Magic Artifacts That The Shadow Desires

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
Post Reply
Stan Shinn
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 1:46 pm

Magic Artifacts That The Shadow Desires

Post by Stan Shinn » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:54 pm

I'd love your advice on creating some magic artifacts from the 1st or 2nd Age which the player characters would go on a quest to find, but which the minions of Sauron also desire.

The thing that gives me pause is that so many magic items (outside of magic rings) seem to do harm to those not worthy to wield them.

The Silmirils burned Morgoth's hands, and later the hands of Fëanor's two sons Maedhros and Maglor, in refusal of their rights of possession. Likewise, elvish rope burned Gollum.

Anyway, I'd love to have a plot device similar to The Lord of the Rings where the Enemy greatly desires an artifacts which the PCs possess (or are trying to possess), but the 'good artifacts burns evil folk' seems problematic.

On the other hand, Morgoth and Fëanor's sons still wanted the Silmirils, even though it burned them.

Any ideas?
— Stan Shinn
________________________________________________________________

Check out my Adventures in Middle-earth blog posts on my game club's website.

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 2662
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: Magic Artifacts That The Shadow Desires

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:58 pm

Well, I would note that the Elven rope did not physically harm Gollum, though he felt as though it was burning him. That said, in many religions the Holiest of the Holies can be perilous. Think of the Ark of the Covenant. Here is a potential Wondrous Artefact of the First Age that would be precious to the Dwarven House of Belegost:

Nimphelos
A large, white pearl, the size of a dove's egg, that was found by the folk of Círdan off the Isle of Balar. Círdan gave Nimphelos to the Elf-king Thingol who in turn gave it to the Lord of the Dwarves of Belegost as part of their payment for delving the underground halls of Menegroth. Tolkien did not ascribe any special qualities to the pearl; however, we may postulate that the Vala Ulmo placed a greater blessing of Insight upon it so that the possessor may divine the truthfulness and intent (good or evil) of anyone with whom he speaks (you might want to give it different magical qualities). I have speculated that Nimphelos was lost in the flooding of Belegost at the end of the First Age and that the descendants of the surviving Dwarves of Belegost would dearly like to recover it.

Due to the blessing of Ulmo Nimphelos glows with its own inner light. If a deliberate untruth is spoken in its presence, the light of the pearl dims. The pearl grows cold in the presence of a speaker with evil intent; it becomes warm to the touch if the subject intends good.

If Sauron were to recover Nimphelos, he might ransom it to achieve the cooperation (or at least neutrality) of the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains. Saruman would surely want to study the pearl and perhaps put it to some use.

I wrote this up using the Rivendell rules for TOR; I'm not sure how the creation of Wondrous Items works for AiMe. Are the rules the same as those for D&D 5e or are they different?

Orb of Dragonkind
Wondrous item, artefact (requires attunement)
Morgoth might have crafted this artefact in the First Age and it is fairly obvious why the Shadow would wish to recover it. I would make it unique--only one in all of Middle-earth.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
Image

Stan Shinn
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 1:46 pm

Re: Magic Artifacts That The Shadow Desires

Post by Stan Shinn » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:28 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:58 pm
I wrote this up using the Rivendell rules for TOR; I'm not sure how the creation of Wondrous Items works for AiMe. Are the rules the same as those for D&D 5e or are they different?
That is awesome! That's exactly the sort of thing I'd love to use. As to TOR vs. AiME rules for Wondrous Items, my impression is that thematically the rules work the same way, though the stats are different due to different systems.

Thanks! I'd love to see what else folks have that would fit in this category :-)
— Stan Shinn
________________________________________________________________

Check out my Adventures in Middle-earth blog posts on my game club's website.

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 2662
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: Magic Artifacts That The Shadow Desires

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:19 pm

Hmmm, as far as I can tell, the D&D OGL material does not provide any rules for generating wondrous items. I guess they must be in the AiMe Loremaster's Guide. I can see a number of D&D magical items that could be used for Middle-earth. Many others would not work thematically.

