6
\$\begingroup\$

I have a D&D 5e character that was an acrobat, and I thought to create an item that helped me to act better on that. The item I presented to my DM was a pair of magical boots. It's a mixture of two different magical items;

I wanted these boots to have the same ability as the Slippers of Spider Climbing and give me the ability to jump higher.

Are there any books/links that would help us in categorizing it like, should it require attunement, should it have charges, and what the rarity of this item is?

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Duplicate or at least related to "Are there rules for combining generic variant magic items?", as it pertains to your case of combining the effects of two different items in one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Jun 29, 2023 at 12:07
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer I think as the other one is very generic, and in effect the answer says that you need to look at the individual case and figure out the details yourself, and this one is about a concrete case, with such details, I think it is OK to anser this for the specific case. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2023 at 12:35

1 Answer 1

9
\$\begingroup\$

It should require attunement, and at least be rare

The game's main instruments for balancing magic items are attunement and item rarity.

The DMG provides guidance on creating new magic items on pages 285ff, so it cannot hurt if you read that, which will give you advise how to estimate power levels and how to avoid creating overpowered items. It says about combining items:

You can also modify an item by fusing it with properties from another item. For example, you could combine the effects of a helm of comprehending languages with those of a helm of telepathy into a single helmet. This makes the item more powerful (and probably increases its rarity), but it won't break your game.

In your case, both items are uncommon, and both require attunement. This is different from the example, where both are uncommon, but only the helm of telepathy requires attunement. I think this is the most powerful aspect you gain from combining them: it allows you to cheat on attunement slots (apart from that you would not be able to use two different kinds of magical footwear at the same time). Attunement is there for a reason: to avoid players stacking too many powers and effects and slowing down gameplay.

Combining the uncommon helms, only one of which needs attunement, already results in something that "probably should increase rarity". In your case, the item for sure should increase rarity, at least to rare, and of course, it should need attunement, too.

Rarity

A rare item typically (based on the guidance in the DMG for handing out magical items and based on the treasure tables for encounters) would mean that you would get access to it later on. Xanathar's Guide to Everything has a table that shows the expected distribution on page 135. Both kinds of boots are classified as "major items", and you could expect to obtain two such uncommon items in tier 1 (level 1-4). However, you should not expect a rare major item before tier 2 (level 5-10), and not find more than one there.

Your DM can of course ignore such guidance, and if they do, they should think about how to reward other players to keep things fair. Otherwise, you may have to wait for this item until you are higher level, which may not be what you are trying to achieve.

Attunement

The DMG provides this guidance:

If having all the characters in a party pass an item around to gain its lasting benefits would be disruptive, the item should require attunement.

Your new boots, as the two original kinds, can be passed around easily. Want everyone to climb up a castle wall? Walk up, throw down your super-boots, have the next character walk up. So, it should require attunement, like the base items.

To give you this effect without attunement would be an item that in a way gave you two free attunement slots. That is extremely powerful, and you should be careful with it. Further increasing rarity to a very rare or legendary major item would also mean you should not expect this before tier 3 (level 11-16), when most campaigns are already winding down. Like the DMG, I recommend you do not make this free of attunement.

P.S. The chapter on creating magic items is rather short, and, to be honest, the designers themselves did a pretty shoddy job in assigning rarity to their items. For example a broom of flying is an uncommon item that allows you to fly for however long you like, while the wings of flying are a rare item that allow you to fly for just 1 hour (and only a little faster), before needing to recharge for 1d12 hours. So, the really best answer is to test your new item in game, and be open minded about taking it down a notch if it turns out to be too strong, or up, if too weak.

\$\endgroup\$
4
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Does rarity matter all that much in this case though Presumably the item is created so that the character can have it. And at that point it matters very little how rare the item is otherwise. \$\endgroup\$
    – biziclop
    Jun 29, 2023 at 13:42
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @biziclop one way rarity can be used is to compare the "magic item value" distributed to the party. If everyone has 1-2 common magic items but this one person has a legendary magic item, there's going to be complaints most likely. Putting a label on the item allows the party to see whether or not the DM granted items to each party member in a fair manner. (also gold price, but that's a less relevant point here) \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Jun 29, 2023 at 13:58
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Matthieu Fair point, I didn't consider balancing between party members. \$\endgroup\$
    – biziclop
    Jun 29, 2023 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much for the detail-rich answer! Also, your point does stand in the attunement area of both boots, because we could, for example, make so one of the "boots" is actually an anklet or something else just for theming/flavour and being able to use both items at the same time, since they are magical, it just makes sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – FMorschel
    Jun 29, 2023 at 17:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .