A New Look at Infrequently Used Magic Items -- Expensive and Powerful Items
In this series, we'll take a look at infrequently used, or little understood, magic items described in the Dungeon Master's Guide, plus we'll give you some creative uses and reasons to include them on your character's inventory.
Like spells, there seems to be a list of magic items that are considered crucial to an adventuring party -- cloaks of resistance, rings of protection, and potions of cure light wounds, for example. Of course, with hundreds and hundreds of magic items to choose from, some magic items are going to get short shrift. But what should players and DMs do when the random treasure table turns up something unusual? Toss it and move on? Or maybe they can open up their minds and build a character (or adventure) around particularly interesting magic items.
What happens when your high-level party gets a hold of a seriously expensive and powerful magic item -- but they have no idea what to do with it? In this installment, we'll look at a few of these pricey white elephants and perhaps turn them into animated white elephants of smiting.
Apparatus of Kwalish
The apparatus of Kwalish is quite possibly one of the strangest magic items in the Dungeon Master's Guide. If you find the secret catch of this apparent iron barrel, you'll gain access to your own walking, crushing tank-lobster. The sheer size of this magic item means that it's unlikely that your characters will be toting one around with them, but who knows? Here are a few ideas on how to make use of such an unusual and unwieldy magic item.
Apparatus of Kwalish -- For the DM
Just by its very nature, the apparatus of Kwalish is more of a plot device rather than a practical magic item for PCs. When piloted by an NPC, however, the apparatus has all sorts of possibilities for good adventure material.
Daern's Instant Fortress
Daern's instant fortress is the perfect magic item for adventuring parties on the go. This powerful item creates a remarkably hard (and hardy) shelter that's perfect for defense. Here are a few things to keep in mind when your group gets a hold of one of these items:
Daern's Instant Fortress -- For the DM
This magic item is great for NPCs to hole up within when facing the PCs, since it lets them create their own incredibly difficult defensive location from which to cause mayhem and confound the players.
Orb of Storms
Weather is one aspect of a campaign that rarely comes into actual play in most D&D games. Except for extreme examples, such as a vicious thunderstorm or blizzard, then the weather typically becomes a non-issue. However, if your DM wants to drop the effects of weather into your game, then the orb of storms becomes a magic item worth its cost.
Orb of Storms -- For the DM
The orb of storms becomes a much more interesting, useful, and powerful magic item if you're willing to take weather into account during your campaign. If you want to throw some wind and hail at your characters, then consider using an orb of storms to rain on their parade.
About the Author
Eric Cagle cut his teeth at Wizards of the Coast, but now lives the extravagant freelancer lifestyle. Look for his name on D&D, d20 Modern, and Star Wars books. Recent credits include d20 Apocalypse, Monster Manual IV, and the Tome of Corruption from Green Ronin Publishing. He is also a contributor to the Game Mechanics, Dragon Magazine, and this lovely website. Eric lives in Seattle where the coffee is dark and bitter like his goddesses.
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