A New Look at Infrequently Used Magic Items -- Unguents, Salves, and Paints
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.
Adventurers quaff potions, oil up their weapons, and burn through scrolls with regular frequency in your average campaign. However, every once in awhile, the PCs may encounter some strange liquids, pastes, and even paints that are completely out of the norm.
This multipurpose ointment duplicates the effects of five castings of cure light wounds, neutralize poison, or remove disease in any combination. While nowhere near as cost effective as getting a spellcaster to cast any of these five times for you, it's far more economical than buying five potions of each type that duplicate each of these effects.
Keoghtom's Ointment -- For the DM
Although relatively straightforward in its use, Keoghtom's ointment may find some application in your game as a good story hook.
Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments
This magic item lets a character with a bit of artistic flair to actually create objects (or even open spaces) with the flick of a paintbrush. It may seem a bit strange taking a pot of paint with you as you wander through a dungeon or out in the wilderness, but the number of things Nolzur's marvelous pigments can create is as unlimited as a player's imagination. Here are a few tips for making the most out of this unusual magic item:
Need to quickly equip a group of henchmen? Nolzur's marvelous pigments lets you create mundane weapons and armor in the amount of time it takes to make your Craft (painting) check.
Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments -- For the DM
Nolzur's marvelous pigments is an example of a magic item that benefits those few PCs that take ranks in a skill that doesn't get much use by most adventurers -- specifically Craft (painting). On those rare occasions when such an item shows up in a random treasure roll that can benefit a character, run with it and hopefully the player will do the same. Here are some hooks that might spur you to use Nolzur's marvelous pigments in your campaign:
Salve of Slipperiness, Sovereign Glue, and Universal Solvent
We'll break the norm and talk about three intimately tied magic items. To keep sovereign glue useful while in its container, you need salve of slipperiness to coat the inside of the bottle. To break the bond created by sovereign glue, you need universal solvent. Each has their uses on their own, but with all three, now you're talking about some interesting stuff. The whole "package" can be bought for 3,450 gp.
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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