D13 Magic Item Concepts from My Demonplague Campaign

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0747

I needed some minor mundane and magical treasures for my next DemonPlague game. So I made some and am sharing a few with you today.

The party has a wizard, warrior, cleric, druid, and rogue in it.

The first thing I did was make a table and a column for each class. That way I know I’ve got a good spread and will hit each PC with some great future loot.

Player names title the columns. I want magic items to be tailored to the player too, if possible. Robin Laws calls these player kicks — aspects of the game each player enjoys most.

Last, I’ve got a column for Random, which is items not tailored for any specific PC.

I gave each item three basic bits of info:

  1. Name. Something to use in clues and my campaign log and session logs.
  2. Magical Properties. A few brief words on details of the item. The goal is to keep it short so I have an inventory built with my limited prep time.
  3. The flaw. A questy, obstacle-oriented, or hook-laden drawback. Something minor and oriented to fun gameplay and interesting player choices.

As I wrote awhile ago, I don’t do history and extraneous details on things like magic items unless I know they’re going to be used in-game. Saves prep time.

So at this point in creation, I pare details to the essential so I can focus on filling in an inventory of treasure to draw from as needed. Worst case, I make details up on the fly.

Here’s the table of initial brainstorming I did. It’s awkward to do tables in email, so I made a Google Sheet out of it.

Click here to see the table of magic item concepts I made.

This mix of items should get me a good starter set. When treasure opportunities arise, I’ll drop these in. Hopefully I can demonstrate items via NPC use, or tell rumours about them in advance. This builds desire for the items and makes the treasure award that much sweeter. Have you made any interesting minor treasure items for your group? If so, I’d love to hear about them.