We’re in the home stretch on the 30 Day D&D Posting Challenge!
25. What is your Favorite Magic Item?
Here we go with another hard one. The AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide is filled with tons of outstanding magic items. When I was a teenager (and let’s be honest, even now) I would flip through the pages reading the descriptions and coming up with ideas. The vast array of items is another strength of the D&D game.
For utility it was hard to beat the Gauntlets of Ogre Power. This was one of the more spectacular items that showed up with any frequency in our games. Slippers of Spider-Climbing and Ropes of Climbing were also great utilitarian items.
For magic weapons I liked the Sword of Sharpness and the Sunblade. For gonzo weirdness there was the Apparatus of Kwalish.
Then there’s the thrill and danger of the Deck of Many Things and the Wand of Wonder. Both present very different challenges to the players but no matter how often they’ve been burned it’s impossible not to play with them.
But when all is said and done, if I have to make a choice, I’m going with the Staff of the Magi. A wizard wielding a Staff of the Magi is a fearsome thing. A mid-to-high level magic-user finds their spell arsenal nearly doubled. For a low level party a Staff of the Magi is worth being the object of an entire quest.
Then there’s the Retributive Strike option of the Staff, for when all hope is lost. A magic-user surrounded by hordes of monsters, making his last stand and breaking his staff to unleash a huge fireball is the stuff of legends. I question how effective it would be in practice, since the player will probably have expended most of the staff’s charges before that point, but the concept is fantastic.
One of the things I like about the module L1, The Secret of Bone Hill, is how you can tell the history of the ruined castle based on the description of its condition. There’s a large circle on the map of the courtyard described as a large circle burned long ago by fire. There are two charred pieces of a broken staff in the middle of the circle, still lying undisturbed years after the fall of the castle.
This tells us volumes about what happened.