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114 votes
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Why do artifacts exist in the DM's Guide if you can't get them easily?

Try not to treat the DMG as a shopping list The thing is that it doesn't seem very plausible to get these items. D&D 5e isn't designed as a video game with "must have to beat the game" items....
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
54 votes
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What's the Head of Vecna and why is it important?

The tale of the Head of Vecna is considered a touchstone cautionary tale to players about taking everything you hear in-game as gospel truth, and is an excellent example of Players using the promise ...
guildsbounty's user avatar
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45 votes
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What makes an item an artifact?

Artifacts are Magical Items; but only a tiny few of Magical Items are Artifacts There's a few places in the rules where Artifacts are called out as being materially different than any other Magical ...
Xirema's user avatar
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37 votes
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Does the Book of Exalted Deeds allow level 10 spell slots?

Yes That is what it says it does, so that's what it does. There're no serious problems with this, either, yet; the Book of Exalted Deeds is an artifact level magic item and (as your example shows) ...
Please stop being evil's user avatar
34 votes

Can a Githyanki silver sword be used as a means to kill a lich or other similar "immortal" being?

RAW, no Githyanki silver swords are known for being able to cut off a creature's astral cord. This allows their wielders to kill a foe which is currently in astral form, such as through the Astral ...
Matthieu's user avatar
  • 9,768
29 votes

Does the Book of Exalted Deeds' Enlightened Magic benefit apply to cantrips?

Cantrips don't use spell slots so the Enlightened Magic property of the Book of Exalted Deeds has no effect on them. Page 201 of the PHB states: A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will, without ...
Purple Monkey's user avatar
28 votes
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Is there precedent for how players identify the capabilities of Artifacts (outside the DMG)?

Identification isn't activation. I think you're mixing up two different things here. Identifying an artifact works just like any item. You cast the spell or spend the time, and you find out what the ...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar
27 votes
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If an artifact does not expressly limit spells like enlarge/reduce or levitate, are there any limits?

There are many serious problems with this plan... A lot of this is going into spoiler tags, because it reveals details of how things work behind the DM Screen. First off.... It's almost certainly ...
guildsbounty's user avatar
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27 votes
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Can a PC create a magic artifact?

No. Artifacts are generally used by the Dungeon Master as plot devices. The guidance for artifacts in the Dungeon Master's Guide states (chapter 7, section "Artifacts"): Characters don’t ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
26 votes

Would an artifact that enhanced proficiency be too over-powered?

It is acceptable for a legendary item. There is precedent in the SRD: Ioun Stone of Mastery (Legendary). Your proficiency bonus increases by 1 while this pale green prism orbits your head. Now, ...
keithcurtis's user avatar
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25 votes

What's the Head of Vecna and why is it important?

So why the Head of Vecna? Well, if you are familiar with the aesop / Morality Play of the Head of Vecna, I am guessing your question then is why specifically did the opposing group choose the Head of ...
JWT's user avatar
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24 votes
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What's the definition of an artifact in regards to a Sphere of Annihilation?

Artifact is a rarity type in D&D 5e. As you can see in this filtered list from D&D Beyond, artifacts are the next level of rarity up from Legendary. There isn't a specific guide to what makes ...
Cooper's user avatar
  • 9,636
24 votes
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If a character naturally lost an eye and a hand, would he be able to attune to Vecna's appendages?

Don't let the rules get in the way of the fun. Especially if you are the DM / campaign creator. D&D was never meant to be a strict game where the rules are king. Leave that for competitive ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
21 votes
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Is it possible for two characters using the Sword of Kas and the Eye and Hand of Vecna to have the items destroy each other at the same time?

Not by RAW combat rules To destroy the Sword, someone attuned to the Hand and Eye needs to cast Wish which the artifacts enable them to do. To destroy the Eye and Hand, the creature attuned to them ...
Anagkai's user avatar
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20 votes
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Does a spell cast using a 10th-level spell slot count as a 10th-level spell?

