Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Low Level Magic Item

Gerald the Not So Swift demonstrates how not to sheath a dagger.
When I write adventures I do the stream of consciousness thing and just keeping writing and putting down what ever sounds cool.  This is how I come up with most of my magic items, monsters or additional elements into the campaign.  When writing Starter Adventures, because it is written for absolute low level beginners I wanted to include magic items, but I needed to keep them low-level in power, but still useful.  The Torch Knife is one example.

Torch Knife
This useful item originated with the thieves guild.  With the invention of the torch knife thieves no longer needed to carry around cumbersome torches or lanterns.  A light source they could command to turn on instantly and more importantly off.  Since then their popularity has grown among adventurers and young nobles who like to collect roguish weapons.  

Torch knives are activated by a simple command sound, ‘shhh’.  This will activate and deactivate it.  Custom command words are available, but this increases the price.  A torch knife gives off enough light to see a foot or two in front of the wielder.  This illumination is not variable.  It's bright enough to read script, pick locks and signal someone in the night. 

It acts as a normal knife in combat.  It is not considered a magic weapon.  For those creatures that require a magic weapon to hit them, the combatant will need to find another weapon. 

The average cost at market for a torch knife is around 100gp.  This price can be as low as 50gp or up to 200gp.  These are not difficult to find.  Nearly any adventurer supply shop or magic shop will have these in stock.


  1. Very nice!
    Not every magic item needs to be a relic ;)

    Low-level items are sometimes cooler and more useful than supposedly powerful ones.

  2. I like this, but I probably wouldn't make it available in shops. That gets too close to magic as technology for my tastes.

    I have found that giving low level PCs powerful magic items is okay as long as the item is expendable. Scrolls, potions, wands with charges, etc. It adds another dimension of resource management.

    For example, in my current campaign, a PC wizard found a wand of 8d6 lightning bolts (6 charges, though they didn't know how many charges were left). When he found it, he was able to identify it as a wand of lightning bolts, but didn't know how powerful it was. He ended up continually using it on monsters that were actually not that powerful, which was hilarious.