Far too often the back of the DMG or some other set of roleplaying rules includes a listing of magic items, usually attached to some random tables. It's almost like looking at a Chinese Take-Out Menu, where players start picking out what they hope they will find later.
I'm certainly guilty of defaulting to the same when running a campaign - heck, I'm guilty of such right now in my ACKS campaign. It certainly is easier to hand out a +1 Longsword, or even a +1 Spear (+2 vs Undead) than it is to have the party find Nyser's Spear of Undead Slaying.
Maybe that is why I'm having a fun time with my weekend magic item write-ups. I get to put together something unique as well as give it a bit of back story. It is a lot of work to do in addition to the normal campaign prep, so I know why I don't do it on a regular basis.
How do you handle magic items in your campaign. Shopping list? Unique? Combination of the two?
Video – Gary Gygax Day 2021 - In honor of Gary Gygax’s birthday and a Life Well Played, I relate my Gary Gygax anecdote.
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