Magic Item Frequency and design

I am running our first attempt at a D&D Next game, and we are doing Blingdenstone.  I'm curious about how other DMs are handling the distribution of magic items.  I really like the idea of magic items being rarer, and much more significant for players to discover.  I think the rules as they are support this idea, except for the random rolling table they created.

So I made up my own table, where after a fight players roll percentile dice.  The standard presumption is that 50% of the time they find nothing, which changes based on the difficulty of the fight and the presence of chests.  Then from 51-00 I graded out the chances of finding Potions (most likely), Scrolls, Gear, Rings, and Wondrous Items (least likely).  Within the Gear section, they roll again for Weapon, Shield, Armor, or other stuff.  Then, once the category is decided, they roll again to determine the quality of the item.  75 and below is common, going up to 00 for a Very Rare item (legendary being left out).  If they get a common item, it is a +1 weapon and they roll on the random property charts repeatedly, essentially rolling until I decide they've reached a combination of properties that is interesting, and then I make up the background of the weapon.

In play, the way this has worked out so far is that after the players' first fight, one player rolled a 80+ on the first roll, getting Gear, and then rolled to find a Weapon, then rolled a 92 to find a rare weapon.  I had him roll a d6 since there were 6 rare weapons in the playtest packet, and he got the Flame Tongue Longsword.  In the later fights, they rolled for nothing, but found the King of Blingdenstone's Mace, which I thought should have magical properties.  They rolled for it to be have properties of Guardian, and Hungry - which turned into the King's Mace giving the player a desire to protect those around him, and an insatiable desire to expand his kingdom.  There are some more examples, but this was good enough for an example.

I was hoping to get some comments on this adaptation from other DMs.  I think it is fun, but I don't fully understand the property charts and wish that there were some "game-effect" results from the properties.  I also feel like they have found more magic items already than I would have preferred, even though I designed the system to make it unlikely.  I hate to punish them from rolling well after the fights, and am not sure what else to do?
Don't let them roll for loot.  In fact, don't let them effect what loot drops unless they roll appropriate checks (search, arcana, whatever).  From a simulationist perspective, there's no guarantee that X monster, especially those of the beast type, are carrying any loot whatsoever. 

I've played around with the percentile die system of dropping loot.  It seems to be thrown off by the difficulty guidelines in the playtest packet, which are definitely off.  I follow the guidelines for gold and treasure, but find myself using my own discretion when it comes to whether or not I give out magic items.

A "difficult" encounter by XP totals in the DM guidelines is not necessarily a difficult encounter in reality.  I had one player character, a dwarf fighter, go alone into a cave with an Aranea.  He pretty much curbstomped the poor spider--and he was level 3, even though the poor spider was worth 270 XP when the guidelines dictate a tough encounter for him alone would have been 220 XP.  Do you follow the XP --> Encounter difficulty tables when rolling loot?

As a personal matter, I greatly prefer giving out items that have one or two useful situational bonuses than stuff that gives a flat +1 and some other effects.
I did not follow the difficulty tables, but made up my own system.  There was roughly a 50% chance of finding one item from a regular encounter, but also about a 50% chance that item would be a potion or a scroll.

Is there a list of potentially interesting properties for magic weapons that won't break my game?
I did not follow the difficulty tables, but made up my own system.  There was roughly a 50% chance of finding one item from a regular encounter, but also about a 50% chance that item would be a potion or a scroll.

Is there a list of potentially interesting properties for magic weapons that won't break my game?



The minor quirks list in the packet is the closest thing I can think of.  As for potential interesting properties, I like to think back to previous editions to items that were really fun, and very situational.  Specifically wondrous items like the various Feather Tokens.  Who doesn't like a magical token that gives them a one-off feather fall.  The more specific the potential uses of an item, the less of a chance that it will break your game.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />You could always give items that give small static bonuses to specific skills, and randomly generate them by rolling against the list of skills.  There are 27 skills listed in the packet.  Easy material for items that will give your characters a +2 skill bonus without being gamebreaking. 

Just give them a property without an enhancement bonus (although the gear still counts as magical for resistance purposes) and don't be afraid to have that property seemingly contradict the item type unless the combination is just silly.  Full Plate that gives a +2 on Sneak checks is reasonable, because knights may have to move in the dark and be stealthy sometimes.  A Glaive that gives you +2 on Sleight-of-Hand is not reasonable in most circumstances, nor is a Warhammer that makes you better at Listen checks.

For the printed material items with the compass quirk are pretty fun, especially if they don't necessarily point north.  I've given out two in Isle of Dread so far.  One just points towards danger.  The other just finds true north.  Both have lead to some entertaining and interesting trial and error.