Community compilations on the DMs Guild are becoming more and more frequent. What is interesting is that they are not sticking to any one sort of content. Some are adventures, others are compilations of all kinds of rules, massive lists of NPCs, etc. Today’s entry is Artifacts of the Guild, compiled by Emmet Byrne & Terry Herc. Releasing on Monday, April 15th, this volume brings 260 magic items, including a few artifacts. Contributors include Benjamin Huffman, James Introcaso, Ashley Warren, Phil Beckwith, JVC Parry, and many, many others. I welcome such an endeavor, as 3.5’s Magic Item Compendium and the epic four volume Encyclopedia Magica from 2nd are some of my favorite books ever and that I still pull from my shelves on occasion.
Usually for reviews, I like to go item by item. I do not really have the time to do that for this one, nor the space, nor without spoiling it fully. That said, I will be looking at three different magic items of different rarities and types as examples. Also give you a peak inside…
Kicking off with an uncommon magic item, here is the Nullmagic Shield. Now I am a big fan of shields that do not just provide extra armor class, but instead protect from more specific issues that can arise. This specific shield seems to be dimensional anchored and under a nondetection spell. There are pros and cons to this, with this item illustrating, quite well, how to make a magic item with restrictions that is not cursed. In fact, it is operating exactly as intended. Reminds me a lot of a magic ax in my previous campaign, though that one was shunted between dimensions…
What would a magic item compendium be without magic weapons? I dig the description here, well crafted, giving the reader a feel for the magic contained within. However this is a self replicating magic item, one that initially seems overly powerful, but realizing that it simply lets the bearer throw extra magic daggers or distribute some +1 weaponry around, it is a pretty reasonable item. The gaseous form on self is keen too! Always a fun “get out of jail card” for a player to play.
Big ticket item, a legendary orb. Haunted orb is pretty cool, this trapped soul or soulless entity can cause some serious harm. This would be one of those fun objects to place in a dungeon trap, where obtaining it is awesome, but muffing up the retrieval could end in a rather tortuous headache for the entire party. With that said, what is missing from this description is a usage as a spell casting focus. There are a few minor missed opportunities throughout this text like this, but nothing that a DM could not hammer out for their players.
This publication will sell for $9.99 in the DMs Guild with a print edition coming later at $29.99. Honestly, a very fair price for so much content in a well done format (dig the color coded rarities a lot!). Though I am a little surprised a set of magic item cards for this are not on the horizon. I really only have two major issues with Artifacts of the Guild. The first is that art varies highly in quality throughout, some of it is exceptional and others seem to be basic stock photos. Not breaking, but a bit off putting. My other issue is one that I wish more products on the DMs Guild addressed: hyper linked page numbers. This book has lists of items appearing in it three times: the table of contents, items by rarity, and the author list with what they contributed. All reference the page number the particular item appears on, but while using it electronically I wish I could just click the name or page number and jump right to the item. I understand that is a bit of work, but it is a huge pay off in terms of usability.
So overall, I put this is a highly recommended category. Even if only 10% of the items in it are appealing to your game, that is still 26 new magic items to use. I like this shotgun approach to magic items: lots of authors, lots of variety, lots of fun. Here is hoping for a volume 2 of Artifacts of the Guild.