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Unlocking the Vault: Uncommonly Good Common Items

Unlocking the Vault: Uncommonly Good Common Items

Unlocking the Vault dives into magic items from the Vault of Magic.

One great thing about the Vault of Magic is the large number of new common magic items it brings into the game. The potions, rings, and wondrous items discussed here might have a little more going on than you think at first glance . . . don’t overlook these low-power beauties with extra utility!


Bloodlink Potion

Share this potion with someone you like, and you split the damage either of you takes. Nothing says party solidarity like taking some of the hits for a fellow adventurer. Sure, it’s a risk, but a properly calculated risk that can help the less hearty members of your team stay up and functional if you have the hit points to spare.

But wait! There’s more! Who else in your character’s life needs a little more . . . life? If you’re playing a paladin that excels at mounted combat, you might feed half this potion to your warhorse. Sending a familiar ahead to scout around? Give it some extra longevity. On an escort mission? Keep the spoiled princess alive a little longer to get her safely back to the castle. This is a common magic item with the rare ability to stay relevant as the party increases in level.

Elixir of Oracular Delirium

This potion is in the running for best item name in not just this book, but the entire game. Such a grand name for a common item. Drink up and gaining the ability to cast the guidance cantrip at will.

However, you can give up this minor oracular power for a greater one. Use all the remaining energy to cast augury. This brings into effect something I personally love in magic items: abilities that come at a cost. In the case of this potion, you’re afflicted with a short-term madness after gaining the results of the augury. A small price to pay for an omen of the future. There aren’t even any tricks that go with this one. It’s just good!

Potion of Bad Taste

If you choke this foul-tasting potion down, it can save a low-level character, though its effectiveness arguably wanes as adventurers level up and face more menacing opponents.

You literally taste bad. If something bites you and fails a Con save, it spends its next action gagging and trying to spit the taste out of its mouth. If the creature has an Intelligence score of 4 or less, it won’t try to bite you again unless compelled to do so by an outside force. This is huge.

Let’s say you get attacked by a swarm of rats. It counts as a single creature. If you get hit with its bite attack, it has to make the save (at a −1 to the roll, mind you) or not bite you again. You are now immune to the swarm for the rest of the fight. That can be a lifesaver as a neophyte adventurer.


Ring of Deceiver’s Warning

The very specific purpose of this ring alerts you to the presence of a shapechanger if it comes within 30 feet of you. It’s a must-have in situations where you suspect someone in the area is a doppelganger or werewolf, or you want to be sure the chest you’re about to open isn’t a mimic. In campaigns where lycanthropy is central to the story, it’s a boon worth more than its gold piece value.

Second Wind

If you run out of breath or are choking, this ring refills your lungs with air. It’s another lifesaving device that operates in a specific circumstance, but that circumstance is not so uncommon in the adventuring world.

Any astute adventurer should glom onto this item if they run across one, even if they’ve never faced death from smothering, drowning, or a face full of dust of sneezing and choking. It only functions once per day, but what GM would try to kill your character twice a day in the same way?

Wondrous Items

Crawling Cloak

The common version of this cloak allows you to move at full speed while prone. And its best use might elude you at first glance.

This is a great way to close on enemies with ranged weapons. You move at full speed, and they have disadvantage on attacks against you. You can even return fire (albeit at disadvantage) if you want! It might look odd, but it’s an effective tactic.

Lantern of Selective Illumination

We’ve all been there: everyone in the party has darkvision, except for Steve the Human. Now you all have to run around with a torch or a light spell, and every monsters lurking in the dark know you’re coming.

Enter: the lantern of selective illumination. You can magically link creatures to the item during a short rest, and only those creatures can see the light shed by the lantern. It’s great to keep nearby, but what if you place it next to a trap or choke point underground?You can see what you’re ambushing and they don’t know why!

Yes, you have to attune to it, but at low levels you’ve probably got an attunement slot to spare, and that’s a small price to be able to see without tipping off the enemy from a mile away.


Get details on 900 more magic items in Vault of Magic available at the Kobold Press store! If you like these ideas, there’s plenty more to discover, including more than 30 unique items developed by special guests, including Patrick Rothfuss, Gail Simone, Deborah Ann Woll, and Luke Gygax. Vault of Magic is on sale now!

about Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee is a 10-year veteran of RPG freelancing. He has written a plethora of material for Kobold Press and other third-party companies. You might know him from Demon Cults & Secret Societies. You might also want to support his Patreon, where he writes things at patrons’ behest: https://www.patreon.com/jeffalee

1 thought on “Unlocking the Vault: Uncommonly Good Common Items”

  1. Fun example of Ring of Deceivers Warning, party has one a goes to talk to a trusted NPC. The ring turns red and much drama ensures, NPC admits they are a shape changer, a ancient brass dragon….
    While shape changer isn’t in a dragons header description it’s part of who it is. They’ll need the ring later on to find the Doppelganger.

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