Rings go on their fingers and then you forget about them forever so let’s spice them up a bit and have them be more memorable.
Cuz, like, omigosh. Rings are totally F.A.B., amirite!?
Rings Furnish your hand. In real life, you only really notice a ring if somebody puts their hand in your face, but in the worlds of sword and sorcery, anyone worth their salt is on the lookout for magical rings. Whether it’s a magical aura or a good eye for bling, make rings loud and ostentatious. Announce when an NPC is wearing a magical ring and have NPCs react to your player’s rings. Make rings pop in your narration as if they’re always being shoved in your face, and players will sit up and take notice.
Rings Affect each other. They’re jealous sassy and gossipy and when you wear a bunch something weird is bound to go down. Roll 1d10 to get some of that weirdness started.
RINGS AFFECT EACH OTHER TABLE (d10)
- Nullifies the beneficial effects of all other worn rings because how dare you
- Eats other rings while you sleep; incorporates them into its own design somehow
- Cleans the other rings that you wear like a good neighbor
- Inert unless you are wearing other rings cuz it needs buds
- Is part of a “set”, and activates or amplifies when the “set” is complete – think colors of the rainbow or animals of the zodiac
- Each time you put on a new ring this one gets warmer til it burns your hand
- Each time you put on a new ring this one gets colder til you get frostbite
- Tolerates rings on the other hand but will bite if you put rings on this one
- Obsession with symmetry amplifies effects if you have equal rings on each hand
- Specific synergy – a ring that grants armor might grant fiery armor if worn with a ring of elemental fire
Rings Break. Having fragile rings means your players have to think about how to store them and what fights to bring them out for – and paying more attention to details will ground the rings in their minds a bit more. The simplest “ruling” for fragile rings is that rings that are worn break if the user is hit by Shatter, and break as well if the user ever falls prone. Roll 1d10 to get inspired with more delicate materials – no more untarnished gold bands or indestructible diamond rings!
DELICATE RING MATERIALS TABLE (d10)
- Untreated Wood
- Rock Salt
- Mounted Gypsum
- Mounted Malachite
- Mounted Turquoise
- Mounted Cowrie Shell
And finally, as promised…1d20 random rings, all reasonably suitable for low-level characters. Some of these are inspired by Goblin Punch’s Blog, go check that out for more magic items!
- Ring of the Last Word – If the wearer is about to perish from an attack, time suddenly slows. The wearer and their killer can talk telepathically for about 5 minutes, wherein hopefully the wearer can convince them not to go through with the incoming deathblow. Someone about to die to a trap or from a fall gains the telepathic conversational access to the trap or to gravity or something, but this generally does not yield a fruitful conversation.
- Ring of Petty Boons – Wearer gains 1 temporary HP if they have 10 hit dice or more, 3 temporary HP if they have between 3 and 9 hit dice, and 5 temporary HP if they have 1 to 2 hit dice. Useful for giving out to villagers and adopted cats.
- Ring of Petrification – Wearer becomes petrified. The ring does not. You un-petrify if the ring is removed.
- Ring of the Pigeon – It takes 10 minutes to ‘attune’ this ring to a location, at which point the wearer can unerringly point to that location no matter where they are. If they’re on another plane, their finger does interesting inter-planar pointing that screws with the minds of people watching.
- Ring of Liquid Air – All air is treated by the wearer like water and all water like air
- Ring of Nine Lives – Whenever the wearer would hit 0 hp, they can activate this to instantly recover 2d6 hit points from 0. Has 9 charges. Each use reveals your location to the cait sith, cat fairies who would very much like to kill you so they can have their precious artifact back.
- Ring of False Footfalls – While wearing this ring, the wearer’s footprints can be of whatever sort of creature they choose, so long as the footprints are within the same size range.
- Ring of the Noisy Student – The wearer is unable to talk audibly and also unable to take the ring off themselves, though it can be removed by someone else.
- Prince & Pauper Ring – The wearer can speak to mice and other small animals, and in fact is treated like royalty by them. Somewhere out there, the true king of small animals is being treated like a pauper.
- Ring of the Mighty Sun Chariot – Holding reins while wearing this ring grants any horses attached to the reins the ability to fly. This feels extraordinarily unnatural to most horses, who will panic unless they are slowly trained to get used to it.
- Ring of Pass Undead – The wearer seems like “allied undead” to basic undead like skeletons and zombies. The wearer seems like “vaguely rotting and unpleasant person” to the living. This does not fool vampires and other more intelligent undead.
- Ring of Portent – Roll a dX every morning and replace any dX roll with that number. When the wearer does so, the ring breaks.
- Smoke Ring – The ring constantly emits a dark, odorless smoke, which the wearer can shape roughly as they like, though at any given time there’s never more smoke than what a smoking pipe would emit, and this smoke dissipates at a natural rate despite the wearer’s best efforts.
- Ring of Rending – The ring causes the flesh of opponents to tear more effectively. When wielding a slashing weapon, deal 1d6 more damage than normal on a hit.
- Ring of Wintry Retribution – Casts an appropriate-to-party-level spell level of armor of agathys on the wearer every morning.
- Ring of Bolting – The ring grants a +1 to spell attack rolls for any “bolt” or “ray” attack.
- Ring of the Armiger – Activating this ring stores any armor you’re wearing within it or armors you instantly with whatever armor is stored. Breakage causes the armor to be lost forever.
- Ring of Discord – Whispering into it allows the wearers of other rings of discord to hear each other. These are distributed by a creature known as the Wumpus.
- Gloomspoofing Ring – You become invisible to creatures who would only be able to see you due to their Darkvision or Infravision (depending on what version of D&D you’re playing). If they could see you with normal eyesight, this ring doesn’t fool them.
- Ring of Inviolable Buoyancy – The wearer cannot sink and rises to the top of any body of fluid they are on at a rate of 5 feet per second. Can be used to awkwardly kidnap merfolk, sahagin, and krakens. See Dungeon Meshi Ch 16 for an example of something similar to this effect being used to defeat a kraken.