Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fateful Lightning

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:

Sword +1, 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 round.
Additional 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.’

Sword +2, 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 necessary.

These 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.

Sword +3, 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.
This 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.
The 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.

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