Magic items are alien technology

The DMG has a great set of rules for figuring out alien technology. Essentially you find some strange device that you don’t fully understand and you start tying to make it function. I’d argue that this fits regular magic items as well. You might run your campaigns differently but I feel magic is rare and bespoke. Magic items are all different and unique. You might have to try a few things before you can get that wand or even those boots to do what they are supposed to do. The game provides for this somewhat with attunement. I’d prefer attunement with a little trial and error thrown in. Maybe messing with magic items should present a possible danger.

Maybe swords and things that based on everyday objects that we are already familiar with might only rquire attunement. Wands, staves, broaches, even rings I think your should require some figuring out. These items usually require some activation, a hand motion, a spoken phrase, or a combination of the two.


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