New Magic Items for D&D

Dungeons & Dragons has a long history of providing magic items to greedy players. These magic items range from extra-sharp swords to ring of invisibility to fireball-shooting wands. Even more exotic item are not uncommon, items such as super-loud kettle drums and rings that give magically wonderful swimming abilities.

Here is a collection of eight new magic items you may wish to include in your campaign. Players always love to get new magic items, so these will make them enjoy your campaign all the more. These new items will go over especially well if your players have the mindset of adolescent boys.

Note: I stopped playing D&D when the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide were current technology. Game mechanics may have advanced (or at least changed) since then, but the magic items described below are put in terms of the mechanics I grew up with.

Cloak of Adult Responsibility

My father is reading Jack Whyte's "Uther". There's an interesting line on the back cover:

  "From the trials of boyhood to the new cloak of adult responsibility, we see Uther with new eyes."

That really sounds like a D&D magic item. I can see the campaign now:

  DM: "You've killed the evil wizard. Looting his treasure chest, you find 300 gold pieces, a wand, and a cloak of deepest black."  
  Fighter Bob: "I grab the 300 gold pieces."  
  Wizard George: "I grab the wand."  
  Thief Tammy: "I grab the cloak. Because, um, I'm cold. That's it, I'm cold."  
  DM: "The cloak swirls and attaches itself around you. Try as you might you can't remove it. Looking around, you feel a bit concerned at all the sharp pointy weapons people are holding. You're also a little worried that maybe people haven't eaten a decent meal recently."  
  Thief Tammy: "AAAAGGGHHH!!! The Cloak of Adult Responsibility! Get it off! Get if off!"  
  DM: "The cloak is cursed. It won't come off and you can't cut or burn it."  

Orbs of Uther

Jo and Jenny both said the same thing after reading about the Cloak of Adult Responsibility (originally discussed elsewhere.) They said they thought I was talking about "new eyes" as a magic item. With that interpretation...

  DM: "You've killed the evil wizard. Looting his treasure chest, you find 300 gold pieces, a wand, and two small golden orbs."  
  Fighter Bob: "I grab the 300 gold pieces."  
  Wizard George: "I grab the wand."  
  Thief Tammy: "I grab the two golden orbs."  
  DM: "As you grab for the orbs, they float up in the air, avoiding your hands. They float over in front of Fighter Bob, at about waist level. Suddenly, they whang! into Fighter Bob's codpiece, and through it, embedding themselves in his groinual region. Fighter Bob takes one hit point of damage, but for as long as he's wearing his plate armor, he feels amazingly horny."  
  Fighter Bob: "AAAAGGGHHH!!! The Orbs of Uther! Get 'em off! Get 'em off! I don't want to be humping anything that moves while I'm wearing armor!!!"  
  DM: "The Orbs of Uther can only be removed by a Vorpal Bris Knife.  

(Eyes, orbs, close enough...)

Vorpal Bris-Knife

In D&D, adding the adjective vorpal to any magic item means it is magically sharp, sharper than just about anything else. A vorpal sword has vastly superior cutting ability and the killer rabbit in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" was widely known as a vorpal bunny. A vorpal pillow, if such existed, would be able to cut open a steel safe.

The Vorpal Bris-Knife is an exceedingly sharp knife used for very delicate religious ceremonies. Unfortunately, it cuts through tender flesh so easily that it unfailingly cuts two inches deeper than intended by the wielder. As you can imagine, this has unintended consequences.

  Priest Ari: "So, with my brand new magic holy knife I make this tiny incision."  
  Priest Ari: "Whoops."  
  Priest Ari: Turning to the father, "So, Mr. Johanssen, did I hear right that you wanted another daughter?"  
  Mr. Johanssen: "Curses! Moyeled again!"  

(No, the horrid pun didn't inspire this. It was a, um, happy coincidence.)

Vorpal Pillow

A Vorpal Pillow is an exceedingly sharp pillow, so sharp it can be used to cut open a steel safe. On no account should anyone use a Vorpal Pillow for sleeping. It is also wise to know exactly how to pick up a Vorpal Pillow, at least if you have desire to retain all your fingers.

It is extremely inadvisable to use a Vorpal Pillow when filming the pillow-fight sequence of your "Amazons Gone Wild" home video (filled with beautiful, nubile, chainmail-bikini-clad, muscular, bouncy, squealing, glistening, giggling, taut, tanned, lithe, young--all 18 or older!--warrior women whapping each other, oh so gently, lovingly, and playfully, with downy-soft pillows). Doing so will convert your cheesy, light-hearted, all-in-good-fun, just-barely-soft-porn video into a blood-soaked, entrails-draped snuff flick. Then again, if your average warrior woman was told she'd have to fit the description above, she'd likely separate the film production staff from their highly valued limbs and organs.

