engine
 member, 762 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 23:48
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
byzantinex:
engine:
I've only found one way that works to make magic items memorable: collaborate with the players on what their characters receive. We remember what we think of ourselves better than what someone tells us.
Agreed. I actually just did this with two new weapons we introduced to the party. Both of them will be based on the Weapons of Legacy concept.

Cool. And when collaborating with players even "rip-off" and "cliche" ideas can work, and are often exactly what the player really wants. When GMs try to create items on their own, they often feel a need to be more original than the players really need or want.
Eur512
 member, 807 posts
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 18:42
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Itís made of a very exotic material.

It belonged to a powerful family, which divided into two rival houses, both of which see the sword as a valuable and important part of their heritage.

It keeps showing up in dreams.

Its presence is necessary to an important ritual.

It belonged to a historical figure.

It is believed that the weapon was used to do something utterly vile, and someone was punished/cursed/exiled for it.  But now that the weapon has been recovered, something can be clearly seen which will either prove the story, or disprove it.

It belongs to a current important figure, who doesn't know where it is now, but will likely want it back.

Small animals- rodents, insects, etc, seem to be afraid of it.

Being able to wield it at all indicates something special about the wielder.

It clearly fits into a prophecy concerning what will happen now that it has been rediscovered.   This may be good or bad.

Generally, itís just a +1 sword.  It has another power which manifests only under rare circumstances, which is hidden from all kinds of divination spells, including Identify.

Itís a +1 sword with intelligence, and knows a lot of important things.

There is a curse that can only be lifted by its wielder.

Once it had much greater powers, no one knows why the sword seems so much less powerful these days.  But there are theories...

It has a quirky and mysterious side effect, such as the bearer being able to consume large amounts of alcohol without getting drunk.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:47, Wed 12 Feb.

Rez
 member, 4668 posts
 Hmm.
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 18:50
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
-Its only a sword at night.

-It can't be seen with normal vision.

-Perhaps it has Glamour. Makes you look like whatever you want.

-You can add 'parts' to it to make it more powerful.

-Perhaps when you kill a enemy, you get a bonus against those types (aka undead, werewolves, ect ect). Maybe its good vs them but bad vs another type.
byzantinex
 member, 187 posts
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 19:20
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Rez:
-Its only a sword at night.

-It can't be seen with normal vision.

-Perhaps it has Glamour. Makes you look like whatever you want.

-You can add 'parts' to it to make it more powerful.

-Perhaps when you kill a enemy, you get a bonus against those types (aka undead, werewolves, ect ect). Maybe its good vs them but bad vs another type.

I love all of these!!! Amazing contributions! I'm going to add these to the blog post I did.

Rez:
It can't be seen with normal vision.

Ooh! There is a special material in my blog post (from Monte Cook's city Ptolus) called Ithildin a decorative silver that glows at night but is dull and almost invisible during the day.

How hysterical would it be to see someone gripping something that you cannot see, then swinging it at you and seeing only your blood come away, dripping off an invisible shape? :D

Rez:
-You can add 'parts' to it to make it more powerful.

Oh snap! This is an awesome idea. There is a precedent with "magic sets" like the Hammer of Thunderbolts, Belt of Giant Strength and gauntlets of ogre power.

I've never seen a magic item with "bolt on enhancements" though. Very cool idea.

A sword which requires a specific magical gem to function, of which there are 5, one for each magical effect: fire, electricity, sonic, cold and force. Swapping the gem is a full round action that promotes an attack of opportunity, but you can change the extra damage the weapon deals.

p.s. Rez, I added several of these to my blog post and put [Credit to Rez] beside those items :D Thank you for such epic suggesions!

This message was last edited by the user at 19:40, Wed 12 Feb.

facemaker329
 member, 7167 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 20:23
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Building on the add-on idea, with something that could become a quest for the characters...

It's actually an ancient artifact, incredibly powerful...so powerful that someone, at some point in the past, dismantled it and scattered its components around the world.  It can guide the wielder to the closest relic/component, which, when won and added, increases the sword's power and abilities (so it becomes +2, and gains some other power...then, with the next bit, +3 and another power...)

It is, of course, up to the GM to decide whether the sword was a power for good or evil, and how the character can keep it in check and make it do the character's will once it reaches a certain level of power...
byzantinex
 member, 188 posts
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 21:05
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 24):

Oooh... and another twist: It's an intelligent item with it's own agenda, and with each piece that's reconnected to the item, it becomes more powerful at exerting its will over that of it's host... :D
facemaker329
 member, 7168 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 21:19
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Nothing like presenting your players with a little moral dilemma...do you risk yourself to re-create this ultra-powerful weapon?  Do you risk the next upgrade, never knowing at what point the sword may take control?  Do you rush to get the most powerful pieces, or do you research and find out which ones are safest to add on?

