I am not a huge fan of static bonus magic items - the sword +1.
A simple formula I work with when developing a magic item is:
1. What benefit does the item provide?
2. When does it provide this benefit?
3. What does this benefit cost?
- The Sword of Final Death - This sword has a +3 bonus to attack rolls against undead. It also always does maximum sword damage (8 + any strength bonus) against undead. However, the wielder of the sword also takes the same amount of damage when an undead creature is hit as the negative life force of the undead creature is absorbed into the wielder's body.
- The Night Helm - Anyone wearing this helm has a 99% chance of hiding in shadows and moving silently when outside at night and the command word is spoken. However, each time it is used the wearer must make a Constitution check with a penalty equal to the cumulative number of times the Helm has been previously used by the wearer. If the Con check is failed the wearer is turned into a Shadow.
Both of these magic items give the user a benefit under certain circumstances but also introduce an element of risk.