I’ve always felt that magic users tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to magic items. I mean, they have Pearls of Power and Staves of the Magi and Rings of Spell Storing and Wands and Scrolls of varying effectiveness, but mages always seem to lug around the same five or six magic items, and they all seem to do the same thing: give the mage more spells to cast. There’s no variety there.
And so, like with my axes, I present 5 unique magic items for magic users!
Note that some of these names are kind of goofy. They felt right in the moment, and you should change them if you don’t have a light-hearted campaign going.
Gauntlets of the Efreet. Rare Wondrous Item (requires attunement(,
These gauntlets are forged from wrought iron, black in color and weighing over 10 pounds each. When attuned to them, however, they become light as a pair of silk gloves, almost like a second skin (they are still heavy for anyone else who carries them). Whenever you cast a spell of 1st level or higher, all of the cracks, chinks, and imperfections in the gauntlets glow with an inner heat, and any creature within 5 feet of you takes 5 points of fire damage. In addition, when you cast a spell that deals damage, you can change the damage type to fire, and all spells you cast that deal fire damage deal an additional 2 points of fire damage per die rolled.
Design Notes: This one is actually thanks to the folks over at the Dungeon Master’s Block (check ‘em out!) In their most recent episode—way to date this blog post, Chris—they talk about various Magic the Gathering artifacts that can be used in their D&D games. One of them was a pair of fiery gauntlets, and it made me want to create these ones. So, DM Chris and DM Mitch, thanks so much!
Symbol of the Arcane Gods. Very Rare Wondrous Item (requires attunement). This holy symbol to a deity of magic is made of pure amethyst, shaped via powerful rituals, and hangs from a chain of platinum. A wizard, sorcerer, or warlock may spend 1 hour each day offering prayers to the god represented by this symbol in order to gain additional power. After offering the prayers, if they are genuine, the following spells are considered prepared (if you are a wizard) or known (if you are a sorcerer or warlock) for 24 hours. You only gain access to spells of a level that you can cast.
- 1st-level: Bless, Cure Wounds.
- 2nd-level: Prayer of Healing, Spiritual Weapon.
- 3rd-level: Remove Curse, Spirit Guardians.
- 4th-level: Death Ward, Guardian of Faith.
- 5th-level: Commune, Raise Dead.
Design Notes: I often end up DMing smaller groups. 2-3 people, most of the time. Therefore, I often DM groups that don’t have all of their bases covered. And, most of the time, it’s the cleric that gets left by the wayside. This item allows a devout arcane spellcaster to gain some of that back. By programming some of the more iconic cleric spells (from the Basic Rules) into the item, I open the doorway to the character covering a more broad role without actually giving them additional spell slots.
Idiot’s Guide to Being a Wizard. Rare Wondrous Item (requires attunement). This thin manual, covered in soft leather, is magically treated to grant anyone with the skill and ambition the ability to cast spells. Just like a wizard! Any time after taking a full 8 hours reading this book (the final hour is considered the hour in which the book is attuned), you may spend 1 hour referencing it to gain incredible, magical powers for 24 hours. You can cast spells based on your level, as described below. You can only cast 1 spell of each level (other than prestidigitation, which you can cast at will) until you complete a long rest.
- Level 1: Prestidigitation.
- Level 2: Mage Armor, Magic Missile.
- Level 4: Levitate, Web.
- Level 6: Counterspell, Fireball.
- Level 8: Arcane Eye, Dimension Door.
- Level 10: Cone of Cold, Wall of Stone.
Design Notes: Okay. Fine. This one isn’t specifically for magic users. But I got the name in my head, and I just had to write it down. Plus, I think it’s pretty cool. I like the idea of a rogue or fighter coming across this in a ruin or enemy camp like the Wasteland Survival Guide, and just becoming enthralled with the idea of learning wizardry. It can also act as the opposite force of the Symbol of the Arcane Gods, allowing a cleric or bard to cover a small part of the Wizard’s role in the game. It functions differently, and that’s by design, but can still go a long way toward covering bases.
Baby’s First Homunculus. Rare Wondrous Item (requires attunement). This at first appears to be a blob of colorless putty. If, however, a spellcaster writes their name on a piece of parchment, places it in the center of the blob, and spends 1 hour investing their magical energy into the putty (effectively attuning themselves to it, taking up one of their attunement slots), it will rise and take form as a homunculus (MM 188). It functions as a homunculus in all ways, except that it takes up one of your attunement slots. The homunculus’ personality is usually reflective of your own, if a bit less tactful and more blunt. If you ever end your attunement to the homunculus, it collapses into a pile of sludge, and cannot be re-formed into another homunculus.
Design Notes: Isn’t that name kind of disturbing? I love it. I love the idea of rich kids that are learning to be wizards having their own little personalized homunculi to carry their books and other accouterments. This is also intended for lower-level parties, where magic items might not be so prevalent, and a mage might have a free attunement slot. They don’t need to actually create a homunculus to have one (a task that is ill-defined and I would consider fairly high-level), so spending that attunement slot on this little guy might not seem like a bad idea.
Amulet of the Twins. Very Rare Wondrous Item (requires attunement). This golden amulet is in the shape of a circle has been broken in two, and each half is attached to its own chain. When two spellcasters each carry one half of the amulet (and are attuned to their half), they can join them to cast a twin-spell. The spellcasters must be within 5 feet of each other to do this, and must physically join the halves of the amulet when casting a twin-spell. They both must have the spell on their list of spells known or prepared, both must spend the required time to cast the spell, and both must have access to the required spell slot to cast the spell. A twin-spell can be no higher than 5th level. After the second spellcaster spends the required casting time, the spell resolves normally. However, neither spellcaster expends a spell slot when casting a twin-spell. Up to three twin-spells can be cast with this amulet, and it regains these charges if both halves are exposed to the first light of day.
Design Note: All Right. Cards on the table. This is totally ripped from Final Fantasy 4. But WHATEVER! Don’t judge me! It’s still pretty cool. Admittedly, the wording is a little complex, but in practice, I think it would end up being quite simple. Two spellcasters stand together, join their halves of the amulet, and wreak havoc three times a day. It does require both of them to use their action (or whatever the casting time is), but the spell is free, so I feel like it could be a good payoff. Especially if you’re casting Fireball or something similar to start an ambush. I also feel like this would get a lot of use when it comes to reaction spells like Shield or Counterspell, since two spellcasters expending their reactions seems less harmful to action economy.
And that’s it! These items are pretty neat, if I do say so myself. And I like the idea of each of these articles focusing on specific challenges. The first was to create weapons that didn’t necessarily provide combat bonuses. This one was to create items for a specific branch of character. Next? Who knows! Only time will tell!