I wrote these up with AD&D in mind, not realizing that parts were vastly different than S&W Rules.
Magic Item 1 – S&W
1.) Magic Battle Standard
Court Wizards, and most wizards in general, are reluctant to risk their lives on the battlefield. Even for those so inclined or “convinced” to serve their liege or powerful neighbor in battle prefer to maximize their effectiveness while avoiding the line of battle. Thus, magic items that increase the effectiveness of troops is a general way of helping and can spare the need for the wizard to actually step foot on the field of battle, or at least stay as far from the fighting as possible.
There are 4 types of standards. Normal unit/army insignias, Lesser Standards, Holy/Unholy Standards, and Greater Standards. Conscripts/peasants will usually not have magic standards unless the lord/leader has been particularly unlucky in battle yet managed to retain his standards. Level 5 standards are usually the standards of the overall leader of a force, or really big armies, as in huge kingdoms or empires may have such standards for leading generals.
Non-magic standards have an effect on battle. They signify the unit and it is a great honor to be the standard bearer. A unit specific banner with words or symbols specific to the unit add +1 to morale and reaction rolls. Should a standard fall, the unit must make a morale/reaction roll without the bonus. If the standard is recovered, it restores the bonus, but for each additional time it falls in the same battle, it reduces the roll by 1%. (See page 87 of the Complete Swords & Wizardry Rules for Morale Checks.) If a larger unit has standard for its sub-units, the sub-unit standard falling only affects the morale modifier of that sub-unit. If the larger unit banner falls, it affects all of the sub-units. For example, an army lead by a king that has unit banners and the kings banner is with the King. If the King’s banner falls, the entire army must make a morale check.
NOTE: The abilities of the magic battle standards listed below are defensive in nature. It is possible, at the GM’s discretion that there be one or more offensive spell of the appropriate spell level for a standard. For a warlike culture that relies on magic instead of just force of arms, it will be very likely that they have offensive spell capabilities. Since the forces of chaos want to expand, the very often will have attack capabilities.
Lesser Standards are basic magic items that give the bonuses to their troops, in addition to the bonuses of non-magic standards. The unit will have the unit symbol on their shields, helmets, or tabards.
The magic in the standards is generally to allow the bearer to maintain the honor of the unit by keeping the standard upright.
A level 1 standard enables the standard bearer to cast Protection from Evil and Shield once per day/battle, as 1st level magic user spells.
A level 2 standard has the abilities of a level 1 standard plus Detect Evil, Detect Invisibility, Mirror Image, and Strength once per day/battle, as 2nd level magic user spells.
A level 3 standard has the abilities of level 1 and 2 standards plus Protection from Evil, 10-foot Radius, and Protection from Normal Missiles, as 3rd level magic user spells.
A Level 4 standard has the abilities of level 1, 2 and 3 standards plus Confusion, and Fear, as 4th level magic user spells.
A Level 5 standard has the abilities of level 1, 2,3 and 4 standards plus Hold Monster, as 5th level magic user spells.
Holy/Unholy Standards will have the symbol of the religion/deity/cult with some differentiation for the unit. (Unholy standards can cast spells to benefit the bearer or against those attacking the bearer or his unit.) The unit will have the unit symbol on their shields, helmets, or tabards.
A level 1 Holy standard enables the standard bearer to cast Cure Light Wounds and Protection from Evil once per day/battle as 1st level cleric spells.
A level 2 Holy standard has the abilities of a level 1 standard plus Bless and Hold Person once per day/battle as 2nd level cleric spells.
A level 3 Holy standard has the abilities of level 1 and 2 standards plus Cure Disease and Prayer as 3rd level cleric spells.
A level 4 Holy standard has the abilities of levels 1, 2, and 3 standards plus Create Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil, 10-foot Radius as 4th level cleric spells.
A level 5 Holy standard has the abilities of levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 standards plus Create Food, Dispel Evil, and Detect Magic as 5th level cleric spells.
Greater Standards are more powerful magic items that gain power as their units are successful in battle. The unit will have the unit symbol on their shields, helmets, or tabards.
