It seems magic items are one of those things of which players can never get enough when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons, especially in Fifth Edition where these items are not quite as easy to come by as they were in earlier versions of the game, specifically compared to Third Edition where characters could create their own magical gear.
Still, not every magic item has to be super powerful, nor does every item have to be made for combat. Below are a handful of relatively minor magical items I have created for a homebrew campaign I share with other Dungeon Masters in the Unnamed Adventurers Guild (more members are always welcome, so feel free to check out our Facebook page). Any in-world references are to this campaign, the world of Illumina and its environs. The first five items have been introduced into the game, but others have not. As a side note, there are no prices provided for these items as each is somewhat rare, sometimes unique, and will bring whatever the market will bear.
Arrows of Skulking
Background: An elven archer-mage down on his luck in the city of Anhes in the Merchant Kingdom makes these and sells them from time to time when he needs drinking money.
Effects: These look like normal arrows other than they have silvered heads, plus a Detect Magic spell will show faint evidence of the arcane. These are full-sized arrows and will not work as crossbow bolts. When in the quiver or drawn against a bow, these arrows appear normal, as they do immediately upon hitting their target. However, upon being launched from a bow, the arrows turn invisible until hitting the target (arrows that miss will remain invisible until one round after being launched). If the archer is hidden while launching these arrows, the target will not be able to tell from which direction the arrows came, nor will anyone else watching unless they have spotted the archer.
Tongue of the Gods Dwarf Whiskey
Background: The heady liquor found in this black bottle was brewed by a dwarf hermit, a retired cleric, in the frozen wastes several hundred miles north of Illumina. Each bottle includes 10 drinks.
Effects: Besides the usual effects of getting one drunk, each drink of this alcohol allows the drinker the ability to speak, understand, read and write the Dwarf language for 1 hour.
Thimble of Mending
Background: A human wizard of Lankwood made this simple magic item for his daughter to help her with household chores. After she grew older, married and moved away, he sold the thimble to a traveling merchant.
Effects: The thimble allows its wearer to cast the Mending cantrip.
Trinkets of the Sea
Background: Usually these items come as slender bracelets made up of small seashells through which holes have been drilled so a thin cord can hold it all together. Kuo Toa from a small city below The Deamon Sea have been known to use these trinkets for slaves, gods, and others who cannot naturally breath under water.
Effects: Each of these trinkets allows its wearer to breath under water.
Grail of Life
Background: Hundreds of years ago a king of what is now the Merchant Kingdom gifted this golden vessel to a monastery northwest of Camisna. Over the years a swamp swept in from The Deamon Sea, eventually burying the monastery under water and muck after a storm decimated the region. More recently, the waters have receded, the monastery has been rediscovered, and the Grail of Life has appeared once more, now in the hands of a collector of oddities. This golden cup stands about eight inches in height and appears rather normal other than a circle of small rubies around the outside of its lip.
Effects: Once per day when this cup is filled with Holy Water, a Lesser Restoration spell will affect the drinker, ending a disease or condition, the drinker’s choice.
Blanket of Rest
Background: A retired adventurer in the Upper Kingdom has been manufacturing these items for several years, and a handful of them have made their way across the ocean to the main continent.
Effects: When a resting individual wraps such a blanket around themself, this blanket will provide the effects of a Short or Long Rest in only half the normal time. For example, the typical Long Rest would only need to be four hours long. The individual must wear the blanket during the entire rest for its effects to work, and such blankets will not work for elves or half-elves as they are immune to sleep and related magics, nor will the blankets work for other creatures which do not need sleep and/or are immune to sleep.
Saddle of Experience
Background: Some years ago a knight of the Lankwood became fed up with his squires not being able to handle themselves atop a steed, so he had this magical military saddle made to help with their training. After the knight passed away, this saddle was passed down to one of his squires, who later sold it once it was no longer needed. Now the saddle moves from owner to owner, on rare occasions being found for sale by one specialty merchant or another.
Effects: When a rider sits upon this military saddle while it is strapped atop a horse, the rider will have Proficiency in Animal Handling. If the rider climbs down or is removed from the saddle, they will immediately lose this Proficiency. The device’s magic will not work on non-horse-like riding beasts, such as Camels or Elephants or Mastiffs.