast Guidance at will on wielder, Value +1,000gp, EGO +1    EXP: 750
Level 3:     Wis +1, Called Ability, Value +10,200gp, EGO +1                 EXP: 1,350
Level 4:     Detect Chaos at will, Value +1,000gp, EGO +1                     EXP: 2,250    
Level 5:     Int +1, Planar ability, Value +14,200gp                               EXP: 3,450
Level 6:     Dispel Chaos 1/day, Value +11,200gp, EGO +4                   EXP: 5,250
Level 7:     Wis +1, Throwing Ability, Value +18,300gp, EGO +1            EXP: 7,650
Level 8:     Dispel Chaos 3/day, Value +22,400gp, EGO +1                    EXP: 11,250
Level 9:     Int +1, Language: +1, Law +10, Value +7,800gp, EGO +2    EXP: 15,750
Level 10:   Dictum 1/month, Value +65,000gp, EGO +4                        EXP: 23,250

Level 1 - Axiomatic ("The first law is recorded: Hear the call of justice"), Level 2 - Guidance ("The second law is recorded: Let justice guide your hand"), Level 3 - Called ("The third law is recorded: Be ever ready to defend justice"), Level 4 - Detect Chaos ("The fourth law is recorded: Seek out chaos where-ever it hides"), Level 5 - Planar ("The fifth law is recorded: Let no outsider impose upon man's will"), Level 6 - Dispel Chaos ("The sixth law is recorded: Vanquish chaos from this world so that man may thrive"), Level 7 - Throwing ("The seventh law is recorded: Man shall have no limit to his reach"), Level 8 - Dispel Chaos x3 ("The eighth law is recorded: Do not suffer chaos in your midst"), Level 9 - Knowledge - Law ("The ninth law is recorded: Know the history of justice to understand the future of man"), Level 10 - Dictum ("The final law is recorded: Chaos begone! Justice is at hand! Let none stand before the order of man!")

This is the axe currently being used by the Paladin in my campaign. It is sentient and a weapon forged to defend the primary empire in the world, specifically to serve the noble families that maintained rule over it. The XP amounts in the column represent how much XP the paladin has to sacrifice towards the axe to awaken it to new levels of power. He's also been warned against ever letting the axe be higher in level than himself.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.


Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?


100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I have created a few, mainly for storyline purposes. I put some backstory on them.

Orc Crown of Power - Said to have been worn by Gruumsh himself. Gives the wearer control of the Orcs of Mireschamp (my homebrew kingdom). The center jewel of the crown contains the power to do so, but is only active when placed in the crown itself. Which is thought to be lost.

Hammer of Hate - This is the only artifact that can destroy the jewel of the crown. After the crown was used once the Dwarves and Elves made this hammer to destroy the crown if it was ever found and activated again. To prevent the Orcs from stealing it the hammer was made in two parts as well, the handle and the head. The head was stolen during a raid on the Elven Forrest, a sect of humans now worship it in a temple at the top of the highest mountain in Mireschamp. The handle was stolen by a Gnome, who has no idea what he actually has. The Gnome just knows it is an object of great power, he has gone mad over the years trying to tap into the power.
I created one recently to fill a hole in the party makeup ... it's a 4 man party, and they don't have much in the way of knowledge skills ... no arcana, history, dungeoneering and with religion only covered by a 8 int monk (MC cleric).  Highest int in the group is 11.  

So, they found a Ring of Many Skills on a succubus who was using it to cast a ritual.  The daily power gives the bearer training in one knowledge skill for the day.  They can choose the skill with a easy DC arcana check, with a random skill if they fail.   It's led to some interesting choices for them to role-play.

