I think it might be instructive to consider the larger implications of this item, as well as the other Orb items. (Feel free to dig through the linked posts, shouldn't take more than a few hours.)
These items have been powerful at their creation and were made a bit too well. Since then, they only grew in power and experience. Give them a millennium or so and you can be sure they have learned how to manipulate those monkeys for their own ends.
While this item (or should I say NPC?) can be used on its own, it really should appear together with its other colleagues. If you don't take it as an adventure-defining item, but as a world-defining item, you will know what its impact will be.
I don't actually understand what you mean. How is the striking off of the rebel leader's head related to storming the stronghold? It's not supposed to give you advice in the thick of battle, at least as I interpeted it; its for tactics and conflict resolution and such. Go to Comment
Actually I'm a little confused by your point as well Dragoon God (You do know you can log in and have your name show up on your posts without actually typing).
This is not really a PC sort of weapon, unless your PCs are the masters of a given army or country. Why would it fall to a foot soldier, when it can arrange itself to be in the hands of a lesser officer, who will rise in rank to be a greater officer, and then eventually a leader of the whole army? Or just save itself the trouble and arrange for someone to give itself as a gift to the commander of the forces. So why would it arrange itself to be picked up by a rootless waunderer? Unless the PC is going to be bound to the Army/ Military/ Court for a good long time, it will arrange things so that it will fall into the right hands. (PCs might be a cartage beasts for him, losing him in a card game to the right person or just forgetting the sword at a bar.)
Orbs have the ability to manipulate people. Just short of mind control, it can arrange for people to have "ideas that they think are their own" or for people to forget certain things.
I will provide excellent tactics. As the GM, you should be aware of the weaknesses of any of your antagonists. The Swords with its INHUMAN amount of experience and INHUMAN ability to sense things can size up the situation and give the players/ warriors an edge in the entry. Thus you provide the players with what would of been OOC knowledge about the battle/ situation/ scenario. The warriors can then act on that.
If game systems with actual Stragegy and Tactic systems, appropriate bonuses can be rendered by having the sword upon your side.
And remember, perhaps the Sword actually wants the Lord to lose, so he leads the group to an early success, which emboldens the silly Lord, who then attacks and loses a good chunk of his precious military (especially if they follow the Swords flawed advice). The Sword, who is then picked up by the main rebel leader - who the Sword wants to be installed as the local lord - that then leads his forces to victory over the Lord.
Or perhaps the Swords simply wants to make sure that a young heir of the lord is dead, so he will not be able to marry a young princess bringing stability and peace to the land.
Such an item requires one to see two, three, even five steps ahead. That is the essence of strategy. Go to Comment
As was stated before, this is not an item for PCs, unless the PCs are in charge of a country's military (or massive rebel force). This is an item, like most of the items in the Corvus series, exists in the world around the PCs. It is a mover and shaker of history, not just a silly item that grants some pluses. In some ways, it is "the villian" or at least "The Antagonist" in the campaign. It is the mysterious force that causes the wars that the PCs might want to stop OR end up involved in.
It has its own agenda, the great clash of military might. It will arrange things so it is in charge of a military so it can lead it to victory (okay, its wielder technically does the leading, but really he is nothing more than the unknowing puppet of the sword). That is the purpose of the sword.
And it is not for PCs to rootlessly bash random monsters.
Oh and the sword does not talk to its wielder. No where does it say that. It implants ideas in the head of its owner (and sometimes those around it). Go to Comment
Not bad, but it really had to be fleshed out in the discussion didn't it.
That is because most people did not follow the links to the other items, nor really read the item. They tend to gloss over the Corvus items powers or that it is an immortal thing and it has goals. They seem to ignore the fact it says in the text, The items are immortal. Mortals are their playthings, their chess pieces, their hands.
What if it falls into the hands of some rootless monster bashing character it can't manipulate? Will it call for help.
It does not have to. This is simple logic. If you had read the powers, you would of seen the ability to manipulate the minds around it. You will forget it. You will lose it to a solider in a card game. If it can't manipulate you for some reason, people will steal it. If it can't, it will arrange for you to be arrested. If it can't it will arrange for you to be drafted/ conscripted into the army. If it can't, it will arrange for your neighbors in the inn to be noisey all night so you can't sleep, so you will be sloppy in your next fight. And remember, it controls those gifts. So if it doesn't need you, you don't get any of those magical benefits. (Or it will given them to you, then take them away when it needs you to die).
Most of the time, really, it is in the hands of the people it needs to be in. Unless your PC is to be a cart dragon for it, a way to get it from location A to person/location b, it won't fall into player hands. If it does, the player will be amazed that they will lose the thing.
Also the sword is a good strategist, but a perfect strategist. Can it adapt to new types of war-fare? Does it understand logistics, position and morale?
That would be open to your world (you might want it non adaptive to give a "tell" or a give people a chance). I would see as great strategist. It does understand all aspects of war, as it will have seen any number of battles lost to lack of supplies, position, and morale. So, it has the entire package. And it is implanting "ideas" so its leader will do "the right things" so they will win. It has been doing this for roughtly 700 years, and does not grow old, nor get decrepit, and still has a good memory. If you have read the Amber series, you can understand the degree that near immortal people can learn to do things.
Who are some famous generals who have used it? What was there story? If I ever use a version of this sword in campaign I will try to answer those two questions at least.
