I initially released Agents of the O.D.D. with a list of 20 magic items, or “arcana,” but admitted right out the gate that I felt it needed a lot more. So, here are a lot more.
The first 20 are rituals, which take longer to perform safely; you might only be able to do them before your mission, in a secure spot, or if you have an occult-oriented profile and don’t mind rushing to break the laws of physics.
1. Bronze liver. Inscribed with extremely detailed diagrams to assist in accurate haruspicy. Ask any question, and spend 1d6x10 minutes studying entrails to get an accurate (if not necessarily exhaustive) answer from the referee. Additional questions require more animal entrails.
2. The Chiromancy Handbook. While examining someone’s palm or handprint, ask the referee an empirically-verifiable question about that person. The referee will reveal the answer to that question, and also the person’s STR score, primary occupation, and greatest misdeed by the standards of the local culture; d4 of these revelations will be accurate.
3. The cursed colophon. A ritual to inflict a painful punishment (d20 STR damage, d6 if performed in a hurry) upon anyone who steals or damages the object inscribed with the curse. Historically used to protect rare texts, but popular among O.D.D. agents for use in armored vests.
4. Diary of St. Francis Borgia. Contains a ritual of exorcism that forces a possessing being or unearthly spirit to attempt a WIL save every round while the incantation is spoken, else be expelled from its host or from this realm.
5. Dowsing. Draws the performer toward the nearest specified target: water, oil, a specific kind of mineral, or a gravesite. Each performance of the ritual demands time to recalibrate a stick or pendulum.
6. Enochian brand. A ritual that allows one to brand someone with sigils representing mundane phrases. Onlookers will perceive these descriptors to be true of the marked individual—e.g., people will believe a person branded as a “bear” to be a bear, and will be confused when the “bear” talks to them. Faeries, demons, and some other supernatural beings have been known to see through the brand, but are still bound by their nature to behave as if the sigils are true. Requires a custom branding iron for each sigil, so it is typically used before embarking upon a mission, not in the field. The branding process lowers STR by 1 point per sigil, which cannot be regained until the sigils are ritually removed by trained healers (such as those at O.D.D. headquarters).
7. Little brown book. This grimoire is disguised as a roleplaying game, mass-produced years ago. Between missions, a character may prepare one of the spells contained therein. That spell can be cast once during a mission. As far as the O.D.D. knows, only one person can prepare a spell from the book at a time, and only one spell can be prepared, though field testing may reveal other properties or parameters. (For the purposes of play, you may consult any roleplaying game with a spell list, so long as the referee agrees that a chosen spell’s effects would be easy enough to adjudicate with this game’s rules. Spells of higher “levels” are presumed to have greater associated risks.)
[This item’s name is a reference to the original edition to D&D, and an excuse to put D&D spells into your game—but personally, I fully intend to replace it in my campaign with Wonder and Wickedness by Necropraxis.]
8. Page from The Lesser Key of Solomon (Unredacted). Instructions to summon a specific demon, noting areas of expertise (with costs or requirements left to referee’s discretion). They may be willing to bargain for a boon, typically for a deceptively “trivial” price.
9. Poppet. A ritual for creating an effigy that can transfer effects to a particular person. Requires biological material from the target—the more, the greater the effects. A poppet bound with a lock of hair might be struck with a hammer to give the target a mild headache; a poppet soaked in a pint of the target’s blood might be struck with a hammer to cave in the target’s skull.
10. The Soul-Pawner’s Cookbook. Instructions for ritual meals that transfer the misdeeds of one person to the eater. Traditionally used to relieve the dead of sins for the sake of their immortal soul, but when used on a living subject, evidence and blame for their transgressions up to that moment instead lead to the ritual performer.
11. The Rainmaker’s Almanac. An extensively researched collection of weather modification rituals, still undergoing validation in the field, with best known practices based on geographic region, ranging from dances to cat-parades to elaborate staging of handmade figurines. The average O.D.D. agent can typically use it to change weather in a general direction, but not control much more than that.
12. Scrying bowl. A bowl inscribed with precise instructions for remote-viewing ritual. Fill the bowl with clear water, plus an image of, or something belonging to, the one you wish to observe. Following ritual meditation, you may witness faint and blurry images of showing the what the subject is doing.
13. Svefnthorn. A symbol that forces a target into a deep sleep when inscribed upon their body, or upon something lodged in their body. Those affected appear to be in a natural slumber, but do not age, hunger, or otherwise experience the passage of time. The symbol to be wiped off, shaken loose, or otherwise shed in a matter of hours or days as the sleeper shifts naturally, unless special measures are taken to keep it in place (e.g., tattooing).
