I’m back to doing some magic item design this week, with another selection of pieces from Magic’s premier artifact world
before it became a wasteland of black oil.
Wondrous item – Rare
When wearing this headdress, you may reroll one die rolled to determine the amount of healing received whenever you use an ability, potion or spell to make a creature other than yourself regain lost hit points.
I felt that it would be fun for this item to add a potentially powerful increase to healing done by any wearer. While it provides the biggest benefits to creatures that have healing spells (such as cure wounds, which uses d8s), it can benefit even a party without any, as it affects potions too.
Wondrous item – Very Rare
When wearing these enchanted greaves, you may add your proficiency bonus to your initiative rolls, and you gain advantage on saving throws against spells.
With this iconic artifact, I wanted to mirror the card’s effect as closely as possible. The bonus to initiative rolls represents Haste, and the ability to represent Shroud is based on the Mantle of Spell Resistance.
Armour (half plate) – Rare (requires attunement)
While wearing this armour, your AC becomes 17, and you are a construct in addition your other types. In addition, you are immune to any spell or effect that would alter your form.
With this card representing an item that turns the wearer into an artifact, I felt the best way to translate it to D&D would be to make the wearer into a construct, then grant a high AC, and the Immutable Form ability that is present on all golems.
Wondrous Item – Rare (requires attunement)
While wearing this metal headpiece, you gain +1 to all of your attack rolls, but reduce your maximum hit points by 10. While wearing the skullclamp, you can access the memories of the last creature to die while wearing it. If a creature dies wearing a skullclamp, all of their memories are stored in the skullclamp, and can be accessed by the next wearer. A skullclamp only contains the memories of the most recent creature to die while wearing it. If you are killed while wearing the skullclamp, your memories replace the previous set that it had recorded.
This item was suggested by one of the winners of my 1,000 followers celebration, @asktheguildpact. As the card mechanically represents harvesting the mind of the wearer when they die, working out how to represent that was simple, but it allows the DM to do pretty abstract stuff with it. In addition, I represented the +1/-1 with an attack roll bonus and a reduction to maximum hit points.
Staff – Very Rare (requires attunement)
This staff is tipped with a glowing amber orb, which can hold arcane energy and unleash it upon contact with a foe. The spellbinder acts as a Quarterstaff which grants +1 to your attack and damage rolls.
Any creature can cast a spell of 1st through 5th level into the staff by touching the staff as the spell is cast. Doing so replaces any spell already in the staff. The spell has no effect, other than to be stored in the staff. If the staff can’t hold the spell, the spell is expended without effect. The staff can hold only one spell. Once per day, when an attack made using the Spellbinder hits a target, you can choose to immediately cast the spell contained within it.
The spell uses the slot level, spell save DC, spell attack bonus, and spellcasting ability of the original caster, but is otherwise treated as if you cast the spell.
The Spellbinder was based on the ring of spell storing, but modified into a quarterstaff with an appropriate combat buff for a magic weapon. Instead of holding multiple spells like the ring, I based the ability more on the card itself so that it holds one spell that can be cast multiple times.
I’ve really enjoyed making magic items from this setting, and it’s definitely something I’m going to come back to, as I haven’t yet touched any Darksteel or Phyrexian artifacts.