Friday, August 15, 2008

Robe of Useless Items

Ah, Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Magic Items. Some of them were... kind of silly. As much as I loved rolling treasure randomly and providing my players with any of Quall's Feather Tokens, or for that matter a Sustaining Spoon...

"You find a magical spoon."

"Wait. Are you serious?"


"What does it look like?"

*DM checks in the book.*

"An unremarkable eating utensil fashioned from horn."

"How... unremarkable. I cast Identify."

If the spoon is placed in an empty container the vessel fills with a thick, pasty gruel. Although this substance has a flavor similar to that of warm, wet cardboard, it is highly nourishing and contains everything necessary to sustain any herbivorous, omnivorous, or carnivorous creature. The spoon can produce sufficient gruel each day to feed up to four humans.


Anyways, my favorite item has ALWAYS been, the Robe of Useful Items. I mean, first off, it's a robe. So... no one wearing armor can use it. Secondly, it's full to the brimming with useful items. That you can use once. 16 - 28 useful items to be exact. I'm a particular fan of the fact that you could potentially pull a mule, a rowboat, and a window all out of this robe. Yes, you can pull a window out of the robe. I guess you can put it in a dungeon wall... right next to the pit and iron door...

So, to share my joy of this item, I wanted to drop it in one of my first level campaigns. I couldn't however, since it apparently has a 7,000 gp market value. I --- I don't even... 7,000... what in holy hell were they.... *sigh* Moving on.

So, lo and behold, I crafted the Robe of Useless Items.

This appears to be an unremarkable robe, but a character who dons it notes that not only is it adorned with small cloth patches of various shapes, but it makes them look fat. Only the wearer of the robe can see these patches, and see that the robe makes them look fat. The wearer of the robe may detach the patches, though they will be too concerned with how fat they look in the robe to recognize what the patches will turn into until they have been removed.

A robe has both lesser patches, and greater patches. The wearer may detach one lesser patch every round and may remove as many such patches daily as they like. The wearer may detach one greater patch daily. Detaching a patch causes it to become an actual item, as indicated below. The items remain in existence for six hours before vanishing. Once removed, a patch cannot be replaced. Once a patch's item vanishes, it cannot be retrieved and another patch does not take it's place.

A newly created robe of useless items always has two each of the following lesser patches:

* Dagger Hilt
* Bullseye lantern (empty and extinguished)
* Mirror Frame (capable of holding a highly polished 2'x4' steel mirror)
* Pole (10-inch length)
* Hempen soap (smells like feet)
* Snack (tastes like feet)

In addition, the robe has several greater patches. Roll 4d4 for the number of greater patches and then roll for each patch on the table below to determine its nature.

01-10% - Bag of 100 Gold Chocolate Pieces (melted)
11-20% - Mug of coffee (decaf)
21-30% - Door, straw (up to 10'x10', highly flammable)
31-40% - Gem Pop (as ring pop, grape flavored)
41-50% - Potion of
Cure Minor Papercut
51-60% - Rowboat (hole in bottom)
61-70% - Portable Ram (deceased)
71-80% -
Elixir of Unrequited Love
81-90% -
Boot of Jumping (only one, use leaves wearer prone 5' to the left)
91-00% - Half of
Mordenkainen's Amulet (grants immortality if joined with 2nd half)

Now I need YOUR HELP! I want to craft this fun little item into a great artifact of epic proportions, but to do that, I need a lot more uselessness! What useless items do you think we should add in order to form the Greater Robe of Useless Items? Comment with your ideas!


Anonymous said...

A d12.

A bootlace.

A small shiny pebble.

Another d12.

Half a scissor.

A spork.

A watch hand.

A dog collar (broken).

A fish head.

Yet another blasted d12.

A piece of chalk (grey).

Half a sixpence.

A d12.

Love it! :D

Donny_the_Dm said...

A sheaf of parchment covered in juvenile scribbles.

Am map of a dungeon the players already have a map of.

A note reading "Help! I fell into my bag of holding!"

A bag of bent nails

A bag full of pyrite

A broken hand mirror

An unidentified gnomish contraption, apparently designed to make unpleasnant noises

A spitoon...half full

A deck of playing cards, missing all of the queens

A half burnt log

A random dead animal (size T or S)

A golden chain...immediately yanked nack into the pocket.

A pickaxe with a broken spike

A barrel...full of holes

A wheel of maggoty cheese

The left half of a ladder

A set of boot heels

Max said...

This is especially cool because it's ostensibly a prank magic item but clever players should be able to MacGyver some alternative uses for it.

I posted a few more possibilities for the Greater Robe to my own blog.

Jonathan said...

A bag of fingernails.

Chewing gum stuck in hair.

"The Cave of Time" missing pages 5, 10, and 32.

A milk bottle filled with cement.

Forty seven smashed mealy worms.

1 oz of iron shavings.

The Fiend Folio.

ok.. i'm done.

Anonymous said...

You, sir, are an evil, evil DM and should be very, very proud of yourself.

Here's my suggestion:

Include 1d4 *epic* patches.

An angry Gnoll, fully armed and armored (armor and pelt turn to dust when creature is slain. Meat and bones remain, writhing with maggots)

A hornet's nest - all hornets are startled and rush to defend the nest when drawn out. Do not roll normal attack rolls. Instead treat as an area attack vs reflex for full or half damage.

A fireball centered on the wearer.

