Author Topic: Magic Item Sets List and Review  (Read 57 times)

Offline Samwise

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Magic Item Sets List and Review
« on: Yesterday at 07:23:18 PM »
I made another list and decided to add some commentary to keep me busy.

Magic Item Sets
An idea introduced in the Magic Item Compendium, theoretically premised on all those thematically linked sets that increase in power in fantasy fiction. Pretty much all of which completely escape me at the moment, but I guess they exist somewhere. Anyway, they exist in 3.5, and even Pathfinder got in on the fun later in their game.

The big schtick is giving some minor bonuses for collecting a bunch of magic items that might otherwise be less than spectacular, but they sound good together. These bonuses do not increase the costs of the individual items, you just get the bonus for free for possibly using an unoptimized item or two.

Surprisingly, it is not that bad, especially compared to the "balancing" mechanism for Weapons of Legacy. Particularly because you can explicitly enhance all of these items above and beyond their starting level in any way you like. A few sets are less-than-spectacular, but as long as you can improve them, and especially if you can use the common effects option in the MIC, most of them are solid and can last long beyond the use date of their base abilities.

Naturally all of that means very few exist, especially because of the late introduction. I have only found them in the MIC, Complete Champion, and one set in Forge of War for Eberron, a total of 19 sets. I will take them in reverse order.

Forge of War
War Regalia of Galifar
So that "thematically linked" thing? Pretty much right out the window.
"Technically" they are linked to the Five Kingdoms, but each kingdom is so different the items have effects that are nowhere near synergistic, unlike the other sets, to the point that using most of them completely negates the others.
A high cost and 5 items that do not really work with each other. I guess if you love smite attacks it is kind, sorta, good for something, but otherwise keep scrolling down.
Best Class: Any (must be able to wear medium armor)
Total Cost: 88,660 gp
Total Slots: 5 Weapon Body Feet Head Shoulders
(click to show/hide)

Complete Champion
Regalia of Righteous War
Do you have tons of turn undead uses but are bored of spending them on Divine Metamagic? Then this is for you!
Other than the absurdity inherent in that statement, some of the items function if you are willing to burn those turn attempts.
It is only 3 items, but the cost is pretty hefty. If however you really don't want to DMM everything then I suppose it is somewhat useful.
Best Class: Cleric or Paladin (only works with turn/rebuke undead)
Total Cost: 35,485 gp
Total Slots: 3 Shield Weapon Head
(click to show/hide)

Trappings of the Beast
Okay, those first two are a disappointment. But this set actually works. Really!
Seriously, all of these are useful AND work together.
Quite expensive but only 3 slots. Especially if you can add a common effect on the mantle as an upgrade this set is solid.
Best Class: Druid (only affects wild shape and summon nature's ally)
Total Cost: 52,175 gp
Total Slots: 3 Body Ring Shoulders
(click to show/hide)

Garb of the Vagabond
A fairly decent set. Its biggest thing is moving some effects around to different slots. The weapon is monk focused, but pretty much anyone can get good use from this.
It is 4 items, and a restrictive weapon (see Gharyn's below for a monk weapon), but with upgrades it can work.
Best Class: Monk
Total Cost: 22,600
Total Slots: 4 Weapon Feet Shoulders Torso
(click to show/hide)

Raiment of Valor
Once again, all three of these items function. Except . . .
They only function when you are below half hit points.
Apparently "valor" translates as "continuing to fight even though you are bleeding profusely and a random crit can finish you off".
Of course with something to handle that, and any random power words, if you are okay with running around at half hit points all the time you can ride these bonuses through most adventures. In particular, the tabard is rather sweet.
Only 3 items and a moderate cost if you cannot upgrade.
Best Class: Any (meat shields preferred)
Total Cost: 22,000
Total Slots: 3 Head Throat Torso
(click to show/hide)

Magic Item Compendium
Armor of the Watching Master
Do you like beating things into a pulp but cannot find them to unleash said beating? No more!
Half bonuses to see things, half bonuses to beat them senseless. There are many things that do it better, but this is a rather cost effective starting point.
A four item set with an average cost. If you can upgrade the items the effects are fairly worthwhile, otherwise pass.
Best Class: Barbarian (according to the book, anyone can use it, but medium armor proficiency and Spot as a class skill are rather needed for best effect)
Total Cost: 29,810 gp
Total Slots 4 Body Face Hands Head
(click to show/hide)

Array of the Manticore
Do you like flying? Did you ever want to fly and skewer people like a manticore?
Well why not?!?!?
Embrace the theme!
A total of 5 items and the fly is way too limited. Maybe for a stormlord build, otherwise this is probably too expensive to bother with.
Best Class: Ranger or Scout (according to the book, as long as you like floating like a butterfly and stinging like a manticore, this will work for you)
Total Cost:41,000 gp
Total Slots: 5 Arms Hands Head Throat Torso
(click to show/hide)

