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Room 27 contains a creature who has some additional items listed as treasure:

In addition, Qesnef wears a ring of protection on his left hand and a ring of spell storing (with two mirror image spells in it) on his right.

Are those items active on the creature (changing some of their stats and giving some additional options)? Or are those not meant to be active/used and to be given as treasure?

If they do use them, does that adjust their CR?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking about authorial intent? This seems to be a GM judgment call. Are you looking for guidance outside of what's in the book? I mention this because in the AD&D 1e DMG, "the monster use magic items" was spelled out rather clearly as a general principle, and the module was originally built around that chassis. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2020 at 12:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Yeah, I think i'm looking to see if in general those things in published adventures are supposed to be active. Some of the other monsters in the module are listed with additional capabilities, so I wasn't sure because it didn't say their CR was adjusted with the items. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 1, 2020 at 12:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ OH, CR adjustment for items ... if that's where you are headed, might be worth adding that point into the question. (A CR 1 kobold shaman with a ring of spell storing holding a fireball, or two Shatters and one thunderwave, would be tougher, to be sure). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2020 at 12:50

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Yes. It is a reasonable assumption.

DMG p 138

Intelligent monsters often use magic items in their possession, while others might hide them away to ensure they don't get lost or stolen. For example, if a hobgoblin tribe has a +l longsword and an alchemy jug in its treasure hoard, the tribe's warlord might wield the sword , while the jug is kept somewhere safe.

Also.

Ogre Magi or Oni as they are called now are the more intelligent, magic wielding Asian counterpart to the legendarily stupid western Ogre.

It is also reasonable to assume that he doesn't use the other item in his possession because:

He was assigned to guard it or he might know what it actually is and doesn't know how many souls he would reasonably have access to and doesn't want to lose his life doing it.

As far as the CR adjustment I have two thoughts on it.

  1. Most of the modules they translated from older editions were just essentially copy/paste without a lot of thought on whether or not old mechanics and challenges translated well into the new edition.

  2. Those two particular items don't really increase the toughness all that much in my opinion. Maybe by 1. Had the latter item had different things within maybe higher.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, you think they'd use THAT item as well? NM, just realized they can't. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 1, 2020 at 12:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yeah that item is problematic given his situation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Apr 1, 2020 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch My experiences running WPM in 2nd, 3rd and 5E are all very different. I have to admit they were easier in 2nd and 3rd and definitely worked best in 2nd. Knowing how the mechanics of 5E work they really should have adjusted some of the encounters in this module to fit the new rules. One of the other rooms with an has an encounter that in all likelihood should wipe the party given its CR. Others are so lackluster as to just be walk-throughs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Apr 1, 2020 at 13:06

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