10 Minor Boons for Magic Items

Magic items are great. Adventurers crave them and learned spellcasters charge exorbitant fees to craft them for their wealthy clients. If the owner is lucky, sometimes the magic item has one or more additional minor powers.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Such abilities could be nothing more than a curiosity. Alternatively, they could serve as a subtle clues to otherwise hidden, unguessable powers.

Use the table below, to determine the item’s minor power:

  1. The item never gets dirty; mud, blood and dirt slide off almost immediately.
  2. On command, the item can create a tiny flame for one minute a day. The resultant illumination is less than that of a candle, but it can be used to light fires, ignite dropped oil and so on.
  3. The item subtly throbs when bad weather is imminent. The intensity of the throbbing matches the intensity of the weather. So, for example, just before a light drizzle starts the throbbing may be imperceptible. Conversely, before a storm strikes the item loudly vibrates.
  4. By holding (or wearing) the item, the owner can cause it to change colour.
  5. Infused with the magic of the elves, the item increases the owner’s ability to see in the dark. In shadowy light, the owner can see an additional 5 ft. without penalty.
  6. Every day, at sunrise and sunset, the item pings gently for one minute. (This may be particularly useful for clerics who have to pray for spells at sunrise, if they cannot see the sun).
  7. The item has minor powers of divination. If the owner sleeps on a particularly worrisome problem, while wearing or holding the item, he is affected with an augury spell of the same caster level as the item’s main power. In the morning, he awakes with the answer foremost in his mind.
  8. The item exudes an aura of calm within 10 ft. that affects all domesticated animals. Pets in particular are drawn to the owner, and vigorously demand attention.
  9. The item has a secret extra-dimensional space within it big enough to hold a potion vial. The owner can access the compartment by simply touching a certain part of the item.
  10. The item smells strong of roses. The owner can increase or decrease the intensity off the smell at will—which might give some protection against noxious odours such as the stench created by troglodytes.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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5 thoughts on “10 Minor Boons for Magic Items

  1. I had an Ioun stone that was kind of like a flying eye. It was able to go 50 feet from me… the down side of it though was that I would lose a point of constitution for every week I would use it.. while it was permanent I was given the opportunity to get my lost con points back if I stopped using it of course or find a potion or spell that had the ability to raise my con or of course a wish spell… I didn’t use it that much but I thought it was interesting…the DM that gave it to me patterned it off of the palantir from LoTR….