Modeling Rules for Minor Magic Item Properties on Blessings and Charms, Plus New Minor Properties

1. Minor Property: Bloody.
Whenever water touches this magic item, the water is transformed into blood as soon as the water falls away from the item.

2. Lore:
At least one such “bloody” cloak is locked away in the King’s Tower in Marsember. Among the Wizards of War who’ve been tasked to look in on the cloak to confirm its continued presence in the Tower, a story is passed along about vicious street hunts in Marsember’s darker days (read: before Cormyr conquered the rebellious independent city once and for all) led by followers of Malar who dwelled in the nearby woodlands.

3. These followers possessed magic capable of cursing a target’s outerwear (almost always cloaks in rainy Marsember) that caused them to “bleed” in the frequent downfalls, so the target could be easily tracked on the wet streets of Marsember.

4. This power was not held exclusively by followers of the Beastlord. The Queen of the Deeps (aka Umberlee) gifted this power to her most loyal followers, who in the past were charged with leading groups into the waters of the Dragonmere to test their faith. Anyone that Umberlee found wanting is said to have been “made to bleed” by her most trusted, and so were easy prey for freshwater predators who long ago learned to heed the siren call of the Queen of the Deeps.

5. Minor Property: Seeding.
Each day this item is worn, held, or its properties are activated, it produces one seed. The seed produced is always the same, and if planted will grow into a non-magical, non-monstrous plant (DM’s choice). [Boots]

6. The last word in entry #5 is something I’ve been experimenting with for the page on magic item properties I hope to include in the next update to my Cormyr sourcebook. The DMG advises Dungeon Masters to pick a new minor property if the one rolled up doesn’t make sense (DMG:141), but I think it’s also a good idea to include a word in brackets for the sort of magic item that best fits the property.

7. Magical boots that produce a seed when worn makes sense to me. If you’re wearing them and walking, a seed that appears under the sole of your boot or that drops from the surface of the boot (or I suppose one that materializes inside your boot, causing you to stop and take the boot off so the seed can be gotten out and tossed away) is likely to find its way into soil and grow.

8. This might make for an interesting surprise if a group of PCs return to an adventure location they had visited several levels ago. Likewise if the PC descendants of an older group of PCs come along to a place where their predecessors had adventured. In either case, the PCs could encounter one or more trees (for example) that all grew tall at or near places where the PCs camped or journeyed somewhere in their past.

9. Another idea I had about magic item Minor Properties and (possibly) for Quirks are a couple of new categories for these Special Features: Inherited and Temporary. These two sub-categories of Minor Properties are sort of like Blessings and Charms (DMG:228), but they only effect magic items.

10. An Inherited Minor Property is one that a magic item gains permanently, by virtue of powerful magic unleashed, exposure to magic that is bent or warped over time, or while in the vicinity of a highly magical place. Some examples might include:

  • A wizard breaking a Staff of Power, for which the explosion might force some of the wizard’s inherent magical power into nearby objects, or even items of the wizard’s that survived the blast. All the more so if the blast slays another wizard of power.
  • The long-term exposure of a magic item to a Mythal. (Sort of an enormous, invisible, permanent magical bubble that surrounds and protects an elven city, and affords the city residents certain personal magical protections and powers. The most famous was the mythal over Myth Drannor.)
  • A magic item that lay in a treasure pile while in close proximity to an artifact, or a magic item left on an altar most holy of a deity.
  • Ancient dragons may imbue items in their hoard with minor properties through sheer dint of the dragon’s raw magical power (and so no item found in a dragon’s hoard that is not a recent addition should ever be of the mundane, here’s-the-description-in-the-DMG variety).

11. A Temporary Minor Properties are gained by magic items for a short period of time. The power may slowly fade away, or it may cycle through 1-3 different properties before disappearing altogether. A temporary property could be gained by:

  • A new spell crafted by any caster, and one that is designed to grant a Minor Property to a magic item for a limited duration. I.e., a spell that leverages the already-magical nature of a magic item to boost that power in some minor way.
  • A deity, dragon, or other supernatural being gifting the power to the magic items of PCs for acts of courage or valor that are in the range of actions that might allow PCs to receive Charms.
  • An object, magic item or hanging spell designed to aid the PCs on a quest.
  • A ghost or other spectral being that cannot rest until a wrong/misdeed is made right.
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