Hair-Strung Koto (Art by Rebecca Guay)
Wondrous Item – Very Rare (requires attunement by a Bard)
This cursed koto carries a haunting tenseness to every tune it is used to play, transfixing the musician and their audience as the musician slowly cuts away their fingers on its razor-sharp strings. You can use an action to begin playing a tune on this instrument. When you do so, all creatures within 50 feet of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your bard spell save DC or become entranced by the tune of the koto. A creature entranced by the koto is charmed until the start of your next turn. A charmed creature is incapacitated, has a speed of zero, and must spend its turn slowly swaying to the tune of the koto.
Curse. Once you become attuned to this item, you cannot become unattuned unless you are targeted by the remove curse spell or similar magic. While affected by the curse, you feel compelled to carry the koto with you at all times. When you play this instrument as an action, you suffer 1d4 slashing damage from the blade-like strings cutting your fingers, and must make a Wisdom saving throw against your bard spell save DC. On a failed save, you must spend your action on your next turn playing this instrument.
Pithing Needle (Art by
Wondrous Item – Rare
This delicate instrument can completely paralyse an individual, when applied at an the exact point at the nape of their neck. The pithing needle can be applied to a restrained, incapacitated or willing creature. If the creature is unwilling and conscious, applying the pithing needle requires a DC 20 Dexterity check. Applying the needle to a willing or unconscious creature requires a DC 15 Dexterity check to apply the needle in the correct location. If the needle is successfully applied, the creature it has been applied to becomes paralysed until the needle is removed. If the creature has natural armor, the DC for every check to apply the needle is increased by 1 point for each point that creature’s natural armor AC is above 10.
Sensei’s Divining Top (Art by Michael Sutfin)
Wondrous Item – Legendary (requires attunement)
Portents revealed by this delicately carved spinning top allow the user to prepare for what may come in the near future, giving them a glance of how they may succeed or fail. Once per day, you can spin this top as an action. When you spin this top, roll 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12 and 1d20. Choose one of the results rolled with one die.
When you would roll a die of the same type as the chosen die, before rolling, you can choose to substitute in the result of the die your rolled with Sensei’s Divining Top. You lose this benefit after eight hours, or after using it.
Umezawa’s Jitte (Art by
Magic Weapon (Dagger) – Legendary (requires attunement)
This visually unassuming sharpened jitte is imbued with incredible power. When you damage a creature with this weapon, it gains two charges. Charges can be expended as an action or a bonus action for the following effects:
-You gain +2 to your attack and damage rolls on the next attack you make using this weapon.
-A creature that you hit with your most recent attack with this weapon suffers -1 to its attack rolls and -1 to its AC for one round.
-You gain 1d4 life.
If this item gains more than 10 charges, roll 1d20 each time it gains an additional charge. On the roll of a 1, the jitte becomes unable to hold all the power of its charges, and loses all charges, and cannot gain charges until you finish a long rest.
The items I chose for this post are some of the most iconic artifact cards from Kamigawa that still see play, as well as Hair-Strung Koto, which is one of my all-time favourite artifact cards, that I’ve wanted to design as a cursed magic item for ages. The flavour to it is just so creepy!
You can find all of my Kamigawa content here!