Dungeons and Dragons is the role-playing game that transformed the world of RPGs. Every game in the genre that came after it owed a great deal to the world that was revealed by D&D.
D&D itself became so widely beloved thanks to the fact that it borrows heavily from previous works in fantasy and science fiction. Here you will find lands and people that appear plucked straight out of Lovecraft and Tolkien's worlds. Here also you will find magical artifacts and adventurers that appear almost Arthurian.
With such a large body of work from previous authors to choose from, it is easy to get lost in the world of the game. You go on endless quests with your best friends battling monsters and rescuing damsels. A single throw of a dice can take your life, or it can transform you into a powerful warrior who's victory will be sung about for the ages.
At the center of every game sits the nigh-omnipotent dungeon master, the creator, and destroyer of worlds. In real life he might be a guy in a T-shirt and sweatpants, rolling the dice while the other players watch him in apprehension, but in-game, he is the master of all you survey. The granter of defeat or victory.
If the dungeon master is feeling generous, he can grant you access to some of the most powerful magical devices the game has to offer. Here are 25 such devices that can virtually ensure your victory, as long as you know where to find them:
A dangerously powerful weapon in the hands of the player, the sword Frostrazor grants instant proficiency in its use. When you attack an enemy with it, the ice pieces of the sword break off inside, adding to the damage and draining hit points, strength points, and levels from the opponent.
Where to Find it: Look for the blade inside White Plume Mountain. But to get your hands on the sword, you must fight its original owner, a powerful gnome fighter called Saprophis. Once you are able to defeat Saprophis, you can lay claim to Frostrazor and add it to your arsenal.
24 The Staff Of The Magi
The wielder of the staff is able to perform a wide range of spells. He is also able to absorb the attacks from other staffs, and use their energy to charge the staff.
It takes a particularly powerful mage to be able to wield the power of the staff without being overtaken.
Where to Find it: Somewhere at the bottom of the Trackless Sea lies the Staff of the Magi. It was left there after its owner Hoch-Miraz and the ship he was on were attacked by a powerful storm. The staff sank along with the ship.
23 The Deck Of Many Things
Powerful and unpredictable, the Deck of Many Things possesses the power to give players the abilities of gods, or wipe them from existence. All within the span of a couple of dice throws. Dungeon Masters who want to add the deck to their arsenal should be aware of its ability to make an entire campaign turn upside down within minutes.
Where to Find it: Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil is one of the few adventures to carry the cards. The Black Spike is a tower where Tharizdun is worshipped. Inside the tower is a skeleton, and in its hand is the deck.
22 The Axe Of The Dwarvish Lords
One of the most powerful weapons in all of D&D, the ax can be used to completely remove the head, neck or any other appendage of an opponent with a single dice throw. You can also use it to cast earthquake, passwall, and stone to flesh daily.
Be warned, using the ax too often will turn you into a dwarf as well.
Where to Find it: The abandoned dwarven stronghold of Radruundar houses the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords. Radruundar itself can be found in the Spine of the World Mountains in Faerun, or in the Yatil mountains in Oerth.
21 The Book Of Flesh And Mirrors
Any spellbook is a powerful object in D&D. They teach mages new spells and help expand their abilities. But The Book of Flesh and Mirrors is particularly powerful. Aside from containing a vast array of spells, you can also find instructions on creating a mirror mephit. It can teach magic to bards and sorcerers. It is also worth a hundred thousand gold pieces on the open market.
Where to Find it: It is in the possession of a cambion called Rule-of-Three. You can trade for the book if you agree to work with him. Rule-of-Three sits in the tavern Styx Oarsman in the city of Sigil.
20 The Sphere Of Annihilation
As the name should have tipped you off, you can use the Sphere of Annihilation to instantly wipe out anything in your path. Be warned, though, that being unable to control the sphere means it will consume your character instead.
Where to Find it: The Tomb of Horrors adventurer pack has a statue from whose mouth emerges the Sphere of Annihilation to spell your team's doom. Also, in Return to the temple of Elemental Evil, there is an item called The Black Sun found in Mount Stalagos which contains the properties of a Sphere of Annihilation.
19 The Black Hammer
Apart from the fact that black hued weapons just inherently look cooler than weapons of any other color, the Black Hammer happens to be one of the very few weapons with a modifier above +5.
This particular +6 war hammer feeds on the life force of those around it.
