Melee Weapons

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ID: 6512


November 2, 2011, 12:05 am

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Howard's Haliberd


They didn't nickname him "Sparky" behind his back for nothing...

Appearance: If you didn't know that it was magical, you would not think it was any different from any other haliberd issued to the Pier Point City Guard. It looks slightly battered  and tarnished from years of use and many a fight and battle.

Benefits: If the owner says a certain code word, a crackling bolt of lightning as if straight from a thundercloud will bust out from the weapon, electrocuting anyone or anything it touches. Given enough time it will power up again, but  such is the impressiveness and the danger of the bolt that it rarely needs to be used twice. Unprotected flesh will be seared to the bone, cloth and leather armour will be burnt, and whilst chainmail and plate armours will only get a nasty mark, enough of the electricity will get through the metal to give the target a horrid shock.

Drawbacks; The further away it is from thundercloud season, the longer it takes to recharge after being fired. In a thunderstorm it can reload quickly; at the other end of the scale with no thundercloud anywhere near the weapon it takes several days to reload. It is heavy, if the fight goes on long enough it's owner will tire before his attackers do. Lastly, it gains it's powers from it's owner's love of glory;in the hands of a  coward or someone content to hang back, the power of the bolt will be much reduced.

Lore; John Howard was the eldest son of a noble line, but from when he was five and saw a city guardsman ran after a criminal, trip him with the handle of his haliberd and slap the cuffs on him, he knew that was what he wanted to be...a fearless member of law enforcement. As a young child he played often with a stick, pretending he was a police officer hunting down criminals and dragging them off to jail. When he was old enough, he announced to his parents that he wanted to go to the local City Guard acadamy for basic training, and his parents were horrified. They suggested that he train as a prosecution lawyer instead, with a good change of becoming a judge who sentenced the criminals. That way he could get rich.

Or if that seemed too dull, his father said he could eaily get him a commission in the Royal Army as a lieutenant. With his abilities and his father's contacts he could quite easily become a colonel by the age of thirty and a general by the time he was forty,his parents said. They pointed out that police work was often boring, fustrating,hard and occasionly dangerous as well. Butr he was determined to enlist, so his father took a haliberd from the family hoard and paid a lot for a witch to enchant it. He entered the acadamy just like any other recruit, didn't fail or drop out and after six  months got his badge and guard armour and was sent out on patrol.

The somewhat low pay, hours of boredom guarding some door, policing some demonstration or patroling cold streets did not bother him, nor did he knowingly beat up and frame innocent people or give into the temptation to take bribes, arresting anyone who tried to bribe him. And when violence was needed, he was an expert at jamming his haliberd into someone's stomach, tripping them up with it or as a last resort, bringing the blunt end down on a head, never using the sharp edge of the blade except to parry weapons or bricks.

After a few years he became a Sergeant with twenty officers under him, and was not afraid to arrest high ranking criminals.  After bribery attempts were refused, and an attempt to frame him for police brutality was defeated with his father's help, a couple of professional assassins were sent after him. One scarpered and escaped with his life, the other was fried by the haliberd's power of lightning used for the first time in Howard's police job. There was an inquiry of course but given that the dead man had been trying to hit Howard with a drawn sword at the time, it was ruled justifiable homicide. Since then he's used the lightning bolt power one more time, to quell a minor riot in it's tracks before it became a major riot, and is very happy doing the job he loves.


On occasion the lightning bolt can fire wrongly, only giving a slight shock instead of a deadly one, in effect a magical misfire.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Redgre
November 1, 2011, 23:17

A halberd that shoots lightning.

Voted Scrasamax
November 8, 2011, 0:39

An interesting and fairly high powered item, at least in the hands of the city guard. I can see a senior guardsman carry the halberd and using its thunderbolt power, cracking thunder and lightning above a crowd to disperse it, or bring its attention to him, rather like the man firing his shotgun into the air to gather everyones attention.

Voted Dossta
November 8, 2011, 13:11

I rather like this one.  For the sake of identifying it, however, I would probably add a small thing to the Appearance section.  Perhaps "Sparky's" initials or family crest etched into the blade somewhere.  Otherwise, it's possible that the haliberd could have been lost or stolen sometime during Howard's service and he wouldn't have known the difference.

Voted dark_dragon
December 1, 2011, 9:43

I like the halberd as a magical item, while powerful, I think its power is fairly well balanced. 

What I like best about this post though is sparky's backstory. I can see him fit into the almost any fantasy world and he'd make an interesting character to meet while RPing, regardless of which side of the halberd the PCs find themselves on.

Voted valadaar
March 19, 2013, 19:16
Only voted
Voted Moonlake
June 28, 2015, 4:16
Did you realise that John Howard happened to be the Prime Minster of Australia at around the time when you wrote this? Anyway, the lore's pretty good.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Monument

When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.

To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.

It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.

The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.

It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.

GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).

Encounter  ( Forest/ Jungle ) | July 14, 2005 | View | UpVote 2xp

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