"My, what a curious blade. Not nearly as bright as those glasses of yours, but much more... proactive." The old man admired the sword that rested in the palms of his hands.
Veracit nodded. "I've been thinking strange ever since I got it. I was hoping you could help me control what it shows me, Corran."
Corran smiled. "Those glasses, they see the truth. This blade, it thinks of the truth a bit differently. Where the glasses are all about what is, this blade is mostly about what can be- and how that future can be changed."
"What makes you think that?"
Chuckling, Corran handed the sword back to Veracit. "You see to understand. Weapons are for people who feel the need to do something about what they see."
The Blade of Intuition is vaguely defined, always as a sword. The tales give varying lengths, although most commonly said is that the sword is of bastard sword size. The sword is almost always spoken of as having lithe but extremely strong construction. The blade is always sharp, never needing maintenance.
Possession of the sword conveys very strong intuitive strengths to the owner. This intuition is most often sudden flashes of inspiration, and feels a strong compulsion to act on them. The sword conveys pleasure when one follows their 'gut instinct' 'hunches' or other non-exact lines of reasoning. The sword allows its wielder to aggregate information together to come to conclusions easily and quickly, often allowing one to utilize information others overlook.
The sword actively seeks out information for those trying to solve a mystery or answer a question. The sword conveys its desires to its owner. These fact-finding missions are often seemingly meaningless, and not always prove profitable for all involved. The sword treats all hunches equally, no matter how far-out, bizarre, or improbable they are. Not close to to infallible, many have come to false conclusions, gone off half-cocked, and messed up a mission when not all information gleaned was correct.
Using the sword in combat tends to make one more reflexive, agile, and prepared. However, most users find that when they make a mistake in combat with the sword, the severity of their errors is markedly increased.
The Blade of Intuition was birthed from Corran's Flame, about a thousand years before Corran came into possession of the flame. The Blade of Intuition maintained a strong magical appreciation for the flame, seeking it in all matters of philosophical inquiries about creation. The sword's original designer is unknown, but many of those who held the sword for any length of time usually grew to be wealthy. Its uses have spanned from making clutch business decisions, conducting war, making romantic advances, and sports betting.
Most (in)famously, the sword was present during the collapse of markets within Danamax, when the possessor of the sword sold his vast diamond holding before prices fell. The resulting economic tumult left the canny merchant in position to assassinate the reigning crime lord and replace him.
The misfortunes of following a bad hunch due to the blade are often not told, due to the deaths of those involved. Multiple grand mistakes resulted from the Blade of Intuition, including Corran's Self-closing Chamber Pot.
The sword should amplify the importance of details characters are likely to miss. Small clues should be able to provide a strong- albeit not full- support for a claim or idea. The idea to to lead character to jump to conclusions. Good results lead to a Sherlock Holmes type situation, where failures entail characters going off half-cocked, blundering, and failing to see the entire picture.
The Sword acts as a combat aid, but an obstacle when a hunch turns out wrong, leading to an even worse situation.
The Blade of Intuition differs in opinion with the Spectacles of Hidden Truth, believing that action must be taken on information that is available. It is a rash, often childish item that encourages action almost above all else. Those learning to utilize the sword optimally must learn to separate when to act from when the sword wants them to act (which is always). Someone in possession of both items may find the items disagreeing, both trying to seduce them to a certain course of action.
Hunches, their use, and some thoughts.
So players have hunches all the time. It's the nagging voice in the back of their head telling them that the DM is an evil son of a bitch and has monsters behind that door. Although technically meta-game, the sword is a chance to amplify and convince players to follow their own 'gut feelings'. The sword should actively reward this type of playing, where players start to try to piece things together themselves.
Conversely, the sword is an aid. It's a way to push players, reveal information, and provide means of learning about the world. The difference between the two styles is easy: A player's hunch will usually start with "I think...", and will indeed come from the player. One enhanced or imparted by the sword will be described to the player by the DM "The door feels ominous....".
Those provided by the sword should definitely not be a crutch to players. The sword does -not- seek to control players through the information it reveals. It believes in empowered its wielder to make better, more informed (usually) decisions. The sword would much rather convince a player to follow their own gut feeling than to have to force-feed them information. Best use of the blade would involve strongly rewarding characters who assume a Sherlock Holmes like state, only having the blade flat out give hunches when required to keep the plot moving along.
In many ways, the Blade could function easily as an artifact whose beneficial effects on the user in combat increase as they start following their guy feelings and intuition. The danger will always exist that they have seen the information wrong, and sometimes the player with the Blade will be outtalked of his decision by his party mates. But these are all great for story.
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? Responses (11)
Update: Bbcode oops
Update: BBcode hates me
Sherlock Holmes's sword.
I've struggled for a while to post this one (It was started just after I posted the Spectacles)- it wasn't until I actually realized 'This sword emulates how Sherlock/Dr. House thinks' that I was able to really hammer it out.
First off, I must say that I like the idea of this blade a lot. After all, what better way is there for a GM to give the party hints or point out the (blindingly obvious) clues that they always seem to miss? However, I would really like it to be a little better defined.
I think my main stumbling block is the source of the "hunches" or "ideas" that a PC gets. Does the player have to state the hunch out loud? Does the GM assign them based on a random dice roll, perhaps modified by the character's intelligence? Does the sword get these hunches on its own?
Without a clear idea of the hunch that the sword is trying to prove, I think that a player could become lost really quickly, not understanding what the sword is supposed to be doing. If this central concept is codified a bit more cleanly, this submission would easily move from a 4 to a 5 in my mind.
If I could give this comment another +5 XP, I would.
Update: Big blurb at the end on hunches.
Very clever GM tool! It's fun thinking that players could feel like something would happen if they kick this tripwire only to be greeted by a nasty trap if they do. Even better, they could feel compelled to say something rude to a half-ogre, receive a minor beating, and then receive help and/or praise from someone who can aid them in their current mission. I really love that this sword can be as bitter as it is sweet and can help as often as hurt. Good read!
This not just an excellent GM's tool but an excellent players tool as well. This amplify the traits of the character, as IF-J says some players have different instincts. This forces both the player and the GM to wonder what the character is thinking and then amplify the results. I wish you had written this years ago.
Who needs perception when you can wield THIS instead! Great way to to establish some gm-to-player repartee! Endless fun.
I really like the quote about swords being for someone who wants to change what they see. Great job!