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.
 
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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.
 

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