Since my blog has been devoid of "gaming" stuff of late, I decided to rectify that. In my spare time, I've been flipping through the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide. I was reading parts of Appendix P: Creating A Party On The Spur of the Moment the other day, and I come upon the Robe of Useful Items. It was one of the options when giving the party items. Now, this one is different than the one found in the magic treasure descriptions. Well, it's a little different...
The Robe of Useful Items listed in the Miscellaneous Magic Section, has a table you roll on to determine what the patches are, aside from the standard patches. The one in Appendix P doesn't, you just select what you want on the robe. Also, instead of a pair of war dogs, it's only one war dog. The Appendix P robe also has a giant owl! Now really, how useful will a giant owl be? Especially if you are on a dungeon crawl? Furthermore, will the owl obey the wearer of the robe? Hah! That would be fun...
DM: "Okay you pull off the giant owl patch, and it grows and forms into the giant owl. The orcs turn and run..."
Player: "YES! I tell the owl to chase them."
DM: "Oh do you speak giant owl?"
DM: "The giant owl turns and faces you. What do you do now?"
Heh, yeah, that would be fun. Yes, I'm sure every DM handles the live animal's pulled off the robe in their own way, and if it ever comes up in a game I'm running, I guess I would have to decide. I've got some ideas I'm working on, but the ideas aren't ready for "prime time" just yet.
As far as magic items go, I like the ones that hopefully will give the players the opportunity to be creative. That's what I like most about the Robe of Useful Items! Sure a wand of fireballs is nice, but it does have limited uses. You point it and fire at the enemy! You use it to set fire to buildings! The ROUI ( depending on what kind of patches it has ) can inspire all kinds of zany, creative actions by the players. A wand of fireballs, not nearly as many.
One of the other items on the Appendix P ROUI is a 30' tall oak tree! At first I was going, huh?. but then I realised it could have many uses! Of course I also wondered if you pulled it off and placed it on the ground would it take root? Again, I guess it's up to the DM. Then I began to think and asked my self some questions. ( I like the Socratic Method, even when I'm teaching myself! ) Of course I'll go into this more in Part Two.
While thinking about writing about the ROUI, I did a google search, and found this . I had actually had come up with the same darn thing in my brainstorming session for this blog entry, and I'm sure many other people have come up with the idea of a Robe of Useless Items as well.
When you really think about it the ROUI is a powerful piece of magic. I'm probably going to have a few floating around in my fantasy sandbox. Plus, I'm going to make sure I have a giant owl, or two, on one of them.