Break the Rules with Magic Items

Fellow dungeoneer or Dungeon Master, why do you and your players enjoy Dungeons & Dragons? Is it the shared story-telling experience? How about the thrill of defeating a megalomaniacal lich hells-bent on continental domination (or death)? Perhaps it's the complexity of the rules or the relaxed gameplay they allow? Maybe you all just enjoy being together. Personally, I enjoy D&D because of the snap shot moments it allows; those special seconds when your players' faces illuminate with joy, contort in terror, or scrunch in victory. I also enjoy it because of the freedom intrinsic in the game. I break the rules all the time and love doing it.

I do it most often with magic items and it's great.

If you haven't, try to make some magic items of your own. Use the previously existing items as guidelines and let your mind go wild. Explore new possibilities. Craft something unique. Don't be afraid to make it overpowered or underpowered. If the item evokes something inside you and you think it'll do the same in your players, go for it!

Let me show you a few examples of "broken" magic items I've dropped into my campaign, Caught in Galen. They might be strong. They might be weak. Regardless, I think they'll garner some enjoyment at the table.

Broken Magic Items

Leather of Evernight
Armor (leather), very rare (requires attunement)

This suit of leather armor is black like a starless night and includes a hood, cloak, and gloves.

While you wear this armor, you gain +1 Armor Class and the ability to teleport up to 10’ away as a bonus action, as long as you start and end in darkness.

Point of Klavangra
Weapon (dagger), rare (requires attunement)

This dagger is forged from silver, its blade waves, and its hilt is a screaming gnome.

You gain +1 to attack and damage rolls made with this weapon. In addition, the dagger can stay a single target spell inside it. After a successful attack roll, as a reaction, you may trigger the spell inside the dagger. To place a spell inside the dagger, the caster must expend 2 spell slots instead of one.

The Forgotten Foil
Weapon (rapier), very rare (requires attunement)

This slightly curved rapier of shimmering silver extends from a petal-shaped golden pommel, a dark hilt hidden beneath it.
  • +1 to hit and damage
  • During long rests, soothing voices sing a forgotten song in Sylvan. Every ally within 30’ of the foil gains 2d10 temporary HP for 1 hour.
  • Soothing One's Song. 1/long rest, imbue the rapier with fey magic. On a hit, you can force a humanoid target to make a DC 16 Intelligence Saving Throw. On a failure, they fall asleep and lose all memories for 1d4 hours.
The Harmonious Spire
Weapon (staff), very rare (requires attunement)

A perfectly balanced orb of red and blue sits atop this long, white staff carved from ivory, pale light glowing from it.
  • -1 to melee/ranged attack rolls, +1 to spell attack rolls.
  • +2 Intelligence, -2 Constitution
  • +1 AC, -10 Movement Speed

Go For It

Are you inspired? Excellent. Are you angry? That's okay. We all play D&D in a different way; my D&D tends to be balanced on astronomical magic level. My world is rife with powerful artifacts and creatures; the PCs aren't the only ones with access to these game-changing relics.

If you feel creatively-stifled when you glance over the list of magic items included in fifth edition, try your hand at making your own. Break the rules with these magic items. Trust me, you'll enjoy it.

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  1. I really like the idea of giving players the power to step outside the normal rule set. It really helps get those memorable moments in a campaign! Whether it be magic items or divine boons I love it and my players normally have fun to...I think :)