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Backstabbing (weapon enhancement)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

This weapon is slightly deadlier than normal, for those with the knack to handle it. In the hands of a character who can deal sneak attack damage (such as a rogue) or someone whose race’s favoured class is rogue, a backstabbing weapon deals +1d6 bonus damage on a successful sneak attack. Ranged weapons so enchanted bestow the ability on their ammunition.

Faint evocation; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, true strike; Price: +1 bonus.

Author’s note: I’ve seen two +1d6 sneak attack enhancements in other publications since I first created this one – one priced at +½, the other at +2. Since sneak attack works only on living creatures with a discernable anatomy, and only when the opponent is flanked or caught flat-footed, and even then it can be rendered impossible by many situations or properties, I have priced it at +1, the same as a flaming weapon (+1d6 fire damage).

Deathscythe (Relic)

posted Thursday, March 20th 2008 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

This magic item originally appeared 17 Relics by The Le Press. A relic is a powerful magic item which once formed part of the body or belongings of some great figure. See Seventeen Relics for special rules on relics.

In a kingdom ravaged by terrible creatures of living dead, the Deathscythes were first discovered as the weapons of choice of a new and powerful undead abomination formed by an archlich whose name is not spoken even today, lest it wake him from his sleep. Originally a nonmagical farming scythe, the corrupted spirits of ghostly slain farmers leaked into these weapons and gave them supernatural efficacy. Only a few Deathscythes are thought to still exist.

A Deathscythe is usually a +1 ghost touch scythe, although some are more powerful than normal. In addition, the vicious, life-hating spirit of the weapon deals +1d6 negative energy damage on a successful hit against a living creature.

Once per day, the wielder may call upon the fragment of undead spirit in the weapon and declare one attack a “Reaping of the Scytheâ€? before he rolls it. If the attack successfully hits and deals damage, the wielder must make a Fortitude save (DC 5 + half wielder’s character level+ Cha modifier) or be struck dead instantly. This is a death effect.

Moderate necromancy; CL 16th; Price 40,000gp; Weight 10lbs.

Featherlight (melee weapon enhancement)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

First created by elven clerics to allow their warriors to wield a longsword in each hand, a featherlight weapon wields like a much lighter weapon, thus counting as one size class smaller for the purpose of determining how easily it can be wielded. For example, a human’s featherlight greatsword could be wielded as a one-handed weapon, and an elf’s featherlight longsword could be wielded as a light weapon.

The weapon’s damage is unchanged by this enhancement. Due to the inherently “light” nature of the enhancement, it cannot be applied to weapons sized for creatures larger than Medium, and for the purposes of disarm attempts it counts as if one size smaller (a featherlight longsword is as easily disarmed as a shortsword).

Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cat’s grace; Price: +1 bonus.

Author’s Note: In v3.5 rules a Greatsword sized for a Large creature would deal an average 3.5 points more damage than one sized for humans, which is too powerful for a +1 equivalent enhancement. At best, this enhancement allows a person to wield a greatsword one handed for an average +1.5 points damage over a longsword, which is about right for a +1 enhancement.

Glamered (weapon enhancement)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

A glamered weapon has the ability to appear as an entirely different weapon, which must be chosen when the weapon is given this enhancement and cannot be changed thereafter.

Only its visual appearance changes – the weapon still feels and acts like its original form, and anyone interacting with the weapon receives a Will save (DC15) to realise the illusion. The glamer ability can be supressed or resumed as a standard action. Popular uses of glamered weapons are to conceal one’s identity by having one’s world-famous legendary weapon appear as a mundane one, to carry a type of weapon considered illegal in certain lands, or to disguise a deadly assassin’s weapon as a harmless quarterstaff.

Faint illusion; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, silent image; Price: +500gp.

Junstarien’s Leg (Relic)

posted Thursday, April 24th 2008 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

This magic item originally appeared 17 Relics by The Le Press. A relic is a powerful magic item which once formed part of the body or belongings of some great figure. See Seventeen Relics for special rules on relics.

Religious archives tell of an ardent warrior named Sir Junstarien, a knight of the Church of Life’s Fire who joined the priesthood after his family was killed by a necromancer with a repertoire of massive skeletons. He channeled his anger into zeal and sought to avenge his family, but his skill with the sword and shield let him down in the battle with the necromancer. Wounded and disarmed, he quickly prayed for divine help and miraculously managed to wrest the thighbone right out of the nearest skeleton. He destroyed the skeletons and their master wielding the thighbone with supernatural efficacy, and kept it as his weapon of choice thereafter.

