This got me to thinking about ways to mix up magic items so that they are not the same rods, staves, wands, rings, scrolls, or expected miscellaneous items as listed in the DMG or other resource.
You roll up a ring of invisibility, but what else might it be besides a ring? How to decide?
You can make up a table and roll (Go ahead, I’ll wait while you make a table….)
Oh, good, you’re back.
Another way to do it is when sitting at your desk or table or other location prepping for the next session, or at some other time between sessions and prep time, look for an ordinary every day item. What might it be? If you keep your work area spartan, you may have few choices. If like me, you best efforts to minimize falter when things get busy, you might have a wealth of things to choose from. Letter opener, paper clip, business cards, pen, pencil, eraser, coffee cup, index card, scissors, ruler, flashlight, battery, eraser, etc.
Go to your junk drawer in the kitchen and see what unexpected thing is in there.
Generating ideas doesn’t have to come from rolling dice or struggling to come up with yet another idea to round out your table to roll up something.
What is the weirdest thing your locker mate in high school ever had in the locker?
What object(s) did your grandparents or in-laws have that stood out until you got used to them? They might be the item you think of if you imagine being inside their house.
Go to a flea market or swap meet and make a list of all the things that catch your imagination.
A meat grinder that plays Danse Macabe and animates d12 skeletons once per day.
A feather duster that causes a gust of wind once per day.
A frying pan that is +2 vs. all who rob or invade the home.
A cutting board that functions as a lid to a portable hole. You can fit a lot of scraps in there….
A piece of furniture that functions as a portal to another world….
CAT 5 cord of strangulation or tripping.
I need to remember to keep a list of things I see that are ordinary but would make an interesting magic item. I made a list in Evernote, since I use it for all kinds of other lists.