In Dungeons & Dragons there are many items that at first seem innocuous, but when used can absolutely destroy a party. Many of the items on this list aren’t technically cursed, but they all have potential negative consequences if the party decides to use them. Some of these items can give a party power beyond their levels, and even grant wishes or bestow free experience. That’s the problem – many players will only look at what good can come from the use of these items, while overlooking just how dangerous they really are. If an item was left out that you think should be mentioned, then don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.
10 Cursed Berserker
The party’s fighter just got a shiny new magical sword. What could go wrong? Well, let’s see how this could go wrong. The party kicks in a door in the dungeon they are exploring and this turns into an encounter with a seriously dangerous enemy. The party is doing alright in the fight, but the spellcasters are running low on spells; and everyone’s taken a decent amount of damage. At this point the fighter discovers his shiny new magical sword is actually a cursed berserker. It’s time to roll-up new characters.
9 Mirror Of Life Trapping
At first this seems harmless – it’s just a piece of furniture. The party enters a large room and everyone picks something to search. As the party searches, the DM informs one of the players that one of their party members is not where they were a moment ago. They go to where the missing character was, and now the DM is informing another member of the party that the two characters that were across the room are gone. This continues until one is left. Hopefully the mystery is solved before the mirror traps the whole party; otherwise it’s time to roll-up new characters.
8 Bag Of Devouring
Hooray! The party just got a bag of holding. This will definitely help carry more treasure out of the dungeons. A character reaches into the bag to retrieve something, and the rest of the party is horrified as the bag pulls the player inside. Another character goes to help, and maybe pull their friend out – then that player gets pulled in. The scary part is that if a player starts a round inside the bag, they are dead. This death is also permanent; only divine intervention, or a wish, will bring these characters back at this point. Now it’s time to hand out some blank character sheets.
7 Amulet Of The Planes
This item seems like something that can be fairly useful at first. The party now has the power to travel between worlds with the ease of walking through an open door. If the intelligence check is failed upon activation, however, each member of the party is going to be randomly teleported to a random, and separate, location on the destination plane. The party isn’t “destroyed”, but could be separated by thousands of miles. The destruction comes in when the DM decides to put each party member into a dangerous situation upon their arrival. Now they must fight alone, without any chance of back-up arriving.
6 Wand Of Wonder
These can save a party in a pinch, but they can also devastate a party if they tempt fate and use it repeatedly. This wand could possibly teleport a party member to the Ethereal Plane. It could also throw a fireball into a melee involving several party members, when the hope was that it would make a party member invisible. This item could also accidentally cause a party member to become petrified. Do the party a favor and just sell this item for gold before it has a chance to destroy the campaign. This is not an item to play around with.
5 Sphere Of Annihilation
These are the kind of items a lot of players want to try and find. The power of these spheres is incredible, and can bring the deadliest of foes down with ease. The problem with spheres of annihilation is controlling them. If the intelligence check is failed the sphere will move towards the character attempting control. Also, control of these items can also be taken away by a intelligent enough opponent. Now the party is forced to run for their lives from one of their own magical items. These, like the other items listed, are just not worth the hassle. Find a wizard with deep pockets, or a large collection of magical items, and make a trade.
4 Bag Of Beans
These magical beans can be a lot of fun, but they can also quickly destroy a party. The first bean planted sprouted a powerful magical item, and the second sprouted a tree with potions growing from its limbs. Such favorable results would normally prompt the party to overlook to potential danger of these magic beans. Possible results that can destroy a party are numerous. A planted bean could cause poisonous gas to quickly spread from the site of its planting, or cause a dragon to rise from the ground and attack the party. It’s best to save these until the party is high enough in level to handle the negative consequences.
3 Wand Of Self Immolation
The party encounters some enemies, and the wizard decides this would be a good opportunity to use the wand of fireballs they found in the last dungeon. The problem is that it is not a wand of fireballs; which the party discovers when the fireball explodes around them instead of the enemy. Any wizard in the party is probably going to be at death’s door, and any rogue in the party will also be severely injured. That is not a good way to start an encounter with a dangerous foe. There’s a good chance only the fighters are going to survive the fight if this happens.
2 Deck Of Many Things
The lure of free wishes and easy level advancement is sometimes just too tempting to ignore. However, many character sheets have been retired because of these cards. The negative results that can occur from drawing from this deck can destroy a party if luck is not on their side. Some possible negative results include: a powerful devil becomes obsessed with the destruction of your party, or an avatar of Death appears to kill the character that drew from the deck. Depending on the rules being used, there is a chance all the cards can fly from the deck and take effect at once.
1 Any Artifact
There is a reason that any D&D rulebook that has artifacts puts a disclaimer for the DM to never give the party an artifact. In fact, this whole list could have been artifacts, but it was decided to just lump them all together in one entry. Every artifact is intelligent, and they are all cursed; in fact many artifacts carry multiple curses. These curses aren’t your standard curses either – they are the kind of curses that will decimate a party. Beyond the curses, every artifact will eventually possess its wielder. That’s kind of their thing. DMs should not give a party an artifact, and players should get rid of them as soon as possible.