Ezzat’s Catalogue of Magical Oddities
I haven’t done a robust study, but my hunch is that magic items collections probably make up the bulk of all Dungeons & Dragons 5E third-party content. At least outside of adventures anyway. It makes sense actually. We play for the intrinsic fun, of course, but we also love rewarding and being rewarded. So anytime you see a new collection of magical trinkets and you ask yourself, “do I really need another one?” remember that the answer is that it never hurts. Ezzat’s Catalogue of Magical Oddities is a curation of magical toys from the lich Ezzat and his pseudodragon Ipses.
In the quintessential cabinet of curiosity format, this supplement collects miscellaneous magic items as well as collectible ones of varying usefulness. The latter half of the book is an artificery and additional spells. The miscellaneous items span all levels of rarity and include such things as a Dart of Potato, Heward’s Hefty Hotpan, and a Vorpal Pocketknife. As you no doubt have picked up on, the creator, Colin Shopp, is not without a sense of humor.
In fact, the first chapter also includes useless magic items that are fun to think of. For example, the Ring of Awareness of Ring is exactly what it sounds like: a ring that you are always aware of while wearing. I wonder at the implications of being aware of something even while unconscious. How would you play that out?
Collectible Magic Items
It’s in the second chapter of this catalogue of magical oddities where Ezzat presents items of more usefulness, even if they still maintain a jocular style. Boots of *iding and *inging, for example, are a collection of boots where the asterisk is a wild card for several potential letters. Not to be confused with Boots of Striding and Springing, these items only share a basic commonality: Rhyming. Examples are Boots of Biding and Stinging and Boots of Sliding and Clinging. With the former boots, you can Ready both the Dash and Attack actions in response to a trigger. With the latter, your climbing speed equals your walking speed, even on slippery surfaces. And on it goes with Rings of Spell S*oring and Staves of Po*er.
Where the collectible items get interesting is when you complete collections. Think of them as a collectible card game where you build synergies with the cards you choose. Completing a collection of rings or boots or staves yields you additional optional rewards by way of artifacts. Collect all the boots and you could receive the Boots of the Planes which grant you a piece of Shaundakul’s abilities. Flight, invisibility, and border walking, to name a few. You may find this a little over-powered for your taste, but you should also know that there are eleven different Boots of *iding and *inging. So a PC could spend their entire career seeking out each of these boots. In fact, you could probably build an entire campaign around the concept.
Artificery in the Catalogue of Magical Oddities
Ever since the artificer was introduced in the Unearthed Arcana (and later made canon in Eberron), creators have been including them in many creative ways. Shopp is no exception and has included them as merchants who replicate magic items for both sale and rent. If 300 gp is too much for a player to purchase a bag of holding for an upcoming dungeon crawl, perhaps they can afford 75 gp to rent it for a tenday instead! This chapter has more useful items to rent and buy than the previous ones, but it’s still got strange things. Looking at you, Bag of Hoarding and Absurd Golem. Despite these bizarre items, they work towards making Ezzat and his pseudodragon real. That verisimilitude means you can have fun with the nonsensicality of some of these items as much as you can the usefulness of the more serious ones.
A common refrain I hear from players regarding spellcasting is they feel limited by the spells. Mind you, they’re not speaking to the availability of spells. There’s no shortage of spells once you consider all the official Wizards of the Coast books and third-party material. Instead, they feel limited in how the spells work. On top of giving you more spells to choose from, Shopp also gives you the options to customize your spells. There are rules for shape conversion, for example, where you could change cone of cold to be sphere of cold instead. A 15-foot cone becomes a 5-foot sphere with the same point of origin as the original, unmodified spell. You could reshape burning hands or unseen servant to match your needs. This is not the same as the School of Evocation’s “Sculpt Spell” ability. You only get to change the nature of the spell, not anyone’s ability/inability to withstand the effects.
None of these items, their abilities, or anything regarding the spells has been changed with a simple devil-may-care approach. Shopp has made a convincing case for why these items would exist in the first place, how they were curated into Ezzat’s Catalogue of Magical Oddities, as well as a reasonable methodology for mechanically and thematically including them in your sessions.
Make sure you consider this supplement the next time you’re looking for more magic items and spells for 5E. Thanks to Colin for the complimentary copy!Ezzat's Catalogue is on DMs Guild