Thirty-odd odd Norse magic items

Back in high school, or possibly junior high, I started compiling a list of Norse mythology’s people, places, & things as I found them referred to in various books.  Sadly I stopped before I began reading Norse sagas and romances off and on a few years later, so the list is mostly what I found in a few encyclopedias (I think — I may have ripped off other sources, my notes are sketchy and filled with misspellings!)

The following is a list of magic items I thought I might incorporate into a Norse campaign using the much-maligned and possibly unplayable Fantasy Wargaming rules.

I think I had some sort of GURPS hybrid in mind as I see some references to GURPS combat factors (swing/crush damage, etc.)  Apparently I was trying to generalize from specific items (e.g. the “Mimirian head” is a lesser token of the type of Mimirs actual head, preserved by Odin!)  These all seem to be fairly prominent in Norse myth — I found related Wikipedia articles, linked below, for most of them, but I kind of pooped out on this toward the end.

Andvari’s ring: cursed, will bring doom to the wearer, but can locate gold veins

Apples of youth: restore the eater to 21 years of age

Bfisingemensan Necklace: worth 10,000 gold crowns

Draupnirian ring: Armband that produces 8 replicas of iteslf, worth 300 gold crowns each, every 9th night

Eir’s salve: heals d6 hits per application; roll vs. Health or lapse into a d2 day coma

Grottian grinder: can grind out 6 lbs of any material daily (or 6 oz. of gold & gems, or 3d6 meals)

Forseti‘s axe: a golden battle axe that cuts armor DR in half, can cut stone like wood, and can hit ethereal beings

Mantle of the Völva: +2 to Basic Magic Calculations (BMCs)

Gefion‘s Necklace: +1 Luck

Gjallarhorn : horn which can summon d6 warriors daily to do battle. They will disappear after the battle or if told not to fight by the summoner. Some horns call on Einherjar (Combat level 5 /CL5), most call Valhallians (CL3).

Gleipnirian Fetter: can bind beings of Physique 25 or less.

Pup of Gullinbursti: golden boar, about 1’x1’x1′, which radiates daylight over 10’x40’x40′ cone.

Gungni:  Similar to Odin’s spear, it instills panic (save or flee)

Heidrun‘s milk: a very intoxicating mead which heals d4 hits per draught but equals 3 drinks.

Pup of Hildiusin:  similar to Pup of Gullinbursti, but also stores 6 mana accessible to Runic Sorcerers and Völva.

HlidskjalfStool: seat which provides a bird’s-eye view, 10′ radius.

Hoenir‘s staff: rune-carved staff, +2 BMC, as weapon does +2 damage

Hrongnir‘s stone: oblong stone, possibly iron ore, can be thrown 20 yards for swing/crush damage or slinged +20 yards for +3 damage

Kvasirian Mead: bestows skill of singing (yes/well/very well [this refers to FW tables]), +1 Int., 10% chance of visions. Can be regurgitated for use by someone else, but only one use per person.

Miming‘s sword: ignores magical or supernatural defenses

Mimirian head: if proper spells are cast, acts as a prophet.

Njord’s purse: bag of holding, often filled with gold or silver when found.

Odrörir: vessel containing d6 draghts of Kvasirian Mead.

Ran’s net: if cast over a swimming creature, it will sink to the bottom; the net resurfaces on command

Runic wands: a complete set (these are detailed in FW — I can’t recall what they do, but they are useful to Runic Sorcerers)

Sigmund’s sword (Oram): +2 to hit

Sigurd’s sword (Gram): ignores DR due to armor/hide.

Skidbladnirian Skiff: foldable rowboat, holds up to 10 men, folds down to 1’x1’x1′ cube, weighs 8 lb. (500 lb.)

Tiwac Marked blade: inscribed with said rune, it gives +1 to hit but is not “magical” for purposes of hitting supernatural creatures

Tyrfing: a flaming sword, which is cursed (+d6 fire damage, curse decided by GM but probably involving certain doom of wielder or his companions)

Ull’s bracer: +1 to hit with bows, gives skill in tracking

Wade’s Dragon: a dragon-prowed longship, 25 pairs of oars, with glass windows over the oar-holes.  It can submerge, and if at least 5 pairs of oars are manned, it can travel underwater

Wayland’s Anvil: +1 weapons may be forged on this

I clearly resisted the urge to make magic items too powerful, and in fact many of these seem sort of under-powered unless magic is just very rare.

The first item on my list, strangely, is the Ring of the Nibelungs, and my notes just have “what does it do?”  Hmm.

I did in fact run a single session of Fantasy Wargaming — the first game I ever GMed — in high school.  The adventure was a scene-for-scene rip-off of the epic Beowulf. But that’s another story.

Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 11:37 am  Comments (6)  
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  1. Mike,

    Great post! I’ve actually been trying to talk myself into shelling out the money to go see Ring of the Nibelungen at the San Francisco Opera next year, but I’m not sure I can do it. Too pricey, and I hear that they are only doing 4 shows of the whole cycle–most of which are going to be going to season ticket holders. Plus, it’s be an hour-plus drive four days in a row for a week to see the cycle.

    Interesting items, though! I love Norse stuff, and always wanted to replace the standard Euro-fantasy that is most DnD with some Norse things, but I somehow never manage to get it to stick.

    • Thanks! That list has been sitting in a notebook for ages, glad to get some use of it.
      I think I’d rather be torn apart by wild dogs than sit through the whole ring cycle, though.

      • What? Fifteen hours of opera is too much for you? 🙂 Frankly, I think it would be a tad long for me as well, but since it’s four days I think I could spend some time touring around San Fran.

        Unfortunately, I think I’m going to be dog-earing that money for a concert, instead.

  2. […] Monaco gives us some Norse magic items, because everyone needs a helmet with […]

  3. Are these items you made up? Or are they “real” mythological items that have new game qualities added to them? 🙂

    • A lot of them are from mythology, and a few are kind of interpolated from it … Ull did not have a special bracer, but he was a god of hunting and archery … so a bracer dedicated to, or given by, Ull enhances archery. Similarly Vikings really did put runes on their weapons, but the tiwac-marked blade is not from any particular myth I know of.


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