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Special Magic Item Features: Minor Properties (5E)

The special features tables for magic items are among 5E’s 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.


magic_ring.jpg

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 GM’s choice, while the item is on the bearer’s person.

2. Beckoner
If the item is separated from the bearer, the bearer instinctively knows the item’s 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 act—or even a neutral act, when a more daring option is available—the item enhances feelings of shame and guilt.

4. Bulwark
If the item is in the bearer’s 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 bearer’s 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 item’s 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 bearer’s person. It does not, however, grant darkvision to a bearer who does not already possess it.

11. Hardy
If the item is in the bearer’s 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 bearer’s 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 bearer’s 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 bearer’s 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 GM’s choice, while the item is on the bearer’s person.

17. Speedy
As an action while the item is on the bearer’s 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 item’s 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.
 

epithet

Explorer
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.
 


barasawa

Explorer
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.
 

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. :)
 


drak273

Explorer
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.
 

Eltab

Hero
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.
 

Eltab

Hero
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.
 


Emily

First 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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