14. Thoth-Hermes tarot deck. When used for a reading, the deck tends to reveal whatever card a skilled reader wishes it to, making it ideal for dramatically drawing “The Tower” or “Death” to shock onlookers. Once per day, if the reader has no preferred card in mind, the card they turn may or may not exist in any known tarot deck, but either way, it offers a clue relevant to the current mission. Previous examples included “The Plumber,” indicating a previously overlooked person of interest in an investigation, and “Four of Carburetors,” the meaning of which was never determined.
15. True 5th Pentacle of Mars. Diagram and ritual instructions for drawing a circle capable of constraining paranormal beings (i.e., pretty much any intelligent creature that isn’t a living human), whether by summoning or blundering into it.
16. Transmutation. Transforms a person into a particular kind of animal. This was long believed to be something that witches could do at a moment’s notice, but the only known ritual known by the O.D.D. for this purpose requires a captive animal in a precise location known to the performer; when the spell is triggered, a target specified by the performer assumes that animal’s shape, and the captive animal assumes the shape of the target. A person-turned-animal then appears to be a relatively ordinary animal until the process is reversed, while an animal-turned-person tends to gain some of the memories and personality of their new body. Person-to-person transmutation has yet to be tested.
17. Updated & Revised Pre-Babel Phrasebook. A small book of common English phrases with translations. With careful study and diction, the phrases can actually be understood by any creature that can hear, though most listeners tend to be confused about why they can understand what sounds like gibberish.
18. Viral sigil. A process for inscribing a series of sigils in multiple locations to bring about a specific effect on those who see it—the more powerful the effect, the more numerous and well-distributed the sigils must be, at the referee’s discretion. Corporate logos represent a brute-force approach; a skilled practitioner can achieve comparably weak effects (e.g., “make onlookers want a hamburger”) with a handful of inscriptions across a neighborhood.
19. Whispering kiln. Allows one to create a rat-sized humanoid from dough (1 STR, 1 WIL) during downtime. The figure will follow most simple commands and can communicate through squeaks and gestures. If the recipe is not performed correctly, the figure may attempt to devour any organic up to its own size in sight, growing with each item consumed; the creator makes a WIL save to test for this whenever the figure is left alone.
20. Wolfbann. A spell that summons a wolf to attack a specified target, up to once per day. Takes a full, uninterrupted round to intone, but wolves tend to arrive surprisingly quickly (6 STR, 12 DEX, 6 WIL, d6 bite attack).
21. All Souls Lost. The name of this flintlock pistol is engraved on the side. Requires no lead or powder, but causes the shooter 1 WIL damage with each shot (d10 attack). Any agent borrowing this item should be advised that the pirate who owned this swore to return for it.
22. Amulet collection. Any one amulet may be of dubious worth, but when arranged in a careful array, these will protect against the evil eye, whooping cough, and attacks against the bearer. An attack of 4+ against the bearer disrupts all protective effects until the amulets can be meticulously re-enchanted during downtime.
23. Archimedes lens. A strange contraption of mirrors connected to a rough-hewn lodestone battery that appears to store and redirect sunlight as a heat ray (d8 attack, ignores armor).
24. Bag of captured winds. Open a little to release a brief but strong gust. Open completely to release entire contents, like pointing a hurricane in one direction.
25. Bearskin cloak. Reaching into it always produces a handful of pocket change. It is a literal bear skin, however.
26. Blue scarab egg. Appears to be a small stone carved in the shape of an ancient Egyptian scarab. When implanted someplace sufficiently warm (such as a fresh pile of dung in the sun, or inside a stomach), it hatches, and thousands of beetles surge forth.
27. Bone rosary. Supposedly carved from the bones of a flock of exorcised sheep. Suspected to produce “reversed” or “corrupted” effects when used in combination with rituals—e.g., “exorcise” a mortal soul from a human body. Also believed to protect bearer from spiritual possession. Significant field testing needed.
28. Bottled miasma. Shatter—or simply remove stopper and swing—to unleash an oily, black cloud. It blocks projectiles, slows movement, and saps d4 STR each round if breathed in. Can be refilled as a downtime action back at HQ, or by arrangement with someone with access to a hell-plane.
29. Caged gremlin. When released, the gremlin (3 STR, 10 HP, d6 bite) will attempt to break things and annoy people at random, as quickly as possible. The cage and gremlin together are bulky, but they’re each relatively lightweight on their own. Rushes back into its cage when it hears you stomp three times, probably.