- Armor of Resistance does not seem overpowered, though you might not allow armor heavier than partial plate (if that).
- Bard's Black Arrow might very well have been an Arrow of Dragon Slaying.
- Boots of Elvenkind
- Boots of the Winterlands
- Chime of Opening might be an Elven magic item.
- The Cloak of the Bat could easily become the Cloak of Thuringwethil, allowing the possessor to fly and assume the form of a monstrous bat.
- Cloak of the Manta Ray might be crafted by an Elf of the Grey Havens.
- Dragon Scale Mail seems like it should be a Dwarven item.
- Dwarven Plate change to Dwarven Half-plate?
- Elven Chain
- Mithral Armor change to Mithril Armor.
- Periapt of Health
- Pipes of Haunting
- Ring of Animal Influence might have been an experiment crafted by Saruman, perhaps with the help of Radagast the Brown.
- Ring of Swimming
- Rod of Alertness might work for Middle-earth.
- Rope of Climbing seems very much like the rope that Sam takes with him from Lórien.
- Stone of Good Luck (Luckstone)

I am being very conservative; I'm sure that there are other wondrous items in D&D that you might consider suitable for Middle-earth. Some of the more powerful ones (like the Rod of Rulership) might be treated as artefacts.
Image

Enevhar Aldarion
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 6:25 pm

Re: Magic Artifacts That The Shadow Desires

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:32 am

D&D 5E does not really include any magic item crafting rules, nor specific values for the items in the DMG. 5E is not meant to be the magic marketplace that 3E and 4E were. The 5E rules are actually written in a way that collecting magic items is not needed at all to succeed in a career of adventuring.

As for lesser magic items, in the books, Gandalf does refer to the One Ring as maybe just being a simple ring of invisibility. So you could always toss one of those into the game, with maybe another minor ability or two, and servants of Sauron could come hunting the false One Ring that your characters have gotten hold of.

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 2662
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: Magic Artifacts That The Shadow Desires

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:24 am

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:32 am
D&D 5E does not really include any magic item crafting rules, nor specific values for the items in the DMG. 5E is not meant to be the magic marketplace that 3E and 4E were. The 5E rules are actually written in a way that collecting magic items is not needed at all to succeed in a career of adventuring.
Are you sure that you didn't misunderstand my point? I find it hard to credit that the core 5e DMG doesn't provide guidance for a DM who wants to design his/her own wondrous items, artifacts, etc. It's not a matter of just furnishing magic items for the heroes; a DM often wants to customize his/her campaign setting and come up with unique items with which to plague the player characters. EDIT: My spouse tells me that there is supposed to be guidance for crafting magic items on pages 128 & 129 of the DMG and more detailed, expanded rules should be in Unearthed Arcana (which I guess is an on-line column now rather than a book).
As for lesser magic items, in the books, Gandalf does refer to the One Ring as maybe just being a simple ring of invisibility. So you could always toss one of those into the game, with maybe another minor ability or two, and servants of Sauron could come hunting the false One Ring that your characters have gotten hold of.
That's true. A Ring of Invisibility as a lesser wondrous item might indeed fit the setting perfectly well.
Image

Enevhar Aldarion
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 6:25 pm

Re: Magic Artifacts That The Shadow Desires

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:39 am

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:24 am
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:32 am
D&D 5E does not really include any magic item crafting rules, nor specific values for the items in the DMG. 5E is not meant to be the magic marketplace that 3E and 4E were. The 5E rules are actually written in a way that collecting magic items is not needed at all to succeed in a career of adventuring.
Are you sure that you didn't misunderstand my point? I find it hard to credit that the core 5e DMG doesn't provide guidance for a DM who wants to design his/her own wondrous items, artifacts, etc. It's not a matter of just furnishing magic items for the heroes; a DM often wants to customize his/her campaign setting and come up with unique items with which to plague the player characters. EDIT: My spouse tells me that there is supposed to be guidance for crafting magic items on pages 128 & 129 of the DMG and more detailed, expanded rules should be in Unearthed Arcana (which I guess is an on-line column now rather than a book).
A page or two of guidance and "maybes" in 5E is not the same as the dozens of pages in previous editions that had exact formulas and values and what skills to use to make magic items. 5E no longer even has any of the skills or feats used for magic item creation in previous editions. It has all been very much left up to each DM to create their own magic item system, if they want one.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest