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Epic Magic Items

While not all campaigns get to high levels, there is always a need for a regular dose of new legendary magic items to adorn the throne rooms and deepest dungeons of your game. In addition, the core epic rules offer some exciting options for your heroes to reach impossible heights whenever you wish to open up those options for play, which can happen even at lower levels.

To expand the scope of what you can do in your campaign with magic items, some items in The Dragon’s Hoard feature a new concept to really set some magic items apart called Epic Attunement! Not all magic items need to be epic in their scope and power, but some of the items we present here will, so using the rules here will help you use (and even create your own) magic items whose power can grow even as your heroes do!

Epic magic items represent magic items that are infused with the raw power of destiny, drawing them inexorably to the hands of fate’s champions. Some are truly legendary in terms of their abilities, while others are more prosaic in power. What they share in common is that they have hidden powers that may not be immediately obvious to their wearers or wielders until the circumstances are right. An epic item might need a unique trigger or offering or event to unlock their abilities. This could happen entirely by accident, when PCs stumble onto the proper circumstance that unleashes the item’s true power. Alternatively, they may discover the nature of the item they hold, in which case PCs wishing (or needing) to activate the item in question must first discover what is needed to awaken it and where they need to go and whom they need to befriend or appease to make it happen.

Even if an epic item is not so difficult to activate, they provide a hidden layer of mystery about magical items by providing a mechanism to make them truly wondrous. Epic items can be closely associated with ancient or fallen cultures and civilizations, with the magic they contain being an irreplaceable relic of that time and those people. It cannot be replicated or duplicated by modern magic, and many people might want to steal it in hopes of someday making rediscovering that power. It helps add color and depth to the flavor text of different magical cultures, because it puts some mechanical teeth into the history and lore of that culture.

In any case, the hidden properties of these items can be unlocked by those with sufficiently strong wills. Adventurers from every land love to find and get a hold of these mighty relics, believing that they have the ability to do so, but ultimately it is up to the item itself to decide whether or not to reveal itself fully. With some exceptions, epic magic items are not precisely sentient, but all of them are dimly aware of their power and their place in the universe and can sense whether the hand that grasps them is fit to wield them, silently judging their owners until they find the right moment to unlock their true potential.

Epic Attunement: When discovered, epic magic items possess certain powers that anyone can use, just like a regular magic item. Some require attunement while others may not. However, in order to realize their full power, the wielder must forge a bond with the item by epic attunement. This functions similarly to attuning your character to any other magic item. This can happen if special circumstances or conditions are met, such as bathing a sword in the heart’s blood of a dragon or anointing the item with the sacred oils of the Sun God for seven straight days at dawn. Such attunement may be permanent or it may be temporary, as the item’s powers may persist only for the duration of an emergency and then fade away until they are needed once more. Epic attunement is limited to a single epic item at a time, but otherwise it counts as a normal attunement slot for that PC.

Alternatively, characters that carry the spark of destiny within themselves may be able to link their own glorious fate with that of such an item. Any character with an epic boon or divine blessing (see core GM guide) can tap into their own inherent power to attune themselves to an epic magic item through epic attunement. They and the mythic item join their destinies together. At the GM’s option, characters with such a boon or blessing may be able to attune a mythic item in addition to their normal limit of attuned items.

Villains may be able to use the full power of epic magic items as well, of course, though the GMs should only allow them to allow major arc villains that will be memorable. The defeat of such foes may in itself be the triggering condition that allows the item’s powers to be unlocked for the heroes.

Example Epic Attunement Items

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Dragon’s Hoard #2 © 2021, Legendary Games; Lead Designer: Jason Nelson. Authors Matt Kimmel, Michael “solomani” Mifsud, Scott D. Young, Mark Hart, and Jeff Ibach.