30. Centenarian umbrella. It is over one hundred years old, and has seen many things. It generally gives sensible advice, especially with regard to the weather.
31. Cockatrice wishbone. Snap to cure a single target of all curses.
32. Cracked cauldron. Place a corpse with an intact brain inside to call a spirit to clumsily animate it. It may or may not summon the corpse’s original spirit, but it might access the body’s memories. The disoriented being cannot speak, but will follow simple, direct orders. Corpses are notoriously fragile, but immune to critical damage and fear.
33. Cracked seer stone. Looking into it reveals the location of something valuable nearby (if there is any such thing within a short walk), but not necessarily what that valuable thing is, or why it is valuable.
34. Cryptic prophecy. When you witness someone roll the maximum result on an attack (e.g., a 6 on a d6) against a named enemy, you may point and say something along the lines of, “Look! Just as the prophecy foretold!” The enemy dies. 1 use.
35. Cursed flask. Anyone whose face comes within a hand’s length of the mouth it is sucked into it. Meant to contain spirits, but works more messily on people. Can contain up to one individual at a time; uncap and turn upside down to empty contents.
36. Cynic’s lantern. Flickers when someone in the lantern’s light tells a lie.
37. Dark river water. Drink to erase memories. 1 use.
38. Disenchanted coat. The wearer tends to elude casual attention by humans—not invisible, just uninteresting. If going somewhere you don’t belong, you might be stopped, but you won’t be recognized as yourself, or an agent, or a Bigfoot, etc.
39. Divine shield. A circular, wooden shield with a leather arm strap and an insignia faded to illegibility. Name a target each round in battle, and you are immune to attacks from that target—unless that target happens to be the divinity who made this shield, or one of their agents. (Provenance unknown; more field testing required.)
40. Doomed mp4. Whatever is on this video file is so horrific that seeing or hearing it demands an immediate WIL save. Those who fail make an enhanced attack against the target of their choice, or on themselves if no target can be reached. Those who succeed can choose to fall unconscious instead, if they prefer. The video file stops playing when the device playing it catches fire and begins to melt.
41. Dragon teeth. When planted in soil, each seed (from a supply of 3d4) grows into an ancient warrior (d6 spear, hostile to everyone present, turn back into seeds at 0 STR).
42. Dream cord. Wrap around wrists of a sleeping person and anyone else who wishes to enter their dream upon falling asleep. Harm in dreams inflicts WIL damage.
43. Finger bone of St. Joseph Copertino. Hold in hand over the heart to levitate, weightless, subject to inertia.
44. Fomorian king’s blade. When unsheathed, the sword (d6 attack) rings with a voice that recounts every notable deed it has been used to accomplish. If sheathed before finished, it will pick up where it left off when next unsheathed. It is a very old weapon, so the recording is several hours long.
45. Frozen inferno. A jagged, reddish-orange crystal about the size of a fist. After about a minute of sitting in an open flame, it shatters, expanding into a raging fire—at least a story in each direction, if in a multi-story building.
46. Ghost milk. Sip to become partially intangible for several minutes, able to slowly pass through solid objects. Attacks still hurt, but not as badly—counts for +1 armor.
47. Gilded hourglass. Tipping the hourglass initiates a divinatory ritual, allowing those nearby to experience a possible future. If the sand runs out, nothing much seems to happen, and the hourglass can be turned again. If the hourglass is broken while the sands fall, however, time will snap back to the moment the hourglass was last turned; only the hourglass’s bearer and companions will remember the vision of the future, but the hourglass will have vanished as if it never existed.
48. Gleipnir fragment. A long yet thin and feather-light length of rope, believed to be unbreakable.
49. GMO garden fruit. Eating it restores lost STR and DEX entirely, and slightly improves complexion. 1 use.
50. Golden headband. One command word allows it to be removed; another makes it tighten (d4 STR damage each round).
51. Gorgon head. Anyone who meets the gaze of this decapitated head takes d10 DEX damage, and is petrified if this reduces them to 0 DEX. Must be carried in a bulky cooler; 1 in 6 chance of decaying, and thus lowering its damage die a step, each minute it is outside its cooler.
52. Gray eye. The last person to touch it to their head sees through it as if it’s their own (and only) eye.
53. Hand of glory. The severed hand of a hanged man, made into a candlestick from his own fat. Paralyzes anyone who breathes its smoke, aside from the bearer. Roll d6 after use to see if it has (1) run out of uses, or (2–3) only one use left.