Yes, a spell assumes the level of whatever slot is used to cast it As you quoted: When a spellcaster casts a spell using a slot that is of a higher level than the spell, the spell assumes the higher ...
Rubiksmoose's user avatar
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20 votes
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Can a cursed artifact that successfully possesses the user attuned to it still use its own properties normally?

A sentient magic item always controls its own abilities The section of the DMG (p. 214) on sentient magic items (and the corresponding part of the basic rules) contains a passage relevant to your ...
Ryan C. Thompson's user avatar
20 votes

Does a Simulacrum get the Hand and Eye of Vecna too?

No. Although grafted onto the recipient, the Hand and Eye are still magic items, and therefore "equipment". The Simulacrum spell says (emphasis added): [The simulacrum] appears to be the ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 35.1k
19 votes

Why do artifacts exist in the DM's Guide if you can't get them easily?

Think of the artifacts as MacGuffins - plot devices; objects with qualities that make them desirable or undesirable, and which would motivate characters to find them - whether to use them, give them ...
Joe McMahon's user avatar
18 votes
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Would an artifact that enhanced proficiency be too over-powered?

Things that proficiency bonus increases: Saves a character is proficient in Attacks with weapons a character is proficient in Ability checks made with skills or tools a character is proficient in ...
BlueHairedMeerkat's user avatar
18 votes

Why do artifacts exist in the DM's Guide if you can't get them easily?

Many fantasy stories include a powerful artifact that falls into the hands of an unlikely group of heroes - The One Ring is an immediate example. Artifacts are in the Dungeon Master's Guide because ...
gatherer818's user avatar
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18 votes
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Warlock Pact weapon on Sentient or Artifact Magic weapon

It means you can't make an artifact or sentient weapon a pact weapon They are separate sentences, and are independent of each other. I found a Sage Advice column supporting this: @...
daze413's user avatar
  • 28.7k
18 votes

What makes an item an artifact?

Artifacts are a kind of magic item In the DMG p. 219, they are described as: An artifact is a unique magic item of tremendous power, with its own origin and history. In terms of how to actually ...
Sdjz's user avatar
  • 36.4k
18 votes

If a character naturally lost an eye and a hand, would he be able to attune to Vecna's appendages?

As pointed out in other answers, RAW states that the self-mutilation is an important part of the attunement process, so the RAW answer would be "no". Of course as GM you can always just ...
biziclop's user avatar
  • 2,230
17 votes
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Are there any rules for PCs to create intelligent items?

Answers Intelligent items can be randomly rolled. A DM adhering strictly to random treasure generation will find that nearly any permanent magic item can be at random an intelligent item. That is, ...
Hey I Can Chan's user avatar
17 votes
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How can the positive/negative planes be described?

They may not "look" like anything: they are energy sumps. This answer is informed by the first edition AD&D descriptions of the Positive and Negative Material planes in the PHB and DMG. I reach ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
17 votes

Is there precedent for how players identify the capabilities of Artifacts (outside the DMG)?

You asked for precedent, so here is one—further back than you were looking for, maybe, but it’s also exactly what you were looking for: Identify does not function when used on an artifact. (Identify ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 354k
16 votes

Why do artifacts exist in the DM's Guide if you can't get them easily?

Regarding the Wand of Orcus specifically, Wikipedia (I don't have my books handy) says Orcus will sometimes allow the Wand to get loose in the Prime Material Plane in order to create havoc: "The ...
Tony Ennis's user avatar
16 votes

What makes an item an artifact?

It's about the uniqueness of the item and they follow the description in the DMG Artifacts, are described in Chapter 7 of the DMG and provides a list of some of them. There may be other Artifacts ...
NotArch's user avatar
  • 126k
16 votes

What's the definition of an artifact in regards to a Sphere of Annihilation?

An Artifact is a special category of magic item, as described in the Dungeon Master's Guide on page 219. Specifically, they are immensely powerful, completely under the DM's control, and half magic ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 81.6k
15 votes
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How are artifacts destroyed?

Erm, I don't see how the DMG doesn't solve your problem. The DMG has a Destroying an Artifact section, where it explains how it works, p. 221. An artifact must be destroyed in some special way. ...
HellSaint's user avatar
  • 37.1k

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