These standards require the cooperation of wizards and clerics in their creation.
Level 1 Greater Standard has the abilities of a level 1 standard and a level 1 holy/unholy standard.
Level 2 Greater Standard has the abilities of a level 2 standard and a level 2 holy/unholy standard.
Level 3 Greater Standard has the abilities of a level 3 standard and a level 3 holy/unholy standard.
Level 4 Greater Standard has the abilities of a level 4 standard and a level 4 holy/unholy standard.
Level 5 Greater Standard has the abilities of a level 5 standard and a level 5 holy/unholy standard.
In addition to the above, greater standards allow the bearer to turn/control undead as a cleric of the same level as the standard.
By the very nature of the combined magics of a greater standard, these devices gain in power the more successful their units are in battle. A new standard must win ten battles for a 10% chance to add a miscellaneous ability. A new standard whose unit loses its first battle must win 15 battles for the 10% chance of a new ability.
Skirmishes and small actions where the unit easily wins are not as beneficial as an actual battle that requires effort and coordination for the unit. Five such skirmishes/easy wins are equal to one battle.
Miscellaneous Ability Table 3d6
3 – Intelligence. Battle standard becomes intelligent as per rules for intelligent swords and is able to advise the bearer and help hinder/influence the battle.
4 – Random additional magic user defensive spell of same level as the standard.
5 – Random additional magic user offensive spell of same level as the standard.
6 – Random additional magic user offensive and defensive spell of same level as the standard.
7 – Random additional cleric defensive spell of same level as the standard.
8 – Random additional cleric user offensive spell of same level as the standard.
9 – Random additional cleric offensive and defensive spell of same level as the standard.
10 – Random additional cleric and magic user defensive spell of same level as the standard.
11 – Random additional cleric and magic user offensive spell of same level as the standard.
12 – Random spell of any level useable once per day.
13 – Holy standards permanent protection of evil 15′ radius. Unholy standard, protection from good.
14 – Permanent detect magic 10′ radius.
15 – Roll on benign effects table.
16 – Roll on adverse effects table.
17 – Roll on benign and adverse effects table.
18 – Increase to next level of standard. For standards at level 5 roll again on this table, ignoring this result.
Benign Effects Table 1d10, or [d100 with 10% range for each.]
1 [01-10] – Unit fights as one level higher.
2 [11-20] – Entire unit is healed of 1d6 hp once per battle.
3 [21-30] – Entire unit is hasted 1d10 rounds into a battle. Re-roll at the beginning of each battle.
4 [31-40] – Enemy unit facing the unit with standard is held as per hold person.
5 [41-50] – Enemy unit facing the unit with the standard is slept as per sleep.
6 [51-60] – Unit can fight 1d10 rounds past the point they would normally face exhaustion. Re-roll for each battle.
7 [61-70] – Standard randomly summons a unit mascot. Something fitting the units reputation or insignia. Once there is a unit mascot roll again if this comes up until the mascot retires dues to age or infirmity or is killed in battle. If the mascot is killed in battle, there is a 10% change that a new mascot will be summoned and appear in 1d6 rounds. The mascot will stay near the banner and fight to protect the banner and the beater. Birds and smaller flying mascots will perch on the cross piece of the banner, other mascots will stay within 30 feet of the banner.
8 [71-80] – Opposing unit(s) must roll save vs. fear as the spell.
9 [81-90] – Units troops roll at +1 on 1d6th saving throw needed in a battle. Re-roll for each battle.
10 [91-100] – Unit is not surprised/caught unawares by flanking attacks and ambushes.
Adverse Effects Table 1d8
1 – Random enemy unit is healed of 1-4 HP for each member.
2 – Units troops are slowed if attacked by specific humanoid type (kobolds, goblins, orcs, bugbears, etc.)
3 – Units troops are held as per hold person for one round 1d10 rounds into a battle.
4 – Units troops are confused 1 round as per spell confusion.
5 – Standard randomly summons a monster as per monster summoning.
