Performance Check

5e Magic Item Patterns for Alternate Crafting: The A’s

Alright, here we go. We’re back, and we’re finishing up all the rest of the SRD A’s for magic items. It’s a long list, covering a lot of very cool items. As before, I include my notes as to my design ideas behind them, and how to vary the patterns up for your own game use. As always, the hope is these patterns can be a direct port into any game world, but I have been around long enough to understand that it’s not always possible. So, hopefully the notes continue to be useful. Let’s go ahead and dig into 5e Magic Item Patterns for Alternate Crafting: The A’s.

Magic Item Patterns: One | Two | Strange and Legendary | A’s

Armor +1

“Day 3 – De Tún Fan ‘e Moarn

We broke our fast today upon reaching Kearsflamme within De Tún Fan ‘e Moarn. It puts our pace behind, but most of the company will never again make the pilgrimage. It is a poor commander who deprives them of the experience. It’s a place of introspection, and stands in stark contrast to the bleakness of the rest of Krúsmir. It’s one of the few remaining complete works left behind by those who came before the Equinox. De Tún Fan ‘e Moarn is nothing less than a triumph, to see in person. The way the stones and flora are blended to create statues and structures that – while meaningless to us in terms of context – inspire a sense of wistful longing. Of course, the secret of De Tún Fan ‘e Moarn lies within its misnaming. While it is indeed beautiful in the morning light, it reveals hidden grandeur once night is upon us in full. At the center of that is Kearsflamme, the first known appearance of a celestial root. After all the light in the sky has fled, and starlight shines down from above, Kearsflamme begins to flicker to life – not unlike a candle in the night, thus the name.

–from the diary of Kommandant Juwelier Rigel”

Tool Proficiency Required: Leatherworker’s tools or smith’s tools
Rank Required: Expert
Material(s) Required: three powdered black jade worth at least 100 gp each, 1 oz. of oil from a celestial root
Conditions Required: None
Pattern Uses: Infinite
Work Time (in gp): 600gp

Armor +2

“Day 5 – De Tún Fan ‘e Moarn

It persists. I know we are now days behind – I must thank Sjen Wolf for her excellent tablet allowing the sending to commence without her presence – but we have to know. We have to know what is at the bottom. The loss of the Kearsflamme is hard enough, but to see the great hole where it should be…how could we not investigate? Koel is not yet back from their initial descent, but their spark is still lit and is not flickering. As such, we must assume they are safe, and without injury. Still, we hear a…not howling exactly…a yowling? A distressing mewling? A lamenting cry of something not quite a person as we understand it? Some of the company say they hear words in the sound. Others hear only the sound itself. One, Maart, hears nothing at all, and seems strongly certain of this. It’s puzzling to be sure. Hearing the sound is a contributing factor to investigate…the…hole seems inappropriate…I have come to think of it more as a grave. The grave of the Kearsflamme. How could we continue on if this is a person in distress? How could we continue on if there is to be a desperate creature at our backs? Regardless, what I wouldn’t give for one of the nomads of Dendar to come across us. Last night, most of us suffered night terrors the likes we have never known. Already, the spirits are out this evening to help us forget…and perhaps to provide us a dreamless respite should we consume enough.

–from the diary of Kommandant Juwelier Rigel”

Tool Proficiency Required: Leatherworker’s tools or smith’s tools
Rank Required: Artisan
Material(s) Required: three powdered black opals worth at least 1000 gp each, 3 oz. of oil from a celestial root, a darkened lodestone
Conditions Required: Sunset or sunrise must occur during each crafting session
Pattern Uses: 5
Work Time (in gp): 900gp

Armor +3

“Day 47? – Einleas Hiaat

How many now? Looking over my entries – which I do not recall writing – it seems we were once a much more sizeable company. I mention Druf, Fennekke, Jurryt, Koel, Maart, and Nine. Were there others? I see I mention them across several entries, but I have started to write this one in the days past. I have taken to numbering the days based on counting the pages. I know this is not accurate, but I cannot know how inaccurate it is. Pages have been ripped out, others awash in stains, and some contain drawings – and I am not an artist.There are poems written on strange paper, folded and placed with care inside my journal. I cannot read them, yet I know they are poems. Worse, I do not know where we are. My own journal calls it De Tún Fan ‘e Moarn, yet that name means nothing. The others here call it Einleas Hiaat – the Endless Void. I don’t know why I know that’s what it means, but I do. Above all I…it is time to go..the song has begun again…

–from the diary of Kommandant Juwelier Rigel”

Tool Proficiency Required: Leatherworker’s tools or smith’s tools
Rank Required: Master
Material(s) Required: three powdered black sapphires worth at least 5000 gp each, a crystallized celestial root
Conditions Required: The final crafting session of this item must occur in a Crucible of Twilight or Crucible of Dawn
Pattern Uses: 1
Work Time (in gp): 1200gp

Notes: I am going to provide notes for all three at once, here. What’s a celestial root? That’s a great question. It can be any number of things, though I am imagining it as something as a tree or plant left behind to act as a warden against the Far Realm, or unsavory creatures from Beyond. However, it could just as easily be a plant from the Upper Realms, a starspawn that’s not really a plant, a gift left behind by a god, or any other of suitable thing. The vagueness is on purpose. Oil comes from lots of things.

