You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items over on the right. Read ’em, like ’em, share ’em, and comment.
These will lack a “story”, they were some of my older items–I may revisit them again for fluff as a project.
The Light Hammer of Doss
Crafted with crude dwarvish magics in the beating heart of their most sacred mountain, the Light Hammer of Doss shines as a beacon of hope and glory for the village of Doss. Chief clansman Doss of the family Doss had all the sorcerers of the village and surrounding valleys come together to infuse this handy weapon with every ounce of arcane majesty they had. It is said that thousands died in creating it. That millions would bow before its bearer.
+0 light hammer, intricately scrawled in dwarvish runes decrying other faces as weak shit and how they would be trampled by the great dwarvish war machine to come; glows kind of like that plastic they made toys out of in the 80’s that would hold a dull glow after soaking up some light for a minute or so for about 60 seconds. That level of glow, but all the time. Not enough to see anything by. Just enough to pick it out of a dark room. Has a habit of unspectacularly seeming so very much less bright than virtually everything else that gives off any light at all in the scene.
But, counts as a magic weapon. And carries with it a certain respect from dwarves that see it. Not that useful, but tossing it would be lame.
Identify reveals that it is the weapon fabled to do great things. It is nigh-impenetrable as to what that is or where or when.
“You take your swing and the Light Hammer of Doss shines as it crashes into the beast’s skull with a fire much like the last embers of a cigarette in the shade on a sunny day…”
The Blood Jar
A gift from a Great Old Patron to a Warlock servant eons ago that has made its way from one dark master to another, the jar appears as a wide-mouthed glass jar (of poor quality, foggy and dirty looking-glass) with an equally wide (4 inches across) stopper of old hardened cork. The contents of the jar are dark maroon and brown swirling, almost black. It weighs 10lbs. Prying the lid loose takes a bonus action and a Str(Athletics) DC 8. Once open the contents surge and roll like boiling and swelling–the stink of it is overwhelming (anyone within 5ft at the start of their turn will need to make a Con save DC 10 or double over in pain and wretch away their action, though they can move and bonus still).
On the start of the PC’s turn after the jar is opened, something starts crawling out… a thing like a malformed version of that thing in Alien that popped out of the guys chest… a knotty, boney little hand comes out first, and a malformed head like a half-rotted peach with clear and piercing blue eyes, all covered in lackish brownish spoiled blood pulls its tiny body free. The Jarspawn lives in the interdimensional space that is the blood of the jar. Dispelling has no effect.
Once free, it goes at the very end of the round after everyone else has gone. It has an AC of 8 and as many hitpoints as days since a Jarspawn was last released. It moves 10ft with a fierce intelligence and tries to enter the body of the nearest living creature.
Athletics +2 (for climbing something’s body, raise or lower the DC as appropriate for how hard it might be for some or others given their attire or height). Getting it off of you is a shove action.
It doesn’t attack, even its biting is ineffective for damaging anything if it tried. It’s musculature is relatively weak. Should it get to something’s mouth, It attempts to crawl inside. As its shimmy-ing into their mouth–the taste is fetid, lots of nausea, this should be uncomfortable beyond reckoning. DC is the target’s dex score versus the Jarspawn’s athletics.
This is accomplishable in one turn, though very VERY likely this will take many tries to get this far… climbing, climbing, trying to crawl in, trying to crawl in…
Once inside target takes 1 damage (slashing) at the beginning of their turn until its out. If out of combat, take 2 per hour.
Getting it out requires a Long Rest (spent drinking and heaving and drinking more and heaving and forcing one’s self to vomit for most of a night); can be done in a Short Rest if being helped by another. Something that causes magical sickness that could include thorough vomiting could do it faster.
The Jarspawn does not sleep. It does not do anything else. A successful grapple and move, and it can be put BACK in the Jar. Any other confinement and it will waste away quickly and die within days. Then be reborn in the jar. To reactivate, the lid needs to be on the jar for at least 24 hours, then the Jarspawn has 1hp and is reborn.
it’s a slow… minorly offensive… unreliable battle partner. It’s the sort of thing one whips out and runs from so as not to be closest to it at the start of its turn. It’s all for shock and horror (and enough damage to kill a commoner within a day or two and an adventurer within a week if left without healing or vomiting.
The Medallion of Wrath
A broad, ugly beaten bronze medallion (the size of salad plate) with crude writing stipped into it by whatever barbaric smith of some forgotten tribe of primitives put there. The words are meaningless, mostly appeals to the vigor and power of the bearer. The effect is nothing to take lightly, though.
Once attuned, anything desiring to take a hostile action against another within 60ft will target the wearer.
Once something, in range, attempts to hurt (spill blood, attack with an attack action, punish, revenge themselves upon, etc.) physically or magically another creature, they roll a Wis Save DC 15 and on a failure they turn all of that intention toward the bearer of the medallion. At the end of their turn, they can roll the save again–if they succeed the “spell” is broken for them for the remainder of the day, otherwise the next turn will be them continuing.
This is contextual to how they were aggressing against their original target. If someone was trying to kill someone else, they will try to kill the bearer. If they were trying to disable their target, they will only try to disable the bearer. If it was a slap on the hand from a mother in the street to her child, she will run up and slap the bearer’s hand. Etc.
Once their act (or objective through many acts) is achieved, they are free from the effect.
Wearing this medallion is a genuine hazard in a populous area and it is said many a weak, unsuspecting man had been beaten to paste in the streets from their inability to handle just how aggressive people can be in just every day life.
But, the maker of this item beat it into existence to give pleasure to the man who knows no more excitement greater than combat.