Dungeons & Dragons Magic Item Compendium (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dunegons & Dragons players today just don’t know how good they have it. Back in the ancient days of the late 70’s and early 80’s, we AD&D players had the DM’s guide and that was about it. Sure, the Dragon Magazine always had new magic items or you could create your own but those were not “official”. Today, however, Wizards of the Coast is putting out a veritable dragon’s horde of new supplements regularly and among the best of the recent releases is The Magic Item Compendium. Over 100, magic items are packed into this gorgeous 286 page, hardcover tome. Everything from minor magical trinkets to artifacts and relics are included in a well organized, and wonderfully written book that is a must have for players and DM’s alike.
The book is organized into six chapters on Armor, weapons, clothing, tools, magic item sets, and using magic items and is bolstered by two comprehensive appendices listing magic items by price and random treasure. One of the things that I really like about the new magic item system is the infusing of normal armor, shields, swords, with magical properties that don’t necessarily make them unique, one-of-a-kind items.
For example, in the Armor/shield category, there are over sixty different magical properties that can be added to the item (as long as it is already at least a +1 item or better) to enhance its qualities. One such property is Healing. This property will heal 2d8+5 points of damage automatically when the wearer is brought down to –1 to –9 hit points…i.e., rescue from death! The Speed property allows the user to produce the effects of a haste spell 3 times per day. All of these properties can be added to armor or shields. Next, there are over 25 unique armors and shields. 
The Weapons chapter is similar to armor in that it first lists all of the different properties that can be added to a +1 or better weapon, as well as the price, caster level, aura, and activation required. Again, there are dozens of different properties listed with their full effects leaving it to the DM to decide what they want to create. There are some great unique items in weapons as well. These all include full descriptions of the appearance and powers, and most of them have a drawing that accompanies the weapon as well.
The items in clothing are all unique items and run the gamut of everything from amulets and boots to gloves and rings and everything in between. Chapter four is really a hodgepodge of everything else not included in the first three chapters. Here you’ll find items such as bags, orbs, musical instruments, rods, runestaffs, tomes, and more.
Chapter five’s subject is magical item sets. These are groups of three to six unique magic items that provide extra bonuses and abilities when worn together. What I love about these is that they will make great items to set about on separate quests to find and locate. And it had better be pretty hard to do so because they will make for some pretty powerful characters should all the items be found.
Finally, chapter six covers the usage of magic items…where to buy them, how to craft them, where to place them in a dungeon, etc…
It felt like the good, old days again just browsing through page after page of this treasure trove. The art is fantastic as usual. One of the best Supplements to come out in a long time.

Mania Grade: A
By: Andy Collins
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Pages: 286
Price: $34.95