New Magic Item: Ring of Vicious Strikes

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Ring of Vicious Strikes (Very Rare, requires attunement)

This obsidian band has two stylized diamond fangs on the mounting with small rubies representing drops of blood coming off the fangs.

While wearing this ring and attuned to it, when you hit a creature with a melee attack, the ring automatically casts Hex on that creature unless it is already under the effect of a Hex from this ring (if you have a previously cast Hex on a creature that has been reduced to 0 HP, it instead transfers the Hex to the new target). You do not need to expend a spell slot or supply any components. As part of casting this spell, the ring deals 1d6 necrotic damage to you, which ignores your resistances or immunities.


You maintain concentration on the spell, and chose what stat has disadvantage on ability checks.

If you reduce a creature to zero HP while it has an active Hex from the ring on it, the ring will transfer the Hex to the next creature you hit with a melee attack.

If you attack a different creature while the Hex is active on a creature, the ring will recast Hex on the new target.

If you lose concentration on the Hex the ring will automatically recast Hex on your next successful melee attack.

Hidden Attribute (Plot Device):
The ring is linked to a vampire lord (or demon lord, etc) that was previously defeated or locked away. As the ring drains HP or does bonus necrotic damage via Hex the creature the ring is linked to is slowly healed (or their prison is slowly weakened), eventually being revived/released. Anyone who has worn the ring gains Vulnerability to attacks from the creature the ring is linked too. Bonus damage caused by the Hex heals the creature instead of damaging it (if you attack the creature while wearing it's ring).

The hidden attribute is not revealed when you attune to the ring, and requires a DC 20 Arcana check to learn when using the Identify spell.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


I'd make it a weapon, not a ring. I feel like rings should directly affect the wearer. Principle of Contagion: weapons touch the other guy, rings touch you.

Nasty twist, though. I like it.

On the nitpicky front, I think the wording can be cleaned up and simplified a bit:
While wearing this ring and attuned to it, when you hit a creature with a melee attack, you automatically cast hex on that creature unless it is already under the effect of hex. You do not need to expend a spell slot or supply any components. As part of casting this spell, the ring deals 1d6 necrotic damage to you, which ignores your resistances or immunities.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
I'd make it a weapon, not a ring. I feel like rings should directly affect the wearer. Principle of Contagion: weapons touch the other guy, rings touch you.

That comes down to personal preference. It's not a guideline the 5e DMG uses - the Ring of Shooting Stars and Ring of the Ram both let you attack creatures directly using effects from the rings for example.

In this case, the entity that created the ring wants it to be used so that they will be freed/resurrected. If they made it a specific type of weapon that reduces the possibility of it being used.

Nasty twist, though. I like it.

On the nitpicky front, I think the wording can be cleaned up and simplified a bit:
While wearing this ring and attuned to it, when you hit a creature with a melee attack, you automatically cast hex on that creature unless it is already under the effect of hex. You do not need to expend a spell slot or supply any components. As part of casting this spell, the ring deals 1d6 necrotic damage to you, which ignores your resistances or immunities.

Thanks, I think I'll use that. I'm mainly attempting to cover questions I know my players are going to ask when one of the ends up with the ring.
 

Colder

Explorer
I take it the ring casts Hex without using your bonus action? I like it. If it appeared in my game I'd be sorely tempted to use it, especially on my monk character.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
I take it the ring casts Hex without using your bonus action? I like it. If it appeared in my game I'd be sorely tempted to use it, especially on my monk character.

Yes, basically it uses your first successful attack to cast Hex, and then all subsequent attacks against that creature will benefit from the Hex damage.

I made it Hex mainly for thematic purposes, it could just as easily be Hunter's Mark. The main thing is that the ring wearer has to maintain concentration on it, so they can't cast Hex/Hunter's mark on their own to stack bonus damage.
 

That comes down to personal preference. It's not a guideline the 5e DMG uses - the Ring of Shooting Stars and Ring of the Ram both let you attack creatures directly using effects from the rings for example.
Those effects both emanate directly from the rings, though. This is a ring that modifies what your weapon does. I dunno. It's just my gut reaction that this shouldn't be a ring, and I'm trying to describe that to you.

In this case, the entity that created the ring wants it to be used so that they will be freed/resurrected. If they made it a specific type of weapon that reduces the possibility of it being used.
How did they create the ring if they're dead/imprisoned?

I made it Hex mainly for thematic purposes, it could just as easily be Hunter's Mark. The main thing is that the ring wearer has to maintain concentration on it, so they can't cast Hex/Hunter's mark on their own to stack bonus damage.
Normally multiple instances of the same spell don't stack their effects, although I suppose you could cast the other spell if you had it. But concentration does elegantly do a lot of stuff, like break the old hex whenever you switch targets.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Those effects both emanate directly from the rings, though. This is a ring that modifies what your weapon does. I dunno. It's just my gut reaction that this shouldn't be a ring, and I'm trying to describe that to you.

