1- minus 1 sword
Something went wrong with the spell put upon this sword, and the spell had he opposite effect then the one that was intended. The sword is slightly harder to hit with then a normal sword, and moves slightly more slowly then normal. In stats terms, it functions as a -1 Sword, but the owner will not know this until he or she tries to fight with it for the first time.
This sword is barbed all along it's length and does double damage, but many countries and cities bar it's use, and will not allow the owner in through the border post or city gate without surrendering the sword to be destroyed, as it was used by some nasty people in the past and so was left with a very evil reputation as a result.
3-Pig Iron sword
This sword looks good, but was made with inferior pig iron. Every time it strikes someone or something, throw two dice. On a double one the blade breaks in two. It can still be used, what is left of it, but at a -3 penalty. Taking it to a blacksmith to be fixed will mean the blacksmith pointing out that it would cost more to fix it then it would to buy a whole new sword.
The blade is heavy. Too heavy. Whilst it does deal double damage on a hit, there is in stats terms a -3 penalty, and using it in battle for long will start to tire out the sword owner leading to further temporary loss of skill after only a few combat rounds. If the owner falls into water and holds onto the blade, it will drag him or her down into the water.
It is up to the GM what curse this sword has on it and why, but here are 30 Curses to choose from. Once the sword is abandoned, or sold to some unknowing sap, the curse will vanish, but if it was sold, the buyer and his or her friends might turn up demanding their money back of the PCs have not left the area quickly enough.
Most likely discovered amongst the grave goods in some barrow, the bronze sword does not rust and can be polished to make it look as good as new. However, bronze is softer then iron or steel and the blade will quickly acquire notches and chips in battle that will quickly lower it's effectiveness dramatically.
For some reason this sword has not been sharpened yet in either it's point or it's blade, and until it is sharpened will just be a metal bar with a hilt. Perhaps the PCs stole it from a blacksmith's shop or perhaps it was found amongst purloined grave goods in a tomb. Or a city bans sharp swords from being sold within it. Sharpening is needed to make it be a proper sword.
8-Badly notched sword
This sword has been a veteran of many battles, leaving the blade so nicked, notched and damaged that the owner will be lucky to be able to cut anything with it, until a blacksmith has fixed or outright replaced the damaged blade. To cut something or someone with it requires a successful Luck roll.
The blade is rusty and whilst that means that it might well add tetanus to the other horrors of warfare, it also makes it weaker and more likely to break, at least on a critical hit. Plus it's not exactly a blade that can be drawn to impress people or worn at the royal court.
The sword is a "paperhanger", a display piece that feels awkward when used to fight with and was never meant to fight with. It was meant just to hang on a wall and look at. Skill stats will suffer if a PC has to fight with this. Whoever made it does not know how to make a real sword for use in battle.
A beautiful looking sword fit for a king and worth a lot of money, the golden sword cannot keep an edge for every long and is so soft that a few hard blows with an iron blade will either break the blade outright, or more likely bend it right out of shape. It may make a very good royal symbol, but it is near useless for real combat.
If new when found it shines like new copper-as that is what it is. Weaker and less able to take and hold a sharp edge then the bronze sword, it is most likely to be found by PCs in a pyramid or other tomb of the distant past, or held by a race that is allergic to iron.
13-Beligerant magic sword
This sentient talking blade is continually insulting random people trying to get it's owner into fights with people and animals not caring who or what they are. It may give a bonus in combat, but many would say the sheer aggravation and the trouble it causes makes it frankly not worth having. For an unknown reason it has a particular hatred for law enforcement.
14-Faulty glow sword
It glows green, but the glow continually flickers on and off like a faulty florescent light tube. In the day this does not matter much, but in the dark it makes it hard to fight for both it's owner and whoever is attacking him and her, as it goes on for just long enough to ruin the night vision of everybody on both sides before going off for a minute or two.
The tang on this sword is weak, leaving the blade not properly attacked to the hilt and likely to break off at the worst possible moment.
Although good enough for slashing with, the point has broken off in some earlier fight leaving it not very good for thrusting with.
17-Sword with broken Blade Hand on it
This sword was originally fixed with one of the Blade Hands and has been drawn in anger with the result that the sword is now glowing red and a loud wail is constantly coming from it at an almost eardrum-busting level.
18-Flint sword without magic
Perhaps a purely ornamental item for a Stone Age tribal chieftain and liberated by PCs from his barrow, a badge of office, this looks amazing but one good blow with an iron sword or two blows with swords of weaker materials will shatter it into small fragments. The blade can cut flesh however but is no good against armour.
19-Royal Guard sword
This blade is a sword held by the Royal Guards, down to the coat of arms in the center of the cross-guard. Even if the city you are in is very weapon friendly, the Royal Guards will at the very least want to question a PC seen with this, as they will want to know how exactly he or she acquired it.
This sword has a curse on it that attracts trouble in general, from law enforcement, criminals, dangerous animals, bouncers, even random civilians. People seem more willing to fight or otherwise cause trouble with the owner of this sword.
21-Sleeping spell cast on it
A long time ago a sleeping spell was cast on this sword to overpower it's owner, and although that was a long time ago, some of the spell remains on the weapon. It is no longer strong enough to make someone fall asleep by holding the sword, but it does induce a general sleepiness and lassitude which is the last thing needed when in a fight for one's life. In stats terms it has a -3 penalty.
22-stuck in scabbard
Because of rust, or because some prankster put glue in the scabbard, the sword is very firmly stuck in said scabbard and only an Ogre would have the sheer strength needed to draw it. Instead of a sword, it is more like a club.
23-Sword of Fear
This sword is none other then The Sword of Fear. A jewel in the hilt casts a powerful Fear spell on the owner's foes, but unfortunately after the first casting, further use makes the owner fall victim to the Fear spell as well and get more scared each time the Fear spell is cast.
A heavily curved scimitar, some of the more bigoted people who the PCs meet may accuse them of being friends with Orcs. Which is ironic if it is won by killing Orcs.
25-Two bladed sword
With a hilt in the center and a three foot blade coming out of both the top and bottom, this was designed for the gladiatorial arena as a weapon to amuse the masses. In the hands of someone properly trained in it's use, the weapon very much is one to fear, but the average person is probably in more danger of cutting themselves then their enemy.
26-Three bladed sword
Another weapon used in the gladiatorial arena, the three bladed sword has three blades, two at 45 degree angles to each other. In the hands of one trained in it's use, this is a very good weapon, but it takes rather a long time to master it.
27-Broken blade halfway along it
This sword broke in battle and needs fixing by a blacksmith, and until one does it has lost it's thrusting ability and is only half the length of an average sword, so the owner will be in a distinct disadvantage in a fight.
28-Ill fitting hilt
A basket hilted blade, the basket hilt would provide excellent hand protection, except that it is too small for the new owner to get more then a loose grip on the sword.
29-Arm of Night's Reach
This sword was made by the Undead for the Undead to use and causes sources of light around it to fail. Torches go out, magical light fails or goes wan, and it is not helpful for the living as they cannot see to use it properly (see number 12 of 30 Swords ).
The sword is a rapier-that is seven feet long. Not only is it near impossible to draw quickly but it gets in the way. People passing by trip over it, it knocks things off stalls and shelves, and the city guards at the gates are likely to order that part of it be chopped off before it is allowed into the city.
31-Fire Sword with missing scabbard
This potent magical sword has a blade of magical fire, but unfortunately the magical scabbard that can safely contain it is gone. This means that it is in danger of igniting anything flammable that it touches. If placed in water, it will slowly heat the water to the boiling point in the same was that enough hot stones do when they are placed in water.