We're taking a break from our Fantasy Trip campaign, and I'm setting up a D&D campaign based on a "one of a kind" model for magic and monsters.
The basic idea is straightforward enough: in this campaign, each spell, magic item, and monster in D&D is unique (with a few caveats).
There is, somewhere, a wizard with "Bands of Sirellyn" in his spell book, and he guards it carefully. And rumor holds that the wizard Hovanast, famed for his knowledge of the spell "Detect Magic," entered the Tomb of Horrors never to return. Did he take his spellbook with him, or is it still in his abandoned tower? Yet another legend holds that the dwarves came and took Hornung away to their dismal holds. It is said that his spell book went with him, and it is the only place you will find "Hornung's Random Dispatcher."
There is, somewhere, a lonely deserted place where the sphinx troubles travellers. And that vile red dragon, the Kingsford Worm, has so plagued the once prosperous town of Kingsford that it has been all but abandoned by goodly people.
The Girdle of Giant Strength went down in a shipwreck off the coast of Hob's Cove. An old man at the pub in Mistlemoor brags to anyone who will buy him a drink that he knows where the Hammer of Thunderbolts can be found.
The devil will be in the details, of course. How will races be dealt with? Are magic spells really completely unique? Can they be, given that anyone can copy a spell out of a spell book if they can get their hands on it. And so on. I'll talk about my take on how to deal with the questions in later posts.