Attunement Requirements & Minor Properties
Here are a couple new tables for generating interesting random magic items.
Not all magic items easily bond with their user. Some magical items have special requirements that must be fulfilled before the item can be attuned. Until the item is fully attuned it might act like a mundane item, or it might only impart its minor property or quirk onto its bearer.
Details of this special requirement are typically gained during the short rest to learn the item’s properties or when attempting to attune to the item. Other times an identify spell is required to learn the secret of attuning the item. Some magic items are resistant to magical divination and the secret of attuning requires research into the history of the item or its creator.
Some items might have hidden secondary properties that must unlocked through a specialized attunement. A sword that appears to be a simple magical weapon might reveal additional powers or become more powerful when properly attuned.
d20 Attunement Requirement
- The wielder must sacrifice a living creature during attunement.
- The bearer must spend 1d4 Hit Dice. The bearer regains no hit points from these Hit Dice, but they can be regained normally.
- Attunement takes a long rest.
- The wielder must be in a specific place. Roll 1d8:
- A graveyard or crypt
- A church or cathedral (potentially of a particular alignment or god)
- A battlefield
- Underground: a cave or dungeon
- A crossroads
- A forest clearing
- A tavern or inn
- Where the item was made
- The user must recite a special incantation or prayer.
- The bearer must give the item a name. No addressing the item by its name ends attunement.
- Rare herbal incense (worth 1d6x10 gp) must be burned during attunement.
- The bearer must fast for 48 hours prior to attunement.
- During attunement, the item must be anointed with a mundane fluid. Roll 1d8:
- The wielder must write or etch their initials onto the item.
- The bearer must pledge an oath to perform some worthy deed (noble or villainous). If they fail to uphold the oath attunement ends. If they completely betray the oath attunement ends and they cannot attune to the item again.
- The user must tie a strand or lock of their hair around the item.
- Attunement must take place in a during a particular time. Roll 1d6:
- At night, in moonlight
- At noon
- During a storm
- At midnight
- At the hour the item was created
- During a specific season (summer, winter, etc)
- The wielder must write a secret on a piece of parchment that is burned during attunement. If they ever reveal the secret attunement ends.
- The item has a hidden compartment. The bearer must place a drop of their blood inside.
- The item must be worn for a day and a night before it can be attuned.
- The attunement lasts a year and a day then ends. The item must have one new owner before a previous wielder can attune to it again.
- The bearer must be intoxicated to attune. They must be at least tipsy for the entire process; if they pass out, attunement must begin again.
- The item must be placed in a fire during attunement. If the item is normally flammable, it cannot be harmed by non-magical fire while being attuned.
- The bearer must have selflessly performed a good act within the last 24-hours. If the bearer ever knowingly performs an evil act attunement ends.
Below is a table of random properties for magical items, to complement the existing one in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
d20 Minor Property
- Darkfriend. The bearer gains darkvision 30 ft.
- Sex Appeal. While the item is visible, members of the opposite sex are attracted to the bearer. The bearer has advantage on Charisma checks related to seduction.
- Loyal. The item cannot be lost or stolen, only freely given. If removed from the bearer it returns to them the following dawn.
- Matched Set. The item is one of a pair. The bearer always knows the direction and distance of the other’s bearer.
- Literate. The bearer can read the language of the item’s creator (or all languages known by the creator). However, the bearer cannot speak the language or understand it when spoken.
- Musical. The bearer gains proficiency in one musical instrument, chosen by the item’s creator.
- Tongues. During times of stress or excitement (such as combat) the bearer speaks in the language of the creator.
- Unnatural. The item repels animals. The bearer has disadvantage on all checks to ride, train, or handle mundane animals.
- Terrifying. While the item is visible, the bearer has advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks to frighten people but has disadvantage on all other Charisma checks.
- Kleptomania. The bearer feels compelled to steal, borrow, or touch small non-valuable items, especially if they’re shiny.
- Returning. The item cannot be given away or stolen, only taken by force. If removed from the bearer it returns to them the following dawn.
- Tempting. The bearer hear whispering voices urging them to do things related to their flaw.
- Umbral. Unless standing in direct sunlight, the bearer always seems to be in a shadow.
- Blighting. Plants grow sick nearby, eventually wilting and dying.
- Sobriety. cannot become drunk while item is possessed. considered proficient on saving throws against the poisoned condition.
- Mnemonic. Contains fragments of the memory of the creator, which might come across via dreams or unconscious recollections.
- Magical Pocket. Tugging at the item opens a small extradimensional space that acts like a bag of holding but holds a cubic quarter-foot or 1 pound of material.
- Avarice. The bearer instinctively knows the value of any object they handle for at least 1 minute. They can also identify the most valuable item in a treasure hoard at a glance, provided the item is visible.
- Undying. The bearer must fail five death saving throws before they die.
- Cooperative. The item can be attuned to two bearers at once. Both must be present during attunement, but only one can benefit from a worn item at a time. If either user is more than 100 feet away for 24-hours, attunement ends for both.
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