Where to Find it: In the city of Raven's Bluff is a cult that possesses the Black Hammer. It can be difficult to find the cult since it doesn't exactly like to advertise its presence. But being able to locate them means you will reach the final resting place of the Black Hammer.
18 The Periapt Of Pax
Clerics are bound by the holy code, and as such are not allowed to use weapons that spill blood. But the Periapt of Pax has a hole where a handle can be inserted, transforming it into a +3 mace. It also has a lot of useful (and free) cleric spells.
Where to Find it: The Talons of Night adventure has a world known as Mystara. In this land is the creature called the Night Spider, and the Periapt can be found housed in its webs. Find the secret plane of the Night Spider and battle the monster to get to the item.
17 The Machine Of Lum The Mad
As the name suggests, The Machine of Lum the Mad is an incredibly powerful machine that was created by a mad inventor called Lum. The machine carries a number of dials and switches on its body, and each switch produces a different, powerful effect.
Where to Find it: In the Vortex of Madness adventure, you might find yourself trapped in limbo. Here you will encounter The Machine of Lum. It is the machine itself that tells you what to do next, and you must follow its orders in order to escape from the limbo you are trapped in.
16 The Crown Of Derro Domination
The Derro are a race that is similar to the Dwarves. They have a natural affinity for magic and a pretty wild nature. The Crown of Derro Domination allows you to control this formidable race and make them do your bidding.
Where to Find it: The City of the Glass Pool is housed secretly within the Underdark in the Night Below adventure. Inside you will find a building containing several mind flayers. Being able to defeat the mind flayers allows you to receive the crown as a reward for your skill and bravery. Happy dominating!
15 Weaponry From The Future
These items are not magic. But they are so far ahead of the technology of the time in which the game is set that they appear to be magic! Under certain circumstances, your characters can get access to blaster pistols and rifles, lasers, and armor.
Where to Find Them: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks has an area where the characters find a crashed spaceship being guarded by robots. You never hear the full backstory for how the spaceship wound up there. But defeating the ship's guards allows you to get to the futuristic weaponry inside.
14 Rings Of Fire Elemental Command
Getting your hands on one of these rings means you have access to a wide range of spells and abilities that you can invoke using the four elements.
Where to Find it: A high-level character in the game can actually forge one of these rings on their own. But in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, you can simply pick up a ring. The second servant of Tharizdun is an aboleth who floats inside a water elemental. Defeating this servant of the dark lord will allow you to steal the ring from his body.
13 Cauldron Of Doom
Naming an item the Cauldron of Doom ensures even the dumbest player doesn't think this particular cauldron is for cooking stew or something. The cauldron is actually a device for creating zombies, at the rate of one zombie per day as long as you keep getting fresh supplies of corpses.
A great aid for aspiring necromancers everywhere.
Where to Find it: In the Castle of Skulls in Llyrath forest on the island of Gwynneth is where the cauldron was last seen. Faerun has a group of Moonshae Isles. The island of Gwynneth is a part of the isles.
12 Crown Of Souls
Wearing this crown will not only add a touch of class to your travel-stained garments but also give you the ability to transform any human you touch into a goblin. There are no saving throws for the transforming human. The crown also gives stat boosts to evil characters. Every passing day of wearing the crown turns you more and more evil.
How to Find it: Near Barovia in the Ravenloft campaign is another prominent realm known as Kartakass, ruled by Harkon Lukas. Inside the domain of Lukas, you can search for the crown of souls, placed atop the head of a skeleton in the catacombs.
11 The Sword Of Kas
Kas was a former lieutenant of Vecna who was responsible for carving out his arm and eye with his sword. Any blade that can do that kind of damage to Vecna is a powerful weapon. The Sword of Kas is a +6 unholy keen vorpal longsword.
It grants a +10 modifier to its wielder.
How to Find it: The Sword of Kas was left by its owner in a gnome village that goes by the name of Osnabrolt. The sword is hidden in one of the many identical, nondescript rooms in the village. You just have to know where to dig for it.
With a name like Helltongue, you can bet this next item isn't used for healing or forgiving your D&D enemies. Inspired by the whip carried by the Balrog in Lord of the Rings, the Helltongue is a whip with three strands. Hitting an enemy with the whip inflicts negative levels on them while transferring the hit points to the wielder.
How to Find it: In the Bastion of Unborn Souls, look for a half-dragon/Balor creature that is the owner of the whip. Considering that the creature has a CR of 21, you will have to fight long and hard for the whip.
