Game Plans

Artifacts & Magic Items

Rod of Seven Parts:
An Artifact that Explores
Good & Evil; Law & Chaos

The goal of a Rod of Seven Parts quest is to make Dungeons & Dragons simple and enjoyable. This rod of broken into pieces—somewhat similar to LEGO bricks—that adventurers collect, benefit from, interact with.

I loved intelligent weapons as a Dungeons & Dragons child—and I’ve been researching artificial intelligence, and discussions  of intelligence vs. human intelligence looks like for some time now (as I look deeper into ideas to incorporate into an arcanepunk world)—so embedding the Rod of Seven Parts with sentience seems not only tempting, but natural to do.

I also appreciated high magic campaign settings, where magic items, magic locations, and magic-wielding characters—PCs, NPCs, and monster alike—were plentiful, so vastly encompassing that magic defined the story itself.

…magic locations.

Perhaps, as I design the intelligent pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts, I can likewise design the settings that surround them:

Artifacts—even the fragments of artifacts—affecting the world itself.

Magic Items of Greatness

As a child, I visualized magic items as lesser versions of artifacts; for every intelligent sword, we’d find thirty long sword +1, and for every Tome of the Dead, we found libraries full of spellbooks.

So if I design a campaign around a seven-parted artifact, I should incorporate hundreds of magic items into the world.

And magic items may not terraform the setting…

But they still have stories to tell.

I always loved the Deck of Many Things.

I’d like to list 108 of the most memorable magic items from my Dungeons & Dragons experiences, so I can incorporate them into this adventure.

108 Magic Items

I love working with the number 108; I use it frequently on my Pinterest. That aside, I’ll be using this list not just to explore magic items from my memory, but also to brainstorm by bolding potential artifacts. 

  1. Chaos Diamond
  2. Bag of Holding
  3. Portable Hole
  4. Flaming Sword
  5. Icy Sword
  6. Holy Sword
  7. Boots of Levitation
  8. Boots of Teleportation
  9. Boots of Elvenkind
  10. Cloak of Elvenkind
  11. Cloak of Resistance
  12. Cloak of Displacement
  13. Robes of Power
  14. Robes of Scintillating Colors
  15. Robes of Eyes
  16. Robes of the Archmagi
  17. Robes of Eyes
  18. Robes of Stars
  19. Robes of Useful Items
  20. Mirror of Life Trapping
  21. Mirror of Opposition
  22. Scrying Mirror
  23. Luckstone
  24. Stone of Controlling Elementals
  25. Stone of Alarm
  26. Well of Many Worlds
  27. Wind Fan
  28. Horn of Fog
  29. Gem of True Seeing
  30. Gem of Brightness
  31. Pearl of the Sirines
  32. Adamantine Dagger
  33. Luck Blade
  34. Sun Blade
  35. Helm of Underwater Action
  36. Helm of Comprehend Languages
  37. Ioun Stones
  38. Dancing Sword
  39. Sword of Speed
  40. Vorpal Sword
  41. Bracers of Armor
  42. Bracers of Archery
  43. Bracelets of Friendship
  44. Armor of Invulnerability
  45. Animated Armor
  46. Shadow Armor
  47. Dragonhide Mail
  48. Elven Chain
  49. Mithral Shirt
  50. Ring of Animal Friendship
  51. Ring of Wizardry
  52. Ring of X-Ray Vision
  53. Ring of Three Wishes
  54. Ring of Water Walking
  55. Ring of the Ram
  56. Ring of Invisibility
  57. Ring of Shooting Stars
  58. Immovable Rod
  59. Rod of Negation
  60. Rod of Wonder
  61. Metamagic Rod (Empower)
  62. Metamagic Rod (Enlarge)
  63. Metamagic Rod (Maximize)
  64. Metamagic Rod (Quicken)
  65. Metamagic Rod (Silent)
  66. Metamagic Rod (Elemental Substitution)
  67. Metamagic Rod (Sacred)
  68. Staff of Fire
  69. Staff of Frost
  70. Staff of Healing
  71. Staff of Transmutation
  72. Staff of Conjuration
  73. Staff of Illusion
  74. Staff of Power
  75. Deck of Many Things
  76. Deck of Illusions
  77. Eyes of the Eagle
  78. Figurines of Wondrous Power
  79. Feather Token
  80. Gloves of Arrow Snaring
  81. Gloves of Storing
  82. Gloves of Swimming and Climbing
  83. Anarchic Weapon
  84. Axiomatic Weapon
  85. Bane Weapon
  86. Brilliant Energy Weapon
  87. Keen Weapon
  88. Returning Weapon
  89. Distance Weapon
  90. Acid Resistant Armor
  91. Cold Resistant Armor
  92. Fire Resistant Armor
  93. Electricity Resistant Armor
  94. Sonic Resistant Armor
  95. Amulet of Natural Armor
  96. Amulet of the Planes
  97. Brooch of Shielding
  98. Folding Boat
  99. Flying Carpet
  100. Candle of Truth
  101. Elixir of Swimming
  102. Elixir of Fire Breathing
  103. Elixir of Vision
  104. Dust of Appearance
  105. Dust of Disappearance
  106. Dust of Tracelessness
  107. Ring Gates
  108. Unguent of Timelessness

