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For my D&D 4E character, I would like to have some sort of role-play enhancing item, something that gives me more options for role-playing.

For example, my previous character had an armor shard which would allow him to conjure non-magic items with the DM's approval. This resulted in some funny scenes, one of the best being where he conjured a tiara for one (female) head of a twin-headed Ettin, causing her to help the gang.

Now for my new character, a Warforged Paladin I'd like something similar, which might help me get out of tight spots by improving my role-playing options.

Any ideas?


What I'm looking for is not a powerful combat item, but something that gives me more ways for creative role play solutions. Also, it is not necessary that it is an actual item from an official list, if it is based on a clever idea and not totally overpowered I think my DM will allow me using it.

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I would specifically look at Wondrous items in the books or the rules compendium online if you have access. As an item group they basically are designed to have some minor mechanical benefit and a lot of story options. Things can range from the more mundane ruby scabbard (lets you draw a sword as a free action) to very open-ended options like the deep pocketed cloak (weighs 1 pound, but you can store either 1,000 pounds of stuff or 100 cubic feet of stuff in it). There are tons of options so check those out and of course an out of game chat or email chain with the DM to work something else up is nice too.

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There are several options here, some of them are items, some of them are just simple ideas, and one of them a is a feat.

  • Take a look at the artifacts class of items. These are items that have very specific interactions with the players or parties who wield them. They have attunement values and provide some interesting role play opportunities. This might be an adequate substitute in that it provides good RP opportunities.

  • Hunt through the magic items lists. There are gobs of magic items that do all sorts of things in D&D. You might specifically look at the wondrous items and boons that are often less combat focused than other items. Online compendium or character builder access through DDI helps a lot here.

  • Talk to your DM about creating a special sub magic item that would allow you to do what you're looking for, you guys can then look through the items available and see what's similar and price it accordingly (or you can arrange to get it in a random drop, or start your character's career with it). If this is pretty much just an RP item and not something to be used in combat, there shouldn't be much issue with granting something like this.

  • Mechanically, what you're trying to do seems like it could be achieved with wizards' cantrips or wild talents. Wild talents can be picked up via feats (primarily Wild Talent Mater) and are useful situational tools and role play opportunities. (psionic image, mental tools and object projection would be a solid approximation of what your magic item did). If you'd rather go for a new idea then you could pick a different selection of cantrips that might allow you to RP in a different manner.

Anyways, just wanted to throw out some options that you might not have though of.

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Make some use of Chaotic Shiny's generators: your character could have an Artifact, a Weapon, or an Animal Companion that is just a pet, and not something of the magical Wizardly variety.

Even if they can be slightly nonsensical, I find Chaotic Shiny's generators to be quite thought provoking, not least of which because they consider details I never would have.

Bear in mind that these generators randomly include or exclude certain details sometimes, and not every weapon or artifact is going to be on the same level (some are intensely magical, others fairly mundane) - but I find this is a positive trait for a generator.

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In my opinion, one of the best Magic Items to add to a character for flavor is an Intelligent Item.

I had a magic dagger once on one of my characters that had an incredibly low Intelligence. I played him, Frank the Dagger, as the biggest Captain Obvious I could. He would randomly scream out phrases like, "Do you see the orc!?", as I'm attacked an orc with him. He had really terrible scores, could only see 15 ft around him, but spend all of his cost in the ability to speak out loud.

There are alternatives beyond Frank's personalities. Perhaps a Composite Bow that doesn't like elves, or a Great Battle Axe that cares too much about its appearance and doesn't like to be covered in blood.

There are so many options. The rules came out in September 2008's Dragon Magazine. You can easily find them online. I encourage you to check them out.

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Magic items with quirky flaws that add a touch of chaos that the players have to deal with.

A good example is the concept of a "Rod of Many Things." The players may summon something useful or they may land themselves in a much more amusing circumstance.

The distinguishing feature of the item being that the characters have no control over the outcome (forcing improvisation) and it introduces something unrelated to the circumstance (forcing a "how would my character act" situation).

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I ended up giving him a "Junior Paladin's Guidebook" (a hat tip to the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook). I like it, because it gives me the option to provide my character with solutions that are smarter than he could figure out himself. Also it might give the DM a way to "inject" knowledge in the party. And finally, I pictured my Warforged quite old (think few hundred years) so I find it funny to having him rely on a Junior Paladin's Guidebook.

Some other ideas I considered:

  • a telepathic id badge (Dr. Who style). Would be good for bluffing, but not exactly paladin style.
  • a sonic screw driver (again, Dr. Who). Does not fit to the straight-forward brute-force-ish nature of the character
  • an automatically updating map of the surroundings (like Harry Potter has). Seems a bit overpowered and probably spoiler-prone.
  • reading spectacles that allow you to read any language. Saw that in the list of wondrous items, but didn't make sense for my paladin.
  • an imp-powered camera (borrowed from the Disc World). Couldn't find a good use for it.
  • portable hole. Saw that in the list of wondrous items, but I consider it more tactical item than a role-play enhancing one.
  • extendable arms/legs (Inspector Gadget-style). Nice, but not as versatile as the guidebook.

Thanks to everyone who contributed and pointed me in some very useful directions which eventually helped me find the right item. I up-voted the answers that helped me and for the sake of completeness I'm adding this answer as well.

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