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#30 Not So Mundane Items (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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Some things are not always what they seem!

..Iis it a knickknack, or something not so mundane?

Why's that candle so special? How come that piece of chalk is kept separate from the others? There's something uncanny about that lantern, and what is it about that odd whistle?

There are always the iconic magic items, be they swords, armors, cloaks, rings, or other traditional things. But these are those other items, those simpler things, that just a potent, yet lesser thought about. Crafters of powerful items are individuals, first and foremost, and we all have our quirks and curiosities.

#30 Not So Mundane Items allows for memorable moments, unique items, that fill not only a need as treasure, but also one of the shared experience or story. Infuse your play with something just a bit different.

Author: David "The Eldritch Mr. Shiny" Mallon (The Secrets of the Primordial Forest)
Cover Art by Joe Calkins
Pages: 6 B&W PDF

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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Very cool, evocative and unusual magic items


This pdf is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisements and 1 page of SRD, leaving 6 pages of content for the 30 items - but are they really something special?

The pdf wastes neither time nor space and immediately presents you with its first item, the banjo of the raconteur, which not only could work as a bardic instrument to recall odd pieces of knowledge (granting a bonus to the skill), but could just as easily be played by another character to accompany and support the bard - if he can beat the low DC to use the ability, that is.

Useful items, like a bottomless inkwell or a bowl of poison detection stand side by side with e.g. a favorite of mine that will conquer the hearts of my players - burning caltrops that explode when stepped upon. Cheap enough to never leave home without a bag of them!

Blankets that enable you to sleep comfortably in armor, a case that can contain 100 scrolls - adventuring just got a whole lot more comfortable. If you want to wash the taint of the grave away, there's a green, flowery-smelling soap that gets rid of negative levels for you.

Some of the items are simply iconic, like the crowbar of demolition and some make for captivating plot elements, like the thief's broom that sweeps evidence away (though I'd limit it to making tracking impossible, but that's just my preference) and the supremely useful torch of detection that detects secret doors while its limited fuel flickers away. My favorite, though, would be the immovable block and tackle that can defy gravity and hold up to 10000 pounds - pure awesome and guaranteed to make for interesting plans and problem solutions by the players. I only had a gripe with two of the items, first being the flask of healing, which can transform water into a potion of cure light wounds up to 5 times per day. While not unbalancing per se, I don't like this item replacing a steady drain on PC resources by providing 5d8+15 points of healing per day for a price of only 6500 GP. While adequately calculated, I think the craft rules fall short here. Not the designer's problem, though, and subsequently no reason to detract from the final score. The last item I personally didn't like (but that is still a valid idea), is a compass that shows the next exit out of an enclosed space like a dungeon or a maze. I generally dislike items that provide shortcuts though trials and this one fits the bill - again, though, a personal preference.

The pdf closes with a table of the prices of the items, showing that they range from humble 150 GP to 197500 GP. All items come with auras, caster-levels, weight, slot, prices and the necessary information to craft them yourself.

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice even a single glitch. Layout adheres to the classic two-column b/w-RiP-standard and the artwork is unassuming, yet fitting stock-art. The pdf is bookmarked, which is nice to have, even at this length & price point. I have to say that I'm probably not the easiest audience for any given file, but especially for magical items. This is due to a plethora of factors, first being that I abhor magic item inflation, the commoditization of magic and the general tendency to make magic items feel rather mundane. The title of this pdf thus hit a spot with me and I was both intrigued and doubtful whether author David Mallon could pull off a pdf like that. Turns out he can - many of the items herein could find their way even into the most low-magic of low-magic campaigns, either as modified alchemical items or ones that have this ephemeral quality of subtle magic suitable for such settings. That is not necessarily how they're presented, but the option to do so is a surefire sign of versatile ideas. Even better, though, is that the wondrous items herein are truly wondrous, i.e. they don't feel like bland duplicates of spells or effects, they don't feel like "just another tool", but rather like precious magical trinkets the heroes of our childhood's fairytales might have had with them on their quests and ultimately used in creative and intelligent ways to prevail. That's how magic is done rite. While there is a set of lockpicks that is bland (bonus to disable device - surprised?) and I personally didn't like two items, that still leaves the vast majority of the pdf for cool items brimming with imagination. We need more books like this. My final verdict will be 5 stars.

Some interesting magic items

****( )

30 Not so Mundane Items by Rite Publishing

This product is 11 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (2 pages)

30 Not so Mundane Items (6 pages)
In this section is the 30 magic items of the book. They range greatly in power from Bottomless Inkwell, which is just a inkwell that never runs out of ink. To Bell of Banishing, which lets you cast dismissal once a day or if you cast the spell acts as a focus to strengthen it.

A couple of my favorites.
Burning Caltrops – caltrops that when stepped out explode in fire.
Case of Infinite Scrolls – can store 100 scrolls in a single case.
Illuminated Chalk – Chalk that gives off light when you write with it.
Crafters Hammer – gives bonus to craft checks.
Dungeoneers Compass – always points to the nearest exit.
Lantern of Darkness – makes darkness instead of light.
Wizard Chalk – lets you cast certain spells, I am guessing by drawing on walls with it but it is not clear on that part.

It ends with a OGL and ads. (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white and ranges from meh to pretty good. Editing and layout are well done. While I didn't notice any spelling errors, there was a few items I think could have been more clear like the Wizard chalk. Mostly it was in the descriptive text that could have been more clear. The items ranged from very cool, to neat little items, some where clever, a few was very useful, but a couple I was pretty meh about. As a whole I liked most of the items. So what's my rating? Well I am going to give it a 4 star review. Most of them I liked, plus I like items you can give out that do interesting things.

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