Unusual magic item effects

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As a new GM I'm trying to let my imagination run free, and I'm also not so contrained by experience playing D&D.

I've had ideas as a player that the other players kinda said 'that doesn't exist' or 'that'd be hella expensive, cause +1 X usually is only on rings' or whatever.  I'd really like to let my imagination go, and make stuff that doesn't just use +1 this, or spell effect that.  Things that might have been made with a purpose as well, and be a bit interesting. 

Would they take away from the game? Or maybe make the players feel like I just 'don't get it.'

What have you made or used, and how have players reacted to it?  Care to share any stories?

Some items that are/have been in our current game:


A mask that when worn gives infra-vision.


A walking stick that can extend into a ladder when needed.


A broach that stops you slipping on surfaces.


A broach of haste (Must shout "Mwa ha ha!" to activate)


A rod of heating (Must say "Flame on!" to activate).


A hammer and shield that when smashed together create a sonic burst in the direction the shield faces, stunning and deafening.


A pair of water walking boots.


A rusty dagger that turns into a purple force blade when the handle is twisted 90 degrees.


A bow that fires illusionary arrows that become real after passing through something solid (wall, enemy, etc)


An axe that can transform into any type of axe (throwing, battle, 2-handed and whatever else there might be) at the users will, granting them proficiency in it. It also returns if thrown.


A mandolin that forces everyone in the area to dance when played.



"Encouraging your players to be cautious and risk-averse prevents unexpected epic events and-well-progress at a decent pace in general."-Detoxifier

"HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA NOT REGENERATING DUE TO FIRE" -iserith 

"If snapping a dragon's neck with your bare hands is playind D&D wrong, then I don't want to play D&D right." -Lord_Ventnor

I actually have a system of "legendary magic" in my game world.  The premise is that extraordinary events can have extraordinary results.  Magic permeates the world and when a player does something it can result in items being infused with magical properties.

Some examples:

Cleric of a war god wields a halberd as his weapon of choice.  In situations where he needs to get the attention of others he often slams the butt of the halberd onto the ground, which usually makes a noise loud enough to make others pay attention.  Once in a crowded and rough tavern, the party was looking for an individual.  The cleric did his thing, the player rolled his d20 and rolled a 20 and subsequent 15, I the DM rolled the crowd's reaction and rolled two 1s in a row (I allow for critical successes and fumbles on all d20s).  The description of the results was, "you manage to find a hollow point in the floor boards, the resulting sound is thunderous, and the entire bar falls silent."  From that point on the halberd became infused with "thunderous silence" - once per day the cleric could "activate" a similar result by slamming the butt of the halberd into any surface.  The spell-like effect was that of the cleric spell command with the word "silence."

A 3e knight uses one of his "knight's challenges" and engages an enemy in combat.  on his first attack he rolls three 1s in a row.  Luckily for him (based on a fumble table I use) the result was only that he fell on his butt.  His opponent tried to take advantage of the situation (attacking a prone target) and he rolled two 1s in a row.  He was not so lucky, he fell on his butt and lost his weapon.  From that point on the player character's boots were infused with "fumble tripping." from that point on whenever the player fumbled he always fell down, but his most direct opponent also fell down and lost his weapon.  Now realize though that the Knight's code prevents the player of the Knight to take advantage of his prone adversary...that does not mean that the Knight's allies can't Laughing.

And here's an example of what happens when a player tries to meta-game the system...

A player of a fighter character decides he wants to "encourage" the system to give him a free cleave feat.  In combat, he consistently engages with two enemies and attacks both each round (full round action two attacks a round).  Eventually he dispatches enough enemies this way that magic has infused his greatsword with the cleaving ability (if he kills a target he gets an attack on an adjacent target).  But, from that point forward he must attack multiple targets with his multiple attacks and if there is only one target to attack he only gets one attack.

In both of the "negative" cases (the boots of fumble tripping and the sword of cleaving), the objects are NOT cursed.  The players can get rid of or not use them at any time.  The player of the Knight decided to keep the boots.  He figured at least he always knows the result of his fumbles Laughing.  the player of fighter, acquired a "normal" magical sword for when he faces single targets and kept his longsword of cleaving for when he faced off against many targets.

