Welcome back Greyhawkers! It’s time for another fun A-Z list! Some of my previous alphabetical lists of people, places, deities and yes magic items can be found on the Best of Greyhawkery Page. This time around I will look at some magical items that are not swords or artifacts. Wish me luck! I hope you’ll enjoy!
Apparatus of Kwalish: Debatably this is an artifact, but it’s always been listed among wondrous items in DMG’s. We all know this most famous of aquatic magic items, but for future readers I want to make clear, Kwalish is human, and he originally worked out of the Baklunish West in Zeif.
Bucknard’s Everfull Purse: This is an item I rarely gave out in my old campaigns, though every group had a Bag of Holding or Heward Haversack. The purse just seemed game breaking to me at low level and useless at high level. Why did Bucknard, a former member of the Circle of Eight, need to make this item? I guess he always got stuck paying for drinks at the tavern.
Cloak of the Couatl: Here’s a rare one from The Scarlet Brotherhood. This feather cloak is only found in Amedio or Hepmonaland. As you’d expect it allows the wearer to fly. It also lets you turn invisible. Wow, talk about game breaking!
Dream Cap of Veluna: Greyhawk Adventures really is the best source for GH specific items as you’ll see throughout this column. The dream cap gives premonitions in your sleep, usually of bad stuff that will happen. Later on, you get a bonus to save when whatever happens. I never used this before, but it sounds like a good roleplay device for DMs!
Ebon Skull: Possibly a relic (since only three were made), but this major magic item is found in Iuz the Evil. The user can do typical necromancer stuff, animate dead, cloud kill, etc. I believe the book lists which NPCs has the three skulls. I can’t recall if I ever used these, I think I’d remember if my players acquired one though…
Flaming Mirror of Tenh: Yes, another gem from GHA. The Flaming Mirror is a cool plane-travelling device (elemental plane of fire) that I did use in the past but for the Baklunish West instead. Tenh sounds cool, but I don’t see the thematic connection except to give this item a place name. Personally, I’d trade this one with the Whip of Zeif to make the Flaming Mirror of Zeif.
Gargoyle Cloak: From the Temple of Elemental Evil, this garment obviously polymorphs the wearer into a gargoyle! (helpful if one plays the module Gargoyle?) Interestingly if the wearer takes 20 hp damage from edged or fire attacks the cloak is ruined and stops working. The worst drawback is each 10 minutes you remain a gargoyle there is a 10% chance (cumulative) that your mind is changed to a gargoyle permanently. One more note, the module says there is other cloaks that turn wearers into other types of creatures. See below!
Hasty Barge of Nyr Dyv: Another from Greyhawk Adventures, this is a Rhennee barge that has magical movement, and it automatically repels unintelligent sea creatures. This is one of the only items attached to Rhennee culture that I’m aware of, so this makes the hasty barge valuable indeed!
Iron Bands of Bilarro: Well, this item is pretty standard across D&D editions (and we know by now what the anagram name is about), but what I just realized on re-reading it is the bands start off as a “ball” of iron that you throw at an opponent. The bands unwind and wrap around the target to catch it. Holy crap guys, it’s a Pokemon ball!
Jug of Geshtai: Throwing you all a curve ball here. This item was created by ME way back in 2005! Check it out over on Canonfire!
Keolish Plate Mail of the Seas: Interestingly demonym spelling from GHA. Keolish? Misprint or intentional? At any rate this item is great because it has historical relevance. The King of Keoland gave it to his admiral for defeating the Sea Princes. That’s the Battle of Jetsom Isle folks! Naturally the armor allows the wearer to not sink in water. Makes you wonder if the Sea Mages of Gradsul made more of these?
Leomund’s Labile Locker: I’m a sucker for alliteration. From TOEE once again, Leomund sure knows how to make extra-dimensional storage space. This small box does it all, it shrinks, grows and can be used as a Leomund’s Secret Chest spell. More of this please!
Mantle of Celestian: A unique magic item from Unearthed Arcana. This black cloak allows the wearer to breathe and act normally in space! It also has numerous extra-dimensional pockets to store things like food & water while you um, float around in space?
