byzantinex
 member, 181 posts
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 05:14
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Bell of Lost Souls wrote an awesome article D&D: Five Ways To Make A +1 Sword Memorable.

This made me start searching the web for a great list of special materials and interesting properties which could be added to magic items like weapons and armor to make them more interesting.

TL;DR: Make your magic items interesting by changing what they look like, how they function, what material they are made from, who made them, who owned them last, and adding strange effects to the item which aren't necessarily combat focused. Maybe that +1 sword is claustrophobic...

You can find the extensive list here: https://d20.pub/resources/weap...-magical-properties/

Please make suggestions in the comments and I'll add them to the list!

BOLS Source: https://www.belloflostsouls.ne...sword-memorable.html
ShadoPrism
 member, 1296 posts
 OCGD-Obsessive-Compulsive
 Gamer-Disorder
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 05:33
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Sword of my own design
The hilt was made of Dragon Bone (and shaped like a dragon katana hilt), the crossbar/disc was meteoric iron while the blade was apparently made by an Elven Master Smith. It had a variable light effect that looked like ghostly blue-white fire and could glow from off to 60ft in 5 ft increments. It had a Reputation of stealing the souls of those who died by it.
It did not do that, but people saw that ghostly looking flame and Decided it was some kind of hell fire. As such when first drawn in combat, the enemy needs to make a moral check or run away. Even if they make the check they still fight at a -2 penelty to hit because of the reputation of that blade.

This message was last edited by the user at 05:34, Thu 06 Feb.

Fire-and-Bone
 member, 6 posts
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 05:40
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
The Goblins webcomic had a sword those blade would turn into the last thing it touched. Use the same idea? Doesn't change the stats but changes the damage type based on the last inanimate thing it struck.
facemaker329
 member, 7159 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 05:54
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
It wasn't in a D&D game, and it wasn't a +1 sword...but one of my GMs decided to have some fun with us by letting us hear rumors about a lost runesword.  Most of the party was all gung-ho to go find it, because fighters love awesome weapons...my bard thought it might have an interesting story, so he tagged along...

After much trial and a couple of characters almost dying, we found the sword.  It was a runesword, alright...made for a gnome.  As such, it was too small to use as anything but a letter opener, and that was for really small letters.  The fighters were all disgusted and just walked away.  My bard thought, "Hey...this will be a GREAT conversation starter and make for a story that people might pay to hear...let's take it!"

And, since he claimed it as his own...even though he never once wielded it in any way, just tied it on a leather strand and hung it around his neck...he gained control of all the OTHER magical things it could do.  The whole group hated me for a couple of sessions...*laugh*
wolfecubb
 member, 114 posts
 Absolute power corrupts
 absolutely
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 09:10
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Had a sword once that was scared of the dark and refused to leave its scabbard  at night. To recharge its abilities it needed to "rest" in its scabbard (which had holes in it to ensure it was never dark in there) so you couldn't just carry it in hand permanently. We did try to put a continual flame on it, but it reacted badly thinking we were trying to melt it and refused to leave its scabbard till we removed the spell...
praguepride
 member, 1533 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 05:24
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
I love articles like this.

Matt Colville did the "it's a symbol" thing with some of his magic items (although they were far more than just a +1).

He had some really neat meta ideas about magic items

1) A shield the party got was like the symbol of some legendary hero or former king and there were all these legends about the person who wields this shield is the king reborn or has a claim to the kingdom or something like that.

2) He made a cool sword part of a larger collection of cool swords (the Teeth of the Dragon) and had a whole side plot about a villain trying to reclaim the swords for some ancient ritual.

Twisting on that even if it is a +1 sword it becomes important if only to keep the bad guys from getting it.

Another "great" idea is something like the keyblade from Kingdom Hearts. Obviously not that but the value of an item could be because it is a component in a ritual or it is a literal key to unlock something bigger. I'm reminded of the Golden Army from Hellboy where your item might be some minor magical effect but with it they can wield a powerful army or command a dragon or part the seas etc.
V_V
 member, 904 posts
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 10:41
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable

This message was deleted by the user at 10:45, Fri 07 Feb.

