Magic weapons, especially swords, are one of the most highly-prized rewards for dungeon delving in the D&D game. The Expert D&D rules provides information on seventeen different swords; three magic swords (swords with pluses to hit and damage rolls), six nemesis swords (magic swords that gain additional pluses against a particular type of monster or enemy), six effect swords (magic swords that also produce spell-like or otherwise magical effects) and two cursed swords (swords that appear magic until used in earnest which then subtract their ‘bonus’ from the player’s to hit and damage rolls).
While some of the swords from myth and literature may fall into these categories such as Orcrist and Glamdring (which I see as nemesis blades targeting Orcs/Goblins) most do not. Where are the Durendals, Excaliburs, Nothungs and Tyrfings?
Clearly it’s up to the DM to come up with swords that are of anything
other than the bog-standard variety. I present a few of my own:
Avenger: This sword allows its wielder to ‘answer’ back an attack that
reduces the wielding character to zero or fewer hit points. This
‘answering’ attack is made immediately against the NPC (man or monster)
that triggered it and is made at an additional +2, regardless of current
initiative or the wielding character has already made an attack this
names suitable for this type of sword would include: Responder, Reply,
Rejoinder, Punisher, Revenge, Retaliator, Repudiator, Rebuttal,
Insolence, Impertinence, Impudence, etc.
Sword +1, +2 vs.
Jellies, Molds, Oozes, Puddings and Slimes: This nemesis sword is immune
to the deleterious effects of these invertebrate monsters but will
always affect them properly.
This short sword is marked with runes spelling out the words ‘Butter Knife.’
Giantbane: When first struck by this weapon any giant must save vs.
Death Ray or perish; otherwise hits from this sword inflict maximum
damage, including adjustments for the wielder’s strength, no roll
swords are forged in fires fueled by the bones of their target species
and then quenched in the blood of the same. Other types of baneblades
may exist; dragonbane, trollbane, demonbane, etc., whatever your DM is
willing to allow.
Tempest: This elfin weapon releases a clap of thunder when drawn causing
all opponents to immediately test morale and on a roll of natural ‘20’
to hit (or a critical hit) does an additional d6 of electrical damage.
elfin longsword has two elementals bound within it, one each of Air and
Water. The two elementals war with each other for dominance within the
weapon resulting in a thunderstorm within the metal. Thunder rumbles
constantly while the sword is in use and occasionally lightening
flickers through the blade electrifying the metal.
Sword +1, +3 vs.
Chaotics, Terrible Swift: This nemesis blade inflicts an additional d6
of damage against chaotic or evil intentioned beings, an attack roll of a
natural ‘20’ (or a critical hit) pierces the target’s heart causing
instant death unless a save vs. Death Ray is made and always strikes
first in combat.
weapon of choice for religious warriors if one can be obtained; flaming
versions (another d6 of fire damage) are frequently borne by the servitors
of the Creator.