Hundreds of new weapons, tools, and magic items for your D&D character.
This supplement for the Dungeons & Dragons game presents nearly a thousand magic items, weapons, tools, and other useful items for your D&D character. Whether you’re a player looking for a new piece of equipment or a Dungeon Master stocking a dragon’s hoard, this book has exactly what you need.
The book features a mix of classic items updated to the 4th Edition rules and brand-new items never before seen in D&D.
Loot... glorious, sparkling loot.
Dungeons & Dragons has often been happily defined as a game where you "kill monsters and take their stuff!" That means it's always depended on a core of imaginative, useful, and mysterious magic items to help you do exactly that. Magic breaks the rules of the game, letting heroes perform mighty acts that they'd never otherwise be able to manage. In a campaign world where a smirking halfling thief with a Girdle of Storm Giant Strength can traditionally pick up a very surprised mule and throw it one-handed at an enemy, magic items become key to really fun adventures. They provide a lure, a call to adventure, and a reward worth risking your hero's life for.
Problem was, there weren't all that many magic items in the game when 4e first launched. The 4e Player's Handbook was the first among its namesakes to include magic items, and some players felt that they got short shrift because there wasn't enough space in the PH to do them justice.
Adventurer's Vault (2008) seeks to rectify this.
An Abundance of Riches. Adventurer's Vault accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do: provide a slew of new magic items for 4e D&D. Lots, and lots, and lots of items. That's not ideal if you're looking for a book with a cohesive narrative and dangling plot hooks to sit down and read in one go, but are you looking for a reference book that's full of magical prezzies for your players? This is the book for you.
Not only are there 150 pages of magic items, from armor to wondrous items and everything in between, but the book discusses both mundane items and unique items as well. Mundane items are equipment such as new kinds of masterwork armor; new weapons, mounts, and vehicles; and new items crafted using the expanded alchemical rules. You might argue that "Anathema armor" (leather armor made from snakeskin and woven with strands of shadow by yuan-ti) is not particularly mundane, but in this case "mundane" means "not specifically enchanted with magical abilities." New mounts include giant spiders, riding lizards, elephants, skeletal warhorses, wyverns, and dire wolves.
The vehicle section also contains an abundance of rules for vehicular combat, and includes everything from a light chariot to a gargantuan greatship. The alchemy section discusses items from levels 1 to 30. While possibly a bit pricy in actual play - a level 30 thunderstone will cost you a hefty 125,000 gp, as much as a level 20 permanent magic item - there are a number of interesting and flexible items that can be used in and out of combat.
Personality Matters. Want a magical shield that darkens as if bruised when hit in battle? Magic items with personalities, exceptional and important histories, and alignments are discussed in the book's appendix, which also gives rules for "leveled" items that increase in power along with their owner. These rules are particularly useful for DMs who dislike a constantly changing supply of magic items in their game, as when heroes swap out items every few levels in order to keep up with the power curve.
Memorable Magic. Knives that cut open magical doorways to extradimensional spaces. A harness that gives your torchbearer a huge strength bonus when hauling supplies for you. A sash that wraps around your foes on its own, entangling them while you pummel them into uconsciousness. A ring that rebirths you as a phoenix every day, blasting your foes with fire in the process. A cloak that lets you flee combat at high speed. Boots that let you walk through air. A shield that becomes a stone wall. And of course, varieities of magical weapons and armor aplenty.
Adventurer's Vault showcases interesting, flavorful magic items. In a game system that is occasionally criticized for making magical items less unique and memorable, these items are a great example of how to handle design correctly; every item has an evocative name, a brief description, a strong theme, and a balanced power level. The items lack the extended descriptions and histories that occasionally peppered earlier editions' magic item lists, but there's enough here for DMs to easily customize and expand on interesting items.
Looking at a Feyslaughter Bow, for instance, just from the name alone a DM can create a history and description that is going to want to make the party's elven archer burn the thing instead of using it herself.
As Advertised. This book does exactly what you think it's going to, and it does it extremely well. Need a ton of well-crafted and intriguing magic items? Buy Adventurer's Vault. Done.
About the Creators. Logan Bonner is a former editor for Wizards of the Coast. A prolific game designer who worked on dozens of books for WotC, he's now a freelance writer, designer and editor who lives in the Seattle area. His Creative Commons-licensed game Refuge in Audacity is an over-the-top pastiche and parody of bad 90s RPGs and comics. Don't miss it.
Eytan Bernstein is a freelance writer and designer from Long Island, New York, who works as a development editor by day. His previous credits for Wizards of the Coast include Dragons of Faerûn, the Magic Item Compendium, Exemplars of Evil, and numerous online articles and web enhancements.
Chris Sims is a veteran of Wizards of the Coast and a number of smaller d20 companies. A dual classed editor/designer, his book Monster Manual 2 was a Wall Street Journal bestseller in 2009.
Kolja Raven Liquette divides his professional time between writing for books, D&D, and film. While Kolja has been known to perform on occasion, this happens more by accident rather than design.
Owen K.C. Stephens is a freelance RPG writer whose work for Wizards of the Coast includes Dragon Magic and The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide.
About the Product Historian
History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.