December 3, 2016 by M Grant
This week our Bag of Tricks is not full of weapons, armor, amulets or rings. No, this week we’ve got beloved trinkets – some silly, some wondrous, all useful in their own strange ways.
The holidays are coming. Don’t you want to give your players a little something (without jacking up their power level)?
Forgettable Rucksack (Uncommon)
A Forgettable Rucksack is easily the most widespread kind of magic luggage, so widespread that many adventurers don’t realize they own one. It is a back-mounted pack that can hold about 30 pounds of gear, plus a bedroll, cookery, and other such bric-a-brac.
The curious property of the Forgettable Rucksack is this: Whenever it and its contents are not in use, it vanishes without a trace, only to reappear the moment they are considered by someone (usually the owner, but sometimes a thief, or even one of the gods themselves). While vanished, pots and pans do not jangle, bottles do not break, and items do not rot or dampen unless submerged.
The widespread possession of Forgettable Rucksacks explains why there are few paintings of adventurers stacked to the ceiling with traveling gear.
Quest Log (Rare)
This large scroll-case is disguised as a small log for unknown reasons. It contains a scroll and ink, which automatically and unerringly record major events in any adventure for which the owner has come up with a name. Additionally, for any given adventure which the owner has titled, they can ask the Quest Log for up to three hints. The Quest Log doesn’t know anything that the owner doesn’t, but gives generally reasonable advice and may be better at identifying and remembering potential leads.
Quest Logs are sometimes distributed by those who employ adventurers, both to ensure they stay on-task and to review for assurances that the contract was completed satisfactorily, and some courts accept a Quest Log as evidence of an alibi. Adventurers who dislike lugging around a five-pound snitch generally toss them in the river.
Reversible Socks (Common)
A Reversible Sock resembles a fresh, newly woven sock of the most advanced textiles available. It has but one magical property: When turned inside out, it immediately transforms into a brand-new, clean, dry sock of similar quality (though its patterning and color may change).
Reversible Socks always come in matched pairs, and if worn for a day without its mate, it loses all magical properties.
Rightway Nails (Uncommon or Rare)
Rightway Nails are usually found in a bag holding 20d8 of them. They resemble ordinary nails, except that they do not collect rust and each bear a tiny magic sigil on the head.
When placed on a non-magical, non-living surface and tapped once with a tool, even if it was rested parallel to that surface, a Rightway Nail embeds itself immediately and on the desired angle and to the desired depth (up to 3 inches). A single nail can be embedded as an item interaction, or two nails as an action.
Aside from being delightfully easy, this allows a character proficient with carpentry tools to build something in half the usual time and a character without any such proficiency to build something as if they had it– provided they have enough nails for the tricky bits (10 for a chair, 20 for a small shed, 60 for a cottage, 200 for a house). The nails’ magic can pierce mithril, but not adamantine.
Once embedded, a Rightway Nail loses all traces of its magic, but still holds for twice as long as an ordinary nail because it is of masterwork quality.
About one in a hundred bags of Rightway nails are actually Recollecting Rightway Nails. In addition to their usual properties, they remain magical once embedded, and the tap of a hammer’s claw on a non-magical, non-living surface causes all embedded Recollecting Rightway Nails to vanish from it, reappearing in the bag to which they belong.
Stable Hand (Rare, requires attunement by a tame beast)
This well-worked leather glove is usually inert, but when bonded to an animal (by stroking and petting the animal with it over a short rest), it begins to float of its own volition, and becomes an animate, semi-intelligent servant.
An animal tended by a Stable Hand is treated as though under the effects of a continuous Calm Emotions spell as the glove expertly pats and reassures it. If left with an appropriate kind of feed, or near enough to forageable foods appropriate to the animal’s diet, it will make sure the animal is fed at a balanced rate. It will also groom the animal and clean its droppings.
If unattended for a long period of time, the Stable Hand may untether its bonded animal and guide it on a short walk within sight of its original position. If it senses obvious and immediate danger (passive perception 13), it will untether the animal and lead it away until it senses that the danger has passed, preferring to guide the animal back to the last town it visited.