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Folk Magic: Items of Everyday Wonder

Folk Magic: Items of Everyday Wonder

In a world suffused with magic, what kind of magic do the “common folk” use in their day-to-day lives? What so-called hedge magic is used by the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker—all to make their lives a little more manageable, productive, and safe?

Balefire Balm

Potion, common

This salve is used by dwarven smiths and others that work around large, intense fires and forges. The salve comes in four doses per vial. When one dose is spread on one part of the body (choice of arms, legs, torso, or head; requiring an action or 1 round if wearing heavy armor), that section of the body become immune to fire and burn damage, and the character gains advantage on all saving throws against fire damage for 1 hour. When all four doses are applied over the entire body (taking 4 rounds or twice as long if wearing heavy armor), the character gains resistance to fire for 1 hour.

Charmed Hat

Wondrous item, common (requires attunement)

This tall, furred hat set with a silver pin is often worn by merchants to aid in negotiations. While worn, the wearer gains a +1 bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma ability checks and saving throws.

Dowsing Rod

Wondrous item, common

This common magic item of halfling design does not require attunement and holds up to three charges. All that is required to activate it is to gently rub the wood of this forked yew rod. When activated, the rod tugs in the direction of the nearest and largest source of potable water. Using this item in combination with a Survival check provides advantage when foraging. The rod regains one charge every dawn. If the final charge is used, the rod crumbles into dust.

Fanning Feather

Wondrous item, common

Often used by nobles prior to balls and receptions, when this grey-white feather is waved in the four corners of any room, it creates a gentle cooling (or warming, as needed) breeze that keeps the room at a comfortable temperature for 4 hours. If a spell is cast in the room that does fire or cold damage, the damage is reduced by 1 per damage die, and the effects of the feather are immediately dispelled.

Gloves of the Charlatan

Wondrous item, common

Used by street magicians, con artists, and other rogues, these gloves are invisible while worn, and you gain advantage on all Sleight of Hand checks.

Gloves of the Mountebank

Wondrous item, common

Used by burglars and “second-story” types, you gain advantage on all Climbing checks while worn.

Glowworm Jar

Potion, common

This magical goo is made from the larvae of volcanic fireflies, and when the lid on the glass vial is opened and the paste exposed to air, it sheds a dim light in a 10-foot radius for 10 minutes.

Guardian Hound

Wondrous item, common

When this small wooden carving of a canine is placed in a doorway or other portal, or on the floor, it is activated. If a Small or larger creature (other than the one that placed the carving) passes through the doorway or within 10 feet of the figurine, a spectral hound appears and barks loudly for 1 round, alerting anyone within hearing (+5 to Perception DC for each 10 feet away and for impeding closed doorways). Once the hound appears, or if the carving is damaged from a distance, the figurine becomes non-magical and crumbles to ash.

Helm of Alertness

Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)

This enchanted metal helm, typical of those worn by most city guards, is normally worn by a patrol leader or watch sergeant. The helm removes one level of exhaustion every 8 hours (if needed). The helm also gives +5 bonus to Perception checks against any creature within 100 feet that has hostile intent toward the wearer.

Scabbard of Sharpness

Wondrous item, uncommon

This black-leather scabbard is set with silver wire and semi-precious stones. If your non-magical blade has resided in the scabbard for the duration of one long rest, the first time you draw it and attack with it, you gain a +1 to attack and +1 to damage on that attack only. After the blade has had another “long rest” in the scabbard, the magical bonus is recharged.

Snake Oil of Lesser Healing

Potion, common

When imbibed, this translucent green potion grants 1d4 points of healing 50% of the time (roll 11 or higher on a d20 when consumed). If a one is rolled, the drinker takes 1 damage.

Stone of Mending

Wondrous item, common

This small green stone has a rune carved into its underside. When rubbed across a non-magical object or material, it repairs up to a 3-inch break as if the break, rend, or tear never happened. Note that it only repairs that which is broken and cannot join or glue two separate objects together. The stone holds up to three charges. It regains one each dawn. If the final charge is used, the rune fades, and the stone crumbles to dust.

Vigilant Cashbox

Wondrous item, common (requires attunement)

When this normal-looking metal cashbox is opened by any means (whether key, lockpicks, or brute force) by anyone other than the attuned owner, the sound of a hand bell rings loudly for 1 round, alerting anyone within hearing (+5 to Perception DC for each 10 feet away and for impeding closed doorways).

7 thoughts on “Folk Magic: Items of Everyday Wonder”

  1. The scabbard should not require attunement. The magical bonus only lasts for 1 attack, whether that attack hits or not, and takes 8 hours to recharge.

    I think either remove the attunement or make the charge last for 1 minute after being removed from the scabbard.

  2. These are wonderful. The one modification I would suggest would be for the divining rod to have a halfling connection, rather than dwarves or elves. It just seems like the kind of “folksy,” sensible item a halfling would come up with. Kudos!

  3. The Charmed Hat in its current form is stupidly overpowered when you compare it to the Luckstone. More common rarity and no attunement required.
    Way too powerful for a common item to have a +1 to all saves and a bonus to several other checks.

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