Welcome to the first post of a new series, DM’s Bag of Tricks. Going forward I’ll be posting various DM resources like Random Tables, Adventure Hooks, Homebrewed Spells, Magic Items, DM Tips and Tricks, Maps and more!! DM Panic series will continue as the last second package of bundled components to get you out of any last second jam, but this series will be to better to help any DM with more prep time. It’ll be a rough equivalent of shopping at the grocery store (DM’s Bag of Tricks) compared to ordering take-out food (DM Panic).
I’ve got two item ideas and later on I’ll describe some interesting plot ideas where you can introduce these items to your players. The descriptions might fit into any RPG campaign though I’ve designed them with the intention of being used in Dungeons and Dragons 5e.
Item #1: My first item is a glove that might have more out of combat uses than in-combat
Assassins Glove (requires attunement)
As a bonus action once a day, the wearer of this bracer/glove can say a command word and cause poison to ooze out of hidden pockets coating the exterior. The poison acts as normal once applied to any weapon or if applied to the skin as part of a touch attack or off hand strike. Every dawn this item magically fills with a single dose of Basic Poison. A different type of poison can be loaded into the glove with a command word, which will stay stored until removed. The Assassins Glove can be refilled or emptied of poison over a short rest. Nature checks to detect poison on the glove are at disadvantage as the magical enchantments conceal its presence. Arcane methods to detect poison on/in the glove are ineffective until the command word is spoken.
This glove comes in several styles, it might looks as simple as an elegant nobles white lace glove, or it might be disguised to look more like a fighters wraps. A different look for various levels of need, the poison however is always the same. The rare fibers of the gloves wick the poison to the top most layer away from the wielder while a secondary fabric is enchanted to keep the poison from infecting the wearer.
While it’s not the worst way to quickly apply poison without using an equipment action, the poisoned glove is more likely to be introduced by an assassin. You could have it left behind at a murder scene or be given to the players for use in assassinating a political target. I suggest a DM think carefully if they want the poison to regenerate or if the glove should be tweaked to a one-time use. I suggest having it refill because you can have the type of poison it refills with be a clue as to the artificer who made the glove and that might lead to a series of clues that eventually helps you find the villain. Like most craftsmen, the artificer could have an apprentice who was actually the real creator of the glove.
NPC: Stevalthur the Artificer is well renowned in the criminal underbelly for his enjoyment of creating poisoned weapons. A small taste of the poison giving it a hint of cinnamon makes it clear to someone who’s a poison expert (be it a detective or cleric or speaking with the dead ) that the person the players should talk to is Stevalthur.
Item #2: Next up is an unusual net, which seems like it would naturally be used by a ranger in the party.
Silencer’sNet (rare item)
When a creature is in contact with the Silencers net, the net emits the silence spell. No sound can be created within or pass through a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on the first point of contact with the net. Any creature or object entirely inside the sphere is immune to thunder damage, and creatures are deafened while entirely inside it. The silencing effect only lasts 20 minutes per day. If the command word is said outside of the silence effect the spell ends early.
Large silver threads interwoven into the rope are the only clue that this is no ordinary net. Any prey that is close enough to notice such a detail discovers this detail when it’s far too late.
Plot suggestions and NPC intro: Two distinct plot ideas came to mind for this item, firstly a group of poachers would likely have these by the droves. Set up some trap for the animal you’re hunting then have this net drop after you’ve symbolized the creature so you can keep things quiet. The second idea was that this could be used by a group of non-magic users as a way to deal with casters. Plenty of spells require verbal components so if one bandit has this net and they get the drop on a party of 4 casters all of a sudden the math is strongly against the group. If you are using this against players you’ll need to think through how difficult it is to remove the net when it’s thrown, but depending on the size of the net and creature all of those details vary in complexity. If you describe the net as a small dog sized net and it’s thrown on a half-orc should that really stop him in any way?
NPC: Glislth the Trapper, Glislth’s favorite recipe calls for fairy wings and he tends to use his silence net to trap as many as possible without alerting the rest of the group.
Suggested tweaks: I pondered with the idea that the silence spell would constantly emanate from the net, but I think that effect might be too powerful. I tried to balance it by having it take a bonus action to get the net in and about of a bag which negates the silence spell. Also for balance the net and bag would be a combined attunement slot and I think if you make this tweak make it clear to the players the range might need to be reduced. This net would also be extremely deadly to the tension in a stealth operation and make the players much easier to sneak in and out of any location.
I was also thinking perhaps the net needs to succeed on a grapple check for the silence effect to be activated but it seemed like that was wandering into overly complicated territory.
I hope you enjoy these item ideas, I welcome community feedback.
Category: Roleplaying Games
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