First off I would like to say I am a player in a 5E game as a Sword Bard (he is based of Erold Flins Adventures of Don Juan). I had this idea for a magical item from watching some old swash buckler movie while reading the PHB. I plan to show it to my DM and even give him the link to this tread to see if it is something I could learn to make, buy or find in the game world.
CHOCKER OF INSULTS.
Requires Attunement??? This chocker when warn allows you to use Vicious Mockery if you already have it as a cantrip as a bonus action after you use the attack action this round.
Weight 1 Item Type Wondrous
The way I see it , it would be him fighting and Yelling at his opponent to throw them off their game. Even if the item negates that damage the spell would normaly do I think it would be cool for just the disadvantage on the next attack. Mine you I am not sure if the Item should have the attunement requirement or how Rare it should be. What do you all think so my DM will also see.
In terms of power, it seems like it's a VERY powerful item early, going down to sort of a mid-powered but still powerful item late. It's basically giving you one free attack each turn, which is very strong.
At level 1, when just using Vicious Mockery is a great use of an action, you're nearly doubling your character's effectiveness in combat, since you can attack AND effectively attack again each turn. Whereas at high level, adding 4d4 damage adds an average of 10 damage to an attack - not nothing, but by level 17 that 10 damage (average) just isn't making a huge difference, and when enemies have multiple attacks, adding disadvantage to the first one also isn't huge. But still - it's a free thing to do, and the damage scales with your level, so it's still quite useful IMO.
One difficulty with figuring out the power of this item is that vicious mockery *scales*. It's 1d4 damage at level 1, then 2d4 at level 5, 3d4 at level 11, 4d4 at level 17... And you can also cast vicious mockery on someone other than the person you just attacked, making this a decently useful support item if somebody *else* needs protection using the disadvantage.
My thinking is that one way to balance this is to create an effect that's quite similar to Vicious Mockery, but not *actually* use the vicious mockery cantrip, so it doesn't scale (making it easier to judge its power level) and can't be used to support someone halfway across the room. For example:
"Choker of insults. Rare.
Requires attunement by someone who knows the Vicious Mockery cantrip. After you use the attack action, you may immediately "add insult to injury" to the most recent enemy you attacked. If the target can hear you (though it need not understand you), it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (using your spell save DC for Vicious Mockery) or take 1d4 psychic damage and have disadvantage on the next Attack roll it makes before the end of its next turn."
Phrased this way, this would be a useful item suitable for, probably, a level 4-7 character or something. (At levels 1-3 the free attack would be very powerful, and at level 8+ my guess is that the 1d4 damage and disadvantage stops being worth an attunement slot since you'll have better things to do with it by then.)
Alternatively, a different way to balance it would be with charges, like many current "Wand" spells.
"Choker of insults. Uncommon.
Requires attunement by a spellcaster. The choker has 5 charges. When holding it, you can use a bonus action to expend 1 to 4 of its charges to cast the Vicious Mockery cantrip (save DC 13). If you spend 1 charge, you cast Vicious Mockery at its lowest level (1d4 damage); for each charge you spend beyond the first, increase the save DC by 2 and the damage by 1d4.
The choker regains 1d4+1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the choker's last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the choker crumbles into ashes and is destroyed."
My guess is that this would be at a power level roughly comparable to a "Wand of Magic Missiles", since using this on top of your regular attack would be pretty similar in power to casting Magic Missile. This would hopefully give your DM and idea of how difficult it should be to find or when it's level-appropriate to find it.