You see an eerily familiar sight; a sinister cottage building with a poorly written”antiques and oddities” sight nearby. As you draw nearer, a dreadful sense of deja vu pours over you. You’ve been here before. Upon entering the door, all comes back to you as you see a hunched over sales person, obscured by a cloak. The humanoid creature cracks a smile from underneath the cloth, as if it recognizes you.
Welcome to Rare and Magnificent Antiques and Wares! I haven’t seen you in quite some time. Hopefully you learned from last time you foolishly made a purchase without heeding warnings. Or perhaps you’re a new customer, no… you’ve been here, I sense it! Unlike other curio shops and antique specialists, I focus on the morbid and bizarre; artifacts found no where else in the world! But remember this, all sales are final. If you fear obtaining something, let me enlighten you on all there is to know. Granted, you already knew the rules, didn’t you?
Sadly, we’ve sold the wears that you’ve seen last time. But fear not, thanks to various benefactors as well as generous adventurers, I have replenished my stock with a satisfying assortment of new items to examine. Also, do be careful when handling the items. You don’t want to activate or awaken something by accident, do you? Of course not! And so, simply point to something and I’ll be right over to get it for you.
Author’s Note: The Hunched Over Salesman is back with all sorts of creepy magic items to dive into! I wanted to do a followup to my Gothic items from back in April, so here we go!
Mask of the Deathly Physician (Rare), Attuned
This one is one of my favorites! I’ve used it as masquerade balls. That’s right, old hunch has seen many parties in his day! But, I digress. This mask is special, it observes how healthy or how sickly a creature is. Sometimes, it lets you see how a creature might die. Eerie, eh?
This creepy mask has a cream-like grey tone, obscuring the entirety of the face. It looks much like the plague doctor masks seen in times of great diseases and outbreaks. The beaked mask is stuffed with slightly off putting black roses, giving off an unearthly aroma to those who breath through it. Its eyes are fitted with strange lenses, that look as thought they were crafted out of obsidian. While one can’t see the user’s eyes, it looks as though they’re staring into their very soul.
After attuning for upwards to 8 hours, the user may study a target as an action. Upon doing so, they know their current health status and other facts involving any medical issues they may suffer or what shape they’re generally in. In addition, once per long rest, the mask gives the user the ability to see how that creature will most likely die. This vision is not concrete, but merely suggests a likely outcome. However, while this effect is being cast, the user is treated as an undead creature for up to 1 hour following that; spells that detect or affect undead affect that caster in that manner.
Mutagenic Oil (Very Rare), one use
Ah, the mad alchemist’s concoction… There used to be more batches, but they were almost destroyed by their creator. A group of adventurers checked out the wreckage, two of them were slain by some sort of monster-man. They managed to leave with a few goods after killing the monster, which promptly turned into the alchemist… Confused and mortified, they took off with a few items and frantically ran. I have reason to believe this potion is what caused the alchemist to take his monster form. Use this with caution.
This sickly vial contains an ooze-like substance, with a strange dark green color to it. It sloshes around slowly and has an unnatural movement to it. Its properties seem inconsistent and are constantly trying to morph and shape within its small container.
When either consumed or poured on a subject, they either fight off or embrace the change into a dark and sinister form. The target must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 18) or become an evil and monstrous version of themselves. They become evil while in this form and seek to do various wicked deeds, including attacking former allies. After 1 hour, the target may make another save. Success causes them to shift back to their original selves. Failure means they must wait until another hour has passed. While in monstrous form, they gain two of the following abilities.
- Resistance to all physical damage
- Resistance to an elemental damage
- Advantage on all saving throws
- Attacks deal an extra 1d6 elemental damage
- +10 ft. speed, ignore all difficult terrain
- 1d8 Natural weapon, counts as being magical
- Climb speed + spider climb
- Swim speed + amphibious trait
- Flight speed
- Darkvision +60 ft. + see in magical darkness
- +2 to one stat, +2 to another stat (or +4 to one stat)
- Advantage on Perception checks using 1 – 2 senses
CURSE. Their soul is tainted by their wicked alternate form. 24 hours after they have returned to their true form, the monster will try to surface once more. Upon being exposed to something related to their corruption, they must make a new saving throw. Upon failure, they return to their monster form. Casting Greater Restoration up to 1 hour after a creature has turned back to its original form will remove this effect. However, this curse cannot be removed until they have atoned for all of their sins committed in their monstrous form.
