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Besides the three "default" ways of getting a magic item by finding, buying, or crafting, are there other ways for a player to gain them? I found the second level artificer feature "Artificer Infusions" which can replicate magic items. Are there other class features, feats, character backgrounds etc. that can do something similar?

I am especially looking for different options a player can take to get Shiftweave, but I am interested in a general answer also applicable to other items.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, are you looking for “player facing” options, that is, choices available to the player that grant the item? In contrast, finding and buying magic items are “DM facing” options, since it is the DM’s choice to make them available to the players within the narrative. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 18:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am looking for “player facing” options and have edited my question to make this more clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – 00koeffers
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 18:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? Can a level 1 character start with a magic item? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish: This other question is similar but focusses on the first level. My question asks about general possibilities and therefore answers concerning any level would be welcome. This is why my given example of the second level of the artificer would be an option. \$\endgroup\$
    – 00koeffers
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ it's at least worth to be linked here - you might add it to the question as awareness and crosslink. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 21:01

2 Answers 2

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There are only very limited options

As of today, as far as I can tell, there are no other backgrounds, feats or class features that allow you to create a magic item of choice, which I think is what you are asking, in particular not in tier 1.

There are a few options that can give you something close to being a magic item, or at least having unusual properties, but not in a way where you can choose a published common item -- they might provide some specific thing:

  • Some people think the Cartomancer’s ace is a magic item. While I do not share that view, this is also no help if you want the get a shiftweave, even if it were.

  • The Warlock's Pact of the Blade gives you a weapon that counts as magical for overcoming resistance and immunity (thanks to @enkryptor), but is not a magic item.

  • The wish spell can only do it off-label, as the preselection list excludes magic items: "You create one object of up to 25,000 gp in value that isn't a magic item.". It requires a level 17 spellcaster, and off-label use is up to the DM, so not a player controlled option. (Thanks to @senmurf for the reminder to cover wish in any "Is there any way..." kind of question).

  • The Feylost backgound lets you roll on the Feywild trinket table three times, with a chance to get a cupcake that magically regenerates itself. (Thanks to @Kirt).

  • The Phantom rogue's Tokens of the Departed feature can create a trinket, that you then can use with the feature to create various supernatural effects. However, the token itself is a mundane item from the PHB trinket list. (Again, thanks to @Kirt)

  • The Genie warlock gets a magical vessel at first level, that they can use to access an extradimensional space, or to deal extra damage a few times per day.

  • As per this answer, with Inheritor variant on the folk hero background from Sword Coast Adventurers Guide, at the DM's choice you might get a minor magic item as your inheritance. This however still needs the DM to agree to give you the item, and not some mundane inheritance.

Why are there no better options?

I think the reason this is such a bleak picture is that this is by design intent. The magic item section in the DMG opens with

Magic items are gleaned from the hoards of conquered monsters or discovered in long-lost vaults. Such items grant capabilities a character could rarely have otherwise, or they complement their owner's capabilities in wondrous ways.

So there is a clear design intent that magic items should be earned through adventuring, not part of the owner's capabilities, and feats, backgrounds and class features are all part fo the owners capabilities.

The game tries to not make presumptions about the availablity of magic items in the campaign beyond the most basic ones like potions of healing the purview of the DM.

Unless you decide your campaign works otherwise, most magic items are so rare that they aren't available for purchase. Common items, such as a potion of healing, can be procured from an alchemist, herbalist, or spellcaster.

Features that would allow a player to circumvent this by the normal character creation rules would be at tension with this basic setup.


P.S. Also note, shiftweave is from the Eberron campaign setting. Depending on your DM and setting it may not be available in your campaign, even if there was such a feature.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't the Wish spell be an option? \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Warlock's Pact of the Blade worth notion, since it gives a weapon which counts as magical. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 21:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know the usual criteria for magical, but a regenerating cupcake doesn't sound particularly mundane to me. Although I wouldn't think semi pointless items are what the op is after. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 22:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Sorry the previous comment is confusingly written - the cupcake could maybe count. I was referring to the trinket of tokens of the departed, which is a bog standard PHB trinket, although the feature allows you to trade it in in unusual ways. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 22:37
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The "Inheritor" background from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide is a variation on the Folk Hero background, but you get an item or similar thing as an inheritance.

One of the options given is a piece of clothing, and...

The DM also determines the properties of your inheritance and how they figure into the item's history and importance. For instance, the object might be a minor magic item, or one that begins with a modest ability and increases in potency with the passage of time.

Shiftweave is a common item (at least in Eberron) so it seems like it would count as a minor magic item. Though to fit with the concept of the background, it would need to be more than a simple item, it should be meaningful in some way to the character's overall story.

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