Performance Check

5e Magic Item Patterns for Alternate Crafting: the Bags

Welcome back to the ongoing effort to take existing 5e SRD magic items and convert them to patterns you can hand out to players for crafting purposes. This is meant to supplement this alternate crafting system, but it is not strictly necessary for it to do so. As with anything, feel free to ignore any parts that don’t work for your game, including the flavor text. The intent is to support different crafting stories within worlds than is otherwise possible with the existing crafting rules. I care about representing archetypes such as the magical smith, clever tinker, and legendary alchemist. It’s always up to you if this works for you, or if this is something you want. If you don’t, I at least hope this is interesting and inspiring. My goal was to do all of the B’s this time, but moving 3000 miles and starting a new job has only me trying to play catch up. Anyway, onward to 5e Magic Item Patterns for Alternate Crafting: the Bags.

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

Bag of Ortikka the Field Maiden (Bag of Beans)
“This winter is longer than in recent years. If you ask me – few are, of course – the years of balance or tipping towards summer are things of suffering, rather than occasions for joy. Long have we relied upon winter for our safety. There are star things that cannot thrive here when given shape. The summer makes us vulnerable and weak. We idle too often and for too long. We lose our drive to tend the fields as fervently as we should, drawing the ire of Ortikka. It is her guidance that sees us through the hard times, and we forget her in times of joy. While it is true we have not seen evidence of her displeasure, that does not mean it isn’t there. I know it to be the truth. I will never forget her in our times of excess. How could I ever do such a thing?”

-from the journal of Eleonara of Shenitsa

Tool Proficiency Required: alchemist’s supplies or cook’s utensils
Rank Required: Expert
Material(s) Required: a night lily bulb, a siphon stone, twelve beans, 1 oz. of dried chimera blood, a bull elk leather bag
Conditions Required: a sunsilver knife must be used in the creation process
Pattern Uses: 3
Work Time (in gp): 300gp

Notes: I really like the bag of beans as a magic item. In this case, I wanted to make it a little more focused on the plight of farming in a harsh environment, and give hints as to what people might do survive. Ortikka the Field Maiden could be just about anything, though I envision her as an archfey. Whether or not she is as the author describes her is another matter all together. As far as the materials go, the night lily has been mentioned in previous works. Parts of the night lily must be gathered while the plant still lives, and the components harvested must begin to be invested in an object quickly or they lose their efficacy. A siphon stone sounds like an item of elemental earth. It’s goal is to dry and absorb liquid from surrounding areas, making it valuable and useful in its own regard. The rest is fairly straight forward and should speak to the nature of the bag itself.

Tshaib’s Maw (Bag of Devouring)

“O Tshaib! Infinite hunger from beyond the seen stars! Let us gaze into your unknowable eye and see the splendor of worlds hidden from us by those jealous of your glory. The ignorant hordes will never understand the life you create from the husks of dying lands. They will name you Terror and Devourer, instead of Lifegiver and Father. Those who have read the sacred texts and seen the truth in the stars will stand fast by his side. Tshaib will unmake this world of sin and blight and make it whole in the Astral Crucible. Know my loyalty, my lord. Deliver your will unto me.”

-from the writing of Quaj Seeg

Tool Proficiency Required: leatherworker’s tools or weaver’s tools
Rank Required: Artisan
Material(s) Required: 11’ of slithervine, an iron rune of night, 11 fossilized beholder teeth, 11 powdered black opals each worth at least 1000gp
Conditions Required: a crimson-steel needle must be used to sew the bag, and sewing may only occur when neither the sun or moon is visible in the sky
Pattern Uses: 1
Work Time (in gp): 300gp

Notes: Once again, I don’t expect this is an item players would heavily invest into making. That said, I could see it being a critical item that needs to get made for story reasons pretty easily. Finding the pattern is a sign of something awful going down, and will absolutely put the players on alert. From a component perspective, I imagine slithervine to be horrible fantastic terrain the players have to contest. It is probably controlled by a malicious fey creature, but it doesn’t have to be. The iron rune of night is sewn into the bottom of the bag, and is obviously a rare glyph made from something that isn’t really iron but resembles it. It should be the stuff of nightmares made into a symbol – horrible to gaze upon and terrible to interact with. Crimson-steel is steel made from the iron harvested in blood. That sounds suitable horrible, right?

