Magical Artifact: The Iron Rods of Gzemnid

Characters with a little bit of experience under their belts have usually collected one or more magical items. They stroll into the dungeons that you have carefully built and defeat them using the bonuses and abilities these items provide to. All that hard work gone to waste because of a silly +1 mace or Girdle of Giant Strength. But, what if those items failed to benefit the PC’s right when they needed them most. Enter the Iron Rods of Gzemnid.


The Iron Rods of Gzemnid were originally created by a powerful wizard as a means to eliminate the effects of magical items so they could be safely stored. A ceremony was performed to tap into the power of Gzemnid, the beholder god of gases. The wizard was able to imbue an antimagic field spell into long iron rod known as the power rod. The wizard also enchanted an unknown number of smaller rods as repeaters for the larger rod. Gzemnid was not pleased with the wizard’s use of his power and sent beholders up from the Underdark to destroy the wizard and his keep. The fate of the rods was lost to the ages.

Magical Properties

When the smaller rods are placed at the outer edge of the power rod’s 10ft radius they effectively extend the range of the spell an additional distance. The radius of the spell is reduced by one foot for each rod away from the power rod, i.e. the first rod provides an additional 9ft radius spell, the second rod provides 8 ft, etc. The antimagic field provided by the rods mimics all of the effects of the Antimagic Field spell. Spells cast outside the field are not dispelled, but their effects suppresses while the player is inside. All magical items brought into the field have their magical effects suppressed, but still function as whatever item they originally were, e.g. a +1 sword is still a sword. The field has the same effects as the spell on summoned creatures or incorporeal undead. Creatures with spell resistance are allowed a save against the field with the power rod treated as a 15th level wizard and the level reduced by 2 for each rod past the power rod. Spells and items that specifically list that they are unaffected by an antimagic field are unaffected by the Iron Rods of Gzemnid.

Appearance and Use

The power rod is six inches in diameter and two feet long. It is covered in stylized symbols that resemble the eye of a beholder. The repeater rods are two inches in diameter and two feet long. They are also covered in the same symbols as the power rod. Because of the antimagic field the power rod will not appear to be magical if a Detect Magic spell is cast on it. The repeater rods can be detected as magical if they are not currently within the range of the power rod.

When the rods are discovered they will be in a set with one power rod and 1d20 repeater rods. If encountered in a dungeon the rods will be inserted into a floor, wall or ceiling with at least 3/4 of the overall length exposed. In order to defeat the effects of the field the rods must be physically removed from the range of the power rod to break the circuit.

The DM using the Iron Rods to provide an antimagic field in an adventure should not give any hints that the field is in effect. Treat all dice rolls as usual but remove any magical bonuses the player would normally receive. If the players cast spells they will fail. Players will be able to determine that spells have failed if they have obvious effects, e.g. Fireball.

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