Ameena
 member, 206 posts
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 14:13
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
There's also the possibility that the +1 sword is maybe a weakened version of the full thing, or has had bits broken off it which need to be reattached, or perhaps some long-dormant spirit dwelling inside it which will gradually awaken and imbue the sword with more power as the sword is used and/or its wielder's actions agree with the spirit's view (like the Concordance rating on an artifact).

Basically, the +1 sword can "level up" in some way, and be upgraded so that you can keep the same weapon as you go, rather than ditching it later when you get hold of something more powerful - the +1 sword is the more powerful item. Just...not yet ;).
Rez
 member, 4657 posts
 Hmm.
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 14:20
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Sounds like a Legacy Weapon. You can look them up.

I played in a Wheel of Time game where the groups blademaster had Old Blood and used a sword that belonged to the guy in his head. When he 'died' instead of being dead he swapped with the guy in his head. It was pretty unique.

Perhaps have the sword belong to soneone you knew/loved/in loved with and their soul was the sword? It doesn't have to be a sword so to speak either.
Fire-and-Bone
 member, 7 posts
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 14:47
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Make them from bits of monster. I have a set of weapons floating around in my world made from the teeth of the ancient dragon Laki. So bone swords or daggers that do poison damage, or put people off because they remember when he killed half the kingdom.
byzantinex
 member, 182 posts
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 20:24
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Ameena:
There's also the possibility that the +1 sword is maybe a weakened version of the full thing...Basically, the +1 sword can "level up" in some way, and be upgraded

Yes! This is directly out of the WoTC book Weapons of Legacy and I'm going to be using it very soon in my campaign.

This message was last edited by the user at 00:10, Sat 08 Feb.

Isida KepTukari
 member, 335 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 07:54
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
-An ironwood sword which can float on water - sought after by elves and those who sail.

-A sword which inscribes the name of every person it has ever slain on its blade in tiny runes.  If the sword is old enough, this could look very impressive, and could give the players an interesting clue if they slew someone in disguise.

-The hilt and quillions of this sword made of white quartz crystal that looks like ice and is always a little cool to the touch.  It might glow when the names of white or silver dragons are spoken.

-A sword whose hilt is seemingly made of pumice (though smooth to the touch), and blade is always a dull gray no matter how hard it's polished.  The wearer can see through mist and fog without penalty (usually just natural mist and fog, though it could be upgraded to see through obscuring mist and similar effects).

-Bright pink blade with rose quartz hilt and a heart-shaped pommel stone of garnet.  It never gets dirty and never needs sharpening.  Sought after by those devoted to deities of love.

-A sword with fine lords and ladies inscribed on every part of it, at some gathering or party. One who wears it finds that he always knows the correct title of noble address of anyone he meets, if not their proper name, correct bow, or other noble knowledge.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15844 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 08:29
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
The sword once belonged to a long dead famous hero.  Legend says that the hero will be reborn, and the character that carries the sword is treated as if they were the reborn hero (just in case).  Which could be good or bad, depending on who you run into.

People who revere the hero could be more likely to be friendly to the bearer, while those who despise the hero might be more likely to be hostile (if they even believe the rebirth legend).
byzantinex
 member, 183 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 15:08
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Isida KepTukari:
An ironwood sword which can float on water - sought after by elves and those who sail.

HA! I totally just did this in my campaign, from THAT LIST on my blog I posted. hahaha.

Isida KepTukari:
-A sword which inscribes the name of every person it has ever slain on its blade in tiny runes.  If the sword is old enough, this could look very impressive, and could give the players an interesting clue if they slew someone in disguise.

-The hilt and quillions of this sword made of white quartz crystal that looks like ice and is always a little cool to the touch.  It might glow when the names of white or silver dragons are spoken.....


