It takes time, but my players seemed to enjoy custom-designed magic items. They had a unique appearance, maybe nostalgic value (“remember when we defeated the dragon Korthaxus…”), and usually a non-standard set of magical abilities, erring towards more flavorful rather than more powerful.
Example: The Black Rose
This +2 keen scimitar is crafted from jet-black wood, yet is as hard as iron and holds an edge better than a steel blade. Once per day as a standard action, the wielder can command the Black Rose to transform into a long, black vine with massive thorns that functions as a +1 wounding whip. The wielder is automatically proficient with the weapon, and the thorned whip does 1d6 lethal damage (not subdual damage) regardless of the target’s armor or natural armor bonus (as the long, black thorns can pierce even the thickest hide). The Black Rose remains in whip form for 10 rounds, or until the wielder commands it to return to its normal form (a standard action).
The player I gave this to seemed to like the item, even if it was not the most powerful or optimal weapon.
– Adrian 2008-04-22 14:49 UTC