Items from Tarkir in D&D

This week I’ve designed of items from Tarkir, some based on artifact cards, others inspired by other items in the setting of Tarkir.


Fire Dragon Rocket Battery
Large object
     Armor Class: 15


Hit Points: 30


Damage Immunities: poison, psychic
The dragon’s breath rocket battery is used in combat with dragons, firing explosive vials of trapped dragons’ breath over a long range to negate dragons’ advantage of being able to dodge many attack by flying. Before it can be fired, it must be loaded and aimed. It takes one action to load the weapon, one action to aim it and one action to fire it.
     Fire Dragon.
Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 120/480 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d10) fire damage, and all creatures within 20 feet of the point of impact must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or suffer an additional 16 (3d10) fire damage.

This item isn’t based directly on an actual artifact card from the Tarkir block (though it uses the art for Pyrotechnics). Instead, I based these on historic Chinese combat rockets that are detailed in the Huolongjing. In the

13th century, these weapons were adapted by the Mongol empire – who serve as the main inspiration for the Mardu warriors depicted using these weapons. I based the rules for this weapon on those for ballistae and cannons featured on page 255 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, with an appropriate added explosive effect, and a damage level adequate for fighting dragons.


Ghostfire Blade
Magic Weapon (any sword) – Very Rare
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

You also gain an additional +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this weapon against creatures immune to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks.

This weapon is invisible, and deals fire damage instead of the weapon’s normal damage type, ignoring resistances. While holding this weapon, you suffer 1d4 fire damage at the start of each of your turns, ignoring resistances. 

A theme I wanted to hit on with this weapon is that it’s something ethereal, so I gave it a damage boost against creatures which are typically ethereal themselves, and allowed it to ignore resistances to its own damage type – I wanted it to feel as though the “ghostfire” is specifically potent against ghost-like creatures, and acts in a way different to conventional fire damage, including damaging the wielder and ignoring fire resistances.


Heart-Piercer Bow
Magic Weapon (shortbow) – Rare
This shortbow made from dragonbone is used by elite riders of the Mardu, and is known for its deadly accuracy. You gain

a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, when you score a critical hit against a living creature with this weapon, that creature must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw at the start of each of its following turns until it succeeds on a save, suffering 1d4 piercing damage on a failed save, or ending this effect on a success.

I wanted to design this weapon as a high-powered shortbow like those used by the Mardu and their historic inspiration, the Mongol empire. The additional effect of 1d4 piercing damage at the start of following rounds is designed to represent a creature being further damaged by a deeply-embedded arrowhead causing internal bleeding, which was inspired by the weapon’s name – the arrowhead sinking deep enough to pierce the heart, or at the very least cause some internal damage.


Lens of Clarity
Wondrous Item – Very Rare
As an action you may look through this large lens of finely polished glass. While looking through the lens, you can see the true form of shapechangers, creatures that have had their appearance altered by magic, creatures transformed by magic, and invisible creatures within 100 feet. 

I really like the flavour of this item as a useful, but impractically large item, which can be really useful in combat but won’t allow the user to make too much use of it before in their turn other than identifying their foe. Outside of combat, it’s both very useful and very conspicuous – if the player characters use it to identify an invisible or disguised character and the character spots the PCs using the lens before the PCs spot them, they’re going to bolt before the PCs can act. It serves as an item that has great advantages, but must be used tactically to get the best benefits.


Vial of Dragonfire

Wondrous Item – Uncommon
This vial contains swirling dragon’s breath, which explodes violently when shattered. As an action, you may throw it up to 20 feet, the vial exploding on impact. Make a ranged attack against a target, treating the vial of dragonfire as an improvised weapon. When the vial explodes, creatures within 15 feet of the vial must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, suffering 3d8 damage on a failed save or half as much on a success. The damage type of this item corresponds to the breath weapon damage of the type dragon who helped create it. For example, a vial of dragonfire containing the breath of a red dragon would deal fire damage

when it is shattered

, whereas a vial containing the breath of a black dragon would deal acid damage when it is shattered.

 I based this item partially on other destructible thrown items like the flasks of holy water or oil, but with the heightened damage from the explosion when it shatters. I originally only designed it to deal fire damage, but felt it’d be a fun expansion on the existing flavour to allow damage types based on it being created with the breath of different types of dragon.

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