Would you mind if I posted these in a "specific special items" category on my blog post?

https://d20.pub/resources/weap...-magical-properties/
Isida KepTukari
 member, 336 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 16:40
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Certainly you may!
engine
 member, 761 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 17:49
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
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.
Rez
 member, 4660 posts
 Hmm.
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 18:40
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Perhaps a 'swish-sword'

Changes from a two-handed sword to a longsword or a dagger.
byzantinex
 member, 184 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 22:55
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
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.

One of them would require a character to give up a weapon that benefited his class (bard with echo blade) plus potentially lose a shield in favor of a two handed weapon. We collaborated to write this new sword into his character and make it a lot more special!

Plus, this weapon follows the history and symbol rules from the article in my first post. And a little bit rips off the broken sword reforged idea from Lord of the Rings. =_=

It's a sword some recognize as belonging to a long ago hero which was broken defeating a great evil (The Dread One in Ptolus Banewarrens).

In addition, the bard is going to be part of the reforging process to make the weapon more his own.
Hunter
 member, 1554 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 20:29
How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Another way would be to have it made by a famous smith/deity, who at that point of time was still starting out.
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
It’s 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, it’s 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.

It’s 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.
Fire-and-Bone
 member, 10 posts
Tue 3 Mar 2020
at 15:50
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Rolled this out in a campaign.

Party raided a tomb and found a +1 sword in the fanciest sarcophagus. I went into detail about how it was decorated with silver and blue roses made of faience inlaid in it. Bard thinks it is fantastic and grabs it, even though it is a long sword.

Later they are in an ancient stronghold and they see two suits of armor. Both are animated and approach the party, who retreat and see that the armor will only condo far from their post.

Bard on a whim goes up to try and negotiate with them, party thinks they are crazy. That is until the armor walks up to the bard and kneels in front of them.

That +1 sword was a signifier of rank, and now the armor thinks that the bard is their commander.

What followed was a lot of great role play as they tried to figure out what they could make the armor do. Since animated armor has Intelligence 1 and these were created to guard the stronghold, it added more flavor then combat ability.

They ended up having them clear spider webs from a few passages and guard them while they rested. And when they rebuilt the stronghold they had a couple of guardians to add flavor to the place.

This message was last edited by the user at 15:50, Tue 03 Mar.

Rez
 member, 4705 posts
 Hmm.
Thu 5 Mar 2020
at 15:36
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
+1 Wooden Sword, does Bludgeoning damage. If destroyed it heals itself. Like Groot.

+1 Sword but does no damage, and doesn't have a edge. Plus side always does either Inflict Wound or Cure Wounds
byzantinex
 member, 191 posts
Thu 5 Mar 2020
at 17:05
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to Rez (msg # 46):

You seriously come up with some of the most amazing stuff. I love both of these and added them to the blog post as well! I called the second one an "Edgeless" weapon.

https://d20.pub/resources/weap...-magical-properties/
Rez
 member, 4706 posts
 Hmm.
Thu 5 Mar 2020
at 17:37
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
+1 Blood Blade
*Note can be +2 or more
*When hitting anyone that bleeds, deal +1 Bleed damage and heal damage to yourself.
*Hitting a enemy that does not bleed it only does half-damage and does not add the bleed.

-Example: The blade hits and deals 6 plus 1 for bleed. Hitting a construct it does half and no bleed.
Rez
 member, 4707 posts
 Hmm.
Thu 5 Mar 2020
at 19:47
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Armor of the Earth/Air/Water/Ect.:
When worn, the person who is using it looks like a  Elemental of their size depending on which element they are located (note all armor are different and attuned to one of the 4 elements). They gain nothing from it.
byzantinex
 member, 192 posts
Sun 8 Mar 2020
at 16:47
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to Rez (msg # 49):

Lesser Armor of the Earth/Air/Water/etc...
As Rez described.

Standard Armor of the Elements: as Lesser but also allows the wearer to transform into the elemental they appear to be.

Greater Armor of the Elements: same benefits as Lesser and standard, but once per day the wearer may also summon an appropriate elemental as summon monster. Cast at 15th level.