Junstarien’s Leg is effectively a +2 ghost touch undead-bane greatclub, a weapon forged not by magic but by Junstarien’s sheer faith and determination. The weapon is still imbued with the echoes of his stoic relentlessness, granting the wielder a +2 morale bonus on all saves versus any supernatural, spell-like, extraordinary or natural abilities, or spells, used by an undead. The weapon resonates with positive energy, dealing 2d6 damage per round to any undead who attempt to wield it.

Once per day as a standard action, the wielder may call upon Junstarien’s faith to extend the relic’s power to all allies within thirty feet, granting them the bonus on saves versus undead and temporarily giving all weapons they carry the ghost touch property. This lasts for one round per point of the wielder’s Charisma modifier.

Moderate evocation; CL 14th; Price 50,000gp; Weight 8lbs.

Magicbane (Minor Artifact)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
ArtifactsGame MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

This simple black-handled blade is similar to a longsword in appearance, but reduced in size to that of a dagger. For the purposes of being used in combat, it counts as a +5 keen dagger.

However, only when in the possession of an arcane spellcaster is Magicbane’s true power unleashed. Its base damage increases from 1d4 to 2d4, and on an attack roll of a natural 20 the target must make a Fortitude save, DC24 or be slain instantly. This ability functions even if the the target is normally immune to critical hits, but not against enemies immune to death effects.

Magicbane grants its possessor spell resistance 25, and immunity to death effects, polymorphing, sleep, paralysis and hold effects. The possessor is immune to all curses (such as bestow curse) – except, however, on a roll of a natural 1 on a the save (the possessor is afforded a Will save versus curses which do not normally allow a save). Additionally, the possessor may freely discard any cursed items, and all items he carries are immune to rust and disintegration.

Magicbane does not have to be actually held or wielded for the possessor to gain these benefits, merely keeping it on the owner’s belt is sufficient. Just as well, since the weapon is intelligent and detests being used in actual combat. If the weapon is drawn in earnest combat, an ego conflict occurs, and the wielder must succeed at a Will save (DC31) or be unable to use the dagger as a weapon for one day; success means that it allows itself to be used as a weapon for one day. It has the following ability scores: Int 22, Wis 18, Cha 19; with an Ego score of 31. Its alignment is Neutral and it can communicate telepathically with its owner if within 100ft. It is also unaffected by antimagic or dead magic areas.

In the hands of any other than an arcane spellcaster, the weapon behaves only as a +5 keen dagger. Its preferred owners are wizards and adepts. At the DM’s discretion, it may opt to hide its powers for an owner it deems not a serious arcane spellcaster (a fighter with only one level in wizard, or an assassin).

Strong evocation; CL 19th; Weight 1 lb.

I converted this from Nethack.

Minor Trait (weapon enhancement)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

As spellcasters push ever more of their own personal energy into the creation of powerful magic items, a few occasionally pick up minor traits of their creators. When in the posession of such a weapon, the owner often behaves slightly differently. This side-effect is almost unnoticeable to the weapon’s current owner, and many a dumb-witted fighter has wielded such a weapon for years before realising its effect. The following is a list of known traits for a weapon, though others undoubtably exist.

