My Favorite Common Magic Items in 5e

Most common magic items would be considered “Wondrous Items,” meaning they can be specified into categories such as potions or weapons. Meaning, they would usually be something that a character would hold on their person to aid with a certain occasion. Like all other magic items, some may need to be attuned to or may come with special conditions in order for it to work.

Additionally, most of the common magic items can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything since the beholder likes to hoard random items he finds curious, but this list is a list compiled of all the most fun common items that can be found within the Dnd world.

This list, though, would be excluding any homebrewed common magic items such as ones that Critical Role has made for themselves and only be listing items that can be found from the books published by WOTC. That being said, this list is not ordered in any specific way and are simply naming items.

1. Masque Charm

Source: Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos

Personally, I like the idea of non-spellcasters having items that can have them use simple spells because no one would expect it. The barbarian or especially a rogue would have a lot of fun with this magic item due to all the shenanigans they would be able to pull with it.

Walking into an establishment and frame someone else for a crime on the occasion that they get caught, or maybe even living a double-life for an hour a day. Of course, the said shenanigans would only make good use if the players are within a long-term adventure rather than a one-shot.

Even if the masque charm is used within a short-termed adventure, it’s quite a joy imagining what types of ways players may choose to use this item to their advantage. 

2. Prosthetic Limb

Source: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything 

The fact that the written material clearly states that the limb can be detached and reattached but can’t be removed against the player’s will is basically a recipe for disaster… for DMs who just wish to have a normal session.

Catching the NPCs off guard, especially children within a small village, whenever they detach their prosthetic arm or hand is always a fun time to have when it comes to interactions. Then, if the DM allows it, they can mess with NPCs even further by moving it around after it’s been detached. Of course this also has its own benefits other than messing with NPCs since it can come in handy as long as it’s not lost forever. 

Common Magic Items in 5e

3. Shield of Expression

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

I personally like to give these to NPCs or creatures that will be fighting the party rather than giving it to the party themselves. It can give a factor of uneasiness to the players when the shield of a mute warrior, for example, is holding a shield that changes expressions.

Other than that, it’s just a normal shield so if the players want to acquire said shield, the only thing they’d gain from it would be the bonus action to freak out possible enemies by changing the shield’s expressions. 

4. Breathing Bubble

Source: Explorer’s Guide to Wildmount

The main reason why this item is on this list at all is solely due to the theater of the mind. Whenever I imagine the Breathing Bubble, I see it as a cute accessory that resembles an astronaut helmet. It does work like a breathing helmet, and doesn’t have much use out of that.

I just like the idea of a very ruggish character wearing a cute little bubble on top of their head. For the most part, DM’s usually like to do vague descriptions of what the Breathing Bubble is, leaving most of the imagery for the imagination and I’d prefer it that way.

All of that, and it’s a great way to deal with water-related encounters in which the creature the party may be fighting is simply underwater or the puzzle itself is underwater. If none of the other players are able to breathe underwater for an extended period of time, the player holding the Breathing Bubble may become the party’s lifeline. 

5. Arm Blade

Source: Eberron – Rising from the Last War

This one is very conditional being that it requires attunement from a warforged. If the conditions are met though, I feel like this weapon would be a great addition. In the theater of the mind and to always have a weapon in hand, the weapon makes the warforged have the same setup as Wolverine from the X-men.

Of course, it’s only one Arm Blade but it does similar functions being that they can retract and extend it as a bonus action. It can be used as an intimidation factor or set up interesting scenarios when it comes to walking into a new, unfamiliar town. 

6. Masquerade Tattoo

Source: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Similar to the Masque Charm, but a little more efficient. Once again, it allows the person to use Disguise Self regardless of class or race. However, now the player can change the shape, the color, and even the location of the tattoo as a bonus action.

That, in my opinion, is the best part of the tattoo. If the player so wishes, they can have the tattoo movement and adjustments visible to the creatures around them. In the theater of the mind, that is one of the best ways to confuse and mess with NPCs that are not familiar with magic tattoos. Another good way to use it would be to simply hide the tattoo if the user thinks that the character(s) they would be facing up against would be familiar with magical tattoos.