Epic Armor of the Elements: same benefits as all others, plus wearer can plane shift to the attuned plane at will. Summon monster (elemental) spell cast at 20th level.

Cursed Armor of the Elements: same as Standard, but slowly transforms the wearer fully into the attuned elemental type. Their creature changes permenantly, which can only be reversed by a Wish spell or similar.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:48, Sun 08 Mar.

Fire-and-Bone
 member, 11 posts
Mon 9 Mar 2020
at 18:58
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
The Singing Blade: +1 Weapon that creates music as it is swung. If the wielder sings while fighting grants advantage to attack rolls.
tibiotarsus
 member, 128 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Mon 9 Mar 2020
at 23:36
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Grants advantage on attacking the living and possibly +more damage as the wielder becomes attuned to (levels up with) the always-cold but otherwise very ordinary-looking blade. Anything killed with it comes back as a random undead type 1d4 days later.

Previously owned by a necromancer with an active approach to gathering raw materials. See how long it takes wielder to notice.
byzantinex
 member, 193 posts
Tue 10 Mar 2020
at 06:56
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to Fire-and-Bone (msg # 51):

The bard in my current Ptolus campaign has something called a Crystal Echoblade that is very similar to this.

This longsword’s blade is crafted from jagged violet crystal. When you hold it close to your ear, you hear a faint hum.

A crystal echoblade normally functions as a +1 longsword, but is enhanced by your musical ability. If you use your bardic music ability while wielding the weapon, the blade resonates in harmony, dealing additional sonic damage on each attack equal to half your bard level.

https://ptol.us/magic/crystal-echoblade/

This message was last edited by the user at 07:07, Tue 10 Mar.

Rez
 member, 4713 posts
 Hmm.
Tue 10 Mar 2020
at 14:50
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Sword of Specialty

Does not grant a bonus to hit or damage but can become any known materal made for weapons ranging from wood to adamantine. Can be boosted by other means.
Jordan Task
 member, 5031 posts
 All glory to the
 Hypnotoad!
Thu 12 Mar 2020
at 07:08
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
How do you make a +1 sword memorable?

Well first, not every +1 sword in every game needs to be memorable. Sometimes a +1 sword can be just a stepping stone. You may find that in higher magic settings your best bet isn’t to make everything the players come across memorable, since they’ll be finding magic swords every time they turn over a rock.

That being said, to make a magical sword memorable you start with the description. Make the appearance unique. Use exotic materials. Put etching on the blade. Adding a wooden hilt enhanced with the Ironwood spell to protect the wood from decaying from the exposure to rain, sweat, blood and bile that it’s going to come into contact with should have little to no game effect but it’s an interesting quirk.

Add a sense of mystery. If your blade has etching on it, when the sword is found, have the blade be coated in a few layers of coloured paint or lacquer for some unknown reason. The etching slowly becomes exposed through usage.

Have people recognize the sword and inquire about it’s previous owners. Spin up a few minor side quests, or maybe give the player some kind of minor “reward” for carrying the sword. Like maybe someone tries to repay a minor debt to the sword’s previous owner.

Give the sword some ability that is cool, but has limited uses. Like the ability to teleport to the hand of the bearer if they’re on the same plane. This seems crazy powerful but, let’s face it how often is the party going to be separated from their weapons of choice in a typical campaign?

Make the “+1 sword” not a +1 sword but an intelligent, cursed magic weapon with a curse that can only be lifted by a side quest. Give the sword a personality that compliments the player. Make it become clear through the side quest that the sword will gain additional abilities and power ups when the character reaches milestones. Then have an out of character discussion about a theme for the future  abilities of the sword and what types of things the player may like.

Or maybe it’s part of a set of unique items that each become slightly more powerful the more items from the set you’re using.

Also don’t overused this stuff. If every magic item needs to be memorable you will increase your workload dramatically and the memorability of the items will quickly loose it’s effect.

This message was last edited by the user at 07:32, Thu 12 Mar.

