The Keys of the Threshold

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Wondrous Magic Item

There are five iron keys on this keyring. They seem perfectly normal and don’t have any unusual insignia or markings. When one is inserted into the lock of a door, the key automatically resizes itself and fits perfectly; however, the keys do not actually unlock any doors.

Instead, when inserted into an unlocked door and the door is opened, a magical effect occurs across the threshold of the door, depending on the key used.

  • The Innkeeper’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door feels refreshed as if they had eaten a hearty meal and had a good night’s sleep.
  • The Blacksmith’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds their weapons freshly balanced and sharpened, bindings tightened, granting a +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls for 4 hours.
  • The Librarian’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds their thoughts clear of distraction and their memory sharpened, granting a +2 circumstance bonus to Knowledge checks for the next 24 hours.
  • The Courier’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds that their loads are lightened; for the next 24 hours, calculate their carrying capacity as if their Strength were 2 points higher.
  • The Cobbler’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds that their shoes have been shined, mended, and laced exceptionally well. They benefit from 5ft increased movement speed for the next hour.

Once used, the keys’ magic effect on the threshold lasts for ten minutes. There is no limit to the number of people who can cross the threshold and receive the boon during that time, but no door can benefit from more than one key, and no individual can receive the boon from a particular key more than once in 24 hours.

Once used, the key disappears, but it reappears back on the keyring after 7 days.

When first obtained, there is no indication which of the keys are which, but the keys retain their shape and color once used, so the same key may be identifiable in the future after some trial and error.

Finally, the keyring has one additional hidden bit of magic. If a masterwork but non-magical iron key is added to the keyring, it becomes imbued with magic of its own, becoming a Gambler’s Key.

  • The Gambler’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds themselves feeling confident and optimistic. The individual gains a luck point, which may be retained for no longer than 24 hours. After rolling a Fortitude, Reflex, or Will save, but before the result is declared, the individual may cash in their luck point to gain a +1 luck bonus on their roll.

    Only one Gambler’s Key may be made in this way. Additional mundane or masterwork keys added to the ring function only as normal keys.

For Your Game
This magic item was designed with D&D 3.5 in mind. Its effects may require some mechanical tweaking to make it compatible with other editions of the game.

If you’re using a non-D&D tabletop RPG, feel free to adjust accordingly.

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