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d20 Interesting Magic Item Drawbacks

I wrote a small hexcrawl for http://www.gauntlet-rpg.com/keepers-of-the-gauntlet-contest.html this week, I'll release it when the contest is over.

For now though, here's a table of drawbacks that can be added to magic items to temper their power and add a bit of extra flavour. The idea is to make something that isn't purely numeric so it could potentially have a creative use / workaround.

d20 Magic Item DrawbacksRoll

Extremely brittle in light


Screams into the hell-plane Screams can't be heard under normal circumstances, but will alert any demon or devil to your presence


Rings loudly when the owner lies


Shrinks a little bit each day. 1d6 weeks before it is too small to see


Hivecaller Attracts any hivemind creatures. If stationary for one hour will be covered in a swarm of insects


Immuno-deficient. Each week you carry this item roll 1d6, on a 5-6 contract a minor disease


Melts nearby metal. After 24 hours up to 10lb of nearby (5ft) metal will be liquid. The metal does not get hot, but it melts anyway. (So liquefies metal might be more correct, though it appears to melt)


Dysconstellatia The stars in the night sky appear as though from a completely different spot and rotation on the world to anyone within 30ft. Navigating by stars and ready peoples fortune by stars is very misleading


Food and drink tastes like refuse and excrement to anyone who has held this in the last hour (if not used to eating such things you will probably have to make a roll to stomach any food or drink, potions included)


You dream of a man with a terrible smile and a shining white suit. Any civilised place you go, he's been there before you and spread some mistruth about you (1-2 (its a mildly beneficial lie), 3-4 (its inane), 5-6 (its bad))


Small birds that can fly will swoop at you on sight


All rings are too big for you they will fall off if you aren't paying attention and haven't secured them to your finger in some non-standard way (standard being just shoving them on)


Pieces of paper that describe violence cut at you like blades, 1d4 damage if you turn or hold such a page


A contract with a devil is slowly being written on your body. It will spread over all your skin in 1d12 months. When the contract has been fully written up, the devil will appear to insist upon your signature


You are followed everywhere by a light breeze (can make detecting secret passages and ways out difficult, also sneaking if what you're sneaking up to takes note of such things)


Your appreciation for art vanishes, you are compelled to voice your reasons for not liking a piece of art when you see/hear/read (etc.) it


You remind everyone of: 1-3 their father, 4-6 their mother, 7-8 themself


You would love to swim in any body of water big enough for you to submerge yourself in


Keys you hold don't fit their locks, bottles and waterskins you hold won't pour


You know a name, and you know that if you speak that name bad things will happen. (Hand them a piece of paper with a name on it) (Writing or otherwise communicating the name counts too)

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 by RhysHexmapping Tool | Twitter | Patreon


H Wallis
Love this, thank you :) The art appreciation piece is hilarious - I'll be adding that to my game.
Tue Oct 10 2017 20:30:26 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)