Zag24
 supporter, 601 posts
Thu 12 Mar 2020
at 21:28
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
A lot of people have been posting notes about exotic materials or just interesting description of the sword.  Frankly, everything in your game that is significant should have an interesting description, even if it's just the nicks on the blade or the burnt spot on the leather of the handle.  However, while description is important to maintain the mood, something will only be really memorable if it has a real role-playing effect.  The additional side-abilities are great there, but then you don't technically have a +1 sword.

Then we get into cursed items.  I have a problem with the generic cursed items, because why would a smith / wizard / cleric spend his magical energy in creating a cursed item?  One suggestion that someone made, that there's a side quest you have to do to get rid of it, that sort of makes sense, that the creator wanted those guys killed or that item returned to its rightful place, or whatever, enough to make a sword that would compel its owner to do the quest.  If the sword is bad, all the better for compelling, as long as the guy stuck with the sword has friends who aren't similarly hindered.

However, what I find interesting is to create magic items that have a flaw that the creator did not intend, but that came as a side-effect of his magicks.  For a sword, say it was created by a dwarven smith whose beloved son was carried off and killed by a giant eagle.  He created this sword with all the magical energy he could muster, but focused it on killing eagles.  As he created it, he burned with rage towards the creatures, and much of his rage went into the sword along with the magic.  So the sword is +1, +3 vs. giant eagles.  However, it carries a curse, which is that the wearer hates and mistrusts anything even remotely related to birds.

As the GM, you don't tell the player that's the effect, you just lead him to it.  For instance, the party meets with a bard to get some information.  The description of the bard that you tell everyone includes a top hat with a cluster of feathers in it.  But in the course of the interaction, you send a private message to the player with the sword, telling him that he knows that the bard is lying and is looking to send the PCs into an ambush.  "Just something in his demeanor that you picked up, he reminds you of <known evil character>".

This approach not only encourages real role-playing, it also can be carried out through several different encounters, and, once the Players finally figure out what's going on, it will be indelibly stamped in their memory of the game (hopefully in a good way, in the end).

This message was last edited by the user at 21:31, Thu 12 Mar.

bigbadron
 moderator, 15858 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Thu 12 Mar 2020
at 22:36
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
Zag24:
I have a problem with the generic cursed items, because why would a smith / wizard / cleric spend his magical energy in creating a cursed item?
I always figured there was a story behind the cursed items...

Maybe the maker was trying to produce a useable magic weapon, only he was stung by a wasp as he was working, and that broke his concentration at a vital point in the process.

Or he created a functional magic sword, which fell into the wrong hands and was used, over the next hundred years, by a succession of people for a long string of ignoble deeds (like murdering children or butchering innocent peasants).

Or the weapon was use by a famous warrior who was cursed by an enemy, and accidentally killed his best friend.  Then, years later, filled with self-loathing for what he has done, he used the same weapon to end his own life.

Or perhaps the blade was not a magic weapon to start with, but picked up some power, and a curse, from all the unsavoury deeds it was used to perform over the span of its existence.
ShadoPrism
 member, 1298 posts
 OCGD-Obsessive-Compulsive
 Gamer-Disorder
Fri 13 Mar 2020
at 00:22
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to bigbadron (msg # 57):

Maybe they made the cursed item on purpose, as a punishment for some wrong, or precieved wrong. As a way to punish the greedy or violent types.

Or maybe they could not tell brass from gold at night and got confused (got that one from a story I read many years ago really.) But confusing or mis-identifying a needed item can lead to all sorts of entertaining weapons and possible curses. Not all Cursed items are bad though, just means you got the think creatively in how you use them.
Fire-and-Bone
 member, 12 posts
Fri 13 Mar 2020
at 00:39
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
"Listen I am really sorry I over did the charm. But you did want a sword that can never be taken from your grasp, and the fact that you can't let it go technically achieves that."

"You wanted a sword that proclaimed your deeds far and wide. It's not my fault all you've done is run away and now your sword tells everyone with earshot. No I don't offer refunds, go be a proper knight."