Speaking of, why oil? Because it applies equally to metal and leather armor. From a purely mechanical imagery perspective, I want something that applies easily to most kinds of armor. It’s easy to imagine oil being used in a variety of ways during the creation process. Mixing the powdered gems with the oil is my intent, creating a paste or salve. Again, lots of different ways to do it.

Armor of Invulnerability – Master

“Good people of Umlambo, direct your porcine eyes away from your gruel and towards the magnificence standing before you. With your meager intellects, it is undoubtedly difficult to comprehend the majesty of Ephilayo without additional aid. As the Kindly Ones would have it, I am a certified educator, with a major in bumpkinology. Try not to drool on yourselves as you gaze upon this spectacle of spectacles. The ignorant among you might see Ephilayo as nothing more than a tremendous mountain, betraying your general stupidity. Ephilayo is a savage warrior of its people, eager to rip apart those foolish enough to cross its path. It towers over any of your primitive hovels. Its breath is strong enough to clear away even your unwashed stench. Behold the full might of…*indecipherable*…I said BEHOLD the full might…*incredulous sound*…really, you great lump of dirt? You are forgetting your cues? After all I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me? That’s it. I’m getting the scroll out. You’re making me do this. I don’t…hey, whoa now. What are you doing put me down this instant! I SAID PUT ME DOWN THIS – ARRRRRRRGH!”

–transcript from the last performance of The Amazing Krasiv and his Monsters of Delight

Tool Proficiency Required: Smith’s tools
Rank Required: Master
Material(s) Required: A smithing hammer blessed by a cosmic entity (god, demi-god, warlock patron, archdevil, demon prince, etc.), living ore from a colossal elemental, 7 diamonds each worth at least 5000gp
Conditions Required: The final session creating this item must take place upon a mountain peak, at least 5000 meters high
Pattern Uses: 1
Work Time (in gp): 1500gp

Notes: This is legendary armor, with an incredible active effect. People using this armor should – please exclude the colloquialism – feel “boss af.” The idea behind the components is the players would need to harvest ore from a colossal elemental, and the concept of “living ore” is open for interpretation – by design. The initial requirement of the smithing hammer should help guide the players as to how they should go about that – a demon prince might want you to just kill the damn thing, whereas an archfey might not be about that at all.

Armor of Resistance

“Ah, the story of Umorel. It’s one of my favorite tales. I beg your indulgence for a moment, though I dare say you could all use a break from the history of the Speakers of the Southern Sky. Long before that august organization was formed, Umorel was a key figure in the night sky. Umorel earned her place by defending a people and defeating a monster of the sea – both of which are now forgotten by time due to shoddy scholarship. Let that be a lesson to you all that documentation and distribution are of continued importance. Of course, not many recall her for that reason, but rather her assistance of our foes during the Siege of Joined Seraphs. Her terrifying screech shattering walls and troops alike. The power of her cosmic wind gusts battering fortifications and sending the unlucky to a fate worse than death…but you know all this, already. Instead, what I want to focus on today is how Umorel underwent a shift from friend to foe. It’s crucial in understanding what lies ahead of us.”

-from a lecture given by Professor Dokosvane at the College of Kindly Song

Tool Proficiency Required: leatherworker’s tools, smith’s tools, or weaver’s tools
Rank Required: Expert
Material(s) Required: chromatic prism, one each of the following gems, each worth at least 500gp: alexandrite, aquamarine, black pearl, blue spinel, peridot, and topaz
Conditions Required: armor must be stored in an airtight box between sessions
Pattern Uses: 5
Work Time (in gp): 600gp
Notes: I think this one is straightforward. The smith uses the prism in any number of thematic ways, and would combine it with the gems as the work progresses. A tailor might soak threads in the gem powder, and then have the light from the prism shine on it, for example. A leatherworker might have the gems broken up, and then embed them in the armor itself, using the prism to “cure” the leather each day. Lots of possibilities, all hopefully reliant on theme. What’s a chromatic prism? It could be a standard, rare item the crafter needs to obtain, or it could be something special only granted by something representing purity or refinement.

Armor of Vulnerability – Expert

“The scene was a grisly one. Viscera and fluid as far as the eye could see – not that you would want to keep looking. The cloying smell of too-sweet…something…I hesitate to say incense, as most incense doesn’t cause a sense of escalating foreboding in those that inhale it. In the center of the room lay what looked like a table, but was far more gruesome upon inspection. A flayed and splintered treant had been fashioned into a workspace, with a strange crystalling heart impaled on the largest splinter. Rings, necklaces, and a sickly grey ooze covered many of the rest. Neighbors thought they knew Fenja Blom, but that’s obviously not the case.”