Does anyone even think to question why the pieces weren't destroyed?  Does anyone think to question why you might not want to rebuild the whole sword?
Manticore
 member, 443 posts
 Cthulhu gamed with me
 HE lost 2d6 SAN points
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 21:40
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
byzantinex:
How hysterical would it be to see someone gripping something that you cannot see, then swinging it at you and seeing only your blood come away, dripping off an invisible shape? :D


Actually, there was a sword like that in Dilvish the Damned. Dilvish's ancestor had slain a minor god with it, using the blade's invisibility to sneak it into his throne room undetected.
Rez
 member, 4670 posts
 Hmm.
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 13:45
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Its only a +1 sword towards the race that holds it.

Example: Tielfling holds it, it becomes +1 Sword vs Tielflings
         Golem holds it, it becomes +1 Sword vs Constructs
         ect.

Blunt Sword uses for magical purposes like a scroll.
Eur512
 member, 808 posts
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 18:53
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
facemaker329:
Does anyone even think to question why the pieces weren't destroyed?  Does anyone think to question why you might not want to rebuild the whole sword?


No.  Never. Fantasy World Building Regulations clearly state that when mighty artifacts are  broken into pieces, all of those pieces must be preserved.  They may be scattered, so as to be able to use the Go To The Place And Get The Thing plot device repeatedly, but they are still all there.


"Behold the fragments of the Gem of Frude-Luop.  Once they are re-united, nothing will... wait... where's... umm..."

"I was trying to tell you, sire, the Third Splinter was crushed, mixed into a smoothie, and devoured by Nom the Omnivorous at the end of the Second Age.  It was in all the scrolls, I'm surprised you didn't catch that."

"Oh, crap."
facemaker329
 member, 7169 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 18:57
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Different answers than I had in mind for that, but when it's your game, you get to write those answers...*grin*
Rez
 member, 4673 posts
 Hmm.
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 19:00
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
-A blade made from a treant, carved beautifully. If it is pointed at anything, a piece of wood flies off of it upon command. When damaged and destroyed, leaving it outside with sunlight and upon the ground allows it to 'heal'.

-+2 Bastard sword that can be broken into +1 short swords.

-It takes in a portion of the blood when it strikes (say 5 damage). After getting up to 30 damage, it does normal damage and the addition 30.

-Doesn't hurt anyone. When it strikes anyone it heals them.
That Guy With The Face
 member, 90 posts
 I never forget a face...
 Wait, who are you again?
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 19:55
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Rez:
-Doesn't hurt anyone. When it strikes anyone it heals them.


I've been in games with similar weapons implemented. It was a blade that healed and was used by vampire hunters that would damage disguised vampires but wouldn't harm innocents in case they were wrong.
Rez
 member, 4674 posts
 Hmm.
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 19:58
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Got the idea from several Final Fantasy games haha.

But it would work vs a undead.
phoenix9lives
 member, 992 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 23:09
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Rez:
-A blade made from a treant, carved beautifully. If it is pointed at anything, a piece of wood flies off of it upon command. When damaged and destroyed, leaving it outside with sunlight and upon the ground allows it to 'heal'.

Don't forget to water it.  Maybe stick it in the ground, like it's being planted.
Brianna
 member, 2208 posts
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 02:44
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Maybe it's really a much more powerful sword, even an artifact, but only when it is wielded by the right person - right bloodline? someone who personifies a legend (who probably has no idea)?  a specific command word activates it, but no one remembers it, or even that there is such a thing.
wolfecubb
 member, 115 posts
 Absolute power corrupts
 absolutely
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 12:14
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Can't remember the movie, but there was a sword that had 3 blades to it. The 2 extra blades could be fired as a missile weapon. Thinking of how this could be used - would be heavier if used as a standard weapon so +1 or +2 damage for each additional blade, but -1 / -2 to hit. Of course blades could either be collected and reloaded at end of combat, or magically regenerate over time depending on style of the game and desire of GM.

Love the living tree sword idea and using alternate materials to create the sword. On a similar thought, how about creating a weapon with mercury instead of steel. Since at room temperature the mercury would melt, it would require powering by ice magic and would burn when touched (freeze burns). As a non-magical weapon, it would need to be wielded by ice demons / creatures for this to work.

If the weapon strikes and causes damage, a portion of the blade would enter the wound each time and cause poison damage over time. This could either by an additional, stacking effect (1pt of poison damage per turn per wound or a flat rate of d4/d6/d8 per turn, for example, modified by saving throws) or a long-term effect (saving throws dependent, takes a few days then poison begins to take effect, feel slightly ill at first then suffer a rapid decline as organs begin to shut down, etc).