"Have you considered learning to take advantage of the second set of eyes, and head?"

- Balren of Discount Magical Items
facemaker329
 member, 7185 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 13 Mar 2020
at 07:35
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to bigbadron (msg # 57):

Maybe the maker was a devotee of some trickster-god, and made a bunch of cursed items as an offering to please (or appease) his deity.  (This would account for the presence of a lot of cursed items.)

Maybe it's part of a set, and when the set is complete, there's no curse...but some greedy jerk decided, centuries ago, to break up the set, and now the items, for lack of a better term, are pouting and refuse to align their powers with their wielder until the set is reunited. (This wouldn't explain as many, but you'd end up with, say, 2-5 cursed items from the process of creating one intact magical device, so it'd still allow for the presence of several items without the contrivance of 'oh, yep, that's just another cursed magic item...of course...')
ShadoPrism
 member, 1299 posts
 OCGD-Obsessive-Compulsive
 Gamer-Disorder
Fri 13 Mar 2020
at 12:46
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 60):

That last one sounds like a good quest set up actually.
byzantinex
 member, 195 posts
Sat 14 Mar 2020
at 21:23
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
In reply to Fire-and-Bone (msg # 59):

Those were all hilarious!!! =_=
byzantinex
 member, 197 posts
Tue 31 Mar 2020
at 17:39
Re: How to make a +1 Sword Memorable
I found another awesome list of 101 Magical Weapon Properties. I really like the posters "rant" about "commodity magic items and weapons."

Below is the list, and I'll be working to check for duplicates and add new ones to my exhaustive blog post: https://d20.pub/resources/weap...-magical-properties/

