by Lash Vance
This column represents a different sort of voice for the Ludus — it’s the voice of a player, rather than the voice of a DM.
Do you remember the very first magic item that your beloved Dungeons & Dragons character ever received? What was the result of all of that blood, pooled in lost hit points and severed limbs at your feet? Of all those dead orcs, of the frantic search for spell components? Of all that time in the barrow mound of the elders? What magnificent prize for rifling through the Slave Pits or searching for the Lost City?
For me, it was a +1 ring of protection.
I would like to say that my first, very first, magic item from my early days as a gamer was something spectacular, unique, and memorable. But as with so many firsts, it seemed a bit drab. This is not to say that I snubbed that +1 ring of protection as too lowly for my disdain. I knew Elric wasn’t delivering a giftwrapped +5 vorpal Stormbringer to me any time soon. No, I hoarded that lowly magic item as any proper gamer ought to do. And it’s not to say that there was anything wrong with the power level of the item. A +1 bonus to saves and AC is great. Indeed, much ink of the current and previous editions has been spilled trying to keep those +1 bonuses from stacking up into over-powered combinations.
My disappointment with that first item had everything to do with its mystique.
It didn’t have any. And so, for me, it didn’t have any magic. Just power.