Curing this poisoning could be interesting in the long-term since symptoms could appear to be a disease rather than poison, or the mercury itself remains in the system despite the curing spell and could poison the character again.
Rez
 member, 4675 posts
 Hmm.
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 13:22
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Its a gnome blade. It has 1 blade that splits off and can be uses as a thrown weapon but its not magical. It can be though. I saw something similar in a book I have.

+1 Poison Blade

The one that holds it is inflicted with the Poison spell. Everytime it is picked up a save must be made to prevent it from happening to the owner.

Bonus side of it? When the weapon hits, the creature takes the damage and is infected with poison (like the Poison spell)
byzantinex
 member, 189 posts
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 14:28
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to wolfecubb (msg # 36):

Regis (Spider Parrafin) from R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt books has a blade with two side pieces which can be thrown. They turn into snakes and climb up the person to start choking them.

Linksies: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Regis
wolfecubb
 member, 116 posts
 Absolute power corrupts
 absolutely
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 19:16
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Film I was thinking of was "Sword and the Sorcerer" from 1982. Can't remember much about the movie itself, just the sword. Reading the Wiki page on the movie however and I still cannot remember it - must have been such a fantastic, memorable movie!! Or I was young...
facemaker329
 member, 7171 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 19:33
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
The Sword and the Sorceror was kind of a poster-child for everything that was wrong with 80s fantasy films.  Utterly impractical gimmick weapons, tired stereotypical plotline, reliance on poorly-skilled actors willing to be seen in really skimpy costumes to be the eye-candy that gave an audience to sit through it...

I was actually thinking about this one a couple of days ago.  14-year-old me thought it was an okay movie, at best, and that was because it hit on all the points that appeal to a pubescent teen boy.  I don't know if I could sit through it, now...unless it was getting the MST3K treatment.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15847 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 19:38
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable?  Easy... make it a -4 sword that the character has to use, and can't get rid of - it will be memorable, for all the wrong reasons.  :p
Rez
 member, 4676 posts
 Hmm.
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 19:49
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
+1 Cursed Dagger (Or sword or whatever bladed weapon)

-When picked up and examined, the PC is suddenly inflicted with a curse (no save)
 Inflicted with a -2 to all ability, skill checks, ect.
-The PC always has to use it no matter if he has a better weapon.
-Benifits: Cannot be cursed (aka Bestow Curse, any 'curse' spells) and can sense if the weapon is close if it is lost.
GamerHandle
 member, 961 posts
 Umm.. yep.
 So, there's this door...
Mon 17 Feb 2020
at 14:17
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Sometimes it's not about stats.
a "+1" sword, is still - a magic sword.  If the milieu is just awash with magic, this may not be at all interesting; but, the history of such a weapon should certainly be recognizable.  In any campaign where magic isn't just growing out of the dirt: people in a town where it was used should certainly recognize it nearly instantly and respond appropriately to a party with it.  Place where an old Paladin saved them?  positive response.  Town that didn't quite get saved by an 'almost here' - not so positive.
facemaker329
 member, 7176 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Mon 17 Feb 2020
at 19:19
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Yeah, context definitely matters.  If magic weapons are few and far between, a +1 sword is definitely worth hanging onto...especially if the party routinely tangles with creatures who take damage from magic weapons.

And building a history for the weapon can endow it with 'powers' that have nothing to do with its magic...is the bearer recognized as an envoy from the King/Emperor/whatever?  Are they regarded as the spiritual heir to some hero of legend?  (That can be a good or bad thing, depending on whether or not the character lives up to expectations that result from that perception.)  As others have mentioned, is the weapon recognized by their enemies?  (Again, that could be a good or bad thing...do they flee in fear, or does it inspire rage and loathing that creates a fanatical zeal to destroy the weapon?)  Does it imbue the bearer with potentially useful, non-combat powers?

A sword...or any weapon...any magic item, for that matter...can be so much more than the number after the plus sign.  And I'm sure it's a byproduct of the GMs I've played under, but I always enjoy games where my character has difficult choices to make, like do you hang onto the less-powerful but more useful sword, or 'trade up's to a more powerful weapon that is much more limited in how it can be useful?  (I've also enjoyed a lot of games where my character was not the most powerful...but because of a broad range of talents and skills, was always useful.)  So a magic sword that isn't necessarily a great boon in combat but is useful in a lot of other situations appeals to me...I'm the guy that would constantly be finding new ways to utilize those non-combat powers.