Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

For spellcasters. This will appear as a metal skull cap, usually too thin to act as a helmet (GM's option), but often worn by wizard types as a form of head protection. It will radiate magic. It will also display that it is cursed, should that be detected for.

When a spell-casting individual...

I got a lot of great feedback about my previous article, How to Convert D&D monsters to 5e, so it's obviously time for the same article for Third Edition (or 3.5, realistically).

For the longest time, I never really bothered converting from 3.5 to 5e, because I found them to be relatively...

This appears as a horse saddle, made from the finest of leathers, and encrusted with gemstones. It will radiate magic. When investigated, it will be learned that it saddle allows a horse with rider to move twice as quickly as normal, and go five times as far before needing rest.

When first used...

For wizard types. This is a diabolical item, originally meant to render a long-forgotten (and much despised) traveling wizard helpless.

This appears as a bottle full of the finest black ink. It will radiate magic. Investigation will reveal it to be superbly suited to transcribing spells into sp...

If I had a gold piece for every time a game has been derailed because two players stop to discuss whether they're guilty of accidental "metagaming", I'd be a as wealthy as a brass dragon (not that brass dragons are any richer than any other dragon, necessarily, but they are my favourite dragon)....

The fifth movie is the Friday series suffers a little from its setting: a halfway house for mental patients. Obviously, it needed a remote location for the obligatory murders to take place, but I find that a home for people recovering from serious mental illnesses wasn't the correct choice. Not onl...

This appears as a large sundial, mounted on a carved marble block, sitting in the court yard of a ruined castle. It stands over six feet tall, with it's central blade at least a foot of that height. It will radiate strong magic, if tested. Though all the time markings for the day are in a long-forg...

Not so much a cursed item as it is a largely ineffectual one, this will appear as a case of Healing Potions for Cure Serious Wounds, with a total of six bottles. The bottles are extremely fragile, so the case is made of iron bound wood, and is heavy for its size (50 pounds). Anything less protect...

An apparently classic snake pit. You know the drill: something triggers a trap door, or the floor was illusory all along -- whatever it takes to get a player character down a pit filled with spikes and snakes.

Roll 1d6 for the number of spikes landed on and give out 1d4 damage per spike.

Pl...

D&D is often called the world's oldest RPG because, well, it literally is. With a history of over 40 years, if you're a player of D&D, you have decades of material at your disposal. Thanks to digital technology, the bulk of that history is available in electronic form, so you don't even have to r...

This appears as a finely-wrought necklace in the form of a golden spider web hanging from thin gold chain. It will radiate magic.

In testing, this will seem to allow the user to cast a Web spell 3 times per day, as if by a 10th level mage. It will have a 20 foot radius area of effect, and a ran...

If you're new to the hobby, you may not have ever heard about THAC0, or you may only have encountered it in video games like the classic Baldur's Gate. There's no real reason to know anything about THAC0 now, of course, because neither Pathfinder or 5e use it. However, if you want to turn back th...

Not a cursed item per se, this is an old magical device designed to allow rangers and woodland spies to communicate visually over long distances. Used as a regular spyglass, however, it can bring trouble to ignorant adventurers.

This appears as a small telescope of arcane construction. It is...

I grew up around games, but since I didn't use an OS that got many games, I didn't play many. But ever since it came out, I've heard about Baldur's Gate. It's a much-loved game that adhered firmly to the D&D rulebook, and now it's often referred to as an important step in the develop...

This will appear to be a magic ring, made of gold, and with some sort of ocean-themed imagery on it (sea shells, fish, octopuses, etc.). Any character entering water will find they can breathe it as normally as air. In addition, the wearer feels no ill effects from water pressure as they swim downw...

A lever to open a door is in a small recess of a wall. If a player reaches into the recess to pull the lever, clamps quickly close to ensnare them at the wrist.

A rogue can disable the trap DC 15 (DC 25 if attempting to disable with one hand caught in the trap). Otherwise, brute force DC 15 fo...