  Fighter Bob: "Well, it's about time to bed down for the night. Dibs on this comfy little bed so conveniently placed in this 10x20 dungeon room!"  
  Fighter Bob hops on the bed and stretches out. As his head hits the pillow, there's a quiet shishhh sound. This sound is unheard, due to the grumbling because Fighter Bob is always grabbing the best of everything.

Morning comes and the rest of the party is getting ready to continue the dungeon crawl.

  Wizard George: "Someone wake up Fighter Bob."  
  Fighter Mary: "Hey, Fighter Bob, time to get up." She shakes him and his decapitated head tumbles to the floor. "What the...? Fighter Bob's dead! How'd that happen?"  
  All eyes turn to the assassin.  
  Assassin Fifi: "He cut his own head off. It's such a nice, clean cut. Very nice work. How'd he do that to himself?"  
  Wizard George: "That must be a Vorpal Pillow. Be careful! If you pick it up wrong, you'll cut your eye out. Or cut your hand off."  

Occult Stool -- (furniture version)

My father was recently in the hospital for a few days. When I went to drive him home after his release, I saw this sign on the wall a few doors down from his room. I have no idea what it means, but I was quite taken with a "Stool for Occult Blood". However, I thought that Occult Stools sounded more interesting than Occult Blood. For better or worse, this sign inspired me.

The furniture version of an Occult Stool is an enchanted stool that lets the stool sitter cast a spell embedded in the stool. Each Occult Stool is spell-specific -- it will only cast the spell the stool's creator placed in the stool. An Occult Stool may be used by characters of any class and the stool never runs out of charges.


  DM: Having killed the evil wizard, you look around the room. You see this is a meagrely furnished bedroom -- a futon, a beanbag chair, a reading lamp, and a low stool. The stool looks to be the only thing of value. It is made of black wood, it's intricately carved with magic symbols, as well as bats, cats, snakes, and a crocodile.  
  Wizard George: "I think that's an Occult Stool. They let non-wizards cast spells."  
  Fighter Bob: "Cool! Can I use it?"  
  Wizard George: "The problem is that they are very difficult to control, so you may not be able to properly target the spell. Let me figure out what type of Occult Stool that is." Wizard George starts casting a spell to identify the stool.  
  Fighter Bob: "Cool! I've always wanted to cast spells, but I'm, y'know."  
  Thief Tammy: "Stupid?"  
  Fighter Bob: "A fighter. I'll get you for that." Fighter Bob sits on the Occult Stool and starts waggling his left index finger at Thief Tammy.  
  Wizard George: "That is an Occult Stool of Exsanguination."  
  Fighter Bob: "Zap! I've just exsang-thingied you. What's exsang-thingy mean, anyway?"  
  Wizard George: "Urk." Thump.  
  Thief Tammy: "It means, 'To remove the blood from.' You just killed our wizard, you idiot."  
  Fighter Bob: Glares at Fighter Tammy.  
  Thief Tammy: "Urk." Thump.  

Occult Stool -- (biohazard version)

Occult Monkeys are highly intelligent, magically enhanced howler monkeys. Their magical enhancements take two forms. First, they have deep empathic and telepathic abilities. This allows Occult Monkeys to work easily and intuitively with each other, making them formidable enemies in a fight and formidable opponents in team sports.

Secondly, Occult Monkeys have magical monkey poo. They can, um, produce poo whenever needed and the amount produced has no relation to the amount of food eaten. This ability is bad enough in and of itself. However, Occult Monkeys can activate their magical monkey poo and use it as a weapon. Activation causes one of several effects, depending on the individual Occult Monkey. Some can cause their magical monkey poo to erupt into flame, making for a very powerful flung-fire weapon. Some can cause their magical monkey poo to explode on impact, making for a very explosive grenade weapon. Still others can cause their magical monkey poo to turn into a highly effective fertilizer, which isn't particularly useful as a weapon but is good in the garden.

This magical monkey poo is known as Occult Stool. When activated by an Occult Monkey, but not yet flung, it is remotely possible to gather the Occult Stool and save it for later use. Collected unflung Occult Stool must be handled with extreme caution; it has a 50% chance of exploding if it is roughly handled.