Usually I go with items in the books, perhaps with minor tweaks for usefulness or flavor. 
I create my own.
I have a colourful party consisted of six people: a gipsy paladin of Heirouneous who has a strange affinity for finding metal objects, a lesbian gnome bard, a zoofilic fighter, a wizard who owns a brothel, a wizard who talks about himself in third-person and a rogue who owns an invisible katana which he frequently talk to.
In order for them to be satisfied, they need to find a lot of weird items around. For example, I gave the brothel-owning wizard a pink hat with golden  decorations and a colourful suit that give him +5  on all Cha-based checks when talking to scantily-clad women. 
Here's a few magic items I designed (some of them are tweaked version of existing magic items) for my D&D 4e campaign. The setting is a fantasized Europe, year 1148. These are the heroic tier versions of the items, they are supposed to scale with level.

These bracers once belonged to Spartacus, the mighty slave in charge of a great rebellion that almost toppled the Roman Empire. it is rumored that these bracers can act as key to the many hideouts the rebels left behind in Italy. Strangely, the symbol on the bracers is of Celtic origin.

When Astarte, the charismatic angel of life, fell from the grace of God for her betrayal, it is said that she cried tears so cold they immediately crystallized, falling on earth like hail. Those crystals had many facets, representing the angel's whimsical nature.

All three of the great dwarven clans of old had exactly one hammer like this one. Only the Royal Guard, the mightiest of the clan's warriors, was granted the honor to wield his clan's hammer.

Crafted by Glanrung, the Iron Dracolich, this helm was made by him for his most powerful undead servant. Only those with a strong connection with the dead (like a necromancer or a gloom pact warlock) can use its powers.

The fabled sword of King Salomon, it is enchanted to protect his wielder's mind. The sword is intelligent and retains part of his former wielder's wisdom, and it will try to direct his actual wielder towards great glory and conquest.

A legend tells of a test where Muramasa challenged his master, Masamune, to see who could make a finer sword. They both worked tirelessly and eventually, when both swords were finished, they decided to test the results. The contest was for each to suspend the blades in a small creek with the cutting edge facing the current. Muramasa's sword, the Juuchi Fuyu (10,000 Cold Nights / 十千夜寒) cut everything that passed its way; fish, leaves floating down the river, the very air which blew on it. Highly impressed with his pupil's work, Masamune lowered his sword, the Yawarakai-Te (Tender Hands / 柔らかい手), into the current and waited patiently. Not a leaf was cut, the fish swam right up to it, and the air hissed as it gently blew by the blade. After a while, Muramasa began to scoff at his master for his apparent lack of skill in the making of his sword. Smiling to himself, Masamune pulled up his sword, dried it, and sheathed it. All the while, Muramasa was heckling him for his sword's inability to cut anything. A monk, who had been watching the whole ordeal, walked over and bowed low to the two sword masters. He then began to explain what he had seen.
"The first of the swords was by all accounts a fine sword, however it is a blood thirsty, evil blade, as it does not discriminate as to who or what it will cut. It may just as well be cutting down butterflies as severing heads. The second was by far the finer of the two, as it does not needlessly cut that which is innocent and undeserving."

Poison - Acid- Blade:

Description: This Blade is usually the size of a short sword or long dagger. The version in this picture has the hilt designed as a scorpion (or an ALIEN-lava). Other designs as black dragon / wyvern or hydra are known. 

Mechanics: The magical variant works like a melee-version of Acid-arrow. Touch attack (with dex bonus since it is a finesse-able weapon), 2d4 ongoing acid damage. Following wand- rules: On creator -level 6 it works for 3 rounds, on level 10-12 for 5 rounds. Like a light-saber, the blade has to be activated – (a successful hit expends a charge) activation could be limited for 10 round or even only 3 or 5 with reduced ongoing damage if you hit later (and don’t want this weapon to be to “uber”, if it ends up in the hands of PC’s). Without activated blade, this weapon can be wielded as a “many bladed knife”, claw or “parrying dagger”, causing 1d4 points of damage. For the poison I suggest paralyzing - in the sense of intense pain and uncontrollably twitching muscles. This may seem “munchkin” but is a frequent combination in some spider, scorpion and snake poisons: The paralyzing stops the pray running too far away (or trying to get the poison / acid out of its system) and the acid pre-digests the victim.

