The Deck Of Nostalgic Things, Or The Millennial's Magic Emporium
Ryan and I (Thom) backed a Kickstarter awhile back for The Deck of Nostalgic Things. It was a whim, a fancy, a chance encounter. The finished product hath arrived, and we're both quite pleased with the purchase.
The Deck of Nostalgic Things hearkens back to Saturday morning cartoons and the cultural artifacts that Millennials will immediately recognize: Beanie Babies, lava lamps, slip 'n' slides, and a great deal more. The items are designed for D&D 5e and range from wondrous (uncommon) magic items all the way to artifacts. Each is a fun and usable callback to our youth.
"But are they balanced?" cries out the Forever GM, fearful of implementing homebrew material in his spotless, unblemished, Adventurer's League-compliant home game.
Helpful NPC Thom's opinion: who cares? The artifacts are very powerful, but they're artifacts for a reason. You don't hand out the legendary (Nintendo) glove of power without fundamentally altering your campaign--or without the expectation that the character is going to take his newfound powers TO THE MAX.
But for those who are concerned about balance, I'll say that these silly items have a mix of combat uses and non-combat uses. Clever players will find a multitude of uses for the lamp of lemmings, which stores a hundred little blue-and-orange-and-green goombas that can build ladders, dig holes, hold signage, parachute at will, and spontaneously combust.
As another example, the shoes of the moon allow the wearer to defy gravity. The rules stipulate, "You may be able to aim yourself a direction with continual use of evocation magic, such as Eldritch Blasts or Firebolts."
Ack! The horror! GM adjudication? That's exactly the sort of magic item that Ryan and I love. Your own mileage may vary.
Some of the items are naked power-ups (we are playing D&D here), though the creators were clever enough to include adventure hooks and drawbacks to their items. The orb of plasma (a legendary item, mind you), grants a wide array of benefits: +2 to spell save DCs and attacks, advantage on concentration checks, immunity to lightning damage, and the ability to conjure and control a plasma dragon. However, if you lose control over the dragon, the orb shatters and the understandably unhappy dragon knows your exact location.
Would we recommend this product to other players? Absolutely. The artwork is high quality, the items are interesting, and the price is right: free. Check out the full deck here, though it doesn't appear the physical cards can be purchased at this time. Email BJ Hypes and the Going Rogue team to demand they sell you their wares if you're interested!