Five Virtues
This set is totally awesome!
For the Knight class.
It lets you use fighting challenges to power the items. Which makes that class feature good for something.
It is 5 items, and despite being cheap they pretty much require you to be a knight. So . . . that.
Best Class: Knight (the abilities recharge with fighting challenge)
Total Cost: 12,970 gp
Total Slots: 5 Shield Armor Crystal Arms Shoulders Throat
(click to show/hide)

Fleet Warrior’s Array
Finally back to more functional items!
Rather straightforward set of bonuses to moving around.
A light 3 item set and clear focus, but just costly enough you will want to be able to upgrade them.
Best Class: Rogue (according to the book because of the synergy with sneaking about, but really functional for anyone who likes to move freely)
Total Cost:26,000 gp
Total Slots: 3 Arms Feet Torso
(click to show/hide)

Garb of the Hunting Cat
Fine. You don't want to be a manticore.
Be a catgirl! (Or catboy.)
Again, there are many things that do what these do better, but this does them on the cheap.
Only 3 items and a manageable cost, but a VERY specific and restricted build.
Best Class: Ranger Rogue Ninja Scout (mostly for the stealth two-weapon synergies)
Total Cost:17,604 gp
Total Slots: 3 Face Hands Shoulder
(click to show/hide)

Gharyn’s Monastic Array
You know animal style kung fu!
The best of these is the weapon, which does what a monk weapon should do.
The other two are movement items.
A mere 3 items and a weapon that should always be useful even if you cannot upgrade the other two.
Best Class: Monk (straight up, this is for monks)
Total Cost: 10,402 gp
Total Slots: 3 Weapon Face Feet
(click to show/hide)

Instruments of the Blood Gift
Are you a sorcerer?
Do you have dragonblood?
Of course you do!
Use these and go berserk.
A mere 3 slots and a fair cost, but you need lots of hit points to make them worthwhile.
Best Class: Sorcerer with dragonblood subtype
Total Cost:19,100 gp
Total Slots: 3 Arms Hands Throat
(click to show/hide)

Raiment of the Four
If you like to wander and you are not a monk using the Garb of the Vagabond, wear the Raiment of the Four instead. You should also be a spellcaster, as half of the abilities are based on trading spell slots.
This is especially useful for limited list spellcasters, as the extra options are almost as good as additional spells known. (Hat Tip: Nanashi)
Only 4 slots and a reasonable cost if you cannot upgrade them.
Best Class: Druid Ranger Any spellcaster (half of the abilities are spell powered)
Total Cost: 19,100 gp
Total Slots: 4 Face Hands Throat Waist
(click to show/hide)

Raiment of the Stormwalker
Ride the storm, baby!
Thunder! Lightning! All that good stuff.
It requires 4 slots, and the cost is high, but it has some synergy with other storm themed items and prestige classes.
Best Class: Monk Druid (according to the book, mostly because you cannot wear armor with this set)
Total Cost: 103,000 gp
Total Slots: 4 Arms Body Feet Ring
(click to show/hide)

Regalia of the Hero
Another excuse to take that mashall dip for your bard on the super-cheap.
As if you needed one.
It really wants you to dip 4 levels for grant move action, but the bribe isn't high enough for that.
A minimal 3 slots at a cheap cost, so easy to use and disown if you cannot upgrade them.
Best Class: Bard Marshal (everything runs on auras or inspire courage)
Total Cost: 8,200 gp
Total Slots: 3 Head Throat Tool (horn)
(click to show/hide)

Regalia of the Phoenix
Because some players want to see the world burn.
Okay, ALL players want to see the world burn, but this is mostly for spellchuckers.
Mostly to get them to use sucky fire damage, but whatever.
Only 4 slots, but expensive.
Best Class: Sorcerer Warlock (because of the crown; being a pyro definitely helps)
Total Cost: 72,305 gp
Total Slots: 4 Weapon Face Head Shoulders
(click to show/hide)

Seven Veils
Finally a wizard specific set.
And boy did they go overboard.
Seven items, requiring a special "wear two face items at once" to use them all.
The whole thing has prismatic effects, so this will work best for a wizard who loves a variety of effects.
Oh, and though they are veils, even male wizards can use them.
A definite slot hog, and pricey enough that if you cannot upgrade them they are likely not worth the investment.
Best Class: Wizard (you need the options)
Total Cost: 63,000 gp
Total Slots: 6 Face Face (special) Head Shoulders Throat Torso Waist
(click to show/hide)

