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Prepared!: Not-Quite-Right Magical Treasures

Prepared!: Not-Quite-Right Magical Treasures

The Love Potion - Evelyn De MorganFor every successfully enchanted sword, there are a score of sputtering failures. A ring of great power must have several nearly mundane cousins—more suited to a smelter than a wizard’s finger. Sometimes your party’s actions deserve a reward that is heavy in flavor but light in power. Today, Prepared! brings you two items from the catalog of not-quite-right magical treasures.

The Weeping Handkerchief

Opening a small hardened leather case, you discover a single light blue square of silk cloth. Folded carefully to display the emblem of its former owner, the cloth appears to be slightly damp. Unfolding the square makes it apparent that the cloth is cut in the shape of a handkerchief. The cause of the handkerchief’s continued dampness is not obvious.

After suffering a series of tremendous losses, a wealthy baron grew tired of drying his tears with damp handkerchiefs. The baron commissioned the renowned Jastrix the Attemptor to create an enchanted cloth that could absorb the baron’s many sorrows. The enchanter made several unsuccessful attempts before being removed from the baron’s court. The weeping handkerchief is one of Jastrix’s failures. Rather than being eternally dry and absorbent, the small square of fine silk is forever wet. Just shy of dripping, the object cannot be dried by any mundane means. It produces approximately four cups of potable water a day, which can be squeezed from it with a successful DC 10 Dexterity-based skill or ability roll. Successful DC 10 Intelligence-based skill or ability rolls reveal the nature of the magic. The moisture from the object does not transfer to other surfaces, and so it can be stored without fear of soaking other items.

Goblin Listening Device

You hold between your fingers a wicked thorn with a trace of dried blood on its point. As you investigate the strange barb, you hear an unending, cacophonous tune playing faintly.

Nixrub the horn blaster was famous among goblin-kind for his inspiring musical compositions. It was proven at the battle of two ponds that goblins who listened to Nixrub’s piece entitled Fish and Cats and Screams were less likely to flee combat. Goblin leaders at the time agreed that each goblin warrior required access to the song, and so they set their wizards to the task of recording and distributing the musical masterpiece. In the end, Fugsten the Repugnant created the goblin listening device. A hardened thorn was enchanted to record the song and play it repeatedly at low volume. The thorn could be driven into the flesh near a goblin’s ear, and thereby rally the warrior constantly. Unfortunately for the goblins, the thorn caused a number of fatal infections and numerous cases of permanent madness, so the production and use of the device declined. Holding the thorn to the ear and listening to the entire composition imbues the listener with a one-time boost of courage; the listener receives a +1 to all saving throws against illusion-based magic for one day.

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2 thoughts on “Prepared!: Not-Quite-Right Magical Treasures”

  1. These two are great items!

    The weeping handkerchief, at first glance, seems like a useless item. However, I’ve been in plenty of games where needing water was a serious matter, so I actually think this item is a good one. I can think of plenty of uses for it. Needing to make a check to use it is sort of silly, but not too taxing. A great option if you’re too poor to afford a ring of sustenance, or you’re already using two rings.

    The goblin listening device is also a good item, in my opinion. Why? Illusion spells tend to be a big pain in the neck, and are often used to facilitate ambushes or disguise traps. So having an extra bonus on saving throws against illusion magic is never a bad thing. The fact that it lasts an ENTIRE day is amazing! Plus, you don’t need to constantly wear it and have it taking up a magic item slot. The only down side is that, if I’m reading it right, you can only use it once (it says it’s “a one-time boost”).

    Question, can you only use an individual goblin listening device once, period? Does it lose its magic once a person uses it, or can you give it to someone else to use? Or is it a 1/day use item? The way it’s worded is pretty ambiguous.

  2. My intention with the goblin items, and with all the not quite right magical items pieces is to provide something fun and flavourful but pretty limited in power. The one-time boost is precisely that; goblin music is not extremely powerful.

    Adapting it to 5E rules, you could easily boost it a bit by requiring attunement and altering its effects to provide Advantage on saves against illusion effects or spell save rolls. There would have to be a trade-off though. The music plays CONSTANTLY, and the goblins stopped using them for a reason.

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