  DM: "With lucky arrow shots by your rangers, there are now three dead Occult Monkeys lying beneath that tree. One of them has a handful of monkey poo, and the poo is glowing a sickly green color."  
  Fighter Bob: "Of course it's green. Monkey poo is always green."  
  DM: "No, the monkey poo is glowing green. It's more of an ochre or beige color.  
  Fighter Bob: "I go over to the monkeys and look at the one with a handful of poo."  
  Wizard George: "Fighter Bob, be careful. They were just throwing that stuff at us and it was exploding."  
  Fighter Bob: "Yeah, yeah. I know what I'm doing."  
  Ranger Ned: "Taking cover."  
  Ranger Red: "Oy! 'em're Occult Monkeys!"  
  Ranger Ted: "Duck 'n cov'ring."  
  Fighter Bob: Props one of the monkeys on his knee like a ventriloquist's dummy. "Hey, look at me, I'm a Cult Monkey. I fling my magic monkey poo at innocent strangers. I wonder what I'll look like with a face full of poo?"

Fighter Bob takes the Occult Monkey's Occult-Stool-filled hand and slaps it hard on the Occult Monkey's cheek.

  DM: (rolling dice...)  
  Dead Occult Monkey: BOOM!  

Club of Health

The Club of Health is a heavy club made of gleaming metal. Depending on your point of view, it is either a cursed weapon or a blessed weapon.

For the Club's possessor, it is a cursed weapon. The owner will seldom, if ever, actually use the Club of Health. The owner will lose a point of Constitution, Strength, and Charisma every month while possessing the Club. These stat losses are not permanent and will be recovered, a point at a time, when the owner is de-cursed of the Club. In addition to the stat adjustments, the owner will lose 10 gold pieces a week for as long as the Club is owned. There is no way to find where these gold pieces go, they just mysteriously vanish. If hit by the Club, the owner will receive 10 hit points of damage that heal in the normal amount of time, 15 points if the owner hits themself with it.

On the other hand, the Club of Health is a wonderful item for those struck by it. The Club does 5 hit points of damage, but it's short-term damage that heals overnight. That temporary hit point loss may seem bad, but those struck by the Club gain a point of Constitution, Strength, and Charisma, for a maximum gain of two points to each stat per month. These are also short-term gains, only lasting three months.

  DM: "You've killed the high priest and his henchmen. While rolling the bodies, you find 20 gold pieces and 51 silver pieces. Nothing else looks to be of much value, but you do notice that the high priest had two clubs. One was a normal heavy wooden club, the other is all metal and looks really, really shiny."  
  Fighter Bob: "I grab the shiny metal club."  
  Priestess Katy: "Hey! I want that! You've already got a good magic sword."  
  Fighter Bob: "Go 'way, girl, you're bothering me." Fighter Bob dismisses her with a wave.  
  Priestess Katy: Planting her feet and putting her hands on her hips, "I said, give me the club."  
  Fighter Bob: "I bop Priestess Katy with the club. But mostly gently."  
  DM: "Okay, you do 5 hit points of damage to her."  
  Priestess Katy: "Ow! That really hurt!"  
  DM: "You all also notice that despite the damage, Priestess Katy is looking rather healthier and stronger than she had been. She's also looking pretty hot, and you all notice how sexy that plate armor looks on her. Priestess Katy, add one to your CON, STR, and CHA."  
  Fighter Bob: "Hey, baby, howzabout a kiss?"  
  Priestess Katy: "You just hit me with a club, injuring me, and you want me to kiss you? Are you stupid or just dumb?"  
  Wizard George: "Say... I think that thing is a Club of Health. Fighter Bob, you're screwed."  
  Fighter Bob: "Huh? What're you talking 'bout?"  
  Wizard George: "You hit someone with that club and you make them stronger and better looking."  
  Fighter Bob: "Really? That sounds useful." Fighter Bob gently taps himself in the arm with the Club of Health.  
  DM: "Fighter Bob takes 15 hit points damage."  
  Fighter Bob: "Ow! That really hurt!"  
  DM: "While watching all this, the rest of you notice that Fighter Bob is starting to look a bit sickly. He also isn't as handsome as normal. Fighter Bob, subtract one from your CON, STR, and CHA."  
  Priestess Katy: "I cast a 'Heal Minor Wounds' spell on myself to restore my lost hit points." Priestess Katy rolls the dice. "I got a 6, so I took care of the damage from that goblin, too."  
  DM: "Okay, done."  
  Fighter Bob: "Why didn't that club increase my stats? I hit myself again."  
  DM: "You take another 15 points of damage, and you look like you're about to collapse. Not to mention that now only a troll would kiss you. Subtract another point from your CON, STR, and CHA."  
  Fighter Bob: "Priestess Katy, can you heal me up too?"  
  Priestess Katy: "Oh, Fighter Bob, you have such a good sense of humor!"  
  Priestess Katy: "No."  
  Fighter Bob: "What's wrong with this thing? I'm gonna hit myself..."  
  DM: "Before you do anything else Fighter Bob, how many hit points do you have left?"  
  Fighter Bob: "Umm... 9 hit points."  
  DM: "Okay. You've hit yourself with that club twice. Each time, you lost 15 hit points and some of your stats were reduced. Think about that before you..."  
  Fighter Bob: "I give myself another tap with the club."  
  DM: "...take another 15 hit points of damage."  
  Fighter Bob: "But that gives me... -6 hit points."  
  DM: "Hey, good job with the math! If you weren't dead, I'd tell you to add a point to you INT."  
  Fighter Bob's Player: "Dang."  

