Dermimancy, the art of imbuing skins with magic

Many adventurers can benefit from the workings of a skilled dermimancer to magically imbue animal skins. The power and rarity of the animal skin affects the nature and quality of the enchantment. Other reagents must be used while imbuing the leather, so no attempt can be made without cost. The skill of the dermimancer impacts how likely the skin is to become magical as well as the cost per attempt. Magical skins have a ⅙ chance of being cursed with the worst qualities of the animal, ⅙ chance of having the best qualities, and a ⅔ chance of having a mundane quality. The player should not know whether the item is magical, nor should she know which effect was rolled.

When a cursed leather is touched by bare skin, the leather will rot away and the curse will transfer to the player permanently. Curses can be removed per your game rules regarding curses. Dermimancers do not handle treated leathers with their hands for this reason, some employ mages to identify their skins - this should greatly increase the cost of the treatment. Others might test the skins by touching them to unfortunates or prisoners, this would increase the cost less significantly but would also make people in the general area react negatively to your imbued skin. Imbued skin must be in contact with the flesh of the user for their effect to be made manifest. Some take the additional step of having a tailor sew the skin into their armor or gear, other will wrap the skin on their arms as a bracer or cover their weapon in the skin so that they will gain the effects in battle.

Dabbler in the arts - 2/6 chance of success - costs 25g per attempt

Flesh worker - 3/6 chance of success - costs 40g per attempt

Dermimancer - 4/6 chance of success - costs 60g per attempt

Cost of identification - 20g

Cost of testing for curse - 5g (available at the discretion of GM, only in criminal areas)

Cost of working the enchantment into armor should scale with the armor, anywhere between 5-50g


Major (6/6) - You gain combat advantage against foes larger than you.

Mundane (2-5/6) - When you are angered, gain advantage on Intimidation.

Cursed (1/6) - When angered or surprised, make a wisdom check or respond with unbridled aggression.


Major (6/6) - You gain combat advantage on all Perception(Hearing) checks.

Mundane (2-5/6) - You feel at home in the night, suffering no discomfort from the dark nor any desire to sleep until dawn.

Cursed (1/6) - You only gain the benefits of a long rest if you sleep upside down.

Black Bear

Major (6/6) - You gain +1 to your Strength attribute.

Mundane (2-5/6) - You have advantage on attempts to forage in temperate forests.

Cursed (1/6) - During winter, you only gain the benefits of a long rest if you sleep for 12 hours.


Major (6/6) - You may move an extra 10’ when moving into combat.

Mundane (2-5/6) - You can digest anything, gain advantage on checks related to resisting the ill-effects of bad food.

Cursed (1/6) - Your hair thickens and expands into unsightly stiff bristles. Lose 1 from your Charisma attribute.

Brown Bear

Major (6/6) - You gain advantage on tasks and actions that protect your loved ones.

Mundane (2-5/6) - You can stand your ground in the face of any assault. Advantage to resist any pushback.

Cursed (1/6) - During winter, you only gain the benefits of a long rest if you sleep for 12 hours.


Major (6/6) - You may go twice as long without needing to hydrate.

Mundane (2-5/6) - Increase your encumbrance limit by 10lb.

Cursed (1/6) - Your are compelled to spit at inopportune times.


Major (6/6) - Advantage to stealth in natural environments.

Mundane (2-5/6) - You can see in low-light as if in full light.

Cursed (1/6) - Your teeth sharpen and you eat only meat, preferably entire animals. You cough up furballs afterwards.

Constrictor Snake

Major (6/6) - You gain advantage on grapple attempts against targets your size or smaller.

Mundane (2-5/6) - Your tongue can taste the air, giving you advantage on Perception(Smell) checks.

Cursed (1/6) - You prefer live prey and only gain nourishment from consuming raw or living meat.


Major (6/6) - You can swim an extra 10’ per turn.

Mundane (2-5/6) - Advantage to stealth in muddy pools, swamps, and stagnant ponds.

Cursed (1/6) - You grow a second, vertical pair of eyelids, and your eyes become disconcerting vertical slits which cause discomfort to others.


Major (6/6) - You can jump an extra 5’.

Mundane (2-5/6) - You can run an extra 5’ when running from danger.

Cursed (1/6) - Your skittish nature gives you disadvantage on any saves against fear or intimidation.

d20 Magic Weapon Table

I was running a module that called for a +1 sword but decided that it would be more fun to roll for some random traits. This table could be used for inspiration, or you can roll a d6 to determine which columns apply to the weapon based on the value in the header. I’ve hidden some of the columns in this display to prevent text wrapping, but they are visible in the PDF.

Radius: When a Magical Effect needs a range, roll a d6. 1-4 is Touch, 5 is 5′, 6 is 10′

PDF Here

d20Form (or Choose)Appearance (5/6)Magical Effect (5/6)
1DaggerCold to the touchBane to Undead
2QuarterstaffFades to blackUnbreakable
3Short SwordSlightly translucentPurifies water (radius)
4Long SwordGlistens as if wetBane to Outsiders
5MaceMotif of branchesBane to Elementals
6WarhammerBattle-scarredConverts water into a thick fog
7Battle AxeCovered in diagonal hatchmarksCauses plant bloom (radius)
8Great AxeEtched with diamond patternContaminates water (radius)
9Two-handed SwordUnidentifiable materialQuells Fire (radius)
10Morning StarStamped by a master craftsmanMelts Ice (radius)
11Bastard SwordDisplays a family crestCalms animals (radius)
12FlailReflects no lightInvisible to Lawful
13GladiusInlaid with human boneMuffles sounds made (radius)
14MacheteRunes along the spineSearing pain to Chaotic
15SpearCovered in tiny cursive namesHums at a high frequency
16HalberdDepicts a creation-mythChance to cause bleeding (1/6)
17SledgehammerSeems to be hollowGlows near magic (radius)
18TruncheonAbsorbs bloodPoints north when balanced
19ScimitarWrapped in supple leatherLeaves opponents dazed (1/6)
20RapierRoll Twice on this tableLightning ward (radius)