54. Heavenly Will. The bearer of this sword (d6 attack) appears to onlookers to be very tall and impressive. Even if carried somewhere that weapons aren’t permitted, onlookers will assume that the bearer has a right to carry it there.
55. Hermetically sealable jar. A bulky glass jar inscribed with arcane signs, with a vacuum-pump integrated into its base. Anything sealed inside is effectively is outside reality, beyond the reach of divination, enchantment, radio signals, or even the passage of time.
56. Holy sawed-off shotgun. Not as bulky as a full shotgun, but very useful at close range (d8 attack). Supposedly blessed by a divine hand (+d12 attack vs. “unholy” targets—e.g., demons, undead, cultists).
57. Horned statuette. Bulky stone sculpture worn around the neck. Rub for momentary preternatural strength at the cost of all HP.
58. Hungry grass. Imparts insatiable hunger when eaten. Affected individuals may ultimately need to save WIL to avoid eating themselves to death.
59. Iron arm. Affixes easily to flesh, acting like an extra or replacement arm. Fist can be shot as a ranged weapon (d6) or grappling hook, connected by a retractable chain.
60. Jackalope foot. Renders the bearer extremely stealthy in wilderness, and enhances (d12) your attacks against hunters and predators.
61. Jade comb. Each pull through hair (still connected to a living body) lengthens and strengthens it, making it possible to reenact Rapunzel within a couple minutes.
62. Jawbone of might. This beast’s jawbone raises the bearer’s STR to 18 for the purposes of making saves, even after they take damage, and allows them to roll a d8 for unarmed attacks. Onlookers will clearly see that the jawbone is the source of this power, however, and losing possession of it immediately deals its former bearer d6 WIL damage.
63. Key to the final gate. If a door has a keyhole in it, this key can be jammed in to open every lock on that door at once. Through some as-yet-unknown mystical process, this also has a 1 in 6 chance of making the door crumble to dust.
64. Koppelberg pipe. Playing this flute forces listeners of a particular kind to save WIL or abandon all other action to obediently follow around the player for the duration of the song. The O.D.D. has the songs for a handful of targets on record—including rats, snakes, canines, and humans—but is actively interested in discovering more.
65. Leviathan hide armor. An old-fashioned leather cuirass (2 armor) that looks like greasy, warty whale hide.
66. Loose tongue. A cedar box containing a severed tongue which, when soaked in blood, speaks an arcane secret relevant to the current situation, if any are to be revealed. Each new secret requires a new creature’s blood.
67. “Lucky” obol. Once per mission, you may flip a coin instead of rolling a die. Heads represents the maximum on the die you would have rolled; tails represents the minimum.
68. Magic bean. When planted, grows within an hour into a large, sturdy plant. The O.D.D. can provide a bean in any of a range of sizes, from a stalk usable to scale a building up to a stalk capable of interfering with commercial air traffic.
69. Magic bullets. Seven bullets and a revolver. Each shot deals 13 damage without fail, ignoring HP and armor, albeit with a 1 in 6 chance the target is not who the attacker intended.
70. Magic throw-rug. Floats slightly above the ground, within a few paces of its owner. Can carry up to a couple armfuls of items, but buckles under the weight of an average adult human.
71. Marbas’ heart. A heart, beating slowly. With each bite, the eater takes d6 WIL damage, and regains as much STR, not to exceed their maximum STR.
72. Meal-grinder. An ancient hammer carved from a grindstone (d10, bulky). Can be used one-handed provided its unusually short handle is gripped with a special glove. Capable of resurrecting goats.
73. Mead of poetry. Makes the drinker erudite and charming, and confers a permanent +1 WIL. Only one use.
74. Monkey paw. Grants up to three cursed wishes. (Two of its five fingers are already curled tight.) Taken from a small monkey species, so wishes can only be relatively local in scale, and very brief in phrasing—attempting to squeeze in a careful exception or subordinate clauses is not advised.
75. Orion’s belt. Enhances (d12) attacks vs. beasts, and makes the bearer both an expert in and hyperaware of footprints and scat.
76. Northern horn. A drinking horn that produces whatever beverage the bearer wishes it to, so long as someone sips from and swallows at least some of the contents; failing to drink any renders the horn unusable for that bearer ever again. Field testing required to safely determine how liberally the horn is willing to interpret “beverage.”
77. Pocket demon larva. A wriggling, finger-sized millipede in a matchbox. Swallow to gain power to scale walls and resist any toxin. Save WIL every few minutes or retch it up.
78. Questing chalice. People instinctively want it very, very badly. Any other supernatural properties remain unconfirmed.
