Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Treasure Compendium - Custom Magical Curios from 5th Edition D&D - Entry 2

(There are few resources available for magical treasure in the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons until the source books are published later this year. Until then, I am building custom treasures and sharing it here as the adventuring company in my new campaign discovers them. The system has great tools for making custom content.)

Last week the adventuring company wandered north of the town to investigate a disturbance near a lumberjack camp. They ended up fighting off a host of Twig Blights, Fire Beetles, a Giant Tick, and several packs of Wolves led by Dire Wolves. (There are 10 people in the company, so the fights are large). Fortunately 5th edition combat plays so quickly that handling 10 players was easy. They went through five waves of combat over the course of three encounters. Plus RP, plus kicking around a forest, and the session only took about three hours.

Dire Wolves are monstrously large beasts. One of the clerics in the company, Father Nexus, rightly concluded that such a great beast may have swallowed something intact. A few slices later (and a roll on my random treasure table) yielding a magical shortbow.

Later in the afternoon, the company assisted an NPC Druid in a ritual to create a barrier between the evil presence at the center of the forest and a place where the lumberjacks could return to harvest wood (as long as they also replanted). As a reward (and another roll), the party was gifted a magical ring.

Here are the details on the magical items!

Windlass, the Tanglebow
This shortbow is made from elegant white ash. The limbs of the bow sweep gracefully back from the riser and curl into a tight spiral at the tips.
Attuned: When a charge is expended, medium or smaller based targets hit by an attack from this bow have Disadvantage on STR checks and cannot take the Dash action. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to the level of the attacker. Unless the target passes a DC 13 STR save on their turn, they lose 30’ of movement. The bow has 5 charges. It regains 2 charges per day unless drained. If drained it remains uncharged for 3 days before regaining charges normally.

Ring of Luck
A simple band of dull metal. It resizes itself to fit comfortably onto any finger.
Attuned: Expend a charge as a reaction when an attack targets you. Choose one: Gain advantage on your next attack or give Disadvantage to your attacker. The ring has four charges. It recharges one charge per day. If drained, it remains uncharged for five days before recharging normally.

I made the bow in response to a request on Twitter. I have tweaked the language a bit and added charges in to moderate the power level. Magical rings are awesome. Charges are a fantastic way to introduce consumeable resources into a permanent magic item. The goal of charged items is to present a few uses relatively cost free and then a choice: use the last charge and suffer the cool down penalty, or go without.

The attunement requirement in 5th edition is great for limiting the shoe closet of magic item choices. It also means the company has to decide well ahead of an adventure who is going to benefit from what magical items.

Today I added three more items into my list. I will probably make a few more over lunch. There are ten members in my adventuring company, so I am not worried at this point about flooding them with magic items. The company can run thirty attuned magical items total. Even if they uncover two or three items in every significant quest, that is a long way to go before decisions about what to wear are going to become challenging.

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After writing op-eds and travelogues for several years, after finishing a few books, and after failing to get the ball rolling with project after project I stumbled into an idea that might just hold my interest long enough to enjoy some level of satisfaction with my writing.