D&D 5e: Five Relics for Beast Master Rangers

As I finished up that collection of druid relics a couple of months ago, I started thinking about relics for rangers and barbarians, especially Beast Master rangers. We talk a lot – like, a lot – about rangers and Beast Masters on these interwebs. Imagining for a moment that you agree that there are issues, some tailored and flavorful magic items could be a great support for their playstyle, especially if I can support the use of otherwise subpar but thematic and appealing beasts.

For more ranger-directed content, check out Ranger Spells and By Flame, Storm, and Thorn.


Mithral Jesses

Wondrous item, rare

These magical jesses are as light as soft leather, but stronger than steel, and they resize to fit any eaglefalconhawk, owl, or raven they are attached to. The bird takes on a faint silvery sheen in bright light. Its maximum hit points increase by 10, and its natural weapons deal 1d8 + their Dexterity modifier damage, unless its damage is already greater. These natural weapons count as magical for purposes of overcoming resistance or immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.


Wolf-Brother Idol

Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)

This wolf statuette is carved from reddish limestone, and fits comfortably in one hand. You gain its benefits as long as it is stowed somewhere on your person. When a spell causes you or your beast companion to regain hit points, the one of you that was not the target regains hit points equal to 1d4 + your Wisdom modifier.

When your beast companion hits a creature currently affected by a hunter’s mark spell that you cast, it deals 1d6 extra damage.


Nine-Lives Charm

Wondrous item, very rare

This black-lacquered wooden token is set with nine gems depicting a feline shape. The charm has 9 charges, and regains 1d8 charges each day at dawn. As a reaction when your beast companion (which must be a panther or other great cat using the panther statistics) is hit by an attack from an attacker that you can see, you can spend 1 charge to halve the attack’s damage against your beast companion. Additionally, you can expend all remaining charges (which must be at least 1) when your beast companion fails a saving throw; if you do, your beast companion succeeds the saving throw instead.


Bristle Band

Wondrous item, very rare

This braided cord is woven from a boar’s bristles; usually it is of a length to be a bracelet, but some belts also exist. When your beast companion moves at least 20 feet in a straight line and hits with a melee weapon attack, it deals an additional 1d8 thunder damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If your beast companion is a boar, the DC of the Strength saving throw increases to 14; it can otherwise benefit from this item while using its Charge trait.


Icy Crest

Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)

This bronze crest, decorated with pale blue plumes, fits the head or neck of most beasts and monstrosities of Large size or smaller. The beast that wears this gains resistance to cold damage. While you are within 60 feet of the beast, you can speak the command word and cause the crest to erupt in a wave of ice. Creatures within 10 feet of the beast roll a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, suffering 3d8 cold damage on a failure, or half damage on a success. For the next minute, the ground in the affected area is difficult terrain for creatures that do not have cold resistance or immunity. The crest can’t be used again this way until the next dawn.


Blessing of the Wild Hunt

Boon, very rare (requires attunement by a ranger with the Beast Master archetype)

This boon is granted to rangers, from time to time, by Archfey concerned with beasts or by elder druids. While you have this blessing, you can gain a beast companion that is Large or smaller in size with a CR of 1 or less. It otherwise uses the same rules as your Ranger’s Companion feature. If your beast companion dies while in your service and is not restored to life within 1 hour, you lose this boon.

The next time you finish a long rest, the grantor of the boon contacts you (perhaps with an animal messenger or in a dream) and demands an explanation. At minimum, this requires a DC 15 Charisma (Deception or Persuasion) check. If you can persuade the grantor that your beast companion was not callously sacrificed, you receive the Blessing of the Wild Hunt again.


Design Notes

If you’re interested in more work on bringing various beast companions up to par, check out what System Sans Setting has done with that.

Obviously enough, blessing of the Wild Hunt is about my frustration with the size-and-CR limitations on the Ranger’s Companion feature, which lock out a lot of exciting options: axe beaks, bears, elks, horses, any possible mount for a Medium creature, and so on.

I also wrote more magic “items” than the post title suggested, but five relics and one boon would have made an unwieldy title. You probably won’t complain about a little extra content.

One of the things I found hardest about this collection – aside from several days of unexpected writer’s block – was creating the right sense of theme and connection between source and effect. When you have a magic item that is about a pet you nominally like, you wouldn’t make the magic item out of a dead creature of the same kind (the bristle band was my solution to a particularly difficult case of this problem). With only a few exceptions, I wanted these items to be things the humanoid side of this partnership wore or carried, while also applying the effect to the beast companion. Making that connection feel right was a challenge in finding the right type of object for it to be.

I’m hoping to release these and the druid relics in a PDF collection soon, but I’m wondering if I want to expand the number of magic items a bit further before trying to release them.


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