The continuing report on items deemed "ridiculously powerful" by normal players and DMs everywhere...
6. The Ring of Super Powers
Origins: A fighter named Falbern stole the ring from the land of An-Kar (a dangerous realm populated by giant size monsters, 25 feet or taller) and threw it into the Dark Endless Pit (a 15 levels deep underworld type realm, which was not endless). Unbelievably, Paul gave it to our party of 6th level fighters (bestowed upon you by "Durin the warrior, to aid you on your quest").
Powers: The ring (3 times a day) could detect: magic, illusions, traps, secret doors, approaching characters, animals, invisibility, and ESP. It gave the wearer 50% magic resistance, and reduced your saving throw scores by 2. It was made of light iron and had a bird's head engraved on it (allowing you to fly and climb at a movement rate of 40'/25" per round). Any class could us it, so we passed it around among ourselves during our adventures. Our treasure trove increased almost 4 times than usual, the ring of super powers considerably swaying our chances to discover hidden stashes of gold and gems.
DM versus PCs: Okay, bear with me here for a minute. Technically, it couldn't detect alignment. Or detect poisons. It was worst than it sounds. Paul threw in the evil double of the ring (which was exactly the same as the good version of the ring of super powers in every way, but it was evil and poisonous). We passed it around, and, apparently, didn't notice the switch- a neutral half elf ally "borrowed" the ring, and 'unknowingly' mixed up the rings (and turned the good ring over to an evil wizard, disguised as the half-elf's best friend). It hurts just thinking about it. Half of us got sick. The other half died. I was in the half that died. The evil wizard,"Mal-Vred, the Wicked Wizard of the West ", still has it, as far as I know.
7. The Ring of Legends (for magic casters only)
Origin: This ring was created by dwarves and wizards to help increase one's innate magical abilities, (and obviously allowed the wearer to gain all of the bard’s abilities). It was discovered in a troll's treasure trove, inside of Ice Peak Mountain.
Powers: Nobody played bards in my early gaming career. I'd heard of it being done, but I never sat at the table with a bard PC until much, much later. But the bard's powers were pretty impressive. The ring of legends was a way to get around all of the multi class headaches, and gain all the bard's battle/magic enhancements (allowing the spell caster to know two additional spells per level when worn). It also increased the number of spells per day you may cast (3 extra spells + 1 spell per level of the caster). How? Well, the ring of legends was home to a genie type creature named Wordsworth, who was styled after British rock stars (mostly, it was a way for us to "out top" each other with our Beatles imitation). We lived by kids who took piano and guitar lessons, (my family included) and the music of The Beatles was very popular around our parts, because we eventually learned how to play their songs. And while nobody actually sang at the table, we did do our, " Beatlesques" routine ("This is bloody insane, mates. We're getting gongs. Then the blooming stage caved in..."). Then we saw Spinal Tap. It was impossible not to say “Even up to eleven” sometime during the game. But I digress.
The ring's main purpose was to allow a magic user to gain more spells earlier (since the spell listing had so many spells to pick from, it was easier to try and get them all, instead of trying to choose the spells you'd may or may not need) and it gave the magic caster a better chance at surviving more than 4 combat rounds (and maybe to fifth level). Plus the whole legend/lore business sped up the game ("Just ask Wordsworth what that insignia, symbol, or ancient rune means").
DM versus PCs: The ring of legends fell out of use, when the group started to splinter off-the kids moved away, John Lennon was murdered, and D+D was slowly replaced by TOP SECRET and computer games : Video games from the arcades could be played in the comfort of your living room, and Adventure (and later, Ultima) was slowly cutting into time we'd spend playing D+D. Everybody I originally played D+D with was gone by the time D+D's second edition came out. Those books never appealed to me. It would take the D+D Rules Cyclopedia book (and Jason's DMing) to revive my D+D playing career. In the meantime, I had other interests. I wasn't playing anymore, but I kept writing stuff up anyways. "Phantom Gaming".