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This item is being designed for a campaign where The Watcher is the patron of Hexblade warlocks. He is roughly a demigod and fulfills the role of The Grim Reaper. I want to make it portable to anyone's campaign by getting the rarity and powers as close to right as I can. I am using as bookends the Staff of Power (very rare, high end of the power level) and the Robe of Stars (a lower power level very rare item) to try and find the right power zone for this mantle.

Watcher's Mantle
Wondrous Item, very rare, requires attunement
The mantle is made of deep black woven wool trimmed with black silk. When attuned, it grants the following benefits to it s wearer:

  • A +1 bonus to all saving throws.
  • Dexterity (Stealth) checks are made with advantage.

Additionally, the mantle has seven charges which refresh each day at sundown. Spells using the mantle have a spell save DC of 17. When attuned, the wearer can cast the following spells (charges in parentheses): cause fear (1), misty step (2), darkness (2), enervation (5). When the wearer is targeted by a melee or ranged attack, the mantle can be used to cast darkness as a Reaction if there are enough charges remaining.

I am considering adding one more feature, but am not sure if this would make the cloak too powerful.

Cause fear can be cast as high as level 5, using one charge for each spell level, if there are enough charges remaining.

I am also not sure if the spell save ought to be DC 16 or DC 17.

Bottom line: is adding the additional feature a case of adding too much power for a very rare item?


Artistic and Thematic notes:

  • The deep black color is based on the cloak worn by the protagonist in Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer/Book of the New Sun, but any 'midnight black' color is thematically appropriate.
  • This could also be called Shadow's Mantle, since The Watcher in our game is the Lord of the Plane of Shadow. In any campaign it could be linked to Shadowfell, a death deity, or other similar power / spirit / demigod. (@ThomasMarkov pointed out that the FR god Helm is called The Watcher, and this item is not intended to be one of his creations).
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  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition to Andrew's answer one thing to keep in mind is sundown happens a lot more often during an adventuring day then sunup, so the player could get upwards of 14 charges per 'day'. \$\endgroup\$
    – Warcupine
    Sep 28 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Warcupine I don't understand what you mean by that. The sun rises once per day and the sun sets once per day. Can you elaborate? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 28 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean that the average adventuring day is more likely to cross from daytime to nighttime so they can expend their charges early in the adventuring day and then the charges will come back. \$\endgroup\$
    – Warcupine
    Sep 28 at 17:05
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I could find only 1 cloak in the printed materials that was very rare - The Cloak of Arachnida (DMG 158). There are properties of your item that exist on cloaks already in print - the stealth advantage is on the rare Cloak of the Bat (DMG 159), and the uncommon Cloak of Protection (DMG 159) gives the same saving throw boost. Looking at the utility of these existing items and their rarity I believe that very rare is the right place to put your item. I don't think that the additional feature would be that significant a change in the power level, trading charges for levels in that way seems decently balanced in the case of cause fear.

The only issue I see with your item is the Spell Save DC on spells cast with it, 17DC is very high. Spell saves max out without boosting from feats and items at 19 (8 base + 6 proficiency at level 20 + 5 stat mod at 20 cap), so 17 is nearly maxed out as it is. Note that the Web spell cast by the existing very rare Cloak of Arachnidia has a spell save DC of 13. 16 may also be higher than you should use in that case.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You get +6 prof at 17th. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24 at 20:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Yes, but +6 is still the highest it can go, so I was talking about max level and max stats to show the max unboosted save DC \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Sep 24 at 20:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wand of Web is Save DC of 15, and it's uncommon, I'll probably drop it to 16. 13 is just wrong. If you look at scintilating colors ... Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement) expend 1 charge to cause the garment to display a shifting pattern of dazzling hues until the end of your next turn. Creatures that can see you have disadvantage on Attack rolls against you...any creature in the bright light that can see you when the robe’s power is activated must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become Stunned until the Effect ends - stunned is very powerful. DC 16 is a better target \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25 at 0:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ And I may go to 15...good answer, good food for thought! You might want to check out the robes and update your analysis. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 of its Charges to cast the web spell (save DC 15) from it (wand of web). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25 at 0:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Andrew I had given that some thought, "attuned by a warlock" since the guy I have in mind for it is a hexblade, but I decided to not be as restrictive. But maybe it would be better thematically, as a warlock / sorcerer only item. (Fits shadow sorcerer well enough) ... I'll discuss with the DM whose world this fits into. He may see it your way, sort of like rod of the pact keeper... \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25 at 1:14

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