79. Reforged Ring of the Fisherman. The wearer is oft mistaken for the Pope.
80. Ring of invisibility. Needs to be held in mouth to grant enchantment, and blinds you while invisible. Save WIL if you bump into anything to avoid accidentally swallowing.
81. Russian tablecloth. Lay out to reveal a meal; lift to manually clean away.
82. Sacred sistrum. A musical instrument used in ancient Egyptian rites. While doing nothing but rattling it, the bearer is protected from all danger. Field testing required to discern why it occasionally seems to have no effect.
83. Sandalwood staff. Tap an object with the end to make fresh water bubble out of it. Field testing needed to confirm duration and/or effect on organic targets.
84. Secret identity. A pair of thick rimmed glasses that makes the wearer appear to be someone other than themself (but not in imitation of anyone else in particular).
85. Serpentine staff. A long, wooden stick, usable as a quarterstaff (d6 attack), which turns into a live snake (1 STR, 10 HP, d6 bite) when dropped on the ground. Requires a successful DEX save to pick it up without being bitten, which turns it back into wood.
86. Silver branch. Opens a passage between distant points in space, albeit requiring a detour through the (or at least an) underworld. The more precise and distant the specified exit point is, the longer the detour must be.
87. Simurgh feather. A golden feather that can be burned to summon a giant, winged creature, appearing a round later, to grant a boon. The simurgh is extremely knowledgeable on matters both scientific and occult, and can carry a companion great distances, even between worlds. Note that the simurgh may be deeply offended by its feather having been stolen from the one it was originally gifted to, however.
88. Sunblock of the old gods. This fluid provides a screen against supernatural detection, including by divination magic and the senses of spirits, deities, and other inhuman, paranormal beings. The tube contains enough to fully cover an average human body; field testing is needed to determine whether partial protection is better than no protection at all.
89. Sun medallion. While worn, the medallion glows hot and bright, dealing the wearer d4 STR damage per turn (without triggering saves versus critical damage), and no one within line of sight to the wearer (including the wearer themself) may attack anyone.
90. Sword of the War God. This blade (d6 attack) was once believed to promise victory to its bearer, but has since been confirmed to unerringly end up in the possession of whoever wins in a battle that involved it. The O.D.D. has embedded a small tracking device in the pommel.
91. Temporary tattoo of Cain. A lesser, washable replica of the Mark of Cain. Intelligent beings implicitly believe the bearer to be a murderer and/or to have some kind of diplomatic immunity that should give pause before messing with them. This serves mostly as a disguise, not as a penalty to attacks.
92. Toe bone of Saint Gregory the Wonderworker. Grants the bearer unnatural persuasiveness in laying forth any argument they sincerely believe in. The next time the bearer speaks dishonestly, however, at any point after benefiting from this relic—whether they continue to carry it or not—the relic confers no further benefit to them, and they take d10 WIL damage.
93. Translucent Metro Ticket. When held while in a dark tunnel, a ghostly subway train arrives. The train passes through solid objects, but willing individuals can board it as passengers. A few minutes later, the lights flicker, and passengers find themselves on a mundane Stockholm Metro subway train.
94. Triskaidekafocals. Spectacles that show a hazy double-image of people gazed at through them. If a person is possessed, enchanted, a shapeshifter, disguised by glamour, or otherwise concealing an unnatural nature, the double-image gives a clue as to who they really are.
95. Truth serum. Not sodium pentathol, but something stronger and stranger. Whoever ingests or is injected with it must answer three questions directly, truthfully, and without trickery or commentary. Effects on nonhuman targets have yet to be tested.
96. Ushabti. Handheld figurine that animates to obey the commands of a designated owner, but only if the figurine senses the owner has been near (or beyond) death—e.g., suffered critical damage, or rose from death.
97. Wolfskin cloak. Anybody who wears this pelt automatically passes saves against critical damage sustained in battle. Wearing it for longer than an hour or at a time so gradually bonds the pelt to its wearer, inclining them toward violent outbursts and bestial features.
98. Wolfssegen. Once believed to be a charm to ward against wolves, but in fact prevents any creature from scratching or biting the bearer.
99. Visible mantle. A coat that renders whatever it covers translucent from the outside. Worn on a body, it makes one’s muscle and organs partly visible; hung on a wall, it acts like a murky, one-way window.
100. Wine-stained bust. Broken head of a statue that, when fed every last drop of wine you have access to (and no, you can’t trick it), speaks a dire warning of danger likely to come to pass.