We’ve been cooking up some more magic items for you with some of the feedback in mind from our last few sets. Today we have a blade that likes to slay alike foes, a shield that can become a tactical wall, and a staff that is beholden to a certain, infamous monster.
Kinslayer (any melee weapon, requires attunement)
This weapon has a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls. Each time this weapon hits a creature, it gains +1 to damage to all subsequent attacks against creatures of the same type (sub-type for humanoids), up to +4 (including the initial +1). This effect ends if you target a creature of another type with this weapon, or after 10 minutes of inaction.
This weapon, once it has tasted blood, glows silver and has a slight magnetic pull towards the kin of the previously struck foe, bestowing the wielder with extra strength on their next strike. As the silver glow intensifies, so does the pull towards Kinslayer’s next preferred target.
Shieldwall (shield, requires attunement)
As an action, the wielder can plant the shield in the ground in front of them. Doing so causes the shield to magically expand into a small bulwark (AC 17, 25 hit points, resistance to non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage) that is 15 feet long and can grant three-quarters cover. Compare any attacks that miss a target behind the bulwark against the bulwark’s AC. If they would hit the bulwark, deal damage as normal to the bulwark. The bulwark turns back into a shield if it is reduced to 0 hit points or the attuned uses an action to grab the handle at the center of the bulwark.
This ornate but sturdy shield features dwarven iconography and runes on the front. When planted into the ground, the runes glow and the shield expands into a bulwark 15 feet long in front of where it was planted. The bulwark has many of the same imagery and runes as the shield as well as a handle sticking out the back of it.
Eyestalk Staff (staff, requires attunement)
The Eyestalk Staff holds 7 charges. It regains 1d6+1 charges daily at dawn. As an action, the wielder can unleash the magic within at one enemy (1 charge), two enemies (3 charges), or 3 enemies (5 charges) at a range of 60 ft. For each enemy, roll a d10 and consult the table below. Reroll any duplicates until all enemies have a unique effect. When the last charge is expended, roll a d20. On a result of 1, the staff loses all magical powers and becomes a normal quarterstaff.
This is a metal staff with 10 small, twisted sconces at the top. Inside each sconce is a single, long eyestalk belonging to a freshly dead beholder but now fused with the staff itself physically and magically.
As I said, I wanted to incorporate some feedback I’ve gotten both from players and from readers into the designs of this set of items and I think we’ve got some decent items here. First is Kinslayer, the weapon that gets stronger with each successful swing. I wanted something that had short term benefits but was potent, especially against both hordes to ensure 1-hit kills, as well as something that could help a bit when chipping away at a larger foe like a dragon. This becomes especially potent in the hands of characters who can make multiple attacks in a round, getting the additional bonus damage quickly. As a DM, if this is looking a bit too weak, try upping the base bonus (example, start it at +2 to attack and damage, and raise the max damage bonus to +5), or increase the time that can go between attacks from 10 minutes to whatever feels right. On the other hand, if you think this will be strong, be sure to incorporate mixed types. Orcs and goblins don’t share a sub-type, so a group that has a few of each makes targeting priority a decision for the wielder.
I like the idea of magic items giving benefit with a slight drawback, such as the case with Shieldwall. In this case, it’s potentially better defense from the cover when using it as a bulwark and it can also help your allies at the same time, but given the fact it can be destroyed and reverted into a shield, and that using it takes an action there is definitely some pros and cons to setting it up mid-encounter. If you start to run into problems with your players plopping this down every battle and foiling your plans, consider mixing in some charging units with ranged. Not having their shield while have enemies get up in their face behind the wall does not sound like something that they would want to do, and area of effect spells, such as fireball are not hindered by the shield.
And for last, you know I love my magical “RNG” items (first witnessed in December’s Ring of the Indecisive Wizard). As I flipped through my Monster Manual, my mind started turning at the ideas I was having for turning monster abilities into usable items. And then I came to the Beholder and decided to let loose and have some fun. I am not going to try and claim that this item is perfectly balanced, because depending on your game and party it might either be lacking in power, or game-breaking. I’ve gone back and forth on the power, number of charges, and more, and I like where it is for my game specifically. The limited charges keep it from being abused, and even though the temptation is there to target multiple enemies, it will see much more use when targeting one at a time. I lowered the DC’s from 16 to 14 to make it easier since it is supposed to be the Beholder’s residual magic, as well as halved any damage done and made other minor changes to the spell effects, all on purpose (not a transcribing error) to keep it from being too outlandish. I plan on dropping this in my own game, and if I see any changes needing to be made you can be sure I’ll be back here and I will update the item!
Let us know what you think of these items, and how you would improve them or change them to fit into your campaign! Be sure to join in the discussion over on our Discord channel where we talk tabletop!
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