member, 116 posts
 Absolute power corrupts
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...
 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.
 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
 member, 4676 posts
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.
 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.
 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.
 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.

 member, 4705 posts
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
 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.

 member, 4706 posts
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.
 member, 4707 posts
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.
 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.

 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.
 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.
 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.


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

 member, 4713 posts
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
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.

 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.

 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
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.
 member, 1298 posts
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.
 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
 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...')
 member, 1299 posts
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.
 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!!! =_=
 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/