Figurines of wondrous power have a long history in the Dungeons & Dragons game. They first showed up in the 1st Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide core rulebook. Since then, many designers have added to the list of ebony fly, golden lions (pair), ivory goats (trio), marble elephant, obsidian steed, onyx dog, and serpentine owl. Later editions added to the list with the likes of the jade sea snake and the opal carp, both available in 4th Edition games near you. And the pearl sea horse.
That’s right, the game now has a figurine of wondrous power that summons a giant, aquatic pony. That you can ride. Did I mention it was also pearl? Not mithral. Not titanium. Pearl.
I can imagine a less heroic mount or ally, but it takes some effort. Maybe the purple Peeps figurine? Or the mahogany chipmunk?
As I’ve mentioned in this space before, I play in a Wednesday night campaign run by Chris Perkins. The world of Iomandra is composed of a vast sea dotted by islands of various sizes. We spend a lot of our sessions aboard ships. In fact, a recent session saw our captured (read: stolen) ship and another ship assaulted by three submersible turtle ships crewed by githyanki pirates. Cool, right? But my point is that we’re on or near the water a lot.
You’d think that a figurine that lets you waterski across the water would be a hot commodity. Jade sea snake? Rad. Opal carp? Less rad, but I can get behind it.
Enter the pearl sea horse. Several months back, our group recovered one of these. It was near the beginning of the paragon tier. Keep in mind the aforementioned proximity of water. Not a one of us manly men (ahem) would take the sea pony. In fact, the item sat in the party holding pen, along with spare healing potions and the funds to raise Divin, our party cleric, for two entire levels.
And then, one day, I’d had enough. After being stymied—yet again—by a seemingly impassable 100-foot stretch of water, I was done. “You know what? I’ll take the pony,” I declared. And I did.
I call him Sharkbait.
Since then, I’ve used Sharkbait at least a dozen times. I can’t complain. Each time, someone at the table asks me if I’m enjoying my party dress at my 10th birthday, or something to that effect. But they shut up when Sharkbait leaves them in his wake.
This month, we’re adding several new figurines of wondrous power to the game, specifically for the paragon and epic tiers. Why should heroic characters have all the fun? Steve and Bart originally pitched this idea. They’re big fans of the ebony fly and other flying figurines. You know, the ones that actually increase your character’s cool factor. The new figurines are pretty much all of the kick-ass variety—the coral dragon and mercury wasp just sound cool, don’t they? As for me, I’ve taken to the underdog figurines. As soon as I’m able, I’m saving up for the tourmaline turtle.
I think I’ll call him Shelldon.
What’s your favorite figurine of wondrous power? Or even your favorite offbeat magic item? Let us know at email@example.com.