21 July 2015
D&D 30-Day Challenge: Day 25- Favorite Magic Item
I feel magic items can be overdone. One of the things I disliked about 4th Edition (and I did like it overall) was that the math expected PCs to have a certain quality of magic arms and armor at a given level - this is far too much magic for me.
Magic should be rare and, well, magical. The very concept of a magic shop is a bit antithetical to the way I tend to run D&D. If PCs end up with multiple magic items, it's because they've been delving into ancient ruins or abandoned fortresses where such items of power have been lost since antiquity. Like the gifts of Galadriel, or Orcrist, Glamdring and Sting, magic items need to be uncommon and mysterious.
The runner-up for my favorite magic item is runner-up because it comes from The Palladium Fantasy RPG. It's called Otoni's Dagger of Assassination. This dagger, when thrown, will keep re-inserting itself into a target until the target is dead, or until it is seized by a STR 15 or better. That's pretty sweet.
So, in the D&D realm, there's the old favorites. Elven boots, bags of holding, etc. Lots of utility in items like those. I'm going to go to 4e for this, though. My favorite magic item is something that just drips with atmosphere. 4e gave us The Raven Queen, goddess of death. Now, she's not evil, she's just doing a job that needs doing since death is the inevitable end of life. There is a magic item that is a raven's feather blessed by the Raven Queen. This feather is attuned to a person. The feather will then change color if that person dies. Not a magic weapon, or an amazing item, but think of the story possibilities a DM can evoke when there is tangible proof of when a far away loved one dies... or is still alive after a very long time. This is the sort of magic item you can hang an adventure on without giving the PCs incredible amounts of power. I dig it.