io9 published an article on June 26th that presented what the author thought were the 20 craziest magical items in Dungeons & Dragons, including items like the Bag of Beans and the Wand of Wonder. And yet, there was no mention of The Deck of Many Things. There’s four tomes of books called the Encyclopedia Magica [AL] that the author should have waded through to get even stranger items in it, covering all of the items that made appearances up to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition in books, adventures, dungeons, and other supplements. And there are plenty of weird things in there to make this list redundant.
The author wrote the article in the vein that the wizards “aren’t interested in making powerful relics; they’re interested in making nonsense, because they’re crazy, or things that will screw your character over, because they’re jerks”. But how many wizards are really making things for other characters, even in high level games? There are rules for this in most games, but it takes a great deal of time and cost involved in procuring the ingredients to make a custom item, never mind actually the making of it. As for screwing players over? Isn’t it just simpler to say that Wizards do things for their own inscrutable reasons, and players sometimes get lucky (or unlucky) to get their hands on them? And isn’t it just more fun for it to happen that way?