Trifon’s Gift (Bag of Holding)

Preparation is key. Others may attempt to shame or embarrass you, yet they are the same that will approach you when the bitter frost is overpowering their paltry blanket. When they find themselves hungry after three days of seeking refuge in a cave, they will come to you to fill their bellies. The words they heap upon you now will not bring them solace when they most need it. Instead, they will find shame and embarrassment for themselves when they turn to you. They will find they need you more than you need them. At this point, there is a choice to make. Are you forgiving of their transgressions, or are you punishing them as you see fit? You already know the answer to the question, of course. You will provide for them in their time of need. Some will forever change for the good, and some will never forget they were weak in front of you. Neither outcome should change your path. You do not do it because you expect something from them. You do it because you should.”

-from the training of Doncho Reka

Tool Proficiency Required: leatherworker’s tools or weaver’s tools
Rank Required: Journeyman
Material(s) Required: 11 lbs. of argent fleece, a mithril rune of sky, a vial of mirror oil
Conditions Required: sewing may only occur when the sun or moon are visible in the sky
Pattern Uses: 1
Work Time (in gp): 300gp

Notes: This item should come across as the opposite of the bag of devouring, naturally. Argent fleece should come from a rare sheep that is hard to shear, and probably only does so after you pass some challenges to make it possible. It should be a near mythical task, but not one that is necessarily life-threatening. Just challenging to complete. If you think the Labors of Hercules, you are probably on the right course for what I am imagining. A mithril rune of sky should be something that imparts feelings of relaxation and happiness. People should feel invigorated when they gaze upon it. Mirror oil is just a hyper-reflective metallic oil that is probably naturally occurring from…something? It could be a plant, animal, or just a by-product of something else entirely.

Mystery Satchel (Bag of Tricks)

Look upon me, peasants, and bask in my magnificence. Even the most uneducated and horse-kicked among you will appreciate the majesty of my next feat. You there, yokel. Inspect this satchel and inform the crowd of your findings. There, you must believe one of your own when he states this is only a simple bag with nothing out of the ordinary. Grip your decrepit chair frames with both hands and behold as I draw forth the woodlands from this bag to do my bidding. Gasp as…really madam, show some decorum. Yes, I realize this is a panther. It’s not going to…stop screaming…it’s not going to harm…stop screaming…no one shall come to harm as long as…fine. You know what? It is a horrible killer. You’re right. Is this what you wanted? Did you want Cuddlebug to start mauling people? I certainly didn’t, but you’re the one who knows more than me. Peasants, I swear.”

-a transcript of a performance by The Amazing Krasiv

Tool Proficiency Required: weaver’s tools
Rank Required: Journeyman
Material(s) Required: 10 oz. of dye from a wilderose, a moonlight silver needle, star-purified fabric
Conditions Required: none
Pattern Uses: 5
Work Time (in gp): 200gp

Notes: A wilderose only grows at the edge of a dangerous cliff where it was placed by some historical or mythical figure…obviously. It’s probably quite difficult to reach, and the harvesting itself should be quite dangerous. The thorns might be the danger, or perhaps it’s the old standby of fire bees. You never know. I’d probably lean towards an environmental challenge with it, and the penalty for failure is probably coming under the sway or notice of the mythical figure. Star-purified fabric is just fabric left out under a clear night sky for a period of time – probably seven days. The fabric cannot be sullied by man nor animal during this time. In other words, keeping it safe and handling it with care would be the challenge.