are you kidding me? i can totally think of many uses for these interesting items.
Below is a list of magical items that are mostly useless. Inspired by the notes for DM of the Rings XVII.
I always throw one of these into some boss loot every now-and-then. They will usually hang on to these useless things until the heat death of the universe. Sometimes, they even find a use for them... sometimes.
Orb of Bloodlight
Description: It is a smooth, flawless obsidian orb, about the size of an apple, and feels heavy for its size. Its surface is completely smooth, except for a curved indent the size of a copper piece. While you are examining it, you press your thumb against the indent and the Orb suddenly loses its weight and glows a deep crimson, almost the colour of blood. In surprise you drop it, but instead of falling to the floor, it stays exactly where it was when your hand left it. Completely still, as if it were not affected by gravity or wind. You attempt to grab it, but it will not move, as if locked into place. After about a minute, the light suddenly goes off and it falls to the ground. You reach down and are able to pick it up again.
Weight: Dark: 2lbs Light: 0lbs
Magical Effects: When activated by touching the indent: Magical light effect: Deep Crimson 15’
The Orb will become weightless, and as soon as the PC releases it, it will stay where it was left and cannot be moved for 2d8 rounds, or one full minute, at which point the light will go out and it will fall to the ground.
Special Notes: Can only be carried or used by the PC that first activated it. If another PC or NPC tries to carry it, it will be locked in place, like when it has been activated.
Value: Nothing as it cannot be sold
Staff of Svisle
Description: It is what appears to be a 4’ quarterstaff. It is maroon in colour, but its material is unlike anything you have ever seen before. It feels like both wood and metal, but looks like it is carved from stone. It is covered in an intricate pattern that looks like scales. It has the text “Si dartak nomeno visek” carved into it. One end is carved into the shape of a dragon's head, the other a tail. You set it on the ground to sheathe your weapon(s). As soon as your hand leaves it, leaps up and stands perfectly upright, with the head in the air. You push it, and it sways to the side, but always returns to its upright position.
Stats: Damage: 1d6/1d6 x2 - Bludgeoning
Magical Effects: When no one is holding it or carrying it in their inventory, it will stand perfectly upright. It will react when pushed or pulled, but will always return to its upright position until it is picked up again.
Value: same as +2 quarterstaff
(Fun fact: "Si dartak nomeno visek" means "I hate this adventure" - a line commonly repeated by players in DM of the Rings)
Cloak of Many Colours
Description: At first glance it appears to be just a plain, grey cloak. However, when you touch it, it seems to be made from the finest silk, almost like liquid in your hand.
Stats: Plain cloak, no bonus.
Magical effect: When the player equips the cloak, they roll 3d10. Each dye corresponds to the PC’s hair, skin and eyes. The value of each die corresponds to the following colour table:
The characters hair skin and eyes will be stuck in the colours the player rolled until a remove curse spell is cast on them.
1 Sky Blue 6 Purple 2 Red 7 Pink 3 Bottle Green 8 Lime Green 4 Yellow 9 Dark Blue 5 Orange 10 Cyan
Value: Cursed item: cannot be sold, only gifted.
Ring of “Invisibility”
Description: It is a plain ring made from silver. It has an engraving of an eye with a small, sapphire as the pupil. The gem is glowing faintly.
After the player puts it on: After you put the ring on, you find that you are now completely invisible.
To the other players: Yeah, he only thinks he’s invisible.
Stats: Standard ring, no bonuses
Magic effect: Makes the wearer utterly convinced that they are invisible, despite any evidence that they are, in fact, completely visible. While the ring is equipped, the player cannot be convinced, persuaded, bribed, lectured or coerced into believing that they are visible.
Really? Even the ring? If you do ever use one, I would love to hear about it.
oh, especially the ring. just think of the con-artist opportunities! a bit of a bluff check (to pretend that you can't see them) and away we go!
the orb and the staff are kinda cool
I remember this because of a campaign back in college in which a PC magic-user of some sort cast a spell convincing another PC that the creatures couldn't find him, so the game master (technically, the DM) ruled the monsters could not find him while the spell lasted. I have some vague memory of the DM forcing him to make disbelief rolls every time the monsters unnerved him, with the player desperately trying to fail his disbelief roll so he could remain invisible and inaudible to the creatures, but I'm not sure about the details there.
This reminds me of the "magical" items in the Numenera book called Oddities. Nearly worthless, an Oddity is described as an item theat has an effect, but cannot be used for Attack/Defense/Healing/General Usefulness.
One example might be a sheet of ferrous iron the size of a piece of notebook paper that can be bent, ripped, written on, etc like paper but is still metallic.
which works great as poison against those who have vulnerability to cold iron. ;D
and just imagine the paper cuts and pain inflicted that you could achieve using that in a magnetic control field of some kind.... =p