Magic is the lifeblood of fantasy. Arguably the dividing line between fantasy and other types of fiction, magic can be strange, mysterious, frightening, comical, or anything in between. And if you’re looking to explore the applications of magic in a fantasy roleplaying campaign, you want to visit the Sorcery Stop!

Playing fantasy RPGs, we tend to simply accept as given many minor magical effects that to a commoner would seem truly incredible. Considering that even a cantrip is well beyond the capability of most people, many items heroes take for granted or simply discard, such as a ring of sustenance, a periapt of health, or even a bag of beans would seem downright miraculous to commoners.

Of course, such items are likely beyond the skill of most hedge wizards and shamans to create, but that isn’t to say such folk can’t create simpler, more practical items. Below is a collection of flavorful, useful minor magic items that, while perhaps not the greatest use to an adventurer, could absolutely make or break a peasant’s livelihood. Such items might be crafted by a village healer, a local witch doctor, a hedge wizard, or even a local priest. All of these items are categorized as Common or Uncommon per the normal treasure distribution system, but keep in mind that to most ordinary people these pieces represent near-priceless artifacts.

Buying, Selling, and the Importance of Minor Magicks

Some players might be interested in purchasing items from the local medium or thaumaturge or in supplying townsfolk with similar baubles. Keep in mind that most commoners, and especially most people in rural areas, carry very little cash or items of value and are likely to barter for any goods they need and can’t make themselves. It is highly unlikely that such people can afford even the most basic of standard items. Additionally, any magic item a commoner owns is probably a treasured family heirloom and the only magic that character has ever directly encountered.

Given their relative lack of power, the items below are more broadly useful as window dressing and to give a measure of distinction to an important commoner NPC without running the risk of introducing more substantial or powerful magic items to your campaign. A character who wields any of the items below is probably well known in the surrounding community and just as probably not well liked or trusted. Especially when it comes to the wand and staff that cast actual cantrips, the magic in these items is enough to make non-adventurers cross the road, make a sign to ward off evil, and give the owners a wide berth.

Dust of Spring’s Bounty

Wondrous item, uncommon

This small packet contains 1d6 + 4 pinches of dust. You can use an action to sprinkle a pinch of it over a tilled plot of land; a single pinch can affect up to one full acre. Any seeds planted within the affected area are resistant to disease and famine and grow more robustly than usual; increase the crop’s yield by 20%.

If you apply it to a plant creature, that creature gains 109 temporary hit points and advantage on saving throws to resist disease for 1 minute.

Metaphysician’s Idol

Wondrous item, common

This figure is carved from wood or stone. When you place it in a location of prominence within your house, it creates a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on the figure. All creatures that finish a long rest within the radius awaken refreshed and in good spirits.

Pebble of Well-Being

Wondrous item, uncommon

This magical stone is normally worn as a pendant on a leather thong and is crafted by physicians to help ward off illness. A character wearing a pebble of well-being gains advantage on their next saving throw to resist disease or poison. A pebble of well-being can be used in this manner only once and then loses its power.

Provender of Delayed Passing

Wondrous item, uncommon

This hard piece of unleavened bread can be placed under the tongue of a living creature that has 0 hit points. Once placed, the bread dissolves, and the creature becomes stable. This item has no effect on undead or constructs.

Soothing Salve

Wondrous item, uncommon

This sticky paste comes in a hollowed-out gourd or clay jar, which holds 1d6 + 2 doses. The paste is made from herbs, sugar, and honey, and healers pack fresh wounds with it to ward off infection. A character treated by a dose of the salve can reroll one Hit Die the next time they take a short rest. An applied dose of the salve loses its potency after 24 hours if not used.

Staff of the Sibyl

Staff, uncommon (requires attunement)  

This staff has 3 charges and regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn.

Druidcraft. While holding the staff, you can use an action to expend 1 charge and create a minor magical effect as with the druidcraft spell.

Tailor’s Blessing

Wondrous item, common

This magical sewing needle seems to guide the hand of anyone using it to mend or stitch fabrics and skins. A character with tailor’s blessing has advantage on any tool proficiency skill checks made when using leatherworker’s tools or a sewing kit.

Wand of Legerdemain

Wand, common (requires attunement)  

This wand has 7 charges for the following properties. It regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

Prestidigitation. While holding the wand, you can use an action to expend 1 charge and create a minor magical effect as with the prestidigitation spell.

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