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5E Help with tier 1 magic items

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
If there’s one thing I really hate as a DM it’s having to pick magic items for the players for 5e. I feel I always go too powerful, too generic or too weak.

Could anyone help for suggested items for three characters to find tier 1-5. There is an artificer, a rogue, and a Paladin/sorcer
 

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jmartkdr2

Adventurer
No idea for the artificer.

For the rogue, I'd go with a skill-boosting item like gloves of thievery or boots of elvenkind. If you want to be nice, pick a skill the rogue uses often to give a boost to.

For the sorcadin, I'd say a basic magic weapon is good, but try to give it a bonus other than +1 to hit. I like the sword of wounding for this, even though technically it's weak when it lands it's a lot of fun. You could also invent another, similar small boost to damage based on their sorcerer origin.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Don't pick magic items for the players. Pick magic items for your bad guys to use.
That is a good principal and to be clear, all the items will be used by bad guys and not found in a vault.

However I do think some thought is advisable to actually pick interesting items for the players as this will be a major part of their reward.
 


jmartkdr2

Adventurer
Add-on: if the rogue is an assassin, you might want to give them an item that boosts initiative or otherwise makes getting to use the Assassinate feature more likely.
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Any characterful items that are particularly good for a level 1-5 party?
Bag of Holding at low levels is great for most parties IMO.

A Superior Healing potion is also nice because it gives low level PCs a chance to "top off" in the middle of a fight, which could make the difference.

Immovable Rods can also be handy.

I would look mostly for items that enhance utility over combat. :)
 

jmartkdr2

Adventurer
How many do people think? I find the guide in Xananthars’s... lacking.
1 "major" item - maybe something that could be a signature item for the character - for each by level 5. If you go this route, you may even want to start thinking about how to improve those items over time (both mechanially and how it will happen in the narrative). Definitely have the bad guy use these first.

Then a bunch of consumables. The best part of a consumable is that no matter how crazy it is, it'll only break one encounter. But make sure these items are better than what the players can do with daily spells or they'll never get used. Potions of Giant Strength, powerful scrolls, runes that cast good spells but don't require concentration - stuff like that.

Then throw in some random magical non-adventuring gear for funsies.

That's my typical approach, and most player of mine who become dm's immediately steal the ideas (especially the signature items.)
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
So to summarize

- One ‘major’ item per character maybe per tier - that directly ties to their abilities.

- lots of meaty consumables

- Utility items like immovable rods, bags of holding.

Where do people stand on protective items? The rings and cloaks of protection, Magic armour etc. these are good for everyone.
 

Vael

Adventurer
I tend to kick it to the players, what would they like? Not that I always give them what they want, but I'll definitely mine that area for suggestions.

Still, some generic Uncommon items that are always worth getting:
  • Bag of Holding
  • Pearl of Power (Artificer and Sorcerer can use it)
  • Circlet of Blasting (can be fun additional firepower)
  • Goggles of Night, if any PC lacks darkvision
  • Any of the uncommon consumables, like Potions of Resistance, etc.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Where do people stand on protective items? The rings and cloaks of protection, Magic armour etc. these are good for everyone.
Those are generally the last things I give out, and I usually keep them at least a tier behind. My 13th level party has a lot of crazy items, but virtually no magic armor and I think the only really good defensive item is a cloak of protection +1. Defense is really a good place to throw consumables at.
 

jmartkdr2

Adventurer
So to summarize

- One ‘major’ item per character maybe per tier - that directly ties to their abilities.

- lots of meaty consumables

- Utility items like immovable rods, bags of holding.

Where do people stand on protective items? The rings and cloaks of protection, Magic armour etc. these are good for everyone.
I usually make AC-boosting items signature items when I offer them - so if the paladin wants magic armor it's basically instead of a magic sword. Then, at higher levels, give the armor other nifty effects like resistances.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
I tend to kick it to the players, what would they like? Not that I always give them what they want, but I'll definitely mine that area for suggestions.

Still, some generic Uncommon items that are always worth getting:
  • Bag of Holding
  • Pearl of Power (Artificer and Sorcerer can use it)
  • Circlet of Blasting (can be fun additional firepower)
  • Goggles of Night, if any PC lacks darkvision
  • Any of the uncommon consumables, like Potions of Resistance, etc.
I like all of these except the bag of holding. I've found that giving one out tends to turn PCs into hoarders! Plus they no longer have to worry much about how much stuff they actually have on them, making them much more mobile than they otherwise would be.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
These are some awesome suggestions!

It doesn’t feel right to just give out wands of magic missiles, rings of protection +1 etc, sword +1, and armour +1.

I’m converting a Pathfinder AP and these seem to be most of the items that are written in the text. Currently aiming for a 1/3 of magical items and keep consumables about the same.
 
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Mort

Hero
Supporter
These are some awesome suggestions!

It doesn’t feel right to give out wands of magic missiles, rings of protection +1 etc, sword +1, and armour +1.
One thing I gave out at low level (my group also didn't have a wizard at the time) - was the very well stocked spellbook set of an enemy wizard. They had to figure out an alternative use for it - ended up using it to really get in good with the local mages guild.

The funny thing was when a new player joined and created a wizard. In my "what came before" writeup I made sure to go into detail of the spells that were in that set. He really gave the other players the stink eye (but it was in good fun)!
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I prefer to use custom magic items. Things like:

A wand of summon chicken.
a bag of returning ball bearings.
An exploding clockwork toy.
A pair of self walking boots.
a set of position swapping Rings.
A self writing book of knowledge.
Spider gloves
Armor of the extra hand
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
These are some awesome suggestions!

It doesn’t feel right to just give out wands of magic missiles, rings of protection +1 etc, sword +1, and armour +1.

I’m converting a Pathfinder AP and these seem to be most of the items that are written in the text. Currently aiming for a 1/3 of magical items and keep consumables about the same.
Yea, I would absolutely only give out +1 items as a last resort if you can't think of something more fun. A life-stealing sword that counts as magic and does +1d4 necrotic damage and grants the wielder the necrotic damage dealt as temp HP is way more interesting than a +1 sword.
 

J-H

Explorer
See post 2 on this thread:

I rerolled stuff that I didn't like the random for... and sometimes I sub in monster/boss gear, custom items, etc.

There are also some good extra magical item docs on the DM's Guild (including one by me!).
 


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