  1. Adaptable: Can be used with weapon-specific feats
  2. Afflicting: Critical = Bestow Affliction, DC scales
  3. Ambush: Self-explanatory
  4. Anchoring: Deny Teleport
  5. Awoved Death: Vow to slay an enemy
  6. Bane Burst: Even more damage against banes
  7. Bane, lesser: Minor bonus against bane
  8. Blastback: Bull rush hit enemies
  9. Blood bonded: Bound to a bloodline
  10. Boomeranging: Hit the enemy from behind with your returning weapon
  11. Breaker: Item-destroyer
  12. Burst,Chosen: Works like Burst for chosen energy type
  13. Bushwhacking: Attack from hiding
  14. Ceremonial: 4 abilities in one, choose at the beginning of an encounter
  15. Clinging: Magical net enchantment
  16. Contemplative: Add Wis-mod to attack a number of times per day
  17. Consecrated: Extra-strong on holy ground
  18. Counteracting: Better CMD
  19. Counterstrike: Riposte after a missed attack by an opponent
  20. Crippling: Crits do Strengty damage
  21. Dark: negative energy damage
  22. Deflecting: CMD to deflect rays
  23. Dessicated: Kill Oozes, Water, etc., can destroy liquids
  24. Dislocating: Teleport attack
  25. Disorienting: Penalize hit enemies
  26. Disorienting Burst: Burst of above, more penalties
  27. Dispelling: Guess what?
  28. Dispelling Burst: Guess what? in Burst form. Yep, I'm Captain Obvious.
  29. Equalizing: Negative levels for stronger opponents
  30. Energy, Chosen: Change energy-type via standard action
  31. Energy Ray: 1/day blast a foe, scales with your level
  32. Energy, Seething: Upgraded Version of a normal energy weapon.
  33. Enhancing: enhances the DC of one of your abilities
  34. Fast Bracing: Set against charge as immediate action
  35. Fast Returning: Make full-round attacks with your returning weapon
  36. Featherlight: Weapon can be used as one category lighter
  37. Fiendfang: Chose energy and ability damage - this weapon does both, plus bonus to deals with evil outsiders
  38. Force: Adds [Force]-descriptor to attacks, additional damage, hard to break
  39. Fortunate: Re-roll an attack 3/day (typo here)
  40. Friend: Weapon is better for a specific race, skill-set etc.
  41. Foesight: Identify most powerful foe in 60 ft.
  42. Girded: Hard to break
  43. Gripping: Better against disarm
  44. Good Fortune: Use stored luck bonuses. Unfortunately doesn't mention how to recharge them
  45. Guided: negate 20% miss chance
  46. Hardened: Harder weapon.
  47. Heartseeking: Iconic e.g. vampire-slaying weapon
  48. Hexing: Penalize hit enemies
  49. Hexing Burst: More penalties, Hexburst
  50. Hindering: Potentially cancel out an ability of an enemy
  51. Homing: Ignore cover less than total concealment
  52. Ill Fortune: Stores Ill-luck, can dispense it one enemies
  53. Infectious: Transmit diseases
  54. Interfering: Hamper spell-casting
  55. Ioun: Weapons floats around you like an Ioun stone
  56. Leviathan's Foe: Extra damage against bigger creatures
  57. Loyal: Attuned to a specific wielder
  58. Maiming: Instead of killing your enemy, blind, maim, etc. him/her
  59. Mage Tuned: Only good for 1/4 BAB characters, for them +4 luck to attacks
  60. Maneuverable: Second Combat maneuver with half BAB as part of a combat maneuver
  61. Maneuverable Burst: Bonus to CMB and higher Crit-mod
  62. Necrofeed: Channel necromancy via weapon
  63. Paired: Two weapons that help their wielders help their respective comrade
  64. Parrying: Negate a hit on you or an ally with chance to get hit yourself
  65. Perilous: Cascading Critical
  66. Poisonous: Poison spell, scaling DC
  67. Potent: More damage and higher crit-mods
  68. Precision: Grants Critical Focus feat
  69. Preferential: Rangers do more damage against favored enemies
  70. Preferential Burst: Big brother of the last ability
  71. Preserving: Do damage to undead or heal allies
  72. Providence: +1 on saving throws, + 1/day reroll
  73. Psychic Burst: Dazed on a Crit, scaling DC
  74. Rapid Reloading: Reload one step faster than normal, Bows and slings get an additional attack at highest BAB 5/day
  75. Rapid Striking: Additional strike at half BAB
  76. Retribution: If hit by enemies, the weapon gets better against that foe
  77. Revitalizing: Use enhancement bonus to heal wounds
  78. Selective: Choose from two rolls on a critical fumble chart/ card deck if such is used
  79. Serpent: Transform weapon into snake
  80. Shatterblast: Ranged sunder with thrown weapon
  81. Spell Echoing: Duplicate past spells 3/day
  82. Spellreaving: Unravel spells/spell-like abilities
  83. Slayer: Attuned to a creature, slays it.
  84. Smiting: Improves any kind of smite
  85. Spellbane: Extra damage against spell casters
  86. Spellcarrier: Thrown weapon hold touch spell for a time
  87. Spellstealing: Dispelling weapon that can steal a spell on the enemy.
  88. Spell Well: Hold touchspell for a time
  89. Soul Stealing: Can steal the soul of slain enemies, preventing resurrection, clones and the like
  90. Starshine: Pathfinderized version of one of my favorite weapon qualities. :)
  91. Summoner's Foe: Dismiss hit summoned creatures
  92. Sworn: Swear to slay an opponent and gain bonuses
  93. Tentacle Rope: Use disarm or trip with a net like it was a whip
  94. Terror: Make enemies shaken, DCs scale
  95. Toxifying: Improves poisons on the weapon
  96. Transmutable: Change material of the weapon/damage type
  97. Twin: When within 10 ft. of another, these weapons improve.
  98. Voidwrought: Pathfinderized version of another one of my favorite weapon qualities.
  99. Weaken Resistance: Each successful hit makes SR of the creature deteriorate
  100. Wrathful: Works when raging, +1d8 damage
  101. Wrathful Burst: Big brother of the last quality


Original Post: https://www.enworld.org/thread...n-properties.299929/