The party is deep in the jungles of Chult, having just found their way to the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. If you’re running that, this is nearly all the tokens you need, by the way. The dinosaur cavalry is something I made for an encounter along the way. The party’s paladin is a jungle dwarf who worships Thard Harr and he just got Find Steed, so I decided to give him a deinonychus, which is the smaller of the dinosaurs up there. It’s powerful, sure, but it’s one of those things that’s going to be much less of a big deal in a few levels. Plus, I’m a very stingy DM when it comes to magic items, so there’s room to do stuff like this.
My philosophy with magical stuff is, when I give the party an item, I want it to be meaningful and I want them to feel special for having it. I don’t want a player to check if this magic sword is better than their current magic sword. I want them to go, “Holy crap, I have a magic sword!”
While I don’t give the PCs magic items often, when I do, they are the hotness and I don’t think it underpowers the party much. One side effect is that everyone can get through their turns quicker in combat because they know what their options are. It takes forever when players have to look over a thousand different options every turn because their gloves can cast three different spells, their axe can cast two, their ring can cast four and their other ring lets them do some other crap. When a player only gets a new item every 6-8 sessions at most, they have time to learn what it does and they can keep track of their options more easily. The barbarian isn’t the only one who can get through their turn in under a minute (“Groknar frenzy. Groknar smash monster with axe forty-seven times. Groknar finished”).
Anyway, that’s how I handle it. I’m interested to hear your thoughts about it if you have any or if you do things differently and it works out for you.
The High Temple of Mystra is coming along. It’s about halfway inked and it should be done by the weekend. It’s a big one. All right, I’m gonna get back on it!