And you will need to adapt it to your campaign. I could give you a few names, but they wouldn't match your world and your world's history (or possibly your world's naming convention). Like all items of history, you need to embed it into your world. (See The Singing Blades. I did it here, but then people complained that they didn't have these people in their world. However it does show that magic items should have histories and legends and such )
Though, to be honest, this item is not the kind where people scream at the top of their lungs "I have the Sword of the Warlord". There are no bardic tales of the weapon. They know it is a sword of antiquity and might know some famed warrior/ general owned it. (OH, this is the sword of Alexander the Great? I must have it.) After all, if the weapon was famous, it would get in the way of The Sword's goals. Go to Comment
To be honest, it is a bit defensive. I keep defending elements that are in text that people gloss over/ ignore, OR are part of the linked set. People keep trying to tie items like this, which state, for example, they are for people in charge of armies. Not PCs. Not the hoard of a monster. The item has the ability to manipulate humans and a support structure of other orbs (if there are humans out of range for it, there will be others in the range of its "cousins"). The item, and the others like it all have the line "Mortals are their playthings, their chess pieces, their hands", often in bold.
So yes, the response is a bit defensive. And you are right, it verges into the excess. I am just frustrated by questions which seem out of scope for the defined item (but are perfectly in line for other items). Some of it rolled over from the previous comment. However, you asked them nicely and I should of followed up appropriately. Go to Comment
axlerowes, those are great questions. I wish I had great answers, as this part was a bit vauge in my mind when I wrote this. Manfred has the best tact on this, NPC. It is an NPC in so many ways.
is that it has a code of honor. It will keep promises, and make sacrifices, but how much honor does it have? Does it have a loyality to the last army it commanded, does it lust for fair battles or just to see its enemies driven before it?
The answer for these might seem a dodge, "as much as needed for your story". The swords needs to be embedded into the campaign, so these values will need to be tweaked to make it work. (Is it "The bad guy", "the good guy", "the amoral monster", "the tragic hero", or ???)
For me, I see The Sword having an internal dialog. This Honor is in conflict with its desire to "test itself (its command tactics). This tension makes it interesting.
I see it respecting those with honor, so instead of just "winning", it might have the leader deploy his forces to give those with "more honor" a better chance if they seize the day.
It might resist "sacrificing" forces that show honor and loyalty beyond what it expects. Now it has to balance the military need with its honor. Or perhaps he will sacrifice them because "he must" to meet his perceived duty to the army.
The sword does not "talk" to anyone, so it never makes an actual promise. However, it might make its own vow and feel compelled to keep it. So lets say, It swore to itself, that the Country of Good People will not fall. Now despite its best efforts, the army was insufficient to the task. The Sword would probably arrange things over the next few years, if not decades and centuries, to save The Country of Good People from their Enemy by manipulating other battles and militaries to deal with "The Enemy", take back the lands, and "liberate the Country of the Good People".
It might arrange future battles to punish the dishonerable conduct of a leader of one country.
Honor is a tricky thing. Yet, this is how I would play it out. Your campaign might have different needs. Go to Comment
Something else I really like about this sword the more I think about it, is that it has a code of honor. It will keep promises, and make sacrifices, but how much honor does it have? Does it have a loyality to the last army it commanded, does it lust for fair battles or just to see its enemies driven before it? Go to Comment
thank you for answering most of my questions. But just one more question, but it requires some unpacking.
Talking about these fantasy things are something I enjoy, and in asking question I more wanted to see your vision for the object not my vision of what the object could be.
"If it can't it will arrange for you to be drafted/ conscripted into the army. If it can't, it will arrange for your neighbors in the inn to be noisey all night so you can't sleep, so you will be sloppy in your next fight. And remember, it controls those gifts. So if it doesn't need you, you don't get any of those magical benefits. (Or it will given them to you, then take them away when it needs you to die)."
This answered my question very well, but you started the answer with
"This is simple logic. If you had read the powers, you would of seen the ability to manipulate the minds around it."
You suggested that I failed a test of simple logic and then that I had not read the description, characterizing the person you were talking to as irrational and ignorant.
So here is my next question.
Why do you enjoy or feel it necessary to make such prefaces to the answer?
But again on the whole I enjoyed the answer, and thanks. Go to Comment
So I have only given 1s or 5s with the handful of votes this site has seen fit to bestow up this little troll, but this one left me with a real sense of "eh". I mean, I guess this is cool, the PC can talk to the sword and gets +3 (whatever that means) to his/her AC. But really can't say much about it expcept "eh". Have you game tested this? I am out of votes for the day.
Every message board has its bully and you can't win. You can't make rhetorical points and ask them to be nice. They are the master of the board. I have trolled enough boards to know. This is his turf and if wants to imply that you are ignorant fool he can do so with impunity. The other members of the heard will not come to you aid otherwise he would have left long ago.
Just remember this:
winning an argument on the internet is like winning a race in the special olympics. Even if you win you are still retarded.
The Orb's location is dependent upon your campaign, so place it where you will. It is probably in the hands of some uber mage known for "doing the world good", kind of like Gandalf. Of course, this item is not "famous", nor publically known. So the Wizard gets all the credit, even though the Orb is doing a great deal of the work.
If you are looking for the other crystals/ orbs, then click on the Wizard Corus link above to see them all. Go to Comment
The intended magics for the Orb were the same as it manifests now. It allows a wizard to scry anywhere in the world where there is trouble and cast spells (which are enhanced in power by the item) as if you are there. This allows you to deal with "trouble" without having to leave home. Corvus was a home body after all.
The other part of the write up which you are commenting is the generic addition to all Orb Posts. It also lists the implied powers, in this case, the nudging of minds to perform certain tasks and the more universal orbs being able to interfere with each other's magics. Go to Comment
Personally, I would have preferred a more complete description of this ONE orb, what were the intended magics for this orb? The only reason I ask is because I read this site for ideas, and this one seems to need a little more fleshing out before I can use it for MY purposes, which is to pick and choose the best ideas and throw them together in my own special way. ;)