The Necronomicon (Legendary Artifact), Sentient, Attuned
Oh? You want this tome? You’re actually serious, aren’t you? I don’t let just anyone look at this one, for it might have apocalyptic consequences. Granted, I don’t really care either way. But, let’s take a closer look shall we!! This grimoire, leather bound in human flesh, is an unholy collection of dark rituals and mad rants compiled for your perverse viewing. It contains passages about cosmic horrors, gruesome spells and unspeakable blasphemies. Only a complete madman would want this. Don’t ask me how I got this, it’s a long and complicated story…
This eerie book is wrapped in a rough leather, akin to human skin. The front of the tome even has a stretched human-like face on it, warped in an expression of eternal horror. Inside its pages, you see illustrations of fiendish monsters, impossible aberrations and disgusting warpings of flesh and bone. Its contents are filled with incantations, ramblings and grave warnings. While a chronicle of dark things witnessed by the author, the tome itself has a dark surprise; it’s very much alive.
The Necronomicon is a book with a variety of spells and magical effects, at a price. You gain the following benefits after reading up to 80 hours worth of time in total.
Unspeakable Knowledge. When you spend the required time reading the Necronomicon, it gifts you with taboo knowledge. You gain a +2 ability score bonus to Intelligence, but take -2 penalty to Wisdom upon completing the time required to read through it. You are proficient in Intelligence (Arcana), (History) and (Religion) if you were not so already. In addition, any checks related to outer beings like fiends and aberrations have doubled proficiency. As long as you are attuned to the Necronomicon, these effects remain. If you are no longer attuned, these effects wear out 24 hours later.
Sanity’s Requiem. When rolling for psychic damage, you may reroll any 1s and 2s, but must keep the end result. When a creature takes psychic damage, you may cause them to make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 20) or take a level of madness once per long rest. If the target has already gained a madness within 24 hours, they take the next tier (short term, long term, indefinite)
Dark Magick. 1/Day, you may apply 1 metamagic (see the Sorcerer class) that your level would be capable of using. In addition, you may cast the following, as if they were innate spells. These spells use the caster’s intelligence stat for save DC and spell attack. They are the following:
- At-Will: Animate Dead, Arms of Hadar, Compelled Duel, Crown of Madness, Hideous Laughter, Rebuking Madness*, Tongues
- 1/Day Each: Contact Other Plane, Create Undead, Dimension Door, Dominate Person, Planar Ally, Planar Binding
In addition, if the reader spends upwards to another 80 hours researching and is capable of casting spells, the above may be added to a list of spells they know.
CURSE. Curse of Eldritch Horror. Upon attuning with the Necronomicon, the user begins to go insane. They are haunted by disturbing visions of horrible creatures and inevitable dooms. Dark revelations begin to make more or more sense to an increasingly worried mind. The user automatically gains an indefinite madness effect, which cannot be removed while the curse affects the user and/or while the user is attuned. Furthermore, the user becomes compelled to follow the artifact’s vile agendas. Users become more unnerving, more sinister, more evil, more unhinged. In fact, they become very dedicated to the Necronomicon and its dark elder lords. Eventually, it’s likely the user will become too insane to adventure if they are not given proper help.
CAMPAIGN OPTION: CALL OF CTHULHU – For a grittier game, your sanity actively falls while attuned. Every day after attunement, the user must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 20). Failure results in losing 1 point of Wisdom, thus making subsequent saves harder. Alternatively, you may use the Sanity stat for both saving throws and damage. Consult rules for Sanity and Madness within the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
Random Properties. The Necronomicon has the following randomly determined properties:
- 2 minor beneficial properties
- 1 major beneficial property
- 3 minor detrimental properties
- 2 major detrimental properties
* Works like Hellish Rebuke, but deals psychic damage
Slasher’s Knife (Very Rare), Sentient, Attuned
Looks like just a knife, eh? That’s where you’re very wrong! In the hands of anyone remotely trained with blades, it’s a true murder weapon. The funny thing is, you’re not in control. It chooses your targets, you go and kill them. Think it’s worth the risk? Of course you do! Go forth and slay some monsters, especially if it agrees with you.
This slick oversized knife has a keen edge and an overpowering aura of malevolence. Its hilt whispers to all who get close and speaks deeply to those who grasp it. The blade shares visions of bloodshed and brutality with its user. By itself, it looks like a strangely huge knife that is large enough to be used as a sword.
Slasher’s Knife is a +2 short sword and is considered a magical weapon. However, upon being attuned, it gains extra benefits when attacking specific targets. When attacking a designated target, the attacker may make an Charisma (Intimidation) check as a free action. Furthermore, attacks against the designated target deal extra sneak attack damage, treating the user’s total hit dice as effective rogue level.
