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Old 08-19-2020, 06:53 AM   #11
SolemnGolem
 
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

Not me, but game designer/cartoonist Jennifer Diane Reitz once had an anecdote on her webpage (which I cannot find anymore).

The party was making its way through a space derelict and they were supposed to solve puzzles in each room to get to the bridge, engines, cargo bays, etc. and accomplish objectives there.

Because this was kind of a one-off "jam" session, their GM allowed them to take a single magic item from their PCs' previous campaigns.

One PC had a magic box that could contain anything. It was something like 1 meter to a side. It could be doubled in linear dimension after one minute of concentration.

The player got bored and so he quietly went for an airlock, setting up a few delaying things in his wake. He EVA'd outside the derelict and began concentrating to expand the size of his magic box.

After about half an hour, the other PCs realized what was going on, and began a mad scramble to the airlock to try to stop him. Unfortunately they were too late and after about one hour of in-game time, the EVA PC had expanded the magic box large enough to contain the entire space derelict, the closest planet, the nearest star, and in fact the entirety of the solar system (some 300 trillion meters in diameter) within the box.

He then closed the box and left. The GM apparently handed over all the campaign notes to the player and admitted defeat.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

And the moral of that story is to always assume that there will always be at least a minimum of one player who will attempt to ruin the game.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

They say that law firms should have an internal rule: fire at least one of your clients every quarter and you'll feel much better.

I think something like that could apply to GMs and their gaming groups too...
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

'Friendly Fingers of Franturi'

They were fingerless gloves that when attuned can be used to charm/persuade any target that the player can shake hands with. When activated a subtle pink glow would flow from the gloves to the tips of the player's fingers. The target had to challenge against it or be charmed/persuaded.

They were fun for roleplay and some bizarre combat encounters. Then one player...*sigh*...one player realised that he could basically build a criminal organisation by bluffing his way into power with the fingers. He did well and it was fun developing his gang, he used any potion/spell he could to make the targets fail their challenges. Until one day it finally happened and he failed a very important role and triggered an underworld war in three major cities and got him and the party hunted by both the law and every major gang across the land.

The item itself was great...but I never thought about the danger of its potential
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

The Invisibility Shirt

Early in a campaign one player very much wanted the ability to turn invisible. So he went into a back alley magic shop and the elder inside listened to his plight and told him of a way to get it, embarking the player on a side quest. At the end, he found the shirt. It had no powers, it was just a shirt that was invisible.
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

This is actually a fairly difficult question, dubious magical items used to be a sort of signature of my fantasy games.

I think my favourite was a mask that created an almost perfect disguise but in its inactive state was a greasy paper bag with eye holes cut into it. Now by nearly perfect I mean perfect but for the faint smell of the bag.

The same campaign had a running theme of powerful magic items that looked like complete crap or had embarrassing conditions attached to them. Another favourite from that campaign was the sock puppet of mind control.

Basically you took the sock puppet, said targets true name, acted out what you want them to do with sock puppet and then watched it unfold.

Last edited by Frost; 08-25-2020 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

Many, many moons ago when I was an obnoxious 13-year-old running one of my first DND campaigns, one of the players really, really wanted an intelligent magical sword for some reason, so I let him find one. Its name was Cuthbert, and it was normal-looking except for having a human-sized eyeball at the tip with the normal vulnerability of one to physical harm. Cuthbert could talk, and protested piteously against attempts to use him as a weapon (or cram him into a normal-width sheath). He could also read minds, but after many attempts to discover his "combat bonus" through trial and error, he mostly used this to humiliate the PCs until they first attempted to sell him, and failing that chucked him into a ravine. He reappeared some time later in the hands of a diabolical enemy, to whom he cheerfully spilled dirt on the PCs upon recognizing them.
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Old 08-26-2020, 06:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Many, many moons ago when I was an obnoxious 13-year-old running one of my first DND campaigns, one of the players really, really wanted an intelligent magical sword for some reason, so I let him find one. Its name was Cuthbert, and it was normal-looking except for having a human-sized eyeball at the tip with the normal vulnerability of one to physical harm. Cuthbert could talk, and protested piteously against attempts to use him as a weapon (or cram him into a normal-width sheath). He could also read minds, but after many attempts to discover his "combat bonus" through trial and error, he mostly used this to humiliate the PCs until they first attempted to sell him, and failing that chucked him into a ravine. He reappeared some time later in the hands of a diabolical enemy, to whom he cheerfully spilled dirt on the PCs upon recognizing them.
I feel you've posted this in the wrong thread, because this is awesome.
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Old 08-27-2020, 01:27 AM   #19
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

As a GM, I haven't really handed out any magic items, other than the Revolver Rifle with +1 Accuracy, a bunch of Spell Bullets, and an intelligent vampire-slaying sword.

Not exactly the most game-breaking or useless stuff.


Back in my Rifts days, however, the GM saddled my shifter with an intelligent rune weapon named "Catbert". Suffice to say, it never got used.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: GMs, what is the worst magical item you've ever given out?

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Probably just a suit of plate mail +1 in AD&D. It was a problem because stuff that the party could just barely survive couldn't touch this player at all. He got really mad at me when he encountered a rust monster, which I admit was a very heavy-handed solution...
I had a similar issue in a Banestorm campaign I was running, and tried using the treasure table from DF. They got a suit of Bronze plate with +2 DR (DR 11 on the torso). 70+lbs of throwing the curve since one player was buff enough to use it. Anything balanced to threaten him could gank any other PC in one blow...otherwise he was untouchable. Got around that by the fact that he really couldn't wear it around town much.

Of course, in the same Demon-treasure haul, they got a short spear with Penetrating Weapon (5), which was worth more $$$. They just gave that to the Halfling thief, who took it with him when he left (the munchkin player was tired of playing a ST 7 thief -- the story of how he got that character involves Halfling nuns. Lord I love Yrth sometimes).
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