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I have created this item as a way to discover lore and history in a unique way for my campaign.

Memory Orb
Wondrous Item, Rare

When a spell is cast into this 10-inch diameter, semi-transparent, glowing orb, the holder is paralysed for 10 minutes. The holder becomes unaware of their own body and their surroundings during this duration and instead will relive and experience the memory that is stored within the orb. The holder experiences the whole range of senses the original host had produced, whilst still retaining their own consciousness. The spectator feels as if they are in the host’s body, doing its actions.If the original host casts any spells during the memory and the spectator is capable of casting that spell also, they will learn that spell at the end of the memory

The holder is unable to end the memory and must spend the whole 10 minute duration viewing the memory. There is no way to remove a memory from an orb except a Wish spell. It is also immune to modify memory.

A blank memory orb has an additional feature:

When the person holding the sphere spends an action to touch the sphere to the forehead of someone, the target must make a DC 15 wisdom saving throw or have 10 minutes of their memory from the past week removed and placed into the sphere. A creature can willingly choose to fail this saving throw.

Does this have any unintended, game-breaking problems? If it does, is there a way I could balance them?

Note: I have thought about possible combat uses, such as touching it against an enemy, then casting a ranged spell into the orb whilst it is touching them, could active the orb and paralyze the enemy for 10 minutes. Is this a possible problem or would the difficulty of getting an enemy to hold the orb in place long enough to cast a spell into it (not to mention the incredibly high AC in order to specifically hit the orb) be enough to balance out the immediate paralysis?

Edit: I understand that "If the original host casts any spells during the memory and the spectator is capable of casting that spell also, they will learn that spell at the end of the memory". doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Youjay, SE doesn't work well for homebrewing questions if you edit the original question to revise the item after receiving feedback. When you do that, any answers that were posted for the original version suddenly become obsolete. It would be best if you kept the question the way it was originally (before you edited it to remove a feature). When you actually use the memory orb at your table, you can of course take the advice of the answers and remove the feature then. Basically, SE works best for homebrew when you ask once and don't revise after that. Good luck with tweaking this item. \$\endgroup\$ – Bloodcinder May 25 '18 at 13:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bloodcinder is absolutely correct. Changing homebrew material after and in response to receiving answers so as to invalidate those answers is unfair to the respondents who helped in good faith! If the desire is to have a back-and-forth about the homebrew material rather than a one-time critique, then that back-and-forth should occur on a forum. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 25 '18 at 13:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ In such cases, is policy/tradition generally to revert the changes, or leave it changed? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 25 '18 at 15:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ok, i shall revert the question back to its previous state, but keep the note stating my understanding of its problem. \$\endgroup\$ – Youjay May 26 '18 at 2:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ This isn't how SE questions are supposed to work. I want to revert this question to Revision 4, but seeing that the mods have already seen this and haven't done so, leads me to think it's fine as it is, so I won't. Iterative designing of homebrew is being discussed in meta here. \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 May 26 '18 at 2:24
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Give an unwilling holder a save and/or have the memory break when the holder takes damage

Rule #1 in Euch's personal Item-Creating Rules that He Just Now Made Up is:
Give the DM an out.

While weaponizing one of these orbs would be difficult, the reward would be instant victory over an encounter. I would hate for a final showdown with the main antagonist to somehow end after two rounds of cunning and trickery followed by poking a paralyzed dragon until it dies. I'm all for rewarding cunning and trickery, but epic-level creatures should be uncheesable. This item could cheese them.

Also, I would clarify (or be ready to clarify) the "when a spell is cast into" bit. I think what you mean is when the orb is the target of a spell. But with it's current wording you could argue that AoE spells that encompass a person holding one of these should have it triggered.

To directly answer the question: not game-breaking

I wouldn't use the words "game-breaking" to describe a Memory Orb, but would also say the item offers a perpetual, viable alternative to combat as a whole, which most players and DMs alike are going to find undesirable.

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This is game breaking:

If the original host casts any spells during the memory and the spectator is capable to casting that spell also, the will learn that spell at the end of the memory

What does “capable of casting” mean:

  • if I already know how to cast this spell I don’t see the point
  • I’m a PC, therefore I am “capable of casting” because I can take a class that can learn that spell - do I now know it (broken)?
  • My race casts spells - do I learn it (broken)?
  • I’m a wizard - is it now in my spell book?
  • I’m a Druid/cleric/paladin etc. so I can already prepare any spell on the list - does it do anything for me?
  • I’m a sorcerer/bard etc - do I forget a spell I knew to make room for this one? Do I learn an extra spell (totally broken)?
  • Ditto warlock only weirder.

Aside from that it seems pretty pointless- now if you could use it to record a new memory I can see some use for it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I've removed that part, also I could incorporate "blank" orbs without memory's in them so they can be used to capture memory's on a wisdom save. Would that be better? \$\endgroup\$ – Youjay May 25 '18 at 10:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately, as the question has changed, this is now not an answer to the current question. \$\endgroup\$ – Tiggerous May 25 '18 at 10:28

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