I raise my axe over my head and charge theT-rex! I send my familiar into give him advantageon his attack.
Mmm, I wasn’t aware that druids even getfamiliars.
Holy crap, the new guy’s cheating already! Barbarian, you charge the T-Rex and hit itsolidly with your axe, causing its beady eyes to regard you with annoyance.
Then it reaches down with it maw, chomps downonto you, and swallows.
So wait, I’m in its stomach now? What? You think wizards are special? Druids get familiars, too.
We just call them animal companions.
Um, actually, RANGERS get animal companions.
Yes, yes, you’re in its stomach now.
You start taking acid damage.
I’m going to take out my immovable rod andturn it on.
Hey, stupid wizard stop arguing for a secondand use your oversized brain to execute Order 52.
Oh, yes! Of course, Order 52! I cast thunderwave on the T-Rex.
The T-Rex fails its saving throw and is pushed10 feet backward, causing the immovable rod to burst out its chest.
Uh…yeah, it’s dead now! Well done.
Welcome to the DM Lair.
I’m Luke Hart, and I’ve been a dungeonmaster since high school.
On this channel I give practical dungeon masteradvice that you can implement at your table.
Today in the Lair we’re going to talk aboutten overpowered, game breaking magic items that will destroy your campaign.
There, did I hype that up enough? Did I get you all worried? Are you just dying to know what they are? Okay, look, let’s be clear here.
Some of these magic items are hands down gamebreaking, and the game designers have clearly spent too much time finding traps with theirfaces.
Others are just a little too overpowered andshould be adjusted.
And, then, there are some of them that NORMALdungeon masters probably have no problem with.
But due to trauma to my fragile psyche fromrepeated bad experiences, I’ve been forever soured to them, and thus they make this list.
Also, let’s be clear about what overpoweredactually is, because some folks think items like the Luck Blade, Ring of Three Wishes, or Armor of Invulnerability are OP.
Those aren’t overpowered—they’re legendaryitems! Just don’t give them to your players untilthe appropriate levels in the game.
I bet half of what we believe to be overpoweredmagic items are simply a direct result of DMs just going nuts and giving them out waytoo early in the game.
If we exercise restraint, we can avoid manyof those issues.
When I think overpowered, I’m thinking abouta magic item might be listed as uncommon, but is actually as powerful as a very rareor even legendary item.
OR, a magic item that when placed in the handsof a creative player—or a player with access to the internet because, you know, Googlesearches are a thing—can be used in ways that make them more powerful than you mightotherwise suspect.
Oh, and, I swear to you this list won’tjust be me ranting about these magic items.
I’m also going to offer some changes orsolutions to them that dungeon masters can implement to bring these items back in linewith the level of power that their RARITY suggests.
Oh, and by the way, if you have any questionsabout this topic or anything else dungeon master or D&D related, I have live streamshere on YouTube pretty much every Friday at 6 pm Eastern US time.
Feel free to swing by, ask some questions, and hang out with us.
Because, you know, we nerds have nothing betterto do on Fridays.
#1 – Cloak of DisplacementI will rant about this magic item until the end of my days, and I will curse Dalinor’sname along with it.
The cloak of displacement is a rare magicitem that causes attacks against you to be made with disadvantage.
Now, supposedly, disadvantage averages outto a negative five modifier, but as my buddy Joe explained to me one day, it’s actuallymuch worse at the extremes.
For instance, when someone with a higher armorclass, such as paladin, is wearing it, it can be practically impossible to hit him.
Isn’t that right, Dalinor? But fortunately, I think there is an easyfix for this magic item—besides just tearing it out of the Dungeon Master Guide and hackinginto Wizard’s database and purging it from all memory—and that’s to make it an actionturn on its displacement property.
That means when you’re hit by an attackand you lose its displacement property, you need to use an action to re-enable it.
And I would probably also make it very rareat the very least.
It’s just THAT good.
#2 – Broom of Flying and Winged BootsOkay, this is a two-for-one because these are both uncommon magic items that essentiallygive you unlimited flying.
Sure, the winged boots place some limits onit, but because you can split up the time limit in small increments, you can essentiallyfly about, especially in combat, all you want.
And unlimited flight for an uncommon magicitem is just insane.
I mean, the game designers made the Wingsof Flying rare with a limit of 1 hour of flight roughly every 6 hours.
And then the Carpet of Flying is very rare.
So why they heck are the broom of flying andwinged boots uncommon? I’m telling you, somebody’s been smokingsomething! The fix is simple.
They become rare or very rare magic items.
Done and done.
Oh, and by the way, just to be clear abouthow the rules around magic item rarity work, an item’s rarity determines roughly whenit should be given to characters.
According to the rules, common or uncommonitems can be given out at level 1.
Rare items can be given out at level 5 orabove.
Very rare items at level 11, and legendaryitems at level 17.
#3 – Decanter of Endless WaterLet’s see, what example can I give you to demonstrate how powerful this common magicitem can be? Oh, yeah, you can use it to flood an entiredungeon, killing everything inside.
