A Handful of Magic Items 7

dwarven_boar_shield_by_seraph777-d9e0tal
Picture Credit: Seraph777

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 (including the same creature repeatedly), it gains +1 to damage to all subsequent attacks against creatures of the same type (sub-type for humanoids), up to +4 (including the base +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, immunity to psychic and poison 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. The bulwark retains any damage taken until the next dawn, and cannot be replanted on a day that it has hit 0 hit points.

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.

  1. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the wielder for 1 hour. An affected creature can repeat the saving throw whenever they suffer damage.
  2. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turned, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  3. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turned, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  4. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target’s speed is halved for 1 minute. In addition, the creature can’t take reactions, and it can take either an action or bonus action on its turn, but not both. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turned, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  5. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 4d8 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.
  6. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or the wielder can move the target up to 30 feet in any direction. The target is also restrained until the start of the wielder’s next turn.
  7. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or fall asleep and remain unconscious for 1 minute. The target awakens if it takes damage or another creature takes an action to wake it. This ray has no effect on constructs or undead.
  8. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature begins to turn to stone and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect end. On a failure, the creature is petrified until freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic.
  9. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or take 5d8 force damage. If this damage kills the target creature, its body becomes a pile of fine gray dust.
  10. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or take 5d10 necrotic damage.

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 when used in an open space such as a field, there’s no benefit to save against a fireball that is cast on the same side of the bulwark.

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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