  • Alignment – Owner behaves slightly more like the alignment of the weapon’s creator. This can be a boon (a character with a chaotic trait weapon finding themelf more creative) or a downside (a normally honest person with an evil trait weapon who feels an urge to cheat or steal).
  • Appearance – The weapon’s owner gradually begins to look slightly like the creator. He may grow or shrink slightly, his hair colour may gradually change, and/or his facial features may alter a little. The owner gains a +1 to disguise checks, increasing to +2 after several weeks.
  • Personality – The owner begins to share the creator’s outlook on life. While this isn’t powerful enough to turn a paladin into a power-hungry tyrant, he may find himself gaining a little of the creator’s bravery, curiosity, bad temper, patience, ingenuity or some similar attribute. This may bestow a circumstance bonus or penalty between -2 and +2 on certain circumstances, at the DM’s discretion.
  • Race – The owner gains a minor ability of the creator’s race, and may also gain a barely noticeable physical change (but not significant enough to warrant a Disguise bonus). Examples include:
    • Aasimar – +2 competence bonus to Sense Motive checks.
    • Dwarf – +2 competence bonus to Craft (Weaponsmithing) checks, beard begins to grow faster (even if the character was unable to grow a beard, such as an elf or a human female).
    • Elf – +2 to saves vs sleep spells, ears become slightly elongated and pointed.
    • Gnome – +2 competence bonus to Craft (Alchemy) checks, nose grows slightly larger.
    • Half-Elf – +2 competence bonus to Search checks, slightly pointed ears or greenish eyes.
    • Half-Orc – +2 competence bonus to Intimidate checks, jaw extends slightly and becomes squarer.
    • Halfling – +2 competence bonus to Jump checks, height shrinks by an inch or two.
    • Lich – +2 competence bonus on Knowledge (arcana) checks, gaunt build with deep-set eyes.
    • Tiefling – +2 competence bonus on Bluff checks, reddish eyes.

A weapon rarely has more than one minor trait, and it is usually the most dominant trait of the weapon’s creator. Traits are not usually included in the full name of a weapon – somehow, Kurgendar’s +5 keen chaotic dragon bane greatsword sounds less heroic with minor gnome trait added to it. The DM may also apply creator’s traits to other magic items.

Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Magic/Psionic Arms and Armor; Price: +400gp.

Necromantic (weapon enhancement)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

Necromantic weapons are infused with negative energy, attacking the victim’s life energy with every hit. They deal +1d6 bonus negative energy damage on a successful hit. The bonus negative energy damage dealt by this weapon cannot be healed naturally or magically until 24 hours after the damage was dealt. If used against undead, this weapon ‘heals’ them by 1d6 points instead.

Moderate necromancy; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, enervation; Price: +2 bonus.

Rubiel’s Chance (unique weapon)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

Once an angel of peace, Rubiel was known for his friendly nature and compassion for all living creatures, and his capacity for alleviating illness and solving disputes without bloodshed far outweighed the combat ability of many of his peers. Once, however, he found himself forced into combat with a dangerous rebel angel to protect a group of mortals, and had no choice but to kill him. Horrified at the realisation that he had slain a fellow angel, Rubiel was overcome by guilt and sealed himself in the weapon of the angel he had slain in the hope of one day finding repentance at the hands of a chosen mortal.

Rubiel’s Chance is a weapon with a modestly celestial appearance – perhaps a few Celestial runes engraved somewhere upon it, or a holy symbol on the hilt. However, the weapon’s type is unknown – it may be a longsword, bastard sword, longbow or some other weapon entirely, since the type of angel Rubiel killed was never recorded. It is fated to find to find its way into the hands of a mortal who has suffered a great deal of hardship in their life, although the bearer need not be particularly heroic or altruistic – one previous owner obtained the weapon by theft.

In addition to being a +2 weapon, Rubiel’s Chance counts as a good-aligned weapon for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. The wielder is granted a +2 competence bonus on all Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks.

Rubiel’s Chance is also said to have further power in the hands of the Swift Scion, the weapon’s fated wielder.

Moderate evocation; CL 14th; Price: 10,800gp plus the masterwork weapon cost.

Rusted Faith (Relic)

posted Thursday, May 22nd 2008 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

This magic item originally appeared 17 Relics by The Le Press. A relic is a powerful magic item which once formed part of the body or belongings of some great figure. See Seventeen Relics for special rules on relics.

Garamond, a fallen holy warrior who had lost his paladinhood, searched for five years for the legendary Holy Avenger in the hopes that finding it would restore his faith. When on a stormy night he reached an impassable river that marked the eastern border of the kingdom, he threw his sword into the torrential river in despair, and when he realized what he had just done he attempted to drown himself in the river. When he awoke a week later, he found himself washed up on his shore with his rusted sword next to him. Taking this as a sign, he fought unwaveringly with the sword for the rest of his life.

Rusted faith is a +2 holy longsword – although some reports claim that it may be a bastard sword. It appears as a slightly rusted, corroded sword, but in practice is miraculously just as strong as a normal sword of its type. Baptized in the river instead of by the hand of a mage, the weapon is not detected by detect magic, but has a moderate aura when detect good is used. As long as the weapon is carried, wielded or is set down sheathed within five feet of its owner, it sustains them without the need for food, water or air.

