How Weapons Become Magic Weapons
'And Arathinos brandished the Foe-Reaper, and let loose a battle cry. He stood, with rain pouring out of the heavens, on a mountain of bodies. The rain washed the blood through channels in the corpses. Arathinos raised the Foe-Reaper and saluted the fleeing enemies before him, as lightning crashed around him.
The Foe-Reaper is a great blade. With the years spent in Arathinos's hands, it has taken up a myriad of powers. And most prominent among those powers is dramatic effect. What is more morale-sapping than seeing your enemy with a backdrop of lightning, as if the arrows of the heavens stand with your foe?'
Magic weapons. They have crossed the hands of all adventurers at some point. And many had names. They have a great many stories attributed to them. Stories of their making. Stories of their deeds. Stories of their abandonment. And how did they get those stories? By being wielded.
And who wields a weapon? A warrior. A person strong in heart, who charges out to the field with nary a thought. Either beheading heads or crushing skulls, the warrior uses such weapons to kill.
Some warriors become great. And those warriors, no doubt with bloodstains on their cloaks, either name their weapon or have their weapon named for them.
As is apparent, a warrior's weapon is important to him. They may feel it is their lucky weapon. It may just seem to be a good weapon, perhaps slightly better than the rest. But it is important to him, better than the other weapons of its kind.
It is not known how it happens, but it does. Magic creeps into the weapons as they are wielded. And such magic can only be brought out by the warrior when using the weapon.
The weapon gains special powers. Some weapons gain multiple, weak powers. Some get one, that gets stronger each time the weapon is used. The powers themselves is unique to the weapon. Sometimes they seem to bite a little bit deeper to the target. Others become as light as a feather. Or perhaps a more powerful effect, like the mighty Ironblade- the hit body part turns to immovable iron. Some, like the Dark Dagger, are wrapped by a dark halo and spread a slow acting poison inside the target who never notices the strike.
Such powers are myriad, and unpredictable. It usually has something to do with either the blade or the wielder. Sometimes the weapon might dredge up some fear of the wielder, and become stronger against that for the wielder's sake. Or it might find something the wielder values, and fit that more than otherwise- such as becoming a more honorable blade, or a more agile blade.
The theories behind how this happens are many. Some say that a bit of the wielder's soul transfers into the weapon. Other say that the ambient wild magic is attracted the weapon. A couple claim its the War God's blessing to the successful. Another is that the names they are given attract powers. But no one really knows why weapons gain powers.
It is at this point that I should mention the use of other weapons. If a warrior decides to use a second weapon, then the powers and strength of the first get weaker as the second grows stronger. The exception to that is double-wielding. Holding two swords does not weaken one, they are taken as a unit, as if they were one sword, and the powers attributed to them can only be used together. Sometimes warriors strengthen one, Â and then strengthen another, and then dual-wield. This would make it so that each weapon has some strength alone, and other powers together. If this is done, any individual weapon's power can be sued at any time.
What happens when another person uses your weapon? Depends on whether or not the original wielder is dead or not. If they original wielder is alive, then the taker cannot earn or use powers for the weapon. If the wielder is dead, then the taker can earn new powers for the blade- but cannot use powers the old wielder had gained.
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? Responses (5)
There are some aspects of this which I already use in making most of my magical items, and that is that the best and most unique of magical items are not made by enchanting a weapon - they are made by exposure to greatness - By greatness, I mean both positive an negative. Great Valor, Great sorrow, Great love. A focal point of intensity in time which is so significant that things - even mundane objects - belonging to that focal point cannot help but be warped and augmented in ways not fully understood by man. These items are not simply 'enchanted' by some two-bit wizard, but are truly magical in the purest sense of the word. Mundane spellcraft cannot undo these augmentations because they are not really of magic itself, they are something much more - they are an evolution, of sorts.
Anywho, this is good in the sense that the essence and deeds of a person can be the cause of magical weapons, as opposed to some wizard-nerd in a lab pushing his thick-rimmed glasses up his nose, slapping a textbook '+3' enchantment on a sword and talking to himself in a nasaly voice, 'Oh yeah, thissle be the sweetest sword ever! I'm gonna call it 'ButtSlicer 2000!' '
This a good addition to the list of possible magic item description, and loads better then Edisoneque making an item that solves a problem that seems to be the default.
As with Shadoweagle's comment, I like using unique powers in weapons. A wizard creating a generic magic sword or weapon whenever he feels like it makes a campaign over powered and in my opinion, senseless.
I would consider adding this to the Quest about this theme: Quest -- What Makes a Weapon Magic. You'll get a little more XP for it, and it'll be linked to a bunch of related submissions. As for the system itself, I like it. You're basically saying to your PCs that they can't pre-purchase a magic weapon, since the powers it possessed in its previous owner's hands are gone, but they CAN expect their weapon to develop abilities of its own if they continue to use it. This puts a neat spin on the game, and it's an idea that I'm very eager to try out one day.
A nice little system that makes magical weapons identifiable from one other. As Dossta already mentioned, would be a good addition to the previous Quest here on Citadel.