As next week is the one-year anniversary of me starting this blog(!), I’m delving back into the original set of posts that I this blog with, bringing more magic and mundane items from Zendikar! When I first started this cycle, it was a project of a few evenings after work that went up on my other blog, as at the time I was planning to some day run a Zendikar campaign. Nearly one year on, I haven’t started a Zendikar campaign (I’m still running Curse of Strahd), but I’ve been able to enjoy working on new homebrew for a growing audience for all this time! I’m going to be doing a few announcements next week when I reach the one-year anniversary of starting this blog, but until then, enjoy these items!
Blade of the Bloodchief
Magic Weapon (Longsword) – Legendary (Requires attunement)
Like the vampire bloodchiefs of Guul Draz that it was forged for, this long, slender blade gains power by drinking the blood of fallen enemies. When you kill a creature that has blood using this weapon, it gains 1 charge, which remains until the next time you take a long rest. For each charge on this weapon, you gain +1 to your Strength score. If a Vampire is attuned to this item, it gains 1 additional charge each time it is used to kill a creature. When you hit a living target with this weapon, you may expend two charges to cast the spell Inflict Wounds.
I felt that the most ideal flavour for this weapon would be for it to drink blood, like a vampire, for it to gain charges, which are used to mirror the card’s +1/+1 counters granted to the wielder. A thing I felt would be fun for this item would be for charges to last until the wielder takes a long rest, giving them a choice of whether to take a rest and lose charges, or skip the rest and gain exhaustion to continue to benefit from the item. Working this way, it allowed me to double the charge gain for a vampire wielder like on the card, and also add the bonus of being able to cast Inflict Wounds with it, which seemed the ideal spell for a bloodthirsty blade.
Grappling Hook – Martial Melee Weapon
2d4 slashing damage, Finesse, Reach, Two-handed
When attacking a creature with this weapon, you can choose to make a drag attack. If the drag attack hits, it deals 1d4 piercing damage instead of 2d4 slashing damage, and you make
a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you succeed, you may drag the target up to half your Strength in feet. This weapon also counts as a Climber’s Kit.
I focused on a hook & drag attack as the main ability of this item, which nicely represents the card’s ability to make a creature block it, essentially “dragging” it into combat! I also decided that the item should function as a Climber’s Kit, since that’s the primary use for this item for adventurers on Zendikar, with Zendikar’s items focusing on travel utility for the plane’s weird terrain first, and combat use second.
Hammer of Ruin
Magic Weapon (Maul) – Rare
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, once per long rest, when you hit with an attack using this weapon, you may choose for the attack to deal no damage, and instead destroy a non-magical weapon or piece of non-magical armour or equipment carried by a creature hit by this attack.
For this item, I decided that it shouldn’t affect magic items as that could lead to some really frustrating choices if a player feels as though they have to use it to destroy a magic item belonging to an enemy, preventing them from gaining that item for winning the fight.
Razor Boomerang – Martial Ranged Weapon
1d6 Slashing damage, Finesse, Light, Thrown (range 30/120)
Returning – This weapon returns when thrown, but must be caught, or it lands 15 feet behind the wielder. To catch a Razor Boomerang, the wielder must make a DC10 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the wielder catches the boomerang, but suffers one point of slashing damage. On a success, the wielder catches the boomerang without suffering damage.
I designed this item as a handy piece of kit for Zendikari adventurers, as a returning ranged weapon that doesn’t require ammunition is extremely useful when you’re going to be trekking through an ever-shifting wilderness where arrows can run out when you bump into a baloth. The sharpness of the weapon is emphasised with the damage it can deal to a character who lacks the Dexterity score to safely use it. DMs can have fun describing the damage from a failed catch as the character scowling and sucking the small cut the boomerang has left on one of their fingers.
Magic Weapon (Warhammer) – Rare
This hammer echoes Valakut’s molten ferocity, and can be used to rend the earth beneath you into a fiery chasm.
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, once per long rest, you may swing your hammer onto the ground before you, opening up a 30-foot-long, five-foot-wide fiery chasm. Creatures on the chasm when it appears, or that cross it must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, suffering 3d8 fire damage on a failed save or half as much on a success. When you make this action, roll a d20. On the roll of a 1, the hammer is shattered in the process, and all creatures within 10 feet of the hammer must make a DC
16 Dexterity saving throw, suffering 3d8 fire damage on a failed save or half as much on a success.
My design for the slab hammer focuses on it having an effect that essentially destroys an area of ground in front of the wielder, to mirror the way that the card buffs the equipped creature by returning a land to the player’s hand. I then added the extra risk of the hammer shattering, inspired by the art, and to further reinforce the idea of it being a particularly volatile volcanic weapon.
For all of my Zendikar content, including my first posts and the first subclasses I designed, click here!
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