6 – Standard attracts the attention of the most powerful single foe in the opposing force.
7 – Standard attracts the attention of the most renowned unit in the opposing force.
8 – Units troops roll at -1 on 1d6th saving throw needed in a battle. Re-roll for each battle.
Planting the standard:
When a unit with a greater standard is in dire straights, they can “plant the standard” and stand and fight to the last man. Merely planting the standard is not enough, the unit commander, or highest ranking/senior member present, must rally the unit around the standard. A successful morale/reaction roll will enable this action. This will negate their need to roll for morale for the remainder of the battle, and they will get a second wind and will each be healed 1d4 hit points. Should the unit somehow prevail or the cavalry arrives and the danger is at an end, the members of the unit will fall exhausted and unable to march for 1d8 hours. NOTE: Troops that do not have a warrior ethic or unit cohesion or a lawful alignment cannot do this easily, with a few exceptions. Orcs can do this when fighting elves, goblins when fighting dwarves, etc. But if the troops are conscripts, slaves, unruly, chaotic, or not a warrior culture, they can attempt this, but with a penalty.
Aura and Renown:
Successful and famous units will be known by their standard. This can cause others to refuse to face them in the line of battle and cause weak minded bullies to back down when encountering someone wearing the unit’s insignia. NOTE: Counterfeit insignia only works for so long, the bearer must be able to back up the symbol he wears.
Unsuccessful and infamous units will also be known by their standard and will attract derision and insults and possibly thrown rotten vegetables or even stones. A player who dons such a unit’s insignia is in for a big surprise at the first settlement where the unit is known.
Finding Battle Standards.
Battle standards will be common in barracks, forts, castles, and the homes of nobles and kings. Magic Standards will only be as common as the prevalence of magic in a campaign. For low magic settings, such items will be ancient and their manufacture will be lost to the mists of time, or only found in rare and hard to locate manuscripts.
It is possible that a standard might be found on an ancient battlefield. Evil/chaotic standards would be destroyed by good/lawful forces and vice versa. However, intelligent greater standards can fight back, and might be buried and warded to keep out of the hands of like aligned forces. It is also possible that a greater standard has been used as part of the wardings to contain a powerful creature. A holy standard could be part of the containment of an ancient evil, or an unholy standard is used to help trap a long lost hero of renown, for example.
Magic standards found in a dungeon/ruin/abandoned castle setting will have the appropriate amount of dust, but will not show signs of wear and tear. Good creatures and especially paladins and clerics will avoid unholy standards, even if they are not magic. Intelligent unholy standards will attempt to attack paladins and good/lawful clerics, or vice versa Holy standards versus anti-paladins and evil/chaotic clerics.
For unintelligent magic battle standards, the players will have to find a sage or cast appropriate informational spells or find ancient manuscripts to explain their workings in low magic campaigns. In high magic campaigns the characters might have general knowledge that they exist, but will not know how to operate them, etc.
A small party or single adventurer using a standard can potentially gain some benefits. If the party does not have the same insignia as the banner, only the bearer will benefit unless the effect is an area of effect spell. As with rods, staves, and wands, they can be activated merely by touching an appropriate rune, or by the correct command, or by both command and touching a rune. Holy/Unholy Standards will usually require the battle cry of the deity/religion or shouting the name of the deity to activate.
Fun twist: Druidic Banners.
An army of nature worshipers, led by druids, could have nature banners and go after any forces of law or chaos that are using their forest for their war machines. Such banners could be bundles of oak leaves, or an oak brank, bundles of mistletoe, a branch of holly, etc. These banners would be similar to Holy/Unholy Banners, and because outside forces so threaten them, they will have offensive spell capabilities. It would be extremely rare for a druidic group to cooperate with a wizard to make a more traditional Greater Magic Banner. However, druidic forces that are aligned toward law or chaos would not have the same reservations. Greater druidic banners are possible by the nature force of the spirit of the forest/jungle/spring/cave/etc. that is the center of druidic worship.
