Dungeon Situational is a new series for Dungeons & Dragons players easily modified for other editions and roleplaying systems that feature ideas for DMs and players that can (hopefully) help you make your characters and your campaigns uniquely yours. Spells, creatures, trinkets, encounters, rewards, and obstacles of any and all sorts.
For today, something I often find my spellcasters lacking, unique magical implements. These are no mere wands and staves, these trinkets are intrinsically magical in their own right, and have minor magical properties of their own that should not unbalance the game… certainly no worse than your average magic item.
A handheld metal orb with rotating rings covered in runes that click and whirr as you cast spells. This instrument may be fashioned by gnomes, magically inclined dwarves, or may hail from Mechanus, the clockwork plane itself. By turning the rings a player can attempt to decipher the rune code for any spell a wizard might be able to cast, but it is no small task. In a wizards’ hand, the rings spin wildly of their own volition, turning thought into code, and code into magic.
For a wizard, the Lexicarnum counts as a spellbook, as you can learn the rune-sequences of spells you know. To learn a new spell as if gained from a level, copying from a scroll, or any other means you must expend time as if copying it into a spellbook but you do not have to expend further resources. Any player capable of casting spells may also use the Lexicarnum as a spell scroll for any spell from the wizard’s spell list that you do not have prepared of which you are aware.
Optional – You may attempt to cast a spell that you do not know (i.e. it is not in your spellbook), in order to do so you must make an Arcana check (DC 10 + the spell’s level), and if you fail the Lexicarnum breaks and becomes unusable. If you succeed the spell succeeds you cannot use this feature again for a number of days equal to twice the spell’s level.
A short cane of twisted willow fronds, highly flexible. Often fashioned by druids, clerics, and warlocks who are deeply attuned to the natural forces of the world and suitably reverent of forests, the Willowhip is a weapon that can turn the most humble of wardens into a warrior of the woods. Prolonged usage may cause the wielder to slowly grow long willow fronds in place of hair, their skin to colour a greenish dun, and their movements to become loose and flowing.
You know the following spells, and always have them prepared. They do not count towards the number of spells you can prepare each day, and you may cast them if you have a slot of appropriate level available:
Level 1 Arms of Hadar (except that the damage type is bludgeoning)
Level 2 Barkskin
Level 3 Leomund’s Tiny Hut (which takes the form of a willow)
Level 4 Evard’s Black Tentacles (which resemble lashing tree branches)
Level 5 Tree Stride
Skull of Hekod
This humanoid skull is of a slightly greenish hue, and hangs in a rusted and broken birdcage. The process of creating a Skull of Hekod was found in a book, in a tomb, next to a body without a head, and yet despite that renowned and ominous tale the formula still spreads in handwritten notes passed between hooded and suspicious figures in long forgotten places. Those that survive the process of creating the Skull find that the forces of magic can more readily be made to carry necrotic energies.
Choose a cantrip you know that deals damage of a certain type. That cantrip now deals necrotic damage instead, and is a necromancy spell. If you cast a spell of 1st level or higher that deals damage of a certain type, you can choose to cast that spell using a spell slot of a level one higher than its own to have that spell deal necrotic damage instead, and have it count as a necromancy spell. Your spells frequently feature skulls, and any biological form you conjure – whether summoned or illusory – is always atrophied and sickly.
This is a new series, and I have so very many ideas I would love to share with all of you, but rather than blindly stumble forward through my half-formed collection of thoughts, you will get to choose what ideas I lay out every Tuesday. Vote down below for next week’s Dungeon Situational.