Other uses: Many metals, stones and wood are very vulnerable to acid (Oiled leather or the armor of insects has a better resistance usually) so this is a useful (silent) way to destroy locks and open doors.

What makes this nasty/evil: Acid – damage (just like fire or wounding) can’t be regenerated and usually leaves scars. Makes this a useful troll-tamer: Nothing says “evil” like some poor chained troll slaves (castrated, blinded, teeth, tongue and claws removed with this weapon, so they can’t free themselves by gnawing / ripping their limbs of)

Story /Origin: this fits extremely well with Drow- elves (the priestesses already use tentacle- and snake-whips) and could be worn attached to the forearm like a buckler/bracer as well. But other races like Mindflayers, Gith or something from dark sun, works as well. Non-magical versions would use a glass- or crystal- blade, filled with poison/acid. Against magic-resistant creatures just use the magic to contain the acid and form the “blade”. The Drow-versions could be cursed and animate/ turn against the wilder under certain conditions. The most powerful versions could be useable melee and ranged and turn an unfaithful wilder into a scorpion-drider.  Weak versions may be gifts /trade objects for evil surface dwellers (slavers). The drow probably would trust someone of their own gender and from far away rather than their own kin, so this item could get occasionally in possession of evil mages or priests in exchange for a service.

Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

In my game I typically use items from the books.  I like to run kind of a low magic campaign as far as items are concerned, so that when the party does get magic items it's something special that they really want to hold onto.  However, I also like to make one or two items specifically designed for the character concept of each player (I like getting input from them as well to ensure that they enjoy the item they're getting) that they end up getting further down the line in my campaign.

My friend who runs our other game likes to go with the high end when it comes to magic items and he also takes input from us to tailor items to our characters.  In his current campaign we used the Weapons of Legacy book (doing a 3.5 game) to make items that, once we get them they will grow with our characters, which makes them more special than that +X weapon that you end up basically throwing away once the next best thing comes along.

I'm currently playing a Paladin in his campaign and have kind of a Tiger Character Concept thingy going on, so we came up with some armor for him using the WoL book.  He just made 5th level and the armor is now going to be given to him by his mentor within the church once the party gets back from it's current mission.  Here's the armor stats below.  (side note: on reaching 13th level my Paladin will finally call his mount, a Celestial Dire Tiger.  So this all fits into his character concept making it very fun for me to play)

Base armor is +1 Mithril Full Plate

The armor itself is crafted with the countenance of a snarling Tiger on the front of it.  Its Omen Power is that the visage of the Tiger appears to move.


5th level:  Easy Movement: (as per WOL book page 177 (Wargirds armor) Armor is treated as one category Lighter any for purposes related to your movement.)

6th level:  Armor increases to +2

7th level:  ---------------

8th level:  Tigers Strength (+2 bonus to wearers Strength)

9th level:  ---------------

10th level: Tiger's Stride (+10 ft to wearer’s movement)


11th level:  Eyes of the Hunter (wearer gets Darkvision 60 ft)

12th level:  Tiger's Speed (wearer gets to activate Haste on self as a swift action 5 times per day; Haste lasts for 1 round)

13th level:  ---------------

14th level:  Tiger's Power (+4 bonus to wearers Strength)

15th level:  ---------------

16th level:  Armor increases to +3


17th level:  Tiger's Might (+6 bonus to wearers Strength)

18th level:  Armor increases to +4

19th level:  ----------------

20th level:  Armor increases to +5

Note 1:  Armor increases do not stack, the level indicated is the current level of the armors bonus.

Note 2:  Ability bonuses stack for a total bonus to STR for this armor of +12 by 17th level.

Explanations of Legacy rituals:

LEAST:  Defeat a swarm of enemies with a total CR equal or greater than your character level.  Can have help but must defeat at least half of them on your own.

LESSER:  Survive for 1 week in a place within total darkness.  Must hunt for your own food and water and survive whatever encounters your come across.

GREATER:  Must defeat a Dire Bear by yourself.