Furthermore, the wearer can activate the weapon’s Rusted Blade ability once per day as a free action, giving the weapon a rough orange glow until the ability is discharged. The next time the blade strikes a creature or object vulnerable to rusting, it infuses the “impureâ€? material with corrosion, affecting them as by a rusting grasp spell. The wielder of the weapon is immune to his own Rusted Blade ability.

Moderate transmutation; CL 11th; Price 37,315gp; Weight 4 lbs.

Self-maintaining (weapon enhancement)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

A minor weapon enhancement invented by a lazy wizard’s apprentice, self-maintainining weapons never require cleaning, sharpening, oiling or minor repairs. Additionally, it automatically repairs one point of damage on itself per hour provided that it has not been completely destroyed.

Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, mending; Price: +500gp.

Sword of Catharsus (specific weapon)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

The Church of Catharsus are responsible for upkeep of the army of Rynwold. This longsword is the standard issue weapon for members of the clergy above the rank of Initiate. (In game terms, this typically means any fighter, cleric or paladin of at least 2nd level.)

In addition to being a masterwork weapon, the sword is self-maintaining – it never requires cleaning or sharpening, and if damaged repairs one point of damage to itself per hour. It grants its owner a +1 bonus on saves versus fire effects when drawn. Bastard swords of this type are also not uncommon.

Faint evocation, faint good; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, mending, resistance; Price: 915gp. Weight: 4lbs. These statistics are for a longsword – for a bastard sword, increase cost by 20gp and weight by 2lbs.

Sword-Chucks (novelty weapon)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

This strange weapon is almost as dangerous to its wielder as it is to its enemies. Sword-chucks are a cross between the longsword and the nunchaku, with the unfortunate design flaw of being invented by one of the most bird-brained fighters in history. Essentially, the weapon is a set of two longswords, attached by a short length of chain.

Sword-Chucks, two-handed exotic double melee weapon. Cost 60gp, Damage (small) 1d6/1d6, Damage (medium) 1d8/1d8, Critical 19-20/x2, Weight 6lbs, Type slashing. On a roll of a natural 1, the wielder strikes himself with the sword-chucks, automatically hitting and dealing damage.

The Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat for this weapon has an additional prerequisite of Dex 15. Any wielder not proficient in its use must make a reflex save (DC 18) once during each round in which they attempt to use it as a double weapon, or else automatically strike themself with the weapon.

Teaching (weapon enhancement)

posted Saturday, December 17th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

The wielder of a teaching weapon automatically finds himself proficient in its use. This ability does not grant proficiency in other weapons of this type – for example, a wizard with a +1 teaching greatsword does not gain proficiency with other greatswords.

Faint enchantment; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, identify or wieldskill; Price: +1 bonus.

The Sacred Ash (Relic)

posted Thursday, May 29th 2008 by Jonathan Drain
Game MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

This magic item originally appeared 17 Relics by The Le Press. A relic is a powerful magic item which once formed part of the body or belongings of some great figure. See Seventeen Relics for special rules on relics.

When the head priest of an old cathedral was discovered to be acting suspiciously, one of his subordinates began to spy on him, only to find out a dark secret – the head priest was a vampire! Unfortunately, the poor priest was attacked by the vampire immediately after he discovered this secret. Fumbling for a weapon in the ensuing fight, the young cleric picked up the end of a chair leg broken in the melee, quickly blessed it and killed the vampire with the weapon.

The Sacred Ash is a simple, pale wooden stake made from ash wood, which glows faintly with sunlight when any vampire comes within thirty feet. When used as a weapon, the stake is treated as a +1 dagger, except that its threat range is 20/x2 instead of the usual 19-20/x2. By its unusual blessing, it ignores a vampire’s natural damage reduction, and furthermore its warming glow inflicts 3d4 extra damage against any creature for whom sunlight is deadly.

Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Price 13,000gp; Weight: 1lb.

Thundaril (Minor Artifact weapon)

posted Sunday, December 18th 2005 by Jonathan Drain
ArtifactsGame MaterialMagic Items & GearThird EditionWeapons

Known through the centuries under several names, this legendary greataxe has been wielded by countless generations of dwarven heroes. Constant exposure to powerful magic and untold feats of bravery has infused the weapon with a soul of its own, and some believe it has been blessed by Moradin himself.

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