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D&D 5e: Sorcery-Themed Magic Items

Okay, fine, I post the Tidal sorcerer, WotC comes back with the Sea sorcerer. Other than the holy avenger, though, we still haven't seen many magic items designed to fit closely with the major character themes that show up in one or more classes. In this post, I'm offering four new magic items to support stories around sorcery and sorcerers, particularly the sorcerous origins I've created in this blog.

Royal Sorcery | Tidal Sorcery | The Winter Kin | Sorcerous Magic Items

Fanged Mask

Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)

This leather mask covers the face above the upper lip. The fangs of a vampire are set into the mask, so that they almost seem to be the wearer's own teeth. While wearing the mask, you can unerringly track any creature or type of creature by daubing a drop or two of its blood on the mask's fangs. If you choose a creature type, the mask randomly selects from among the nearest creatures of that type, if multiple individuals are roughly the same distance from the wearer.

In addition to tracking individuals or types of creatures, you can choose all creatures with the ability to cast spells as a sorcerer, or all creatures whose sorcery comes from a particular sorcerous origin.

While you are tracking a creature, your attacks against it have advantage if it is surprised.

Story: Some types of sorcerers face active persecution for their power. Most notably, Royal sorcerers are hunted down by those who support the current regime, and by violent anti-monarchists. A fanged mask is a key tool in such a hunt. Be careful, however, for the malice of the vampire's fangs may take root in the mask's wearer.

The Frozen Soul

Spear, legendary (requires attunement)

This crude-looking spear has a spearhead of solid, unmelting ice. When you hit with an attack using it, you deal an additional 1d6 cold damage. As a bonus action, you can summon the Frozen Soul to you as long as one of your hands is empty and the Frozen Soul is within 120 feet.

The Frozen Soul has 10 charges. As an action, you can expend 1, 2, or 3 of its charges when you hit with an attack using the Frozen Soul. For each charge that you expend, deal 1d6 piercing damage + 1d6 cold damage + your Strength modifier to one additional target adjacent to a target you dealt damage to with that attack, including the use of this feature. The Frozen Soul regains 1d6 charges at midnight.

Special: If you are a Winter Kin sorcerer, a white or silver Draconic sorcerer, or belong to any other subclass strongly connected to winter and the cold, you unlock additional powers in the Frozen Soul.

Story: The solid ice spearhead of the Frozen Soul is the remnant of an ancient battle, in a long-distant age, between the greatest of all white wyrms and the first archmage of the Winter Kin. Once they had been allies, seeking the North Spire beyond the frozen sea. When they found it, however, neither would cede it to the other, and they turned on one another. Whichever of them lost that battle was frozen solid, and the victor cut out the loser's soul and had it made into a spear. The Frozen Soul could still guide its wielder back to the site of that battle.

Sorcerer's Coronet

Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement by a sorcerer)
This coronet of silver filigree is set with three black diamonds. While wearing it, when you cast a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to gain resistance to the damage type that spell deals for 1 minute. If the spell deals no damage but causes the charmed or frightened conditions, you can spend 1 sorcery point to gain advantage on saving throws against that condition for 1 minute.

While wearing the coronet, your spell attacks score a critical hit with a roll of 19 or 20.

As a bonus action, you can choose to take damage equal to your sorcerer level to regain 1d4 sorcery points. Once used three times, the coronet cannot be used again this way until midnight.

Story: The sorcerer's coronet was fashioned by a Royal sorcerer who gained a kingdom. She made it the greatest of the realm's crown jewels, even when it possessed only one clear, perfect diamond. The second stone she added when her heir was born, and the third when the Crown Princess reached the age of majority. Yet the Crown Princess did not have the gift of sorcery, and when the queen passed on, the stones received her strength, turning black. When a royal sorcerer is again born to her line and the crown rests upon the sorcerer's brow, the queen's power shall join with theirs.

Staff of the Tides

Staff, very rare (requires attunement by a bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard)
This staff grants a swim speed of 30 feet and the ability to breathe underwater for up to 8 hours each day. You can use a bonus action to speak this staff's command word and cause it to become an oar, a paddle, or a rudder suitable for a boat up to 20 feet long.

The staff has 10 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC: control water (4 charges), fog cloud (1 charge), water breathing (3 charges), water walk (3 charges).

This staff regains 1d6 + 4 expended charges daily at the first high tide. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff becomes plain and powerless driftwood.
Special: If you are a Tidal sorcerer, or your subclass directly relates to the sea, you can use the staff as a spellcasting focus, gaining a +2 bonus to spell attack rolls, spell damage rolls, and spell saving throw DCs.

Story: The staff of the tides was carved of flotsam, having once been the oar of a ship that sailed to the uttermost west, but was torn apart by a sea creature of awful power during its return home. A Tidal sorcerer aboard the ship saved the lives of a few crew members. Though all of the treasures they claimed in that distant land sank beneath the waves, the sorcerer kept the oar, and once they reached land, cut it down to a staff.

Design Notes

The fanged mask is more for NPC hands and driving conflict than being anything for PCs to use. They would find use in it, of course, but that's not why you put it in the game to begin with. Though it's easy to understand how it winds up in treasure hoards. Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons.

The Frozen Soul and the staff of the tides are experiments in what works or doesn't with making a magic item more narrowly targeted. They're still very useful for characters that get only the basic benefits, but they should be all the more awesome in the hands of the "right" person. I've talked about different treasure-distribution approaches before. These two items work best if you: keep the "bonus" feature secret until and unless it falls into the right hands (creating a sense of discovery), or if you're already in the habit of overtly tailoring magic items to PCs (so of course it goes to the person it's built for), or if you go full-sandbox and drop rumors of the items, so that PCs can choose to pursue them or not.

I wouldn't say I'm completely satisfied with the sorcerer's coronet, but it's there to be a story piece and quest goal for Royal sorcerers in particular (even if it doesn't do anything extra for them outside of the Story tidbits).

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