4d4 Wondrous Magic Items II
by Creighton Broadhurst
November 12, 2019
Magic items should be wondrous objects, but these days they often seem to be relegated to nothing more than a commodity to be bought and sold like any other (expensive) item. That’s not right, and an evocative, flavoursome description of an item can help to reestablish the the sense of mystique and excitement that should surround such items.
Boots, belts, robes, cloaks and hats can all be imbued with potent magical powers. From the humble cloak of protection and the cloak of the elvenkind to the much sought after boots of speed all such items have great value to adventurers.
Use the table below, to determine what kind of magical attire the characters have discovered.
- With a deep cowl, and silver and gold threads depicting a bewildering array of esoteric symbols, this jet black cloak clearly once belonged to a wizard or person of similar ilk. A faint, unplaceable scent hangs in the air about the garment, and does not dissipate no matter how often it is washed.
- Several large dents mar these thick iron gauntlets. Two black stones (onyxes) and two transparent yellow stones (citrines) fill slightly recessed settings on each gauntlet. Although the gauntlets are dented, the stones are in perfect condition.
- This scarlet robe has long billowing sleeves. Beautifully stitched yellow and orange flames writhe up the sleeves towards the wearer’s shoulders. Similar flames decorate the robe’s hem. Several discreet pockets inside the robe are perfectly sized for a small coin or spell component pouch.
- Set with two small hidden pouches on its back this broad, well-used and slightly fraying belt is decorated with beautiful etchings of soaring dragons. The belt’s golden buckle is forged into the likeness of a smiling dragon’s face.
Magic rings are a staple of fantasy gaming, and much sought after by adventurers. Such objects can call forth or project a range of powers and effects, at their owner’s command.
To generate a magic ring’s description, roll on the table below.
- The jagged shards of several teeth are fused into this cracked and seemingly brittle bone ring. The teeth jut from the ring, and easily snag on clothes and the like.
- The surface of this plain iron ring is always slick with moisture, although it never slips from its owner’s finger. Close observation of the ring reveals tiny beads of moisture appearing spontaneously upon the band. Experimentation reveals the liquid is seawater.
- Grains of multi-coloured sand fill this supernaturally toughened glass ring. Every morning at dawn, the grains of sand rearrange themselves into a different pattern.
- Beautiful carvings of shooting stars, or perhaps ball lightning or fireballs, decorate this exquisite ivory ring.
Wondrous Rods, Staves & Wands
From the common wand of magic missiles to the awesomely rare and much coveted staff of the archmagi, rods, staves and wands can channel awesome power. Such items rarely appear to be nothing more than a tapered stick or quarterstaff.
Use the table below, to determine the appearance of the item found by the characters:
- Carved from a single long rib bone of indeterminate origin, complex etchings of screaming skull faces, ghostly forms and other horrific images of death and suffering decorate this macabre object.
- This intricately carved length of slightly curved ivory must have come from a truly gargantuan creature. Complicated sinuous patterns, that doubtless took a master craftsmen months to complete, cover its entire length. Molten gold covers one end of the wand.
- Set with thin coils of electrum, this slender, tapered length of stone looks for all the world like the tip of a stalactite. The thin electrum coils have been fused to the stone, and cannot be removed without destroying the object. The stone is always cool to the touch.
- Slightly rusty, this length of iron bar has a jagged point at its tip while its other end is perfectly smooth. Engravings of strange and terrible beasts of unknown sorts decorate the bar, but are partially obscured by tightly wound bronze and copper wire spiralling around the bar.
Special Note: Wherever possible, the words “rod”, “staff” or “wand” have been omitted from the above text. Where they do appear, treat them as interchangeable so you can get the maximum usage from the items above.
Magical swords are the quintessential warrior’s weapon. Such weapons have a wide range of powers and many have a reputation as impressive as the hero wielding them.
Use the descriptions below, to bring a sense of wonder and excitement to the magic swords in your campaign.
- At first glance, this sword appears to be coated in dried blood. Further investigation reveals it is forged from a single piece of supernaturally tough, crimson-coloured glass. In flickering light—such as that given off by a torch or funeral pyre—the blade glimmers in an evil fashion. A skull-shaped pommel tops the weapon’s haft.
- This razor-sharp steel sword has a snake’s head-shaped pommel. Supple red and black snake skin covers its haft. At its tip, several tiny holes pierce the blade. A thorough examination of the weapon reveals a small reservoir for poison in the sword’s pommel.
- Crude pictographs painstakingly etched into this sword’s blade tell the story of a warrior entering a deep cave to slay a mighty, scaled creature that might be a multi-headed dragon or a hydra. Beyond the pictographs, and some deep gouges on its plain cross guard, the weapon is plain and simple—the kind carried by common soldiers throughout the world. The weapon comes with a plain scabbard.
- A dozen tiny precious stones of varying types and hues are set into this sword’s hilt. A convoluted, serpentine pattern adorns the blade itself. The weapon’s scabbard is likewise adorned with many tiny gemstones.
Special Note: Wherever possible, the descriptions above do not reference a specific type of sword (such as longsword short sword, bastard sword and so on). This is deliberate. Omitting the sword’s type increases the utility of the list as a GM can apply the sword’s description to any weapons found. To determine randomly the type of sword assume 70% of swords are longswords, 20% are broadswords, 5% are short swords, 4% are bastard swords and 1% are two-handed swords.
This article is the second extract from 20 Things #43: Items Most Wondrous which is available for download here at the Raging Swan Press store.
Check out the companion article (with another 16 magic items) to this post here.