9 Egg Of Pheonix
While known as the egg of Pheonix, this magical item is not an actual egg, but merely shaped in an egg-like manner. It increases the power of spellcasters while also granting resistance to magical attacks. You will also find that you can target more enemies with your spells at the same time.
Where to Find it: On the plane of Sepulchre is the Castle Penseroso. Inside the castle is a place known as the endless graveyard. It is in this strange and creepy plane of reality that the Egg of Pheonix is housed, awaiting a new master.
8 The Gauntlet
Gauntlets are all the rage right now, thanks to Thanos. The gauntlet that you find in D&D won't let you destroy half of all existence in the Universe, but it's still pretty powerful. You can use the gauntlet to gain several free levels or hit dice, have constant protection in the form of the protection against normal missiles spells, a boosted charisma stat while fighting evil creatures, and immunity to mind-control spells.
Where to Find it: On the hand of a giant two-headed troll trapped within a book. You can find the book in the Keep of Alderwag in Oerth.
It's refreshing to see some creativity being put into naming weapons beyond 'Hell-this' and 'Doom-that', even though calling your sword Fragrach just makes it sound like you're clearing your throat really loudly. Anyway, this sword automatically strikes all foes who hit the wielder and deals out additional damage, as long as the attacks take place at the end of a round.
Where to Find it: Kept alongside Prince Thrommel, who was captured by agents of Tharizdun and kept in a coffin inside the temple of Elemental Evil. But be warned, getting to the sword is no easy task.
6 The Scroll Of Wish
A wish is the most powerful spell you can avail in the game, since it can grant you pretty much anything you desire in-game. Since the spell can grant a player reality warping powers on a universal level, it is rarely handed out during a campaign.
More than any other magical item, it has the potential to end the game in seconds.
Where to Find it: You can acquire a Wish Scroll and use it to obtain a free wish. The scroll appears in the Hall of the Fire Giant King adventure, inside a tube left behind by a fleeing nobleman at the end of the quest.
5 Vengeful Gaze Of God
This is a transmutation spell that has a BAM of 305d6 damage. Even a fortitude save only reduces the damage by half. If you can reduce the target's hit points to -10 or less, your enemy will be utterly disintegrated, leaving behind only a fine line of dust.
Where to Find it: This spell can be found in the Epic Level Handbook, which is a rule book that was created for the third edition of D&D. As the name suggests, the handbook provides optional playing rules for characters that have reached higher experience levels in the game.
4 Coat Of Arnd
This item is possibly the most powerful suit of armor that you can possess. It adds +5 to your armor class, makes you immune to critical hits and sneak attacks while taking ten points of damage off every hit, and twenty off of acid, cold, electricity, fire and sonics.
Where to Find it: The Invulnerable Coat of Arnd is part of the magical items list in the 3.5e Open Game Content sourcebook of Dungeons and Dragons. That means that the dungeon master can choose where and how the Coat of Arnd can be a part of a campaign.
3 Rod Of Seven Parts
As the name suggests, the rod is broken up into seven parts. Assembling each new part of the rod reveals a new hidden power within the device. The final, fully assembled rod gives its wielder control over some of the most powerful Druid and Cleric spells for free.
Where to Find it: The rod makes its first appearance in Eldritch Wizardry. The main storyline involves uniting all the pieces of the rod, which had been broken into seven pieces during the great war between the Wind Dukes of Aaqa and the Queen of Chaos.
2 Eye And Hand Of Vecna
Wielding the eye or the hand of Vecna grants you access to a mind-boggling array of arcane spells that the player can use in a campaign.
Where to Find it: We are introduced to famed baddie Vecna during the World of Greyhawk campaign. The eye and the hand are what is left of Vecna after his battle with Kas. Be warned, wielding either the eye or the hand requires that the player remove his own eye or hand and replace it with Vecna's displaced limbs.
On the bright side, you can then ignore 70% of the other spells in the game.
1 Orbs Of Dragonkind
The Orbs of Dragonkind are magical orbs that come in various colors. Each color corresponds to a specific dragon, and wielding that orb will allow you to gain control over the corresponding dragon. You also become immune to the breath of that particular dragon and gain access to several new spells.
Where to Find them: There are many orbs scattered across various spaces in the world of D&D. You have to keep hunting in the most far-flung places in order to gather all the orbs. Once you do get them all, you become one of the most powerful beings in the game.