CURSE. Upon becoming attuned, the weapon is bound to its user. At the end of a long rest, the sword will compel its user to seek out and kill a target of its choice. Should the user try to resist, it will attempt to charm and manipulate its host. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 20) or fall under the blade’s spell. The charmed host will go out of their way to track down and murder their target, also doing whatever they can to terrify the target in the process. Should the user be immune to enchantments, succeed its initial saving throw or do an action contrary to the sword’s goals; the sword will try to knock its host unconscious and take over. The host must make an Intelligence saving throw (DC 20) or take 10d10 psychic damage. If successful, the damage is halved. Characters that would be killed by this attack are instead taken over by the sword completely. Characters knocked unconscious are still dominated, but only for up to 8 hours. The only way to fully remove this curse is by casting a Remove Curse spell up to 5 minutes after killing the host.
Soul Grabbing Jar (Very Rare), Attuned
At first glance, it’s a simple jar. But, what is this glow emanating from within the container? Why, souls. Yes, souls are trapped within this mystical trap. This was likely the creation of a wicked necromancer. Or worse, someone harvesting so that they might embrace lichdom or the like. Now, if you give this to you, I can only assume you’ll go on some mad quest to capture your enemies. Beware the price of power.
This jar glows from countless floating and frantic orbs. In reality, these orbs are trapped souls that have been forced into an arcane device. Despite it’s small size, the amount of souls it can contain is almost limitless. However, the souls have become aggravated by their degrading existence and seek to torment their oppressor however they’re able.
The user must spend 2 hours studying the power of soul binding to properly attune to this item. Once per long rest, the user activate the jar’s power as an action. The user may target one creature within 60 ft. Said creature must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 18) or their soul is ripped from their body and deposited into the jar. The body remains in a state of suspended animation, but remains alive. The soul itself is sealed away and can be used for a variety of often evil and arcane purposes. The user may release a soul at any time. If the body is destroyed or dies under strange circumstance, the soul must find another vessel if freed.
The user may also conduct a ritual with the jar to “burn” the soul in an effort to gain power. This ritual takes 24 hours without interruption. Following completion, the ritualist expends one soul and gains one of the following boons: advantage to attack with 1 weapon of choice, advantage on one saving throw stat, advantage on a skill check. This effect lasts for 8 hours. After this effect is over, the ritualist gains 1 level of exhaustion.
CURSE. The trapped souls hate their existence and wish only the worst to their tormentor. Upon taking a long rest, the souls will tamper with your ability to relax and even sleep. You must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 15) or take a level of exhaustion as well as a level of madness upon waking up. If you’ve already received a level of madness before the previous rest, you gain the next step.
Swarming Corvid Statuette (Uncommon)
I… don’t like birds too much. They always make a mess… But, I digress! This, right here, is an enchanted statue that calls forth a variety of dark corvids to your aid; you know, crows and ravens and the like! And just like that, you can command them to attack your enemies. In fact, they’re capable of rendering your foes mad. Isn’t it wonderful!? But, don’t take this beauty for granted. It gifts you with its wondrous birds. Those who take advantage of the gift get quite the payback.
This strange sculpture depicts a bird-like figure with a menacing stare, stylized into some sort of ornament. Its black texture is juxtaposed with a faded blue sheen and splattering of blood red splotches. Listening closely yields strange cawing and croaking bird sounds, coming from some impossible location. Those who use it long enough can hear the sounds turn into voices, beckoning them to join them.
Once per long rest as an action, you can summon a swarm of “corvids” (works exactly like swarm of ravens) to any empty place within 30 ft. of you. They are under your control and will do your bidding as long as the command doesn’t intentionally put them in grave danger. However, they will defend you at all costs. The summoned swarms last for upwards to 1 minute in total. The swarm disappears when it is called back early or slain. While active, strange talon-like protrusions form from your nails as feathers appear from your arm and by your forearm. This effect is temporary, while the swarm is active.
CURSE. You may attempt to use it more than once, but doing so has consequences. Upon abusing the statuette, it will cast polymorph on the user. The saving throw for the effect is 16. Upon failure, the user becomes a similar bird. Undoing the spell as written or casting Dispel Magic can undo this effect. Upon success, the user is not affected. Either way, the statuette remains unhappy until 8 hours pass. If the user abuses the statuette again before 8 hours pass, it will cast true polymorph to do the same. Like before, the spell can be undone before 1 hours passes. After 1 hour in that form, the statuette will cause the user to join the swarm and forgo their humanity. Only high level magic like Wish can undo the user’s curse at that stage.
Image Credit: Witch House – Alex Shatohin; Oracle – Shain Erin; Jar of Souls – pumpkinrot; Plague Doctor Mask – Church of Halloween; Murder of Crows – Folderol; Slasher Knife – Bethesda; Mutant Goblin – Paizo, Necronomicon Ex-Mortis – iliketoast