My player, lets call him Red, wants to have an intelligent ring with the character's father trapped inside and him being able to cast a level 0 spell (to use message) and talk to others, but not to her. He states that that kind of ring would cost around 1.000g and that level 2 characters have 1000g+base gold. Should I give the ring to the player and take his gold away?

We are starting a game (custom adventure) but I dont know how much time will it last. It will be on roll20.

The item is also aware of the surroundings, at least by ear in order to have a 2 way communication. The player wants to not be conscious of the item, like as in "its just my fathers ring that he left for me"

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you know whether Red wants to control the father-character himself? essentially acting out two players that can't directly interact? \$\endgroup\$ May 18, 2018 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


Don't sell it, flesh it out before making it an heirloom

What you have here is the potential of having a guide inextricably tied to the party, at least early on.

Depending on what Red wants their father to have been there's some knowledge the other party members can glean from him at their need, or rather have the father reach out whenever you (as GM) feel the party is stumped or stuck at a point they shouldn't be.

A scholarly father may be of some use in exploring dungeons, learning about exotic flora and fauna.

A handyman may be able to point out weak points in a door the party was unable to pick, giving them another means of getting through.

The only thing that might become a problem is Red's desire to be completely oblivious. You should discuss this thoroughly with Red first and the rest of the group second. Unless Red has something manipulating their mind to affect them in a way that makes them incapable to commit anything their father-ring does and is I'd say Red would get very confused very quickly about how the party ends up with certain bits of intel or ideas, especially if the ring hears what's uttered around it and only uses message for his own means expression. Red would invariably question the party's habit of seemingly talking to someone Red can't perceive nor hear them responding in any way.

From your end, I'd consider making the functionality of the ring somewhat like this:

Father's Ring

This ring is the gift of some arcane creature or person, having granted a father's wish of being able to be with their child after death. It has already served that purpose for many generations. The latest deceased parent in posession of the ring becomes the new host of the ring, becoming aware of their surroundings whilst worn by their direct offspring. The parent stuck inside the ring can telepathically communicate with creatures near it (5-10-ish feet maybe?). In what was probably a delicious practical joke for the creator of the ring the parent cannot communicate directly in any way with their child.

Additionally, the child wearing the ring has empowered nostalgic feelings towards the ring, parting with it only in extreme circumstances. There seems to be no actual way of making the child aware of their parent's presence and exact words.

The last part should likely not be disclosed to Red or any party member from the outset. They should discover the properties and the origin of the ring during the campaign, if they wish.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I was going to say exactly this. This situation sounds much more like a plot-hook than a boon item, something which could lead to a great adventure. \$\endgroup\$ May 18, 2018 at 13:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm uncertain why you added a bit about the PC not being aware that the father is in the ring. Was that originally in the question and edited out? It seems rather tangental and the answer might be better without it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    May 18, 2018 at 14:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ "... A scholarly father may be of some use in exploring ..." - even better, an old codger of a father in a ring might provide loads of snarky and acerbic comments :). \$\endgroup\$
    – Edheldil
    May 18, 2018 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk it's mentioned in the question still "talk to others, but not to her" and was expanded upon to extreme unawareness in a comment to Theik's answer by the OP \$\endgroup\$ May 18, 2018 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Edheldil Ring-based Waldoff and Statler commentary! \$\endgroup\$ May 18, 2018 at 18:56

Don't worry too much about the cost

Your player essentially wants to have a fluff item, and is giving you a plot hook. You have a trapped father that needs to be freed.

The way you describe it, you essentially have a sentient ring that can talk to people, but they can't respond. You don't mention if the father is aware of his surroundings, but if they're not, they're essentially worthless as a source of information and all you're going to get is "please get me out of here messages".

Figure out if you want to accommodate this plot hook, and then simply treat it as that, a plot hook. Taking away the player's gold risks them falling behind in effectiveness compared to the rest of the party, as the ring essentially does nothing.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The item is also aware of the surroundings, at least by ear in order to have a 2 way communication. The player wants to not be conscious of the item, like as in "its just my fathers ring that he left for me" \$\endgroup\$
    – Kazekum
    May 18, 2018 at 8:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Then you have a handy plot device in your hands. If they're stuck on what to do, you can simply have the father give advice. Unless you think your player intends to metagame by constantly shouting "but my character's father would know this", it's a useful tool for you, and a fluff gimmick for them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    May 18, 2018 at 8:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have to admit I think it's an awesome idea. I'm interpreting it as his dead father's soul is in the ring, which kinda makes "need to be freed" questionable depending on what afterlife he hopes for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joshua
    May 18, 2018 at 15:50

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