(Yes, I know that Charisma doesn't necessarily deal with attractiveness. Try explaining that to the hordes of players who used that interpretation exclusively.)

Knife of Cheese Cutting

The Knife of Cheese Cutting is a short, very sharp knife, with very nice workmanship. While it looks like an unsharpened knife without a stabbing point, it adds +2 on to hit rolls and +1 to damage. When used, however, it gives its wielder a body smell that has an effect equivalent to a half-strength Stinking Cloud spell.

  DM: "You've killed the herd of hobbits. Looting the bodies, you find 80 silver pieces, several very nice bows, a bunch of high-quality hobbit-sized swords, and a dull knife that has no point. The knife is packed up with a big lump of cheese sitting on a cheeseboard."  
  Fighter Bob: "I grab the silver pieces and start to look over the weapons."  
  Thief Tammy: In an aside to the DM, "While Fighter Bob is occupied with the weapons, I pick his pockets of the silver and replace it with 85 copper pieces." Thief Tammy rolls dice to see if she succeeded at the coin switch.  
  DM: Consults charts, "Okay, Fighter Bob didn't notice."  
  Fighter Bob: "I pick up the weird little knife and swish it around in front of me."  
  DM: "It does what you'd expect from a knife."  
  Ranger Ned: "Looks like..."  
  Ranger Red: "...a knife for..."  
  Ranger Ted: "...cutting cheese."  
  Thief Tammy: "Pfft. Knives just for cutting cheese? Next thing I know you'll be trying to tell me there's a fork just for eating fish."  
  Fighter Bob: "What's a fork?"  
  Ranger Ned: Pointing to the hobbits' cheese, "Here's cheese..."  
  Ranger Red: "...nice mild cheddar..."  
  Ranger Ted: "...cut some pieces."  
  All Rangers: "Fairly."  
  Fighter Bob: "That sounds good. Killing hobbits always makes me a bit peckish."  
  DM: "Fighter Bob starts slicing the cheese into pieces. You're all surprised by how fairly he divides it and by how deep the cuts go. In fact, with every slice, the knife cuts deeply into the cheeseboard."  
  Wizard George: "That doesn't look normal. A dull knife like that shouldn't be cutting so deeply into the cheeseboard. Let me see if it's magic." Wizard George casts a magic identification spell.  
  DM: "While Wizard George is casting his spell, Fighter Bob finished dividing the cheese. When he stands up to pass out the cheese chunks, a deafening sound of flatulence is heard and everyone is overwhelmed by a horrible smell emanating from Fighter Bob. Everyone except Fighter Bob must make a saving throw or you'll be puking for the next two rounds."  
  Thief Tammy: "Oh, man! Fighter Bob, what have you been eating?"  
  Fighter Mary: "That is revolting! You're gonna have to replace your butt armor."  
  Fighter Bob: "That wasn't me! I don't know where that came from."  
  Fighter Ned: Gagging, "It"  
  Fighter Red: Choking, "Was"  
  Fighter Ted: Heaving, "You."  
  Wizard George: "That is a Knife of Cheese Cutting. It gives +2/+1, but it causes battle-strength farts whenever it's used."  
  Fighter Bob: "Bugger that, the hobbits can have their stupid knife." Fighter Bob sticks the knife into one of the hobbits and leaves it there.  
  DM: "Not only can't you let go of the knife, but you also create another stinking cloud that would do a cow proud.  
  DM: "Sorry Fighter Bob, the knife is cursed and you can't get rid of it. It's now your primary weapon. Everyone roll saving throws again. When the cloud dissipates, you notice you're all starting to smell just a little like Fighter Bob's stinking cloud."  

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Text and photo copyright 2008 by Wayne Morrison, all rights reserved.

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