Melee Weapons
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ID: 559


January 19, 2007, 10:22 am

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The Martyr's Blade


Touched by the gods, this ancient blade is also called the Hero’s Sword, Trevor’s Folly, and Fooldoom depending on which song or tale is being told about it.

This beautifully made longsword is of obvious Elven manufacture. Runes line its mithral blade.

The blade’s entire history is unknown, though it is surmised that it’s forging happened in the last age as a last-ditch weapon of the Elves against other planar invaders. Though it worked beautifully (fitting for an Elvish blade), it’s wielders all died.  Mostly noble deaths, but the remaining historical accounts say that all who wielded the sword died in combat.  Which is how it earned the names Martyr’s Blade and Hero’s Sword.

Its history is checkered with people (notably Trevor) using the sword and dying in the process - truly a series of pyrrhic victories.

Trevor’s tale brought on the sobriquets Trevor’s Folly and Fooldoom.  Trevor was a mighty warrior, who was of the “hit it very hard” school of fighting.  Years of fighting coupled with bad genetics resulted in his selective hearing of the tales of the Martyr’s Blade.  All he saw was its great power.

So he acquired the blade through wealth and stealth.  Upon finally receiving it, he took it to a private courtyard to test its might.  Striking a tree as hard as he could, Trevor recoiled from a crushing wound.  Thinking that he was set upon by invisible enemies (of which he had many), he proceeded to battle them as best he could. 

Inevitably, the Hero’s Sword found its mark against a tree, stone, or wall furthering Trevor’s belief of attack.  As might be imagined, Trevor died of the wounds received that day.  Bards particularly like retelling his tale, as the song of Fooldoom. 

Some mock those that carry it, others praise them for their willingness to die for a cause.  In the end, it is the bards who decide the results of those who carried the Martyr’s Blade.  

Magical Properties:

The Martyr’s Blade ALWAYS hits, regardless of Damage Reduction.  In addition, it ALWAYS deals maximum damage.

Any damage dealt by the Martyr’s Blade is also dealt to its wielder.  This damage to the wielder cannot be protected against, nor can it be circumvented in any way. 

Additionally, the damage dealt to the target AND the wielder can ONLY be healed naturally - no magic can be used except to stabilize someone who drops below 0 HP.

Those who use this blade willingly are blessed by the deities of Good, and welcomed into their halls.  Subsequently, they cannot be raised, animated, or resurrected by anything short of a True Resurrection followed by a Miracle.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

November 5, 2004, 23:07
What's a "DR"?
Unlike the Foolblade, the D&D stats are pretty transparent in this item. No points deducted for that.
But where'd the backstory go?! It's entire history is unknown?! Who is this Trevor guy?

November 6, 2004, 3:54
DnD does not make armor reduce the damage you suffer, it just makes you harder to hit. Unlike say GURPS which makes armor encumber you but improves your defense rolls and reduces the damage you suffer, or DSA which makes you an easier target when wearing armor, but also reduces the damage you suffer, DnD armors have but three stats - DefenseRating, check penalty and classification (Light, meduium, heavy).

As for the item - not a bad idea, but fleshed out, it could become excellent. While it is OK for the players not to know the history of an item, the GM should be fully familiarr with it.
November 6, 2004, 16:53
I hadn't realized this is a rules-generic site. I'll try to keep that in mind.

I reworked the history for you all, especially why the sword is called Trevor's Folly.

And for the record, I meant Damage Reduction when I typed in DR.
Cheka Man
November 6, 2004, 19:29
Intresting-a sword that harms it's weilder as well as the target.It lacks a good backstory though. Who made it? A wizard-assassin, to ensure that the king or noble who was his target would die in battle? Somebody who hated weapons and the warriors who use them, and this blade is his way of getting his own back? Maybe it was a cursed item placed in a noble's tomb to punish those who rob the tomb.I could come up with a great story about the orgin of this blade if you would let me. 3/5
Voted montreve
February 27, 2012, 16:16

I think this may just be a misunderstanding of context.

If you meant this as a cursed item, or as punishment for those who seek power without thought, I think you succeeded brilliantly, and you can ignore the rest of this.

However the history of the items seems to me like it was meant to allow for a noble sacrifice, ‘a warrior going to certain death, with the hope that he can save the town’ idea, and I think that the martyr's blade doesn’t fill this roll particularly well because no matter the skill of the wielder it only tips the odds further against him.


 - With a truly exceptional amount of luck a commoner could theoretically beat a dragon with a sharp stick. With this weapon, the commoner would just die after his first swing.

 - While using a traditional weapon, a knight easily subdues a few bandits. With this weapon, the knight may still win but even that is a little chancy

I do think that an item like this could be a beneficial magical item to have but it would require a little tinkering, I think the first thing I would do would make it so that it deals more (if only slightly) damage to the target than to the wielder, or maybe some percent base like deals 10% of max health to target and user so as to balance against greater skill/power.

I do think this was a good sub and don’t mean to put you down, just some things that came to mind. In any case I will probably use this item in both capacities.

May 31, 2013, 17:48
Not bad, though dealing the same damage to the wielder and the enemy means he can't beat low level foes he could otherwise dispatch easily without the sword.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Ancient Gamer

The journey had been a long one and now they had entered the mountains. After an entire day spent on paths cut into the mountainside and through moss covered coniferous woods, they encounter a desperate young mountain tribal. He is searching for his beloved wife and his elder brother, both of whom he got separated from after an unsuccessful attempt to kill a cave bear. The last thing he saw was the cave bear in full pursuit of his wife. He could not help her as he had been knocked to the ground by the raging beast, and was struggling to regain full consciousness. The tribal will be clearly nervous and urges them to look for his wife during their travels. He will stay in his village a couple of miles to the north and pleads for assistance should they recover his wife, whether she be dead or alive.

On the next day of travel, they will journey upon a dim track in the forest and while they are preparing to ascend another path cut into the mountainside, they hear moans of lust from somewhere nearby. Upon closer inspection they will spy a young tribal woman in the heat of the act with an elder tribal male. They are consummating their forbidden love on the cold mountain moss, and beside them lay the skinned and slaughtered carcass of a huge bear.

Encounter  ( Mountains ) | December 8, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

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