One thing to realize is that you as the DM cannot be willy nilly with infused abilities.  Basically, the dice help determine it, but it is up to you to put an interesting spin on the results

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
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The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
As a new GM I'm trying to let my imagination run free, and I'm also not so contrained by experience playing D&D.

I've had ideas as a player that the other players kinda said 'that doesn't exist' or 'that'd be hella expensive, cause +1 X usually is only on rings' or whatever.  I'd really like to let my imagination go, and make stuff that doesn't just use +1 this, or spell effect that.  Things that might have been made with a purpose as well, and be a bit interesting. 

Would they take away from the game? Or maybe make the players feel like I just 'don't get it.'

What have you made or used, and how have players reacted to it?  Care to share any stories?



The bugbear chieftan in my game wields a magic hammer named "Doohammer". It gives off a horribly foul stench and everyone within a 15 ft. radius has to make a fortitude save. Those that fail become nauseated for 1d4+1 rounds. When the hammer makes a successful hit or is struck against a solid surface, it unleashes an explosion of fecal matter that induces the same effect within a 30 ft. radius plus an additional 1d6+2 damage for being struck by flying feces. (reflex save halves damage and is subject to things like uncanny dodge)

It is without a doubt one of the most crude magical items I've created, but one of the most fun IMO. Plus, when the PCs or NPCs become covered in the stuff, it makes for a rather humbling or embarassing moment that could cause rash decisions on part of the player or character. Which leads to more awesome or hilarious stuff.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
One interesting thing the new edition of D&D (the one being playtested) is the idea of Advantage (make two rolls, keep the best one) or Disadvantage (make two rolls, keep the lowest one). You can make magic items "magical" or "cursed" by using the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic. Sword of Dragon slaying has Advantage when fighting anything keyworded Dragon or Reptile. A Sword of Battle might give you Advantage when facing two or more enemies at the same time, but bestow Disadvantage if you are trying to persuade someone through a diplomacy roll, etc. They don't always have to be +X to be magical.

I also love the idea of Aspects, which is used in some other games. An Aspect is a descriptor that is puposefully vague/open in its wording, and whenever you can get it to apply to a situation, you get a bonus or a magical effect applies. For example, a bracelet with the Aspect "I thought you were dead!?!" could give you a bonus to saving throws, a bonus to pretending to be deceased, make you appear to be undead, allow you to come back from negative hit points during the same battle, or let your guy plunge off a cliff and then return the next encounter/town/dramatic moment, etc.

Of course, it could also just as easily make everyone you meet think they had heard you had died. Every town you go into, "No, no, I'm not dead... No, I'm still alive ... Not a ghost, people... Quit trying to turn me ..."
I like to take inspiration from lots of different sources.  For example, two items drawn from vastly different sources:

"hidden somewhere within the laberinthe halls of the Black Coal Citadel there rests a cauldron filled with blood.  Within this cauldron rests legendary spear of the first Orcish blood khan.

known by the dwarves as  trogg-uzkal (loosely translated as drinker of death), the spear of the blood khan is said to be imbued with a a blood lust so intense that it must constantly be quenched in a cauldron filled with the blood of those slain by the spear.  Anyone who tries to wield the trogg-uzkal is overcome with this blood lust and immediately begins to kill.

It is said that the spirit of the blood khan resides within the spear.  When a true descendant of the blood khan takes up the spear, he will unite the clans and lead them to victory over the dwarves."

Trogg-uzkal is loosely based on the spear of Lugh, one of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann from Irish legend.

"When the party discovered the goggles, their exact function could not be determined.  The leader of the raiding party had been wearing them when they attacked the village.  Detect magic revealed faint divination magic was present, but none were able to determine exactly what was being divined.

now as they entered the villian's inner sanctum, the purpose of the goggles became all too clear.  There, in the middle of the laboratory stood a table.  Seated behind the table sat the villain.  Upon the top of the table rested a large crystal ball.  Even from this distance the party could see their own reflections in the crystal.

So much for the element of surprise..."

Goggles of far seeing are based on helmet cameras.

I don't worry too much about what the core rule books say magic items can be.  If I come up with an interesting idea for an item, I run with it.  Some times the item itself will launch a story, other times the story drives me to create an item that fits in.  If the players accept it, great.  If not, it gets tossed into a backpack and forgotten.

Next thing you will tell me Browbeat is bad.
LOL nice
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