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 WarWar 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
Complete ChampionRegalia of Righteous War
Breastplate - bonus on will saves
Crown - use one of three auras
Greaves - immediate move action but dazed
Mantle - wild shape to a brown bear
Scepter - a domineering greatclub
Own two pieces and gain a smite attack
Own three pieces and gain a bonus to smite attack
Own four pieces and gain more smites
Own all of them and effectively gain medium fortification.
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
Trappings of the Beast
Shield - spend a turn undead use to negate critical hits. Which would be good because it is better than medium fortification and cheaper than heavy fortification except it does not negate sneak attack, it takes an immediate action, and it costs a turn attempt.
Sword - spend a turn undead use to get +4 to confirm critical hits. And it is a free action.
Helm - constant bonus on initiative and spot, spend a turn undead use as a swift action to effectively get blindsight 10' for your turn and be immune to flanking, limit 5/day.
Own the sword and another pieces gives you the ability spend a turn attempt as an immediate action to make an AoO against an enemy that hits an ally; of course that means you will not be able to negate a crit, but oh well
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
Garb of the Vagabond
Armor - wild armor that gives 1 extra use of wild shape. And it explicitly stacks with a druid's vestment!
Mantle - wild shape as a swift action and gain +1 enhancement bonus for all natural weapons.
Ring - summon nature's ally spells are treated as a level higher, up to your maximum spellcasting ability. And it works in wild shape.
Own all and gain a +5 bonus on wild empathy and you are treated as 1 level higher for wild shape.
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
Raiment of Valor
Staff - double masterwork staff, becomes double +1 if you carry no other weapons.
Cloak - cold and fire resistance
Robe - luck bonus to AC and saves
Sandals - luck bonus to initiative and cannot be exhausted, even by stacking.
Own the staff and two others and the staff becomes merciful.
Own the staff and all of them and the staff becomes ki focus.
Own the cloak and two others and the cloak becomes electricity resistant.
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
Magic Item CompendiumArmor of the Watching Master
Crest - morale bonus on damage
Periapt - morale bonus on AC and saves
Tabard - mettle. Yes, mettle. You have mettle? Improved mettle. Yeah.
Own all three and give you and all allies within 10' a +4 bonus on fear saves
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
Array of the Manticore
Mask - bonus to intimidate, 1/day command
Helm - light at will, 3/day burning and blinding cone
Gauntlets - mwk spiked gauntlets, +2 Strength, 3/day adamantine attacks
Breastplate - adamantine breastplate, DR stacks with barbarian DR, 1/day frighten attacker
Own two items and gain an initiative bonus.
Own all four items gain a Spot bonus and 1/day see invisibility
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
Bracers - bonus to hit if you or enemy is flying
Gloves - of endless javelins, combine this with Stormlord for extra fun flying and impaling
Medallion - DR if you or enemy is flying - DR magic, so near worthless
Helm - Spot bonus, Far Shot, 4 hours/day low-light and darkvision
Vest - fly - for 25 rounds
Own two pieces and gain constant feather fall
Own all pieces and summon an enhanced manticore 2/day
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
Fleet Warrior’s Array
Armband - fighting challenge lasts longer
Standard - immediate action to grant an ally another save against fear 1/day or fighting challenge (or marshal grant move action) use
Medal - instant stand 1/day or fighting challenge use
Armor Crystal - morale bonus to speed
Shield - fast healing 5 for 3 rounds 1/day or fighting challenge use
Own two items and gain a morale bonus on Will saves
Own all items and gain a bonus to AC
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
Garb of the Hunting Cat
Bracers - bonus to initiative, 3/day extra attack with full attack that does not stack
Sandals - speed bonus, pass without trace, not affected by terrain, 1/day water walk
Vest - 3/day freedom of movement
Own two pieces and AC bonus against AoOs
Own all three pieces dimension door 1/day
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
Gharyn’s Monastic Array
Mask - gain Track or a +5 Survival bonus, and low-light vision
Gloves - magic punching daggers with pounce for them only on charge or Spring Attack
Cloak - Hide and Move Silently bonus, "sudden strike" equivalent
Own two items and gain rend with the gloves
Own all three and gain invisibility 1/day
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
Instruments of the Blood Gift
Straps - move 5' after charge 1/day
Mask - Run feet, +5' speed
Weapon - magic, does unarmed strike damage - yep, a monk weapon that puts his unarmed strike damage onto a weapon that can be enhanced as a weapon
Own two and gain +1 DC on stunning fist
Own all three and a crit does stunning fist if you have it and spend a use as a free action
Are you a sorcerer?
