Vault of Magic II
by Marco Bertini and Marco Giulio Fossati
As usual the art in this book is amazing. From the cover, to the magic items, to the new NPCs everything is beautifully drawn. The layout is easy to follow and there aren’t any mistakes in it as far as I can see.
Magic Items A-Z
So with a plethora of magic items, 72 to be exact, there is something for pretty much any situation you could want to reward your players with magic items,
Depending on what devil is painted on the scroll you can summon that kind of devil. My one thing about this magic item is it goes from rare - legendary and while you can add the uncommon and common levels, I would have liked to see that in there already.
Ring of Cantrips
I am really excited about this particular item. I have a new player that is still kind of iffy about her spells and this is an easy way to give her some more versatility while she figures out what she actually likes but also not breaking the rules.
Rod of Wyrmling
Magic items that allow players to summon and control creatures that they typically wouldn't be able to summon add what I believe some excellent roleplay options and exciting encounters. Plus baby dragons are adorable no matter how deadly.
Unconventional means of healing through questionable necromancy items is my jam. First for groups that typically don't have healers this is a great way to keep characters alive AND is excellent for moral quandaries among your characters.
The green boxes in this section that talk about how magic items can be used in various cities (Ravnica, Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, etc) give DMs some much needed direction.
Okay so as far as I can tell none of the spells are particularly overpowered. Some could potentially use some tweaking (Azuth's Spell Shield, Bombard) but in general they're fine.
There are a couple spells I really like.
Dead Man's Eyes. The white of your eyes turn black and your pupils reshape into two small white skulls. When a creature gazes into your eyes and has less than 20 hit points it must succeed on a CON save or die. Creature with more than 20 hit points takes 36 (846) necrotic damage on a fail and half on a save.
So a big reason I like this spell is the visual aspect. But also I don't think there are enough spells with the potential to just drop an NPC or a player dead and I think there should be more.
Past Life. You touch a corpse of a dead creature that has been dead no longer than 1 year. You gain forever the memories of the dead creature. At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, you can target a corpse that has been dead no longer than 1000 years.
Yooo. The lore potential! THE LORE POTENTIAL. That's all I really got to say.
Quirk of Magic Items
So I "recently" saw a tweet that was talking about personalizing magic items so that they aren't boring. Like instead of a +1 sword have it have some type of inscription or other affect that differentiates it from other magic items.
I was planning on incorporating that into my upcoming campaign and lo and behold here's an excellent resource. There's a table for origins of an item and quirks for every type of magical creation you could think of.
One of my favorites from the Rings list: Honorable. The ring doesn't function if another ring is worn, carried, or attuned by you.
Magic Background and NPCs
Student of Magic and Magic Item Scholar fill a niche that I think none of the other official backgrounds do. Their Features offer up some really good roleplaying aspects.
Alright so there are 4 new npcs, two CR 1 and two CR 7. All four thematically are centered two different powerful entities, one is Mystra and the other is Azuth.
You're given a low-level follower and a high-level follower. They've all got interesting abilities and spellcasting options.
I shouldn’t be surprised that at the quality of work put out by Sign of the Dragon. They’ve consistently done good work, and this isn’t any different. I start a new campaign in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to use the magic items.