For an upcoming home game, I came up with the following item and am wondering if the rarity is right.

Time-Forgotten Sands

Wondrous item, very rare

A pinch of these dull-grey sands dispels any active magic effect and disrupts permanent magic for 1 minute. It is highly prized by assassins, criminals and thieves.

If you throw a pinch on a person with a ranged attack, all active spells are dispelled and active magic items cease to function for 1 minute and both the user and target must make a DC 10 Charisma saving throw or they age 1 year. Once used, the sands vanish into nothingness

I initially thought it should be rare by comparing it with a rod of absorption which absorbs spells as a reaction (and can convert them to spell slot), but it requires attunement.

The sands shut down everything, meaning you can shut down any magic item out there. That very super-versatility is what made me bump its rarity.

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    To clarify, you can only use the item once? – lucasvw Apr 28 at 13:52
  • @lucasvw yes, it is a one-shot item – JP Chapleau Apr 28 at 14:28
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    What is the attack bonus for the ranked attack (you don't specify if it is treated as a ranged weapon attack)? Is it magic items they are holding (since you are targeting the person and not the magic item itself)? What if they give the magic item to someone else? What if they cast spells after the pinch is thrown? What is a person? A humanoid, any sentient being, any creature? – David Coffron Apr 28 at 16:16
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    "The sands shut down everything" — however, a sorcerer is still able to cast spells? so it is not like a 1-minute antimagic field? – enkryptor Apr 28 at 18:26
  • @enkryptor I had not thought of having it used on a sorcerer or spellcaster, but yes, I think should. – JP Chapleau Apr 30 at 12:32
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Page 285 of the DMG has a handy little chart they helps provide a rough estimate at where on the rarity scale a homebrew magical item should hit. Your item seems to be a targeted version of a 9th level dispel magic, or perhaps a heavily modified variety of antimagic field. According to the chart, that would make it a very rare item at the very least, possibly a legendary item.

Another good way to gauge the power level of your item is to compare it to a similar item of the same level. Since we're trying to determine if your item is very rare, we should look at a single use legendary item that would see the same level of use; if the legendary item is stronger, you can safely conclude very rare will work.

The most well known single use utility wondrous item at the legendary level is universal solvent. That particular item dissolves any adhesive, even the similarly legendary sovereign glue (which can be used up to 7 times).

Your item requires an attack roll (you may want to specify whether it is a weapon attack or spell attack), but counteracts any magic it comes into contact with for one minute. Though its application isn't permanent, those sands would see far more use than either of the aforementioned legendary items. That, combined with the suggested power level based on the spell it seems to emulate, leads to the conclusion that your homebrewed item is legendary.

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    If you were shooting for very rare, one possible solution is to increase the aging penalty to make its utility less valuable. Make it a decade per use and only elves would use it with impunity- make it potentially bump the user and target an age category and it's a desperation ploy. – TheVagrantDog Apr 29 at 5:45
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    I like the idea of this item but instead of an attack roll I personally feel like it would be better off working like an inhaled poison. Inhaled: These poisons are powders or gases that take effect when inhaled. Blowing the powder or releasing the gas subjects creatures in a 5-foot cube to its effect. The resulting cloud dissipates immediately afterward. Holding one’s breath is ineffective against inhaled poisons, as they affect nasal membranes, tear ducts, and other parts of the body. – Chaosweapon Apr 29 at 19:57

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