It doesn't modify what your weapon does though. It casts Hex when you hit someone with a melee attack, no weapon required.

How did they create the ring if they're dead/imprisoned?

They did it before they died or were imprisoned (because major villains have crazy good contingency plans). Or one of their followers created it afterward (defeating the follower could be how the PC's acquire it). Depends on the needs of the story. I'm brainstorming ideas for a future campaign and this is one possible plotline.
 


Caliban

Rules Monkey
You wanted my take, you got my take. Splitting hairs isn't going to change it.

I appreciate the input you've given, and updated the item description on your advice.

I'm not trying to split hairs, I just don't see the need for it to be a weapon. Ultimately, this item could take any form the DM wants it too. If you decided to use it in your game it could be a weapon. For my purposes, a ring or amulet works better.
 

Satyrn

First Post
It's a neat item, and I like it except for one thing:

You don't say how often it can be used each day. You also worded it in a way that suggests the wielder doesn't get a choice to cast it. It reads to me like it says thatif there is no active Hex it casts it again no matter what. I would never want to use it that way.

If I could choose to cast Hex or not, I would use it.

But I think I'd like it even more (both as a player and DM) if I could choose to cast it on a hit, and it automatically cast Hex on both a natural 20 and a natural 1.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
It's a neat item, and I like it except for one thing:

You don't say how often it can be used each day. You also worded it in a way that suggests the wielder doesn't get a choice to cast it. It reads to me like it says thatif there is no active Hex it casts it again no matter what. I would never want to use it that way.

Unlimited times per day, but you don't get a choice about casting it. The only way to stop it from casting is by physically removing the ring. (I considered making the ring cursed and unable to be removed without a Remove Curse spell, but decided that would give away the game too early. The idea is that appears to be a beneficial item with a minor drawback until you learn that you've been instrumental in returning a great evil to the world. Perhaps it'll become un-removable once the great evil is resurrected/released.)

If I could choose to cast Hex or not, I would use it.

It's supposed to have a drawback that forces a choice, but the choice is in whether or not to use the ring, not in casting the hex.

I want it to be attractive enough to use despite it damaging you, but not quite an automatic "YES!". I don't expect it to appeal to everybody.

But I think I'd like it even more (both as a player and DM) if I could choose to cast it on a hit, and it automatically cast Hex on both a natural 20 and a natural 1.

I also prefer items that are completely under my control. This just isn't one of them.
 

Satyrn

First Post
I just can't see anyone who knows how it works ever using the ring.

I mean, if I'm wearing it and fighting 4 foes, that's 4d6 damage if I get a hit in on each of them. And it's worse than that if I attack 1 (hex him), attack 2 the next round (the spell gets cast again) and then attack 1 again (another hex!). And on and on. All day.

I don't see this being a tempting choice. It's horrendous suicide.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
I just can't see anyone who knows how it works ever using the ring.

I mean, if I'm wearing it and fighting 4 foes, that's 4d6 damage if I get a hit in on each of them. And it's worse than that if I attack 1 (hex him), attack 2 the next round (the spell gets cast again) and then attack 1 again (another hex!). And on and on. All day.

I don't see this being a tempting choice. It's horrendous suicide.

Or, you face 4 foes and only take a single d6 damage because you know how the ring works and fight intelligently. If you drop your first foe before starting on the second the Hex is transferred without doing any additional damage to you.

If you behave suicidally and keep switching targets without reducing them to zero HP first, then yes, you are going to do a lot of unnecessary damage to yourself.

The real variable is whether or not you can maintain concentration. If you get really unlucky and keep failing the Concentration saves, then it can be a really bad time.

[edit: It may not have been clear enough in the original post that the Hex can be transferred instead of recast. I edited it to hopefully make it more clear.]
 
Last edited:

Satyrn

First Post
Okay.

Can you do me one favor, though please: In a few months could you post here again to tell us how this worked at your table? While I would be happier to see I'm wrong here, I might gain a little satisfaction if I get to say I told you so. :p
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Okay.

Can you do me one favor, though please: In a few months could you post here again to tell us how this worked at your table? While I would be happier to see I'm wrong here, I might gain a little satisfaction if I get to say I told you so. :p

Sure thing. It's not 100% certain I'll be running the next campaign, but if I do I'll make sure to toss this into the mix. I'm always interested in finding out how things work in practice instead of theory.

(I've also discussed the base item with the player I think is most likely to end up with it and he likes the sound of it. He's unaware of the "Hidden Attribute". :devil: )
 
Last edited:


No opinions? Is it overpowered? Underpowered? Not interesting enough?

Kind of interesting. I like the backstory part best.

I would wear this ring, especially as a non-magical fighter with no better use for my concentration. Free damage is free damage, and it helps with control too.

I can imagine shenanigans where you slap or strike someone in a non-combat setting in order to Hex their Wisdom, and then try to cover it up by pretending you were insulted/joking/etc. Could be entertaining.
 
Last edited:

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top