You might think that the judges, having adjudicated the King of the Monsters contest not once but twice, would find mere artifacts easier to weigh in the balance for nominations. You would be wrong—the judges had some difficulty even sorting out what makes an artifact, er, artifact-y.
Put another way, all three judges had firm convictions and opinions informed by a deep understanding of what was Really and Truly Meant by the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide of Yore, and yet only one of our ten nominees got a triple approval. But you know what? That’s okay. One judge went for story value in a campaign, one went for magic a step beyond typical magic items, and one went for the traditional, conservative understanding of artifacty-ness.
Pathfinder RPG, 4th Edition D&D, and the AGE System were all represented by entries from the field, and that didn’t make it easier, but it did make comparisons entertaining.
The nominees will be posted twice daily here on the KQ blog in alphabetical order by artifact name. At the end of that time, the Excellent Miranda (organizer of this shindig, because Heaven knows the judges couldn’t have done it) will post a poll for you, dear readers, to choose the one, true Relic of Power—and that item will appear in print in Kobold Quarterly #19 later this year.
Thank you to everyone who entered! We had a grand time considering and consulting, and I hope everyone enjoys reading the UNEDITED artifacts, exactly as they were presented to the judges. The only change is that now the name of the designer is attached to the relic.