Size and Shape:
Standards come in all sizes and shape and length of poles. They need to be big enough to communicate where a unit is on the field of battle, but not too big or unwieldly for the bearer to easily navigate the field of battle. The pole can be from six to ten feet in length. They could come with a chest strap to help carry them like you see flag bearers use in parades, or a spike to plant it in the ground. Some banners could be on lances or spears, but this would depend on the culture/warrior code of the unit/army. These would also require smaller cloth/material dimension, like a pennant instead of a banner.
Dyson’s Dodecahedron has some handy tables for generating the appearance of Battle Standards NOTE: The last table has his take on magic standards. January 13, 2011 on Dyson’s blog. On my blog I mentioned them on August, 2009 about my first hearing of them in the late 70’s early 80’s. This is my attempt to create them.
Magic Item 2 S&W
This item appears to be a normal, yet high quality bookstand or lectern. Some have a delicate appearance like a music stand, others appear to be sturdy and heavy like a lectern. Others are small angled items designed to sit on a desk or table to allow the user to stand an read as at a lectern. The lectern has a cabinet below with a latching door than can hold three spell books or ten scrolls. The table top form can hold one spell book or three scrolls.
It is carved of the most exquisite wood with fine inlays and mystical runes. They can also be crafted of metal, such as, fine steel, adamantite, or mithril.
The bookstand protects the wizard’s spell book(s). It gives a +2 on all saves that the spell book may need to make.
It can hold the book shut and secure to the bookstand as a wizard lock at 11th level.
It conveys protection of the book versus fire and electrical magic, and bookworms and other pest that feast on spell books.
The wizard can summon the bookstand and it will walk to the caster bearing the book and can open the book to the desired page or turn the page of an open book to the desired page.
Use of the bookstand while learning spells allows the wizard to memorize spells in 3/4 the time.
The wizard can cast one spell from the book per day as a scroll, but the spell is preserved. However, if the wizard is interrupted in his casting, there is a 20% chance the spell will fade from his book and a 1% change per level of the spell that the spell before it and after it in the book will be lost. Roll separately for the preceding and following spell. If the spells immediately preceding and following are destroyed, there is a 10% chance that this is a catastrophic failure and every spell in the book is lost.
Some bookstands grant their owner additional spells per day while in their tower/residence or within 30 feet of the bookstand if the wizard is out and about with his bookstand. In both cases, this is only true while their spell book is on the bookstand.
When in a wizard’s tower/cast;e/residence, the bookstand will act to protect the book and if a stand with a compartment, its contents. It can turn itself invisible once per day and stay invisible until the wizard returns and calls it. If there are protective circles and such in the wizard’s tower it will seek to enter those areas. It will move away from anyone attempting to enter the wizard’s residence. If a party’s wizard is killed, the remaining party will have a great challenge trying to get the bookstand to cooperate with them. If there is not book or contents in the bookstand, it will appear to be a normal set of furniture.
A “lost” bookstand, i.e. one whose owner is deceased, encountered by an adventure party with a spell book on or in it, or with scrolls in it, will act as above.
There are two variations on the Wizard’s Bookstand.
1.) Jealous Bookstand. This Wizard’s bookstand is semi-intelligent and will not relinquish a book to the owner unless another spell book is immediately available to take its place. There is a 1% chance on any given day that the bookstand will refuse to give up the book. There is nothing to do short of a wish or limited wish, to get the book away from the bookstand without destroying both the bookstand and the book. It is simplest to wait for the next day and hope for the best.
2.) Cursed Bookstand. This appears to be a normal bookstand until the wizard places his or her book on it. There is only a 1% chance for the wizard to notice anything odd. The nature of the Cursed Bookstand is to alter the spells in the book so that they have limited, ineffectual, inaccurate, or opposite effect. Roll separately for each spell in the spell book.
Spell Results Table: 1d6
1 – Limited Range. 3/4, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4. 1/8, 1/16 range. 1d6 for range effect.
2 – Limited Damage 3/4, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4. 1/8, 1/16 damage. 1d6 for damage effect.
3 – Limited Range and Damage. 3/4, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4. 1/8, 1/16 range. 1d6 for range and damage effect. Roll once for each.
