The answer to your question is likely to fall into the category of game system mechanics. The absolute requirement is that the sword's bearer must intentionally wound themselves - not another, regardless of willingness. Unless taken from them, the sword still only works for the bearer. Others grabbing it, or impaled by it, will not transform.
As for how does it know? - magic. The action of wounding oneself with intent in mind is sufficient to invoke the magic. I think the theme of wounding oneself and spilling blood into the water is a far more atmospheric means to invoke it then buttons. If it makes it clearer, then assume that the act of shedding ones own blood with a mental image of becoming a shark is actually a ritual.
As for it being sentient, thats actually not a bad idea if there are not too many such things about. I would see the blade's personality being quite cold and businesslike and preferring the bearer stay a shark.
Still a solid piece however this one has some typos. For example, in the first section, 3rd paragraph, 'through' has become 'though'. In the last plot, 'they' is typed as "then". Also, in the title, the apostrophe has been eaten up? Go to Comment
I see, I thought the apostrophe might have been eaten rather than being intentional. I remember in migration to version 3, all apostrophes in my subs had been eaten and I had to manually add them back in.
And yeah, with items, it's sometimes just so natural to name them The..... Go to Comment
Love the physical description of the blade, and the baggage that comes with it. Perhaps the blade wasn't forged specifically for Quedoth, but was what he chose as his reward (which may be another source of anger for the merfolk). If it wasn't forged for him originally, I wonder who owned it in the past. I also like the idea of giving this thing sentience and having it act as a sort of "demonic other half" of your brain when you are in shark form.
Overall, a beautifully formatted sub for a well-thought out item. Go to Comment
I don't get it, does everyone who gets cut by the sword turn into a shark? That would be hilarious during underwater battles. I know it says the bearer of the sword, but how does that work? What if an enemy grabs the sword while the original bearer is still holding it, would he also be counted as the bearer?
If it had been like, press the pommel of the sword to polymorph the bearer, okay.
But you use the blade to initiate it. While dramatic, that's the end that's gonna end up hitting others more than yourself, so... Just wanna figure out how it is triggered.
Is the blade sentient? How does it know that you are intentionally cutting yourself, as opposed to nicking yourself by mistake. Go to Comment
A nasty, nasty beast. The best thing this sub did was make me read corpsefall, which is awesome :D
I can imagine that in corpsefall, people would risk raids on one of these critters' dens (perhaps while they are out at a corpsefall) to scavenge the massive spines as building materials. Go to Comment
I like it. I've got a good image in my head, and its sticking. A bone-lion the size of an elephant is an appropriately epic mount for a evil giant antipaladin, or whatever.
However, I want to quote my Grandma in saying, "If all you've got is a big scary monster without any any weird powers, you've got to put a dress on it before you bring it to the ball," i.e. I feel like the Leonamuth would benefit from some weird lore or tactics.
Maybe you can make a fantastically deadly poison from its eyeballs. Maybe it wakes up sleeping animals by tapping them awake. Or it carries you off into the desert, gives you five minutes to run and hide before tracking you down (as long as it isn't too hungry) like a big, horrible cat playing with its food. Or they howl at the moon at night, except instead of howling it's like whalesong played backwards through Anton LaVey's skull without a pause for breath, and instead of a moon they howl towards the direction of the next corpsefall. Or else they use their mane-spines to build beautiful, deadly dens (I assume the spines are poisonous) for themselves and their mates, like bowerbirds. (Rival leonamuth are always trying to smash each other's dens.) Or how they'll stalk you with their bellies in the dust, so you can't see them sneak up on you, but their tails bob around 15' in the air like a golf flag is stalking you (My cat does that because he's an idiot.) Or how they roll around in their kills, spiking the remains on the their manes for a later snack. Go to Comment