Connecting with Our Stuff

A magic item has a two-dimensional relationship with its user: tool, and operator. An artifact, on the other hand, develops three-dimensionally with its “owner,” so that if a player character dies—then opts to make a new character, versus taking a level loss—they lose their former relationship with the artifact; the artifact may even decide to vanish elsewhere.

Artifacts are extremely powerful. Rather than merely another form of magic equipment, they are the sorts of legendary relics that whole campaigns can be based on. Each could be the center of a whole set of adventures—a quest to recover it, a fight against an opponent wielding it, a mission to cause its destruction, and so on.

Hypertext D20 SRD

Since players will dedicate several hours to the acquisition of a single artifact (and several magic items of less import—but players who aren’t about to become the artifact’s new caretaker shouldn’t feel entirely left out), breaking that relationship merely to reroll a character will be a hard decision… One that should encourage level loss vs. starting over.

Of course, it’d be nice to think players would also grow into a character’s story; but as Dungeons & Dragons players, we sometimes drift away from story—especially if the campaign doesn’t speak to us—and it becomes about numbers, strategies, hit-’em’-very-hard moments.

Equipment—that is, artifacts (and magic items!)—are part of those moments. They’re like a backdoor to players investing in a world, when the character and/or story isn’t carrying the load by itself.

Magic locations can also act as magic items. I’d like players to connect with the terrain… like side doors, if the direct entry of character (or the backdoor of equipment) is feeling a little rusty.

Terrain-Rich Encounters

If the setting itself is part of an encounter—if monsters don’t just belong to the terrain type, but are enmeshed within it, so that the players must consider weather and buildings, every much as they think about the enemies themselves—then the gaming experience is even more captivating, and the stakes go up, until the player searches for more.

Magical locations, like magical items, can truly hype up the essence of terrain within a campaign:

Accessibility is important don't forget image alt attribute

Note: Images are taken from publications in the 70s (only in the case of the first one), Pexels.com, and the provided pictures for WordPress’ new publication option, Gutenberg, which feels like Wix.com…

I’ll have to explore magical locations more at a later date. I know they’re also a great way to introduce swarm encounters, as well as interactions with good-aligned Monster Manual entries. 

I also want to lean into the terrain-based books: Frostburn, Sandstorm, Stormwrack, and Cityscape. 

The above video was also provided in the WordPress template.

Code is Poetry

The WordPress community

If you want to learn more about how to build additional blocks, or if you are interested in helping with the project, head over to the GitHub repository.


This page was created with my first test of Gutenberg. Thanks for the interest in my Dungeons & Dragons campaign!

👋

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