Patch vanishes when pulled off. Wearer no longer thinks the cloak makes them look fat. In fact, they realize the cloak actually accentuates their features and makes them stunningly beautiful/handsome. Cloak actually makes them look squat and toadlike to other creatures. (save -10 saves if anyone bothers to really, really try to convince them)

Lose 2d4 points to all stats for 6 hours

Magic sword that always hits, damage 2[W] by type + wielder's best modifier. Damage is always applied to the wielder [this part never comes out in an Identify]

Patch sticks to hand{s} and takes 1d6 + Character's Level rounds to remove, at which time it becomes a puddle (close burst 3) of extremely sticky goo at the character's feet, holding him fast to whatever surface he is standing on (other characters in the burst should get a chance to avoid vs reflexes). For an added bonus you could make it extremely sticky ACIDIC goo that eats through his boots and/or the surface he is standing on in the first round and does minor damage each round thereafter until the character manages to remove himself from the goo.

Bonus (this is really a separate cursed item, but your cloak makes for a fine delivery system)
A magic wish stone that inquires loudly, in a carrying voice *what is your wish?* The stone can converse with the player normally and will insist (always in a loud carrying voice) that it is a wish stone and it grants wishes. It is also cursed. The player can't get rid of it. It always appears again in his pocket. If the player doesn't talk to it it should occasionally [read as *at the worst possible moment*] cry out *what is your wish?* Should the character ever voice a wish, the stone pipes up loudly, *your wish is granted* but there is no real result. The stone will make excuses. If the character wished for lots of money or a great magic item, the stone will insist that said wealth/item is indeed the character's to claim, he simply must find it first. Naturally, when they finally reach the lair of some creature who would be easier to beat if the party got to attack before it woke up, the stone triumphantly announces (loudly) that it has indeed fulfilled its purpose and the granted with is at hand and how could you ever have doubted me, see I told you I'm a wish stone! . . .

Anonymous said...

The character notices a small loose thread within the cloak.

Stitched in fine crimson script are the words: *pull ONLY in case of emergency*

If the character pulls the string in a non emergency situation, nothing happens. If however, the character is in dire straits, all the patches fall out at his feet, becoming their proper items and hinder movement for 1-3 rounds.

If desired, the cloak becomes an angry *cloaker* already attached to the character. If you don't have stats for a *cloaker* you could just have it wrap around his neck in a rush [surprise] and begin choking the character.

Storyteller said...

Wow, these are some fantastic ideas! It's great to hear that there are so many evil DM's out there! Thank you all for this great input!

greywulf: "A d12." I love it.

donny_the_dm: "A map of a dungeon the players already have a map of." Probably one of my favorites. The best ones I think are things that actually would be useful, except for the fact that they already have it, or the fact that it vanishes in several hours proves it's usefulness completely null and void. "The left half of a ladder." Hah!

jonathan: The fiend folio. Hilarious. Also the Cave of Time. Gotta love a choose your own adventure book missing key pages!

brahnamin: Yes, though I may take sweet, sweet enjoyment from all of this, it's even more satisfying to watch my players much around with these things. I love the annoying wish stone, I have to find a place for that! Also the "in case of emergency" string is hilarious!

Josh said...

A snake!

Also, I couldn't help but notice the possibility of randomly rolling two halves of Mordenkainen's amulet... maybe they would both be left halves?

Storyteller said...

Josh: Welcome to the blog! The key thing with all the greater patches is that you can only pull one off every day. And of course that any patch's item vanishes after six hours. So, it's physically impossible to have two greater patch items at once. If you wanted to have a variation on the cloak so that it's more like the actual item and the items stick around then you could have two left halfs. I just didn't want my players to go McGiver on me and make something out of all their patch items put together!

Bruce said...

A deck of many cards.

A potion of wholly water.

A d1.

A vorpal teatowel.

Qual's Feather Token of Feather.

Glass knuckles.

A bard.

Storyteller said...

bruce: Welcome to the blog! Those are all fantastic ideas, thanks for the contribution! The Quall's Feather Token of Feather is probably one of the best so far. I think I have to include "A Bard" during the next time I use this item though. That's priceless!

Max said...

How's your singing voice though? To be truly useless you want tone deaf bard.

Storyteller said...

Very true!

How about... a mute bard with perform (sing). Or... a fingerless bard with perform (strings). Equally useless I suppose :)

RLS said...

Ahem? The Hat of Ridiculous Items?

I believe we had to create the in-game "ridiculous action" to be able to use it. I vaguely remember having 1 ridiculous action per day.

Storyteller said...

Yup! Made yours a hat so no one would have to wear a full robe and not wear armor (since I knew SOMEone would want to wear it) haha :)

Kain Darkwind said...

I am pretty sure that a previous version of this item existed. (Since I was trying to look up said item when I found this article.) My DM told me all sorts of similar items to the ones you've mentioned, but the one I remember the best was

"A perfectly functioning guisarme, ranseur, and glaive."

What is wrong with those? No one uses them. Ever.

Tyler said...

we found this page today, sort of as a joke on the barbarian that liked the robe with all the patches. its been over 12 hours now and i still havent been able to think of "portable ram (deceased)" without bursting into hysterical laughter.

my hat to you, clever sir.

Jer said...

OK, I saw this in a Dragon Mag. back in the mid 90's. Robe of Useless items. It also included a 30' ladder with 3 rungs, a rubber dagger and glass shield (matched set) among other niceties.