Vestments of Divinity
Remember that sucktastic set powered by turns for clerics and paladins in Complete Champion?
Well fortunately, there is a functional set in the MIC.
Instead of using your turn attempts it boosts them, and otherwise helps fighting dead things.
A bit of a slot hog at 5 pieces, but cheap enough own and disown or upgrade.
Best Class: Cleric Paladin
Total Cost: 15,100 gp
Total Slots: 5 Face Head Throat Torso Waist
(click to show/hide)

Wraith’s Woe
This is for everyone else to kill dead things.
A mere 3 pieces so the price should not be that bad if you cannot upgrade them.
Best Class: Any (almost exclusively for killing undead)
Total Cost: 24,000 gp
Total Slots: 3 Hands Throat Torso
(click to show/hide)

Special Mentions
Although not Item Sets by definition, a number of items, mostly artifacts, have combo bonuses. These include:

Elven Bow and Elven Quiver (Complete Champion) - Because elves MUST worship Corellon and shoot everything.

Thor's Kit (DMG) - The old standby of gauntlets of ogre power, belt of giant strength, and a hammer of thunderbolts. The last is now a minor artifact, so is very likely unavailable.

Arm of Valor ( - A five part armored sleeve for smacking people around. Another minor artifact.

Hand and Eye of Vecna (DMG3E - Dungeon 132) - Old school villains only. Evil is just a snap of the fingers away. (Thanos will be so jealous.) A pair of major artifacts.

Rod of Seven Parts (AEG - Dungeon 133) - Reassemble an anti-demon beatstick for fun and profit. A set of major artifacts.

Regalia of Good/Neutrality/Evil (AEG) - Become an alignment champion. A set of major artifacts.
« Last Edit: Today at 03:26:58 PM by Samwise »

Offline Nanashi

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Re: Magic Item Sets List and Review
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 07:54:31 PM »
One thing you missed on Rainment of the Four is that any class with casting can use them to expand their list. This includes things with very limited spell lists like Warmage, Wu Jen, Shugenja, and healer, but also good classes with limited list like Beguiler, Dread Necromancer.

Gloves of Endless Javelins produce force javelins. They're a decent backup ranged option for a beat stick, especially with Brutal Throw (precise shot not required because if an ally can enter melee with the enemy, you can too). You are correct that Stormlord is sadly the only way to really buff them.

Pathfinder introduced Magic Item Sets in its final crunch book. I get the impression from the text that the feat requirement is intended to be an optional rule (for GMs who don't want new powers a character should have had for a while) or, at least, only needed for the overall bonus instead of just the ones improving items. Problem is most of the pieces aren't good on their own and the bonuses don't really change that.

Offline Samwise

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Re: Magic Item Sets List and Review
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 08:43:31 PM »
Yes, I should have noticed that instead of just using the recommendations in the book for Raiment of the Four. They modify slots for everyone, which becomes more powerful the more limited, and more divergent the spell list is from the spells the items provide.

Given the other items in the Array of the Manticore, I see the Gloves of Endless Javelins winding up more as an optimizer for the Stormlord prestige class than the cornerstone of the item set.

Offline snakeman830

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Re: Magic Item Sets List and Review
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 10:31:20 PM »
Garb of the Hunting Cat, you completely skipped the cloak in your descriptions.  Not that it's impactful, but for completeness' sake.

Raiment of the 4, you will want to fix the "own all" line.
"When life gives you lemons, fire them back at high velocity."

Offline Samwise

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Re: Magic Item Sets List and Review
« Reply #4 on: Today at 12:16:15 AM »
Added and expanded/clarified.

Offline kitep

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Re: Magic Item Sets List and Review
« Reply #5 on: Today at 03:53:25 AM »
You forgot the original, right there in the DMG.

Hammer of Thunderbolts, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Belt of Giant Strength.

Alas, 3.5 has the hammer as an artifact, so it's unlikely you'll find one.

Offline Keldar

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Re: Magic Item Sets List and Review
« Reply #6 on: Today at 02:21:01 PM »
You forgot the original, right there in the DMG.

Hammer of Thunderbolts, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Belt of Giant Strength.

Alas, 3.5 has the hammer as an artifact, so it's unlikely you'll find one.
AKA, Thor's kit.  Even he needed oven mitts to wield his whammer.

Also, Arm of Valor from Myth Drannor was an OG set.

Offline Samwise

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Re: Magic Item Sets List and Review
« Reply #7 on: Today at 02:59:44 PM »
I could add a note about Thor's Kit (as good a name as any), but then I should tag the duo of Elven Bow and Elven Quiver from Complete Champion as well.
Also, including an artifact, and something like the Arm of Valor, would mean including notes on things like the Hand and Eye of Vecna, the Rod of Seven Parts, and so on.

I guess I can add a minor note on those.