Necklace of Missiles: Found in the DMG, this fireball inducing item isn’t necessarily uniquely Greyhawk. But I will tell you a story from my campaign when the players got a bunch of missile beads from the module Greyhawk Ruins. No joke (spoiler) there is a room with 13 jars holding 300 beads each. A chart in the module says 94% are missile beads of various strength (the remaining 6% are beads of force, no big deal). That means this dungeon yields 3666 fireball missiles. Needless to say, my players invented carpet bombing in Greyhawk.
Oracles of Greyhawk: Oracles in this case are specialized crystal balls (likely created by Zagig Yragerne). There is seven of them and once per day the oracle will answer a sagely question about a specific area such as Greyhawk City, Horned Society or the Wild Coast. I like these items because it can allow a DM to insert meta-knowledge into a game. The added danger to this orb is that the rulers of these areas may not want an oracle that can reveal their secret troop strengths or hidden resources. I need to use this next time!
Purple Robes of Tharizdun: Hilariously, these robes first seen in Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, are given magic item status in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. It just protects against the magical cold of their temples, pretty basic, like their cultists. There I said it.
Quaal’s Feather Tokens: A classic from the DMG. These were always easy to dish out because they are one shot items. I think my players liked the Anchor best because they would use it offensively like a Looney Tunes cartoon. Tell me I’m not the only one.
Rary’s Ring of Memories: This plain ring is from Slavers surprisingly (not Rary the Traitor). I thought it would be cooler, but all it actually does is cast Rary’s Memory Alteration. I guess that could be evil if played right. *activates ring* “No Tenser, I didn’t try to kill you and Otiluke! It wasn’t me, I swear.”
Shoes of Fharlanghn: Another very cool item from UA and also Land Beyond the Magic Mirror. The wearer never fatigues from walking and if they are neutral the boots give extra movement powers. But wait, that’s not all! If the wearer is a Fharlanghn worshipper, they get even MORE powers. I don’t think we ever had someone play a Fharlanghnite, so this item never got used in my campaign. A shame.
Tenser’s Girdle of Giant Strength: From Return of the Eight. This module has a bunch of Tenser created items mainly for fighter-types to use, but this one is of particular interest because it’s for only for wizards. This is significant because the original DMG says strength girdles do not work for magic-users. A custom magic rope belt that gives a mage hill giant strength is definitely on brand for Tenser.
Universal Solvent: A classic magic item but who has ever used this actually? It’s funny to have an item whose main purpose is to negate its opposite, Sovereign Glue. That’s the Gygax era though!
Vecnan Wafers: Okay this one is from way out there. Found in the 2E module, Die Vecna Die this unholy magical flat bread is consecrated to Vecna. If one who worships Vecna eats the wafers it will give a variety of buffs/heals, whereas non-Vecnans can expect reallllly bad stuff to occur. Fun!
Wand of a Wonder: You’ve heard of the Wand of Wonder, yes? Well, when that item runs out of charges, try the Wand of A Wonder from the TOEE mega-module. It’s similar to the DMG version and has a whole new list of random wild effects. Good times!
Xaren Cloak: This is a nifty cheat for the list. Technically it’s a variation of the Gargoyle Cloak above, but in the Encyclopedia Magica Vol 1, the listing for this cloak includes a d20 list of other monster cloaks. Xaren was unexpected, why not Xorn? At any rate, there ya go!
Yagrax’s Spellbook: Here’s another obscure one for the A-Z list compliments of Encyclopedia Magica. In Dragon #82 there is a tome subtitled Alterations of Tangibles and Intangibles. This has the spells melt, transmute water to dust, item, material, fabricate, and the always classy crystalbrittle.
Zagyg’s Flowing Flagon: One more from UA to finish off this column. Zagyg is a whimsical mage who has some eccentric magic item tastes. This one is a vessel that refills itself up to six times with ever more potent alcohol each time. Somehow, I have never used this item but I’m putting this one in my next game you can bet!