Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Four D&D Magic Items I Handed Out Every Game

. . . well, not necessarily every game, but certainly close to every game if they weren't every game. The other day was my top four items I never handed out, and why. Today, four I handed out more often than their power level or utility might indicate. I'm sure +1 weapons outnumbered these, but still, from the standpoint of interesting stuff, these came up a lot:

Nolzur's Wondrous Pigments - these show up in one of the Giants series modules, and I ran them more than once, so my AD&D groups kept finding them but then not using them. My friend Steve's M-U Presto had a bunch for a while but never used them up. I put a version of them into my Rolemaster game, and I put some in my last GURPS game, too. No one ever used them that I can recall except for something minor in my most recent completed GURPS campaign.

Figurines of Wondrous Power. I can't remember a game where these or something like these wasn't around, not in my adult gaming life. AD&D, Rolemaster, and GURPS - all had them show up. Mostly people wanted figurines that turned into combatants, but especially in GURPS the utility type ones had more actual usefulness.

No one should be surprised if they appear again.

Horns of Valhalla - I know for a fact one of my players had one of these in two different AD&D games of mine and one GURPS game. He wasn't the only one with one. Mostly Iron horns, but one Silver horn came up once, too.

Rings of Water Walking - Geez, too many to count! We often had multiples of those in parties in every game. Modules seemed full of them, and they came up a lot in my own placements and random rolling, too. D&D, AD&D, Rolemaster, GURPS - these were everywhere. If you count Horseshoes of the Zephyr, well, add two more to that. They were used often, too, to ride out over water! My DF game is probably the only one so far where it hasn't made an appearance. But it's not like all of my games needed people running around on the water. But the rings just kept on coming . . .

An honorable mention should go to the Ring of the Ram, which showed up in my AD&D game and then in my 1st edition GURPS game, too. Folding Boats, too - many of them have appeared in my games, and will again. But not all of them. The ones above - every game. Every single game for all of them. I'll probably break that streak with this game, my DF game, but you never know . . .

What items came up every game in your games?


  1. I can think of at least one situation where a ring or two of water walking would have been extremely helpful. Or even a folding boat.

    But what I really want is figurines of wondrous power! Says the guy who has only made it to play twice, haha. At least Galoob got a cameo last time.

  2. My players used some Nolzur's Pigments to great effect in my present campaign - once to make a boat they very desperately wanted, and once to paint a corridor around something blocking a passage they needed to access repeatedly. These are my favorite kind of magic items - you never know what the players will do with them.

    1. That's why I keep handing them out! I keep hoping for the awesome moment, but it's always shunted aside as not quite good enough for the purpose or too good for the purpose.

      I love those - it's like being given Wile E. Coyote's paint set but the Roadrunner's ability to take advantage of it.

  3. Most of the DMs I played with either handed out Packs of Holding at character generation or simply never asked us to track encumbrance/inventory space. This inspired me to make that a divinely-justified campaign switch for my DF world.

    Sometimes the DM would give everyone a second magic item as a freebie, like a Coat of Many Pockets or whatever, to each character depending on what seemed appropriate. That one varied a lot more by campaign.


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