Friday, April 27, 2018

Failed Magic Items: Dungeon Master's Guide Part 1 (A)

Gadgets and gizmos aplenty! These whozits might be your doom!

Greetings one and all! Guest Dungeon Master Will here again with a non-Monday Recap article and the next-step in my nefarious plan to eventually overthrow Jon for control of this blog...

...I mean, a new game mechanic. Stupid auto-correct.

If you are reading this, it's very possible that you are familiar with Jon's exhaustive journey into creating loot tables for literally every creature and monster in D&D canon (at time of writing, "Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes" has not yet been released). In conjunction with this loot system will eventually come a crafting system for use in future games, where players can create and craft their own gear and magic items from the vile (or not) creatures they slay!

But...let's face it, not all would-be artificers are cut from the same cloth. Some don't read instructions. Some forget to "carry the one". And still others decide to undertake the arduous task of creating wondrous items while under the influence of one-too-many flagons of Dwarven hooch. As such, the machinations of these misguided melders of magic might not exactly measure up to their magnificent counterparts (alliteration!).

Enter Failed Magic Items. As with many crafting systems in other games, there always exists a possibility that it won't exactly go according to plan. So it will be my task over twenty-one weeks to comb through the DMG, and in alphabetical order come up with the "failed" version of each magic item. Some of these are just straight up terrible with no redeeming qualities, others could be possibly be put to some beneficial use with the proper amount of creativity. But that's for the player to decide!

Note: I will be leaving out items in the DMG that already have the "cursed" property (i.e. the Armor of Vulnerability) as it's kind of unnecessary to make a worse version of an already bad item.

Future articles will be linked here!
I - L
N - O
Q - R
T - V

Without further adieu, let's begin with the letter "A".


Adamantine Armor (Brittle)
Armor (medium or heavy, but not hide), uncommon

This suit of armor is reinforced with adamantine, one of the hardest substances in existence. Unfortunately, it was not tempered properly (or at all) and has become incredibly brittle. While you’re wearing it, any critical hit against you becomes a normal hit. However, the armor then begins to crack and it suffers a -1 penalty to its AC. Each successive hit after that further reduces the armor's AC by -1 until it reaches AC 10, it then shatters and falls off.

Ammunition -1, -2, -3
Weapon (any ammunition), uncommon (-1), rare (-2), or very rare (-3)

You have a penalty to attack and damage rolls made with this poorly made piece of somehow-still-magic ammunition. The penalty is determined by the rarity of the ammunition. Once it hits a target, the ammunition is no longer magical but still retains its penalty.

Amulet of Enfeeblement
"Wondrous" item, rare (requires attunement)

Your Constitution Score is 9 while you wear this amulet. It has no effect on you if your Constitution is already 9 or lower.

Amulet of Immediate Detection and Regret
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

While wearing this amulet, your thoughts, motivations, and secret desires are loudly and telepathically broadcast to everyone in a 20 foot radius centered on you. You cannot be targeted by Divination magic because honestly there is no longer a need for it.

Amulet of the Plains
"Wondrous" item, very rare (requires attunement)

While wearing this amulet, you can use an action teleport to the nearest terrain that is classified as a "plain" or grassland. You reappear in your exact location if you are currently occupying a plain.

Annoying Shield
Armor (shield), very rare (requires attunement)

While holding this shield, you can speak its command word as a bonus action to cause it to animate. The shield reluctantly leaps into the air and hovers in your space to protect you as if you were wielding it, leaving your hands free. The shield remains animated for 1 minute, but it also spends that time incessantly complaining about being attacked and admonishes you for putting it in that position. After the minute has passed, the shield throws itself to the ground and continues its loud lamentations. You must pass a DC 12 Persuasion check to calm the shield or it continues to complain for an additional 10 minutes. You can then attempt the check again at the end of this time.

Apparatus of Crabastrophic Failure
"Wondrous" item, very rare

This item first appears to be a Large iron barrel weighing 500 pounds. The barrel has a poorly hidden catch, which can be found with a successful DC 10 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Releasing the catch unlocks a hatch at one end of the barrel, allowing two Medium or smaller creatures to crawl inside. A single lever in a neutral position is located inside, able to move either up or down. When the lever is used, the apparatus transforms to resemble a rickety giant crab.