Hey gang!
I'm curious about magic items in your campaign.  As a DM, do you design your own creations with original names, powers and histories, or do you use the many published magic items from the source material when it's time to reward the players?

Neither, really. I used to create my own items, but they tended to be forgotten about. The only time I see items with any traction is when a player has specifically asked for it.

One of my players just asked for "slightly psychic paper" such as the kind The Doctor uses. I'm going to work with that player to come up with an item that does what she wants, and also to come up with situations in which it will be cool to use. If I came up with it on my own, she probably wouldn't use it, and I'd forget to offer encounters in which she could.

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

side note: on reaching 13th level my Paladin will finally call his mount, a Celestial Dire Tiger. 

Reminds me of He-man on his Battlecat! Smile

I have another sword: a Vampiric sword!


Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

These are some artifacts that I made for my PC in my 3rd ED Homebrew Campaign :

Hammer of the Accuser -

This hammer is an old Dwarven weapon from the great wars. The hammer was used by Torbin Fellstone to construct the great seal outside of Hammerfell. It was also said to be used to trap the great beast under Croinn. When the Armies of Bloodmoon rose up from Stone Grove and attacked the Dwarven Kingdoms the hammer was thought to be lost.

It turned up a hundred or so years ago when Talamaish forged the treaty with the Northern Dwarves. The statues of the great kings were carved with the hammer, and it made it's way down to Haverbrook in a glass case wrapped in brilliant blue silk.

The hammer was locked away in the Royal Vault as a symbol of trust. King Bretton  Means of Haverbrook has kept this tradition, and a long standing peace has kept in tact with the Dwarf King Hiro Barron.

The hammer has a stone encased in the head of the weapon itself. This stone is the source of the hammer's power. It was said to have fallen from the sky during the creation of northern mountains.

 == Hammer of the Accuser Powers ==
*does 1d10+2 damage as normal weapon
*Once per day the hammer can send out a blast of engery doing 2d6
 (the hammer must be first struck on the ground, which causes the stone in the center of the hammer to activate.)
*Once a week the hammer can be used to teleport the holder anywhere they have been in the past 24 hours.
 (the hammer's handle must be extended then spun counter clockwise, again after it has been struck on the ground first to activate the stone.)

Mace of the All Saints -

In the time when Orc first arrived from across the ocean and began their campaign on conquest several heroes stood against them. One such hero as Saint Randolph with Blue. As a man Randolph stood a just over 6 feet tall, and was a beast of a man, near 250lbs. His jet black hair was always well kept with a nearly trimmed beard to match. His silken vestments always various shades of blue.

Randolph was a diplomant by nature. His group was sent greet the Orcs when the landed near Mount Glanrung in the Sea of Thorne. In his soul he thought the Orcs could be converted and be a stable sect in the Mireshamp Kingdom. Randolph brought the Orc War Kings to Haverbrook to meet with the diplomats and kings of Humans, Elves, and Dwarves. During this meeting the Orcs were given a large plot of land just north of the Snake Coil Mountains. A rich farmland filled with minerals and small wooded areas of game. Randolph made several pilgramages to the Orcs.

When the Orcs turned into the vicious warlike beings that they are known as now, Randolph was sent in first. He came back dejected and prepared everyone for the up coming war. Randolph suited up with the Elven Calvary and rode in on the first charge. His mace became a weapon of legend during these battles. When Randolph was defeated the Orcs took the mace and hid it away. Randolph's handless body was found strung up in the woods of the Orc Kingdom. Legends say that Randolph cursed the Orcs with his dying breathe, and his blood tainted the ground of Orcs. Over the following years the ground gave way to sand and dust and eventually became known as the Sweeping Sands.

The handle itself is made of a strange blood red stone. The stone is polished and curves upward into a spine of spikes that fan outward. A large spike curls around into almost a hook. Nestled in the fanning spikes is two foot round silver ball with about 20 spikes sticking out in random directions.