This way, they can always have something new up their sleeve. A good example would be to have a character have the tattoo hidden from the start, then use the spell while they are hidden. If the player is familiar enough with the character, they may be able to disguise themselves as someone very dear to the hostile NPC. 

7. Wand of Smiles/Scowl 

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

These two wands have the same functions, just opposite effects and therefore are put together in one. The best ways to use these wands are simply in the middle of combat to have the NPC show the exact opposite expression or to change the expression of an NPC encounter when the NPC doesn’t know the player is there.

For example, a player can sneak into a noble’s house trying to hoax an important business man then use the Wand of Smiles on the noble when the conversation is getting serious. This will completely mess up the deal that the noble is trying to make and simply put, give them a hard time. All in all, the best times to use these wands are towards creatures that the party has a vendetta with. 

Favorite Common Magic Items in 5e

8. Talking Doll

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

It doesn’t matter who possesses this item. It could be an NPC, a player, or it could even work on its own. The Talking Doll will never disappoint to make everything completely unnerving.

When an NPC has it, it could be to deliver the message but being that the doll is acting on its own and speaking, the party is sure to be creeped out by the stuffed, innocent doll regardless of what it may say (the creepier, the better though). If a player were to obtain the doll and attune to it, it would surely create a memorable moment when used against the right creatures. 

9. Pipe of Remembrance

Source: Ghosts of Saltmarsh

Using this item is the best way to gloat about a character’s accomplishments. A great intimidation factor to hint to a party that they should avoid fighting a certain NPC.

Similarly, the players are able to do the same thing to scare off mobs to make them doubt their fighting prowess against the party. Other than that, the item itself is a great story-telling tactic to add onto a character’s backstory. 

10. Boots of False Tracks

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

A great thing to have if the party are bandits or wanted in a city or village. Players who tend to be extra careful like to abuse this item all the time when they’re walking into a forest or swamp. It adds an entirely new aspect to being hunted that it’s surprising that DMs give their players this at all unless the players find themselves in a difficult situation.

Of course, DM’s can’t just say that NPCs with low Wisdom were able to decipher the fake tracks from the real ones because that would be taking away a lot of the dnd aspects. How I personally deal with it would simply be for the NPC(s) to determine which tracks they would follow if the party is being hunted.

If the NPC chooses the wrong tracks, it would rather stall a lot of time for the party or just have the NPCs lost in the area until they reach familiar territory and make them give up on the hunt entirely. 

Final thoughts and summary

To summarize, incorporating magical items into a D&D campaign can provide a fun and imaginative element, whether they are utilized for combat or non-combat scenarios.

The listed items present distinctive and engaging capabilities that can add complexity and levity to the game. For instance, the Breathing Bubble can be a game-changer in water-based challenges, while the Masquerade Tattoo can offer creative opportunities for the Disguise Self spell.

Overall, these enchanting artifacts can keep players engaged and introduce unforeseen benefits across various circumstances.

Item NameSourceShort DescriptionFun Ways to Use
Masque CharmStrixhaven: A Curriculum of ChaosNon-spellcasters use simple spells to pull shenanigansFrame someone for a crime, live a double-life
Prosthetic LimbTasha’s Cauldron of EverythingLimb can be detached and reattached, recipe for disasterDetach limb to mess with NPCs, move it around
Shield of ExpressionXanathar’s Guide to EverythingShield that changes expressions, unease for playersBonus action to freak out enemies
Breathing BubbleExplorer’s Guide to WildmountCute accessory that resembles an astronaut helmetDeal with water-related encounters, become party’s lifeline
Arm BladeEberron – Rising from the Last WarAttunement from a warforged, retract and extend as bonus actionIntimidation factor, interesting scenarios
Masquerade TattooTasha’s Cauldron of EverythingUse Disguise Self regardless of class/race, change tattoo as bonus actionConfuse/mess with NPCs, hide the tattoo, have something new up sleeve
Wand of Smiles/ScowlXanathar’s Guide to EverythingWands with opposite effects, use in combat or to mess with NPCsMess up important deals, change NPC’s expression, have fun

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