I enjoy making my own unique Magic Items for D&D but I won’t lie, I’m not the most creative of people. A lot of what I do takes inspiration from other sources, I build on idea’s I find elsewhere. But why not build on the already existing items?
There is dozens of Magic Items in the DMG, sure some of them are basic or might be used a lot. But you can make an item fresh, unique or memorable by flavouring it. You can personalise it to your world, your plot, your setting, or your NPC’s, making it connected to your game and cooler for your players.
It might be changing a Sword into an Axe, a Ring into a Crown or flavouring an item’s uses. You can see my ideas below!
Helm of Comprehend Languages
The Helm allows you to cast Comprehend Languages at Will, pretty generic right. It became a memorable item for me when my GM changed the look of the Helm to Include 2 Antennae and a dial on the side. The item was the same, I could cast Comprehend Languages at will but each round I had to roll to tune the Helm like a Radio from the voices it can hear! I think I used it once, a few years ago in a campaign we played for about 4 sessions but because of that unique flavouring it’s an item I remember to this day!
Pearl of Power
A very simple flavouring, rather than impacting the effect of the Pearl I simply changed its look and gave it an activation phrase to connect it to my campaign. In a Egyptian style, pyramid exploration game I changed it from a Pearl to a Scarab Broach and gave it the activation Phrase ‘Suk-Tesh’ the name of the Mummy Lord. I changed nothing but aesthetics, but it gave the item a different feel to the players and one in particular when they had to invoke the name of the Mummy Lord for every use.
Disguise Self Spell Scroll
Another flavouring to fit in the Egyptian setting was a 1st Level Spell Scroll of Disguise self, a fairly basic item. I flavoured it in two ways, first it’s appearance – I changed it from a Spell Scroll to Hieroglyphics on an ancient Bandage Roll. Then I flavoured the spell so that when cast the only disguise you can choose is that of an Undead Mummy. So instead of a generic Spell Scroll they had a memorable item that led to a much crazy encounter when used!