The Questions

Magical Items – How to Make Them in Your Fantasy World

Magical Items – What are some ways to add or make them in my fantasy novel?

Making magical objects is one thing that every author of fantasy deals with at one point or another. People often wonder at some of the special powers and strengths of some items and say, “How did the author come up with that?”

One thing I will caution you about, don’t make a lot of magical items. If a reader notices a lot of magic items then those items are no longer rare or unique. That will take away the specialness of the object. Instead, have them rare or very guarded, thus keeping the awe factor.

When creating magic items, always think in two ways, what is the benefit of the item and what is the drawback. Every magical item should have a positive and negative. Think of the one ring, that powerful item all coveted. It gave the user the power of invisibility and bent their will. After using the item for a while, the owner becomes enamored of it. They need to have the item near them at all times and will lose their sanity because of it.

Think of the Cloak of Levitation that belongs to Doctor Strange. Not only is the cloak a powerful magical item, it also has its own ideas of what the wearer needs. In the movie, Strange wants to grab a weapon but the cloak pulls him away to another item. This is a positive and negative attribute. The cloak cannot tell the wearer why, it can only direct them. This is the downfall and it impedes the positive attributes.

Magical items need to be rare. Don’t let them be scattered about like seeds or everyone will have them. Instead, spread them out for random findings. Like everything, it becomes less expensive when there are more of them. Imagine the tavern:

“I found a beautiful magic sword that sings when a lovely woman walks past!”

“Mine nudges me when a hot woman finds me attractive.”

Nice to have, but really, what will then do in a fight? Remember, special means limited, so keep that in mind when scattering your magical items about.

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