I'm currently running a premade scenario for Pathfinder where the author gives out rather powerful magic items for character levels 3, but they're almost the only treasure to be had in the scenario.

Thing is, their history and sometimes the way they are used seem, to me, inadequate for a mostly good-aligned party. One is a +1 dagger which true powers are revealed by ripping someone's heart with it (and then consuming said heart). The other one isn't as gruesome, but is an accessory that good people probably wouldn't wear (blood-stained spiky crown).

As the GM, I'm wondering what to do with these items as I get the feeling they won't see actual use by the party, and would probably be hard to sell, both considering their high price and the rare kind of potential buyers they may lure.

I'm interested in both mechanical and story aspects for this. Is it possible to recraft items, cleanse evil magic items and such? It probably wouldn't be a bad thing if this led to further stories, but I don't want the party to wait forever to get proper loot either. Any other tricks to dealing with this?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also requesting help to make that footnote link work... \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Nov 11, 2013 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure what URL you were hoping to use, so I linked to the Pathfinder wiki page for it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ellesedil
    Nov 11, 2013 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ellesedil: I didn't realize it needed a URL, thus why it didn't work apparently. Thanks for the fix. \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:17
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Jesus was Good, and wearing a "blood-stained, spiked crown" is one of the things he's known for. "Good" isn't about your fashion style. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2013 at 11:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Perkins: are these from the core rulebook or somewhere else? I don't remember seeing such things in my books so far. \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Aug 9, 2014 at 7:48

2 Answers 2


You're the DM, that means that you can change the scenario however you want, and specify how the magic items work however you want.

There are a lot of possible solutions, some of which you've mentioned. Personally I'd probably just reskin the evil-looking crown. The magic part of it could be a circlet, but the last owner added spiky bloody bits because they were Evil with a capital E.

For the dagger, you could have some sort of good order of priests or something of that nature offer the PCs a magic item of similar value in exchange, so they can destroy the evil item. Alternatively, you could simply Rule 0 it to change the requirements for using the dagger to being used in defense of the innocent, or something in that vein. Further possibilities include adding some other equivalent magic item as loot, and making the dagger disappear or lose its magic as soon as its wielder is killed.

In terms of players 'fixing' or 'cleaning' loot they've already found, you can create holy shrines that can remove the darkness from items (a nice example would be a spring or other water source, as immersion of items could be used as a cure).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That isn't rule 0, that's just deciding to drop loot that works differently. (which might be a pretty good idea) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2013 at 21:27
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs Rule 0 (as I understand it) is that the DM is the final authority and can change any rules if necessary, including how items work. But I guess you could argue that Rule 0 only applies to rules, rather than the whole game. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dakeyras
    Nov 11, 2013 at 22:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Rule zero is everything the DM ever does in that case. But mainly it's just about the DM getting to day how the rules work. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2013 at 22:30
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for good priests trading for the items so they can purify or destroy them. Maybe even add in a counter-offer from someone who's secretly working for the next bad guy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Nov 11, 2013 at 22:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs Rule 0 is quite explicitly not only about the DM getting to say how the rules work, it is also about the DM getting to throw specific rules out altogether. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2013 at 11:59

Magic items that the group has to ponder using and may raise moral issues with a well-roleplayed group? I don't see the problem with that. That sounds awesome.

If you're running the game in a way that makes Wealth By Level important, then just throw in some other treasure alongside these goodies to make up the difference. You won't break anything. (Not following WBL won't break anything anyway except for fragile campaign designs, so minor tweaks are certainly not going to break things.)

Disregard the dagger's "true" powers (which your PCs will probably never use), and treat it like a plain dagger +1 for the purpose of calculating the value of the treasure. If the players do actually go all heart-eating maniac and unlock its true potential, then sure they've got a higher-powered item now than what is "balanced", but they're paying for it by being heart-eating anti-heroes. Again, awesome.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding your first paragraph: Yea. That depends a lot on the group. It can be really awesome. In the majority of groups I personally have encountered, "recipe for disaster" isn't quite a strong enough term. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2013 at 11:56

You must log in to answer this question.

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