In the suggestion pot, Zig had a fun idea. He requested that we hit our magic workshops, slave over toys, and report on what the little girls and boys thought. Wait, that’s not it. Here’s what he really asked.
Something I would find very interesting and useful would be a collaboration article from all of you about one unique magic item you have each had in a campaign you ran.
Also I think the comments for such an article if you asked the readers would be interesting reading and certainly useful. I, and I assume most GMs, are always looking for good ideas that have worked for other GMs.
When I offered to organize the replies, my fellow gnomes were quick to start throwing cool items at me. (Some of them were thrown a little hard… I have some ugly bruises guys!)
Matthew Neagley shared the spooky Torc of Golgothas
The Torc of Golgothas takes up a neck slot. It confers an unholy bonus to the wisdom of the wearer of +1 for each soul they have stolen with it in the past 24 hours up to a maximum bonus of +5. To steal a soul, the wearer first takes a standard action to allow the tortured souls in the Torc to speak through him to a target. The target is then marked. If the target dies while so marked, their soul is pulled into the Torc and slowly tortured over the course of the next day before being released to it’s final resting place, though the day of torture often destroys the sanity and morality of the soul, condemning it to a dire fate.
The process of marking a soul allows any of the souls currently being tortured, or that were tortured in the past to speak. This is often a cacophony of wails and gibbering, but sometimes (DM’s fiat) relays a piece of cryptic information that might be useful.
Phil followed that up with The Sand Temple (epic level/artifact)
This is a temple made of flowing sand. It is granted as a gift, to the follower of the deity (in my game the All Father). Once daily on the command of the follower, the Sand Temple can appear, anywhere outdoors, regardless of weather. The interior is large enough to house a 20 people. In the center of the temple is a pool of water. This pool of water can perform Heal 5/day, Cure Disease 5/day, and Raise Dead 1/day. The temple also provides food and water for up to 20 people. Finally, the Temple can travel anywhere in the world once daily, and appear in a location as determined by the follower. Though at times the deity will re-direct the Sand Temple to deliver the follower (and party) to a location of his desire, for the followers to perform some task.
Telas went above and beyond with two items for two different game systems.
Bag of Teleportation – D&D 3.5 – The Dustdiggers of the Academy of Lore are famous for their ability to acquire relics of the distant past, whether from dusty tombs or the locked vaults of their improper owners; one of their less-talked-about tools is the Bag of Teleportation.
This sturdy sack seems to be a Bag of Holding, as its internal volume is greater than it appears to be. However, when a certain time of day passes (usually sunset or sunrise), anything inside the bag is Teleported to a specific location. The location is determined when the bag is manufactured, usually a locked cell in the Academy grounds, although it can be altered by an enchanter of sufficiently high level. Many consider these to be a Bag of Devouring, but divination magic will determine the truth.
(The most fun way to use a Bag of Teleportation is to have the party find it on a dead Dustdigger…)
Vengeance – Savage Worlds – When the hero Cayden was mortally stabbed with an orc’s spear while trying to rescue his son Taggart, the child squirmed free and pulled the spear from his father’s chest. Healing energy flowed from Taggart to his father, closing the wound. Taggart was dragged away by the Dark One’s minions as Cayden fell unconscious. Awakening, Cayden found that he still had the spear, and that its healing power continues.
Vengeance is a simple but well-built spear with a leaf-shaped blade and a strong butt-spike. Even in the coldest weather, it feels very warm to the touch. Once per session, the wielder may make a Soak roll without expending a Bennie.
John Arcadian had to match Telas item for item.
Spirit Shard of Unending Interstice
Created by the mage Vascily, this item is in truth a split spirit elemental which is fused to a person’s soul and grants strange powers that prevent them from ever being contained within a barrier or locked within an area. The other half of the spirit elemental is held by the mage controlling the item. The item was created to undo barriers from the inside and to release ancient evils, or open the way for the controlling mage to enter areas forbidden to him.
Crafted onto the spirit of a person with less taint in their soul, preferably an adventurous sort, the enchanted will travel the world engaging in their business and often entering places which they were prompted to explore by third parties hired by the mage. Once the unwitting pawn is past the barriers or doorways, the magic activates and prevents them from being closed again, alerting the mage responsible for the item to the presence of strong magic or items of interest.
The item works by a variety of means and has one single purpose, to unlock any door that it is trapped behind. It will use telekinesis, opening spells, magic dispelling effects, teleportation portals, etc. and will combine its powers to the greatest effect all with the intent of bypassing any barrier so that the mage who controls the spirit shard can get inside. Guided by the intellect of the shard of spirit elemental, and powered by his seemingly endless reserve of energy (constantly refilled from the unwitting pawn it is merged and sometimes draining manna or healt), the spells are truly devastating to all but the strongest of barriers. Though normally invisible, certain effects which reveal magic can reveal the words “Let this door never be closed to me” floating above the head of person the shard is merged to.
Originally created by the powerful race of world conquering elves, Sagacitem-Via tables were used to chart courses throughout the seas and airways by making any map which was placed on top of them accurate to the current time and location. If a known location, such as the hidden base of rebel forces, was on a map with at least a passing resemblance to the actual location the magic of the table would place the marker for the base at the exact spot and align all landmarks accurately. It would also create scale and distance markers, enabling accurate navigation to any point that is represented on a semi-detailed map. The table will not make accurate the locations of non-terrain elements, such as ships or soldiers, but it will place towns and other locations in their proper places.
In modern times these tables are very rare, due to cartographer’s guilds disliking their tendency to cut in on business. Grave consequences occur for any guild cartographers who are found using a Sagacitem-Via navigation aid. More expensive, and much more rare, versions of the item are sometimes available as compasses which can be touched to maps. These are great boons for people attempting to travel into fey enchanted lands, where the terrain often gets up and moves, or to sea and airship captains who wish to navigate safely through hazardous shoals or locate constantly moving airborne islands.
Martin contributed the Sphere of Total Observation:
This magic item comes in three parts: an uncomfortable-looking crescent-moon-shaped bench and a tiny golden sphere, which is suspended from the highest point of the crescent, and a much larger crystalline sphere (3′ in diameter).
When the user lays on the bench and grasps the sphere, their senses fade away entirely, save for their sight. Their sight expands to encompass 360 degrees, extending outwards from the crystalline sphere. The larger sphere can be placed anywhere within one mile of the bench and the smaller sphere.
After a few minutes to adjust to the rather unpleasant sensation of all-around vision, the user can manipulate their field of view to focus on particular objects or take in everything around them at once, making this item a fantastic defensive mechanism. With due care for its fragility, it can even be used for scouting in military operations.
In my last campaign, I introduced Cylinders of Communication:
This magic item is created as a linked pair of scroll cases. The cylinders often appear as battered leather containers for scrolls, like any courier or poor wizard might carry. At dawn and dusk the contents of the cylinders are switched via teleportation, allowing field agents to secretly report the information they gathered over the last few hours. Similarly, getting new orders to isolated agents is easy… as long as they retain their communication cylinder.
More powerful cylinders might be equipped with magic linking the case to its owner. These special cases prevent enemies from intercepting orders and reports by failing to work when they aren’t in their owner’s possession. Another popular enchantment is to conceal the magical aura, so the scroll case doesn’t reveal its unusual nature to casual inquiry. Whichever version of the cylinder of communication is used, orders and reports are often written in ciphers or obscure languages to prevent the critical information from falling into enemy hands.
Now that you’ve seen what gnomish craftsmanship is like, it’s time to display your own handiwork. Like Zig asked, please share a cool item from one of your campaigns– and its effect on your game– in comments.