Do you have dragonblood?
Of course you do!
Use these and go berserk.
DO NOT QUESTION THE BLOOD GIFT!
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
Raiment of the Four
Bands - blood rage 3/day for weapon damage bonus, if dragonblooded also spell damage bonus, affects you and willing allies within 30', inflicts damage
Barb - force will save by sacrificing spell slot, if dragonblooded sacrifice hit points
Choker - +2 Con bonus, pearl of power 5th level 2/day
If you own two pieces auto-stabilize
If you own all three use spell slot to heal 3/day
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.
Any spellcaster (half of the abilities are spell powered)
Total Cost: 19,100 gp
Total Slots: 4 Face Hands Throat Waist
Raiment of the Stormwalker
Gloves - at will light, 3/day trade spell for magic missile
Goggles - immune to blind and dazzle, 3/day trade spell for fireball
Periapt - hold breath for 12 hours, 2/day trade spell for freedom of movement
Belt - double carrying capacity, 2/day trade spell for teleport
Own two items and gain cold resistance
Own three items and add electricity resistance
Own all four and add the ability to trade the energy resistances for commune spell
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
Regalia of the Hero
Ring - 5/day faerie fire that does fire damage
Bracers - swift action to give the shock property to all attacks for 1 round, works in wild shape
Robe - half or no damage from sonic, 5/day sonic damage shield
Anklets - constant air walk (gee, these would be good for that manticore array)
Own two items and gain 3/day obscuring mist
Own three items and gain 1/day lighting
Own all four and gain half or no damage from electricity
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)
Regalia of the Phoenix
Badge - 3/day save bonus versus charm/fear or boost inspire courage
Helm - 3/day allies get bonus damage on flanking or boost minor aura
Horn - 2/day allies get DR 5/- or boost major aura or grant 50 hp
Own two pieces and 1/day grant ally bonus on attack, save, or skill
Own all three and 1/day grant ally a move action
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
Mask - Spot bonus, immune to blind and dazzel
Crown - +2 Charisma, 1/day fire shield
Scepter - magic flaming light mace that shoots 1d6 fire
Cloak - constant perfect fly speed
Own two pieces and fire resistance
Own three pieces and fire immunity
Own all four and 1/day heal when below 0
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
Vestments of Divinity
Head - immune to red prismatic effects, 3/day bonus fire damage
Waist - immune to orange prismatic effects, 3/day bonus acid damage
Torso - immune to yellow prismatic effects, 3/day bonus electricity damage
Face - immune to indigo prismatic effects, 3/day bonus confuse on enchantment spells
Shoulders - immune to violet prismatic effects, 2/day dismiss creature affected by your summoned creature
Throat - immune to green prismatic effects, 3/day bonus poison effect on touch spells
Face 2 - immune to blue prismatic effects, 1/day bonus petrify on transmutation spell
Own three pieces and gain Concentration, Knowledge (arcana), and Spellcraft bonus
Own five pieces and gain acid, electricity, and fire resistance
Own all and gain 7 spells 1/day
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
Ephod - +1 level to turn
Lenses - minor detect evil to see aura of undead or evil outsider
Cord - bonus to Sense Motives and 3/day divine favor
Badge - 2/day bonus damage to evil
Phylactery - +2 saves against negative energy and drain, 2/day death ward
Own two and gain +1 saves against evil creatures
Own all and gain bonus damage against evil creatures
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
Choker - AC bonus versus undead, protection from 3 negative levels/day
Gauntlets - bonus damage and ignore miss chance versus incorporeal
Shirt - at will hide from undead
Own two pieces and gain at will detect undead
Own all and cure ability damage and drain 1/day
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 (https://forgottenrealmshouseofrevelry.fandom.com/wiki/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.