Articles By Author - Davide Quatrini

Of Magic & Monsters: Variant Goblins from English Poetry

Variant Goblins from English Poetry The sister of the renowned pre-raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Georgina (1830-1894) was a feminist poet involved in the pre-romantic English literary movement. In her most famous poem, “Goblin Market,” she describes a band of goblins characterized by beastly features. 5E stats are provided for those unusual monsters, aimed at GMs who want to give a fresh spin to a...

Dunsany & Dragons: Adventures from English Literature

Adventures from English Literature Lord Dunsany’s (1878–1957) works have been cited as sources of inspiration for the most famous fantasy roleplaying game since its first edition in the late 70s. His short tales, in particular, are really “fantasy” in the modern sense: most of them follow the “hero’s journey” model, involving young brave adventurers involved in situations dealing with magic swords, monsters, spells, and...

Dante’s Demonology: Pluto, the Accursed Wolf

Pluto, the accursed wolf Warlock characters with fiends as otherwordly patrons are perhaps the most common among their peers. Archdevils and great demons are as numerous as the sins of mankind, and the first part of the Divine Comedy, which describes hell in great detail, presents many of them, including Charon, Minos, Flegiàs and others. In the following, Pluto, the guardian of the Avaricious and the Prodigal, is described, together with the...

Dante’s Angeology: Aasimar Guides

Aasimar Guides If you’re patient and lucky, you my someday bear witness to celestial guides. Pure and wise, they assist characters of aasimar lineage in a hidden crusade against evil. Though their guidance is always an indirect one, based on dreams and visions, they nevertheless assume a very important role in aasimar life. Two such guides are described by Dante Alighieri in Paradiso, the third part of his masterwork Divine Comedy. Note:...

Spenser & Sword: Mythical Items from Literature

Spenser & Sword Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is one of the most important epic poems of the English language. Formed by six books of rhymed verses, it narrates the allegorical adventures of a group of knights embodying fundamental virtues like justice, temperance and so on. Like many other old poetic works depicting warriors and battles, it inspired and influenced fantasy writers and artists as well. The protagonists of The Faerie...

Magic & Munchausen: Mythical Items from Classical Literature

Magic & Munchausen The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe (1736-1794) is one of the most widely known examples of proto-fantasy. In the book, which narrates the astounding and weird deeds of the fictional German adventurer, we can find a lot of elements familiar to tabletop RPG players, including monsters, space travels, fantastic places, and, yes, magic weapons. Stats for two of them are provided below. The...

Dungeons & Decameron: Magic Items from Classical Literature

Dungeons & Decameron Storytelling games are as ancient as humankind. In his most-known book, The Decameron, the medieval Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) narrates how a group of young people manage to exorcise the fear of the Black Death spreading in Florence through the art of narrating stories. Many of them contain fantastic elements—even magic items are cited… The Heliotrope Wondrous item, very rare (requires...

Objects of Odyssey: Magic Items from Classical Literature

The Odyssey, an epic poem written thousands of years ago by Homer, is one of the first examples of fantasy literature, complete with the mythic-but-human hero Odysseus and the classic monsters of the harpy and cyclops. And of course, magic items. Two of these are particularly important in the narrative: the bowl and wand belonging to Circe the Witch. Here, we detail them for 5th Edition. Circe’s Bowl Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement by...

Milton & Magic: Mythical Items from English Literature

  In his tragic closet drama Samson Agonistes, John Milton, renowned author of Paradise Lost, narrates the sorrowful life of Samson, the archetypal barbarian of the ancient tradition. Some mythical items are described in that text. Here we detail them with 5E stats. The Sword of Bone Weapon (greatclub), rare (requires attunement by a barbarian with a Strength score of 20 or greater) “Then with what trivial weapon came to hand, The...

Objects of Hell: Items from Dante’s Inferno

Dante Alighieri cited various magic items in his masterwork opera Divine Comedy. As already done for otherworldly swords, 5E stats are presented for two potent items appearing in the first part of the epic poem Inferno. The Rod of the Heavenly Messenger  Rod, rare (requires attunement by a good-aligned cleric or paladin) “Well I perceived that he was sent from Heaven, and I turned me to the Master, and he made sign that I should stand...

Swords of Hell: Items from Dante’s Inferno

Dante Alighieri cited various magic items in his masterwork opera Divine Comedy. In this article, 5E stats for two powerful swords appearing in the first part of the epic poem, Inferno, are provided. The Sword of Homer Weapon (shortsword), very rare (requires attunement by a character with a Charisma score equal to or greater than 12) “The good Master began to say, ‘Look at him with that sword in hand who cometh before the three,...

Ishard: A Fifth Edition Item

Weapon (spear), legendary (requires attunement by an elf or half-elf of lawful good alignment) A long time ago, Keretlir the Beauty, the Supreme Queen of the High Elves, sacrificed her life in battle against Sshtlinar, the ancient white dragon who invaded her forest kingdom. The high priest could not revive his sovereign because of a horrible curse bestowed on her by the dying monster, but nonetheless he instilled her deep love for the subjects...

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