Reskinning magic items

An easy way to customize magic items is to take an item’s power and attach it to a different object: boots of flying becomes an umbrella of flying, for instance. Apart from armor and weapons, pretty much everything else is interchangeable. Here are some d20 lists for reskinning items.

Note: you can roll once per item type and use the result throughout a certain dungeon. For instance, all potions in the Berserkers Freehold are actually applications of woad.

1: an entire gallon of wine which must be completely consumed
2-11: just a boring ol’ potion
12: facepaint, rouge, or woad
13: drug-tipped needle that you need to jam into your arm
14: rare herb (give it a name: potion of storm giant strength = “galeroot”, etc)
15: smelling salts
16: scroll containing a 2-line rhyming incantation
17: pearl that must be eaten, or something else that people don’t usually eat like a scorpion or spiderweb
18: torch: potion affects whoever lights the torch
19: pinch of fairy dust
20: one-use ring: its magic is activated when it is removed or destroyed

1: metal hand, pegleg, glass eye. can only be worn if you are missing the appropriate body part
2-11: just a ring
12-13: +1 dagger: you can activate a spell or power only as part of an attack, or alternatively by giving yourself one of those ritual palm cuts you see in like every fantasy movie (doing yourself 1 point of damage)
14-15: other jewelry (necklace, tiara, earring, bracelet, crown of living flowers)
16: ever-full box of snuff, candies, or pills which must be attuned to you. Taking a dose activates the item’s powers for 12 hours
17: fantastic hat with 1d6 feathers and a brim of 2d20 inches
18: a blessing which someone bestows on you. You can transfer the benefits by saying the blessing to someone else
19: signet ring. Only functions if you are part of the family or organization specified by the ring. or it’s a wedding ring and it only functions if you’re married.
20: signet ring. Choose another random magic ring. When the signet ring is turned in, it acts as ring 1. When the signet is turned out, it acts as ring 2

1: puzzle cube that must be solved to use a power (1 action per attempt, Int or Wis check DC 10)
2-10: just a rod, staff, or wand
11: umbrella. Every use of a charge changes the umbrella’s state in some way (open/close, handle extended, inside out, etc)
12: trumpet or horn or gong or basically anything else where activating a power is extremely loud
13: monocle: putting it on allows you to activate a power, letting it fall comically out of your eye activates another
14: bag of something weird, like teeth: throw one to activate
15: gemmed crown: each gem activates a different power
16: spoon, fork, or knife: activate a power by eating
17: glove: powers can’t be activated while the glove is holding anything
18: glowing orb, or giant and obviously expensive jewel
19: whip: powers activated by cracking the whip
20: a familiar which bonds to the owner (as if the owner had cast Find Familiar). The familiar can activate the magic item’s abilities

1: heavy stone tablet
2-11: just a scroll
12: a specific braid in someone’s hair: may be copied like a scroll, but only into someone else’s hair. When the spell is expended, the hair unbraids itself
13: tiny spirit who can cast spells. Flits around you and casts spells at your command; leaves when all spells are expended
14: belt pouch containing one peculiar coin per spell. Spell is cast when you flip the coin. On a heads, the coin is not expended; on a tails, the coin disappears
15: deck of spell cards: contains 6 spells but you can’t decide which one to cast, you have to pull one randomly from the deck and toss it like that one X Man
16: graffiti nonsense words which sear themselves upon your retina until you read them aloud
17: spell is written on the last page of an otherwise mundane book
18: verse of a song which can be sung as an action. No one can sing the verse more than once. However, anyone else, regardless of class, who hears it may make a DC 15 Intelligence check to learn it. Bards have advantage
19-20: jewel: any user, regardless of class or level, can cast the spell by shattering the jewel

1: something large and/or breakable, like a piano, alchemical setup, rug, or statue
2-11: as written in the item description
12: mirror, map, painting, certificate, or something else in a frame
13: key, keyring, bottle opener, coin purse, handkerchief, string, or anything else which is often kept in ordinary pocketses
14: gamepiece from a set, such as a chessman or die or playing card. Find the rest of the gamepieces! Each has the powers of a different wondrous item!
15: sock, necktie, cummerbund, garter, shawl, or other rarely-magical article of clothing
16: book
17-19: roll up another random wondrous item. It looks like item 2 but has the powers of item 1
20: it’s sharp, or on a stick, or it fires lasers, or something, and can be wielded as a +1 weapon (+2 if very rare, +3 if legendary)

OK, now I’ll randomly roll up one of each of the item categories (selecting the first of each type from and then rolling on my charts) and see if I come up with good items.

Potion of Superior Healing; roll of 16, Rhyming Incantation: An astrological star chart which contains the couplet “Sun and Moon, heal my wound.” Read the words aloud and be healed 8d4+8 HP, and the star chart incinerates.

Ring of Warmth; roll of 6: just a Ring of Warmth. Boring! Roll again! 17. Hat. A dragoon hat with a phoenix feather plume and a 15-inch brim. Wearing it grants you resistance to cold damage and immunity to cold above -50 F, but makes it hard for you to walk through narrow doors.

Tentacle Rod; roll of 14, bag of something weird: A bag of beaks. As an action, you can throw up to 3 beaks (range 15): make a ranged attack with a +9 bonus. On a hit, each beak does 1d6 piercing damage. If you hit a target with all 3, you do all the fun Tentacle Rod stuff (DC 15 Con save or be agonized till it makes its save, etc).

Spell scroll (Ray of Frost); roll of 20, gem: A frost-covered sapphire. Throw it on the ground to shatter it and a Ray of Frost leaps out at a target of your choosing.

Saddle of the Cavalier; roll of 9, key: a horsehead-handled key. While you’re mounted on any beast with a saddle, you can magically insert the key into the saddle and lock or unlock it. While the saddle is locked, you can’t be dismounted and attack rolls against the mount have disadvantage.

One Response to “Reskinning magic items”

  1. Wonderful! One of many things on this website that I want to be a default part of my D&D campaigns from now on.

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