Homebrew Item: Bag Of Tricks (Fur-Lined)
Updated: Mar 4
A lot of people seemed to enjoy the Possessed Doll homebrew post I did and so I thought I'd share another item I've made! If you are running an arctic-themed encounter and want some unique loot at the end, or a one-shot/campaign set in the tundra, then this might be a great addition for you. I run Icewind Dale: Rime Of The Frostmaiden and made it for my players, in keeping with the wintery theme of the setting!
The Bag Of Tricks is actually an item already existing in DnD 5e. It has three variants within the game - Tan, Grey and Rust - and allows players to pull out and 'summon' a randomly rolled animal. I really enjoy taking pre-existing items and riffing off of them, but a lot of my inspiration here came from MyriadTabletop's Bag Of Tricks variant cards on Etsy! I'd seriously suggest checking them out, the artwork is stunning and they have some very imaginative suggestions for a fun spin on the original concept!
So let's have a look at what I've come up with! Obviously as I stated above I've been a little inspired by the above variant ideas, including a winter variant that they came up with. But I did put my own spin on it! I have extended the die roll table from a d8 to a d10 (which I have done for all my home-brewed, slightly more powerful variants of this item) to give a little more contrast in the creature choices! I've also changed the number of charges from three to two per long rest for balancing. Here is the description:
Fur-Lined Bag Of Tricks
Wondrous Item, Rare
This suede bag, lined with soft, warm fur, appears empty. Reaching inside the bag however reveals the presence of small, furry orbs. The bag weighs 1/2 pound. Those familiar with the Bag Of Tricks will recognise that this is a variant of that - containing creatures that normally reside in colder conditions!
You can use an action to pull an orb from the bag and throw it up to 20 feet. When the object lands, it transforms into a creature you determine by rolling a d10 and consulting the table below. See the Monsters Listing for the creature's statistics. The creature vanishes at the next dawn or when it is reduced to 0 hit points.
The creature is friendly to you and your companions, and it acts on your turn. You can use a bonus action to command how the creature moves and what action it takes on its next turn, or to give it general orders, such as to attack your enemies. In the absence of such orders, the creature acts in a fashion appropriate to its nature.
Roll a d10:
Young Griffon (Medium)
Once two orbs have been pulled from the bag, the bag can't be used again until the next dawn.
Tags: Summoning, Utility
So it's probably pretty clear why I had to balance this down to two charges per day, as some of the creatures on here are not Beasts like the original Bag Of Tricks were (making them a little bit more powerful), and the highest is a CR 3 instead of a CR 2. Another thing to address (which I think is a CRIME) is that there is no official Penguin stat block in DnD! You can find a suitable one here if needs be. I tried to do a suitable mix of creatures that would be good for utility purposes, powerful combat aids, and cute fuzzy friends!
When it comes to home-brewing something like the Bag Of Tricks, I really enjoy picturing the environment or 'vibe' and matching it with the kind of bag (as well as the feel of the orbs within) that would fit. Obviously for wintry themed summons, a fur-lined bag felt very appropriate! You might consider one made of feathers if you are theming it around flying creatures. Or a bag made of netting if it contains creatures with swim speeds! Perhaps you are playing an adventure module with a particular setting like I am - well a black velvet bag filled with creatures straight from a gothic horror setting might suit Curse Of Strahd? Or perhaps something a little more ethereal looking, seemingly made of spiderwebs, dew and dragonfly wings for Wild Beyond The Witchlight if you want some fey-themed fun? If Fizban's Treasury Of Dragons has been your latest source of inspiration, perhaps your bag ought to be scaly instead? It's so easy to see how small details like that can inject a unique vibe into this item!
I hope that you've drawn some inspiration and come up with some interesting ways to play around with this item! I have plenty of other variant ideas, let me know if you'd like to read about and see more of them!