4 – Ineffectual. Spell has all the appearance and sound, but no damage. A fireball looks impressive but does not burn. A magic missile looks right but no damage. Illusions have no visual or auditory effect. Informational spells either give static, partial, inaccurate, or outright wrong results. Protection spells have a 50% chance to be limited and a 50% chance to have the opposite effect. Opposite effect can be weakness instead of strength on an ally, or protection from normal missiles on a foe instead of an ally.
4 – Opposite effects, see Ineffectual above.
6 – Roll twice, ignoring this result on further rolls.
There is a 30% chance that an encountered Bookstand will have Bond Breaker in or on it, or in close proximity.
The above bookstands are AC:4 , with 10 HP, ST of 14, and a movement rate of 9.
There is a rare creature that some sages and wizards have theorized resulted from some wizard’s experiment that combined a jealous and cursed bookstand resulting in a magical creature. This creature is alive and seeks to devour magic items. It prefers spell books. In the first week of use, it will function as a normal Wizard’s Bookstand, thereafter there is a 10% chance increasing each week, so that the second week it is 20%, third week 30%, etc. until the tenth week after the first, i.e. the 11th week that the bookstand will eat the wizards’s spell book. Starting the second week, the Bookstand Mimic will act as a Jealous Bookstand that refuses to give up its book. If the wizard is unable to free the book before the Bookstand Mimic can devour it, the book is lost. A wizard will only know about this if he or she encounters the information from a sage, fellow wizard, or his or her own research BEFORE placing his spell book on the stand.
If it has a compartment for holding additional spell books or scrolls, it will attempt to devour them as above, but the Bookstand Mimic can only devour one item at a time.
NOTE: If a normal book is placed on the Bookstand Mimic, the Mimic will not react.
AC: 4 
ATTACKS: Special. Only the spell book placed on it or the spell books and scrolls placed in it.
Special: Eats spell books & scrolls.
Challenge Level/XP: 2/30
Magic Item 3 S&W
Ring of Preparedness
The wearer is never surprised and when enemies are plotting something, for ex. a thief planning to break in in the night, the thief will meet the ring bearer outside the point of entry or just inside. However, the wearer could also reinforce the weak points with additional bars, traps, or magic defenses and only intervene if the thief makes it past those.
A thief planning to pick pockets will be noticed prior to making their attempt. The bearer will “know” what is involved and can confront the thief in a manner of their choosing, or ignore it. A stubborn or foolish thief may persist until confronted.
Multiple assailants from multiple directions will be known, but the wearer can only be in one place at a time and will have to choose to focus on the closest assailant, the most powerful, or the one about to hurt friends, or loved ones. Circumstances will determine if the wearer can choose which of multiple assailants to confront.
There is a 10% chance that the ring is an Advanced Ring of Preparedness. The wearer knows with enough sense of urgency to get out of the weather, like a downpour or blizzard. They will find the nearest comfortable shelter and prepare a fire and a meal before the storm hits, even to the derision of party members. If there is an impending earthquake the bearer will feel the need to go outside or dine a sturdy doorway. If social unrest, like a riot is coming, the wearer will seek to get out of town, or find secure lodging. In a dungeon setting, the bearer will know if the creature on the other side of a door is intent on causing harm. This only works on intelligent monsters. Slimes, molds, and cubes give no such aura of malevolence, they are just seeking food.
Cursed Ring of Preparedness. The wearer of this ring is always surprised and after a month the wearer must roll once per week to make a saving throw or become paranoid. Prior to the wearer becoming paranoid, the ring can be removed with remove curse. Once the wearer falls victim to paranoia an elaborate process to cure the paranoia must be completed, then a remove curse can remove the ring. If the ring is not removed after paranoia is cured, after a month the chance of paranoia returns. Subsequent procedures to cure the paranoia will require an additional exotic ingredient. However, wishes can solve the problem….
At the GM’s discretion the cursed ring can have an aura that affects rolls for surprise and initiative for the party if the wearer is in a party or group.