–from the public case notes of Undersiker Eitel Maart

Tool Proficiency Required: smith’s tools
Rank Required: Expert
Material(s) Required: a crystallized still-bleeding heart, distilled essence of a broken promise, memento of an unwilling ghost
Conditions Required: this armor must be forged within an unbroken circle of salt
Pattern Uses: 1
Work Time (in gp): 750gp

Notes: Players probably wouldn’t want to make this armor for themselves, but I have been wrong so many times one more wouldn’t even phase me. Instead, player’s finding this pattern would be able to recognize the signs of when someone else made the armor or is in the process of making the armor. I would play it as something of a mystery, with the pattern spurring the climax of the story. That’s just me. The components should be tailored to the idea of lament, regret, and anger. Each of the components are hopefully evocative, without really locking you into any one idea of what it might be. All of this stuff should evoke a very…unsettling visual image.

Arrow-Catching Shield – Expert

“Due to several incidents within the past five days, the following guidelines are effective immediately:

  • Bows, crossbows, javelins, thrown axes, thrown hammers, battle rings, floating shards, doom stars, and any other ranged weapons are banned from the Workman’s Quarter
  • Lodestone oil must be signed in and out of the vault
  • Medical attention is available in the Service Quarter without any question for the next five days
  • After this grace period, medical attention will return to the standard guidelines as outlined in previous communications
  • Travel to the Ityuwa Marsh requires official approval, and is no longer considered a Resource Zone
  • Ityuwa Marsh harvesting will be inspected upon return, and subject to confiscation guidelines
  • All Pozar-modeled weaponry is no longer available as a testing resource until further notice

–a transcription of an Indulu notice

Tool Proficiency Required: smith’s tools,or woodcarver’s tools
Rank Required: Expert
Material(s) Required: 1 lb. of lodestone oil, 5 lb. of naturally shed salthide basilisk scales, powdered finger bone of a martyr
Conditions Required: the shield must be entirely encased in iron filings between sessions, or no progress can be made on creation
Pattern Uses: 3
Work Time (in gp): 900gp

Notes: I have a love/hate relationship with magic shields. They do SO. MUCH. WORK. in 5e. Still, mechanical throughput issues notwithstanding, this is a dope item. As such, the crafting method should feel equally cool and epic. In this case, we’re back to an oil. I know I go to it a lot, but it’s versatile and fits different crafting methods. I promise to remain aware of the situation. Oil from a stone, though? Sure, why not? Maybe you can only get it from a vein, or only through a certain alchemical process. I’m relying a lot of alchemists to play a part in crafting to refine some of these components. I think that’s a good thing, on a small scale like tabletop. Obviously, the scale collection is a risky endeavor, and should be good adventuring grist. Why salthide? It can change to whatever, but I like the idea of basilisks in marshes, so just personal preference. The finger bone is trickier, but it should depict the idea of “otherworldly” aid in the form of self-sacrifice. After all, you use your reaction to purposefully get shot.

Arrow of Slaying – Artisan

“Everyone has their drakons. For some, like Fidanka, it is an actual drakon. Razrushitel is not my drakon, though it is the drakon for many – and for good reason. No, my drakon is the koburpile. Yes, laugh. They are considered pests and nuisances at the worst. I ask you, how can a creature that is so aggressive and is larger than most boars only a nuisance? They are smarter than people give them credit for, and are more clever than the large hunting cats by half. I am on to them. There is one in particular that plagues me. Whenever I am in the field, it is there. Whenever I go to harvest, it is there. No matter where I go or what I do, it is there…waiting…biding its time. No more. I will not live in fear any longer. The stinging bites, the broken bones, and the running in terror end today. The object of my wrath will soon be complete, and I will have my vengeance.”

–from the diary of “Mad” Grozdan

Tool Proficiency Required: smith’s tools or woodcarver’s tools
Rank Required: Artisan
Material(s) Required: a representation of the targeted creature type worth at least 10,000gp – infused with the concept of the creature, heartwood of a rune tree
Conditions Required: a sunsilver knife must be used in the creation process (sunlight silver – called sunsilver – is silver transmuted by an alchemist or wizard at a ley line or other place of power), and the arrow must be exposed to sunlight during the creation process
Pattern Uses: 1
Work Time (in gp): 100gp

Notes: I would expect another craftsman to aid in the creation of the targeted creature type representation, and that the final step of crafting is smashing it and spreading the dust over the arrow. I also go back to the heartwood of a rune tree here, trying to solidify a sense of component solidarity as I do with oils above. Very rare arrow (rarrow?) means heartwood of a rune tree. Easily communicated, and it’s something players can hear and then gain the knowledge. Now, sunlight silver is a variation on the moonlight silver I used before. The idea here is the moonlight silver is a more persistent sort of magical alloy, while sunlight silver is more volatile and “bursty” in nature when used in creation. The ol’ burst vs. sustain paradigm.