 == Mace of the All Saints Powers ==
* does 1d8+2 damage as a nomral weapon
* holder can cast Bless 2 times a day
* Once per day can cast Holy Word
* As long as the mace is in contact with the person a constant Regenerate spell is cast on them. Meaning they can not loose any limb       what-so-ever
* Wielder of the mace must be of Lawful Good Alignment
* Orcs that see another Orc killed with the mace must make a Will Save, or will run in fear. DC 13

Hagbard's Cloak -

Tobias Hagbard was a master thief around 300 years ago. He worked in mainly around main Mireshamp Kingdom. Starting off life as slave in the Glimmermoon Mountains.

Hagbard was said to have started the revolt that freed everyone. A lot of the records from the revolt that time are gone.What is known comes second had from the Barron Lord Valmont. Valmont it seems was  the slave master and had a huge mine opperation in Glimmermoon. At the time most of minerals and precious stones had thought to have been cleared out, but Valmont seemed to be looking for something.

Hagbard rigged the underwater dam to start leaking and eventually give way. During the flood the slaves took off in the confusion scattering across the countryside. Hagbard and a few of the former slaves banded together with Hagbard as the leader. Settling in what would be later known as Southern Cross Hagbard's crew became know as heroes for hire. Most of the jobs came from the budding town of Haverbrook.

During this time Hagbard honed his skills as a thief, unfortunatly his garnered the attention of Valmont. Disguised as a wealthy noble Valmont hired Hagbard's troop to steal from Valmont himself. During the raid, Hagbard was split off from his group and captured by Valmont. Hagbard was tortured for several days, once again he managed to escape. Hagbard never went into much detail of how he got away. Sadly he died a few days later.

Hagbard was known for his signature cloak. A tan hooded vestment made from soft boiled leather. Around the edge of the cowl are several 2 inch round metal studs.

The inside of the cape is stained with blood, thought to be Hagbard's, and two slips where Hagbard kept his daggers.

 == Hagbard's Cloak Powers ==
* Once per day wearer can activate an invisiblty by putting the hood over their head and pushing the center metal stud.
* As long as the cloak is being worn the wearer can go 14 days without food or water.
* While wearing the cloak, no non-magical bonds can ensare the wearer. They will always slip free or find a weak link in a chain.

Tallus Mitra's Shield -

Mitra was leader of the Dwarven Battle Brigade that drove the Orc Horde to mountains near Mount Cortan. After Randolph the Blue was killed the Humans and Elves were at a total loss of what to do. Tallus Mitra stated with a large charge the Orcs could be driven into canyons near Mount Cortan where they could be contained. Mitra made an oath that the Dwarves would protect the Northern Kingdoms, keeping the trade routes open, and try to kept the Orc population in check.

Mitra gathered his best troops and circled around the bulk of the Orc Horde to get at their flank. The wall of shield warriors slammed into them driving them North. The 3 week charge into the mountain range took its toll on both sides. Knowing his days were numbered, Mitra waited till dawn then stood alone atop a peak raised his shield in the air. The Orcs charged up the slope at him, but Mitra stoodfast. After 400 were dead, Mitra barely able to stand, he saw the remaining Orcs scared, run into the canyons around Mount Cortan.

With his dying breath Mitra asked for the Dwarven Gods to help the plight against the Orc. Mount Cortan then errupted, spewing forth lava and smoke. It was said that Mitra smiled with the fires glinting in his eyes and ears filled with Orcs screaming.

Mitra was placed on his shield and sent to be burried in a grand tomb. The body nor the shield never arrived at Hammerfell. It is unknown what happened to either.

The shield was a large full body shield. A crown of spikes lines the top half of the shield. Etched on the face of shield is a large dragon head. On the side of the shield near the bottom are two clamps with can swing down and lock into place. Once this is done the shield can stand upright on it's own.

 == Tallus Mitra's Shield Powers ==
* The shield can stand on it's own and provide full cover. It takes a full round to get the clamps set up and locked into place.
* Once per day, the shield can generate a wall of force from the front of the shield.
* Once per day, the shield can generate a blast of heat from the dragon's mouth. 3d10 damage.
* The holder of the shield is immune to fire damage
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