The Apparatus of Crabastrophic Failure is a Large object with the following statistics:
Armor Class: 12
Hit Points: 75
Speed: 15 ft., swim 5 ft.
Damage Immunities: Poison, Psychic

To be used as a vehicle, the apparatus requires one pilot. The apparatus’s compartment is neither airtight nor watertight as there are several structural defects and breaches in its hull.

The apparatus initially floats on water, but immediately starts sinking. It sinks at a rate of 5 feet per minute. A creature in the compartment can spend each minute bailing water out of the apparatus to prevent it from sinking. Upon sinking a total of 20 feet, it begins to sink at 10 feet per minute and bailing water out will no longer have any effect.

A creature in the compartment can use an action to move the lever up or down. After each use, the lever goes back to its neutral position. Due to poor construction and faulty energy transference, the lever produces a random effect on the Crabastrophic Failure table regardless of which direction it was moved.

Crabastrophic Failure (1d20)
  1. The apparatus takes the Dash action in a random direction, any creature in the way must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 2d8 Bludgeoning damage.
  2. The side window shutters open and close wildly and randomly.
  3. Loud music of indeterminate origin begins to play. If the loud music is already playing, it stops.
  4. The apparatus walks forward 5 feet, and then backwards 10 feet. If it is in liquid, it swims forward 5 feet.
  5. The apparatus turns 90 degrees right.
  6. Two claws extend from the front sides of the apparatus, the left one falls off.
  7. The apparatus's legs retract, reducing its speed to 0. If the legs are already retracted, they extend and restore movement.
  8. The apparatus walks or swims backward.
  9. Eye-like fixtures emit bright light in a 30 foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet, then begin turning on and off at regular intervals. If the eye-like fixtures are already activated, they deactivate.
  10. A small spark of lightning arcs through the interior compartment dealing 1d8 Lightning damage to any creature inside.
  11. Nothing happens
  12. The apparatus walks or swims forward.
  13. The apparatus leaps 10 feet in air and then lands, dealing 1d6 Bludgeoning damage to itself.
  14. The rear hatch opens. If it is already open, it closes instead.
  15. The apparatus turns 90 degrees left.
  16. A cloud of fog emits from the apparatus. This acts as a Fog Cloud spell for the purposes of obscuring a creature's vision but is not magical in nature.
  17. Any extended claw propels itself out of its socket, rocketing forward in a 30 foot line. Any creature in this line must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 2d6 Bludgeoning damage. If no claws are extended, nothing happens.
  18. Any creature in the apparatus's interior compartment is jettisoned out of the rear hatch, taking 1d8 Bludgeoning damage in the process.
  19. The apparatus spins 360 degrees in place.
  20. The apparatus explodes, destroying itself and dealing 4d6 fire damage to all creatures and objects in a 5 foot radius.
Armor -1, -2, -3
Armor (light, medium, or heavy), rare (-1), very rare (-2), or legendary (-3)

This shoddy armor gives you a penalty to AC while wearing it. The penalty is determined by its rarity.

Armor of Intangibility
Armor (plate), legendary (requires attunement)

You can use an action to gain immunity to all damage for 10 minutes. This is accomplished by making you and the armor dissociate from the Plane of Existence you are currently occupying. While in this state, you cannot be damaged in any way. However, you also cannot inflict damage of any kind on anything else. Additionally, you appear transparent and cannot verbally communicate with anyone around you. Once this special action is used, it cannot be used again until the next dawn.

Armor of Weakness
Armor (light, medium, or heavy), rare

You have vulnerability to one type of damage while you wear this armor. The DM chooses the type or determines it randomly from the options below.

Damage Type (1d10)
  1. Acid
  2. Cold
  3. Fire
  4. Force
  5. Lightning
  6. Necrotic
  7. Poison
  8. Psychic
  9. Radiant
  10. Thunder
Arrow-Attracting Shield
Armor (shield), rare (requires attunement)

While holding this shield, a 15 foot sphere of magical energy surrounds you. This magical energy pulls all ranged attacks that enter it toward you, making you the target instead of the creature it was originally intended for.

Arrow of Staying
Weapon (arrow), rare

Upon firing this arrow, it travels 5 feet and then stops in place. It then acts as an Immovable Rod that deactivates itself after 24 hours.


Thanks for reading, see you next time with all of the "B" items!

No comments:

Post a Comment