How’s that for powerful? Not convinced? Okay, let’s have the group travel to a desertregion and corner the market on drinkable water, destroying the entire economy and becomingfilthy rich.
I gave this to my friend Jon in my WonderPanda campaign, and he has wisely exercised an amazing amount of self-restraint in itsuse.
You see, he knows me and knows that if hetries to do either of these things, or something else equally crazy, there will be a fast NERFcoming to his precious decanter of endless water.
And I think the nerf—or um, well, appropriatefix it so simply put a limit on the amount of water it can produce per day.
Yes, yes, I get that it will then no longerbe a decanter of ENDLESS water, but, hey, it’s that or risking your players floodingthe entire world.
#4 – Weapon of WarningThis is an uncommon magic item that gives the wielder advantage on initiative rollsand makes it so that he and his companions within 30 feet can’t be surprised.
Are you kidding me? Can’t be surprised? Can’t be surprised? Come on.
So, this weapon steals an entire categoryof encounters a dungeon master can deploy against their group: the beloved ambush.
I think my axe to grind against this magicitem has less to do with it being overpowered and just that it takes away a very interestingand dramatic situation that a group might find themselves in from time to time.
This is like telling dungeon masters thatthey can no longer use dragons or trapped chests in their games.
I’m sorry, for me, that’s lame.
My fix for this magic item is to make it soonly the wielder can’t be surprised.
Everyone else in their party can.
#5 – Eversmoking BottleWhen I first gave this uncommon magic item to my Hand of Light group, little did I knowthe power that I was placing in my hands.
They used the Eversmoking Bottle time andtime again to sneak past their foes, escape dangerous situations, and negate terrifyingenemies such as high-level spellcasters and beholders who need to see in order to usetheir cool abilities.
I think that changing the fog it producesfrom creating a heavily obscured area to just a lightly obscured area might be a decentfix.
However, I personally would probably justlimit the amount of times it could be used.
#6 – Adamantine ArmorThis uncommon magic item basically just negates critical hits against the wearer.
And I’ll be honest here, this is probablynot an actual problem.
I’ve just been emotionally scarred by thetime I gave it to my player Ben’s paladin.
You see, I would get so excited every timeI scored a critical hit, and then he would break my heart when he reminded me that hehad adamantine armor.
In fact, my trauma went so deep that I wouldeven do things like have the adamantine weapons of drow be quickly ruined by daylight lestmy players try to smelt them down and create armor from them.
This was actually a problem for me, but Igot help, and, well, I’m better now.
I just don’t give out adamantine armor anymore.
It’s mithril armor every time.
#7 – Immovable RodThis uncommon magic item is a rod that, as the name implies, cannot moved.
In the hands of players who scour the barrenwasteland of Reddit for game-breaking ideas because they have nothing better to do withtheir time – yeah, well bad things can happen.
I feel like a fix might be limiting its numberof uses or making it very rare, but I also feel like I’ve been offering those fixesfor a lot of these magic items.
So, you tell me: how would you change theimmovable rod to make it less overpowered? #8 – WandsYeah, that’s right: all wands.
Like, why do they have basically unlimitedchargers? Sure, you’re limited to 7 or so chargesper day, but then they recharge.
So a wand basically gives a spellcaster 7additional spell slots to use in every single adventure for the rest of the campaign.
Mmm, that sounds a little strong.
Oh, what’s that you say, many wands caneven be used by melee classes such as fighters and barbarians? Well, crap, now we’re turning melee classesinto wizards, are we? Now THAT’S not powerful.
Now, back in the day, wands had a specificamount of charges, and when they were gone, the wand ceased to function.
And this is actually my fix for this magicitem: just make them like old-school wands.
Set number of charges, and when they’regone, they’re gone.
#9 – Vorpal SwordOkay, yes, this is a legendary magic item, but hear me out: it auto-kills a creatureon a natural 20.
Did you catch that? Auto-kill.
No saving throw.
Oh, you’re fighting the Big Bad of the entirecampaign? Nat 20, baby.
And if you’re using optional rules likeflanking that make getting advantage SUPER EASY in the game, then this sword becomeseven more powerful because the chances of a nat 20 double.
So what’s my fix for this? Make there be a saving throw to avoid death.
Sure, it can be a high saving throw—likeperhaps a DC 17 Constitution saving throw—but you gotta give them a fighting chance.
If they fail the save, they die; if they makethe saving throw, they take a crap ton of extra damage, like maybe 8d6 or something.
# 10 – Deck of Many ThingsOh, come one, COME ON! Don’t tell me you didn’t think this wouldn’tshow up in the list.
The tales of how campaign breaking this legendarymagic item can be are NOT exaggerated.
If it doesn’t break your campaign, it willseverely alter its entire course.
And my fix for this? Simple.
Give it to your players around level 17 orso, and have fun.
That’s right, have fun with it! Let me know down in the comments what youthink the most OP magic item is.
Next week I’ll be swallowing my axe whileit’s on fire.
But until then click here to see what happenedwhen our dungeon master give us the Deck of Many Things.
And until next time… Let’s play D&D!.