Special Magic Item Features: Minor Properties (5E)
  • Special Magic Item Features: Minor Properties (5E)


    The special features tables for magic items are among 5Eís most flavorful additions. These details grant even the plainest of such items a unique feel. Still, any given list of options only remains fresh for so long. Presented in this series are additional random tables, adding new details and features. In this installment, Ari Marmell offers new minor magical properties for your magic items; previous instalments covered Origins and History.



    What Minor Property Does It Have? Roll 1d20 on the table below!

    1. Artful
    The bearer is proficient in one tool or set of tools, of the GMís choice, while the item is on the bearerís person.

    2. Beckoner
    If the item is separated from the bearer, the bearer instinctively knows the itemís direction and rough distance. This knowledge lasts for 24 hours or until the item is attuned to someone else, whichever comes first.

    3. Brave
    When the bearer of this item contemplates or undertakes a cowardly actóor even a neutral act, when a more daring option is availableóthe item enhances feelings of shame and guilt.

    4. Bulwark
    If the item is in the bearerís possession for the entirety of a long rest, the item grants the bearer 5 temporary hit points at the conclusion of that rest. If not used, these hit points fade in 24 hours.

    5. Cowardly
    When the bearer is presented with an opportunity to act in a cowardly or self-preserving manner, the item heightens the bearerís urge to do so.

    6. Devoted
    The item fights to remain attuned to its current bearer. The item must be separated from the bearer for 48 hours, rather than the standard 24, to break the attunement. If a new individual attempts to attune the item when a prior attunement is still in effect, the individual must succeed on a DC 14 Charisma check at the end of that short rest. On a failure, the item fails to attune to the new owner, remaining attuned to the old.

    7. Enigmatic
    Neither examination over the course of a short rest, nor identify or similar magics, reveal this itemís properties. The bearer can learn those properties only through attunement or trial and error.

    8. Fastidious
    Once per day, as an action, the bearer can magically clean themselves, their outfit, and the item itself of dirt, grime, sweat, and so forth. This power resets at dawn.

    9. Focused
    The bearer of this item gains a +1 bonus to Constitution saving throws made to avoid losing concentration on an ongoing spell.

    10. Gloom-Sight
    If the bearer of this item possesses darkvision, the effective distance of that darkvision increases by 20 feet while the item is on the bearerís person. It does not, however, grant darkvision to a bearer who does not already possess it.

    11. Hardy
    If the item is in the bearerís possession for the entirety of a long rest, then at the conclusion of that rest, the item grants the bearer one extra hit die, which can be spent as normal to regain hit points during a short rest. If not used, this extra hit die disappears in 24 hours.

    12. Lodestar
    This item is linked to a specific location or object, determined by the GM. The bearer can use an action to determine the distance and direction to that place or object. The item does not grant the bearer any specific knowledge of what that item or place might be.

    13. Restful
    If the item is in the bearerís possession since the beginning of a long rest, the bearer requires only six hours to gain the benefit of that rest, rather than the standard eight. The bearer can still gain the benefits of a long rest only once per day.

    14. Resuscitator
    If the item is in the bearerís possession, the bearer gains a +2 bonus to the first death save made that day. This power resets at dawn.

    15. Schemer
    As an action while the item is on the bearerís person, the bearer may choose one individual within both sight and earshot. Until the bearer ends the effect (no action required) or a full minute passes, anything the bearer says is heard only by that individual, not by anyone else. (This is a one-way effect only.) This power can be used once a day and resets at dawn.

    16. Skillful
    The bearer gains a +1 bonus to ability checks using one specific skill, of the GMís choice, while the item is on the bearerís person.

    17. Speedy
    As an action while the item is on the bearerís person, the bearer may gain a +5 to walking speed. This bonus lasts until the bearer deactivates it (no action required). The item grants this bonus up to a maximum total duration of one minute per day, resetting at dawn.

    18. Suppressible
    As an action, the bearer may suppress the itemís magic, in its entirety, for a preset amount of time (up to 24 hours). During that time, the item behaves as a non-magical item, cannot be attuned by anyone (though existing attunement does not end), and does not register as magical to detect magic, identify, or any other spells or abilities that detect magic. The effect cannot be ended prematurely; it lasts for the duration specified when activated.

    19. Unwavering
    The item grants the bearer an extra sliver of luck to slightly mitigate unfavorable conditions. When the item is created, the GM chooses one of the following: attack rolls, saving throws, or ability checks. When the bearer makes a roll of the chosen type with disadvantage, the item grants a +1 bonus on that roll.

    20. Dual-Featured
    Roll twice, rerolling any additional 20s.
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. epithet's Avatar
      epithet -
      There are some good ideas here. Some seem a little underpowered, however--especially for an attuned item. For example, I would boost number 14 a bit:

      Resuscitator. If you fail a death saving throw, you can choose to succeed instead. This property can't be used again until the next dawn.
    1. Xavian Starsider's Avatar
      Xavian Starsider -
      Brave sounds like a minor curse. Lol. If you want to avoid feelings of shame and guilt, kiss your life preservation good bye!
    1. barasawa -
      19 Unwavering - So it only adds the bonus when you have disadvantage for the type of roll it helps with. That is a bit different.
    1. Mouseferatu's Avatar
      Mouseferatu -
      Quote Originally Posted by epithet View Post
      There are some good ideas here. Some seem a little underpowered, however--especially for an attuned item.
      Well, remember, these aren't supposed to be impressive. These are the minor "extras" you can roll randomly for, like the "glows blue in the presence of orcs" thing, not anything item-defining.

      The power you suggest could certainly work, and I considered something similar. It felt, to me, a little too potent for a random extra, but then, I'm not running your game.
    1. epithet's Avatar
      epithet -
      I see your point, I wasn't really considering them in that context.
    1. drak273's Avatar
      drak273 -
      I love these. I'm going to tack some of them onto magic items I use from the DMG to prevent the clone effect of magic items. You know so if someone wants a +1 ring of protection or a +1 long sword and then the party finds another +1 ring or longsword, these make for great little add on's to make them unique and different item to item.
    1. Eltab's Avatar
      Eltab -
      12. Lodestar is just begging for some in-world legend writing. Why does this item show me the direction to that other item / location?

      Which might be the point, of course.
    1. Eltab's Avatar
      Eltab -
      Looking at #17 (Speedy) again, maybe that should last for an hour. Otherwise you've got the Tabaxi "sprint" bonus stretched out over 12 rounds. This ought to be something that will show pursuers that there's no point in trying to catch you from behind.
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      I too am a very big fan of these minor effects, especially on "ordinary" items like a +1 sword.
    1. Emily's Avatar
      Emily -
      Quote Originally Posted by epithet View Post
      There are some good ideas here. Some seem a little underpowered, however--especially for an attuned item. For example, I would boost number 14 a bit:

      Resuscitator. If you fail a death saving throw, you can choose to succeed instead. This property can't be used again until the next dawn.
      Nice addition.
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