Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hella Cursed Mega Doom Swords

When I was 12 years old, I invented a magic sword for my Fantasy HERO system game.
12 years later, I invented like 4 magic swords for my fairy tale inspired Fate game.
1 year later, I invented a sword for my BFRPG campaign.
6 is a nice number so here they are.

  1. Frostbite- Herald of the Final Winter. Frostbite is a singularity of Absolute Zero temperature suspended in space a few inches from the hilt by the powerful magics woven into the hilt.
    It also doesn't look remotely blue or cool. It looks like a very hard icicle.

    It is to temperature what a Sphere of Annihilation is to space. The 'blade' is just frozen air acting as a containment for the singularity, and if it is shattered, it immediately reforms. If shattered underwater, it will reform as frozen liquid. If plunged into lava, it'll have a blade of frosted-over black stone. If broken in an absolute vacuum, the sword's full power will be unleashed long enough to make a single strike, freezing the wielder and target to a few decimals above absolute zero, draining all energy from the two victims and reforging the containment blade from their corpses. But most the time it's just a very cold blade- wounds struck by Frostbite cannot heal until they are thawed, and it chills and sunders enemy swords quite easily, forces fire elementals to save or die and anything killed by it to be frozen solid, perhaps to be thawed and healed one day, perhaps to be contemptuously slapped into a million pieces. It can trace a path of ice to walk on over lakes, and so on. If a player asks 'can I freeze X' the answer is yes, so long as they can reach it.
    Frostbite is pursued by the Polar Knights, a group of 6 or so assholes in ice armor with names like 'Glacier' or 'Hail' and so many icy powers one might wonder why they even need the sword.
    The answer is, of course, to kill God/The Sun/The First Flame and bring about the heat death of the universe. Like I said, they're assholes. Did I mention they're immortal and can't die until the universe does? Probably has something to do with it.
    They also have a titanic white scorpion that can flatten castles with its claws. This thing is too big to fit through portals to our dimension and you'll only see it if you take the fight to them on the Elemental Plane of Ice(The Winter Moon in my setting), but it gives an immediate visual indicator of the scale these guys play on.
  2. The Rose Blade- Long, long ago, the Queen of Faerie was called Flora, and she waged bitter war against Fauna and had a mind of roots and thorns and poisoned nectar. The rose blade is a delicate basket-hilt rapier, and the handle has thorns that pierce straight through the hand of its wielder, and once penetrated, they cannot release their grip.
    It looks way cooler than this, trust me

    Not that they would want to. For the poisoned sap of Flora's blandishments seeps into the blood, enslaving the animal who wields it just as bees are the slaves of flowers. The opium haze into which the wielder drifts is irrelevant, because the blade wields itself, jerking the drugged wielder around to pierce hearts and eyes and spill the hot blood of beasts onto the ground to feed the forest. The movements of the blade are faster than the eye can follow and quickly dislocate and shatter the wielders arm into uselessness, but the wielder feels nothing but pleasure flowing from the thorns into their veins. Eventually the wielder ceases bleeding blood from their wounds, instead leaking the sweet stuff, and this honey brings the beasts of the field to serve, licking and slurping the trail of blood and honey.
    The Faerie Queen is greatly embarrassed by this reminder of the bad old days and stuck it into a treestump which is hidden away in a hedgemaze patrolled by the Wild Hunt, and she locked the hedgemaze up, and threw the key away into a pond guarded by 3 amorous frogs. Heroes who make their way to the blade and decide to leave it embedded in the stump earn her favor, but she has no desire to unlock this repressed facet of herself and will hunt any who take the blade to the ends of the earth.
    But the Rose Blade can kill or enslave anything belonging to Animalia. It is something from the very beginning of time, before civilization, before sentience, before souls, and it is utterly unmoved by abstract thought and emotion, though it can mindlessly imitate both to manipulate animals such as yourself.
  3. The First Sword- A crude thing of antler and flint.
    The First Of Swords claimed First Of Kills/
    To The World Bringing First Grave's Chill/
    A Blade To End all Mortal Strife/
    By Ending that Immortal, Life
    It wasn't the first thing ever used by a human to kill another. Knives and rocks and spears and axes and teeth came first. But it was the first weapon that was made for no other purpose but murder. It was the first thing that made Death smile, and if that line doesn't ring ominous to the players,  they'll get the hint once they realize that the sword gives a -2 penalty to all saves for the wielder, and it strikes either a friend or the wielder on natural 1's.

    It acts as a -2 sword- it's unbalanced, not all that sharp, flint is obsolete compared to iron. But anything it hits saves at -4 or dies forever. Even immortal things. Especially them. They get no save at all...  It was made with the intent to kill an immortal entity of spring, for selfish, angry, pointless reasons lost to history, and this story of anger, slaughter, regret, and inevitable death repeats endlessly through the ages.
  4. The Unfinished Sword- A hero sought to slay a dragon, and they were prepared to give up their future as payment to a witch-smith to forge such a thing.

    But while forging the blade, the witch-smith was assassinated by a mistake from her past- a porcelain and clockwork doll. With her dying breath, the witch used her own crumbling future in the blade's creation, and the murderous doll returned the unsharpened, unfinished sword to the hero- after all, the doll had a sword of its own already. And so the hero sharpened their unfinished sword as best they could, and did their best to slay a dragon with it.
    But the dragon did not die. It lost its form and identity and drifted away as a whispering cloud. The sword's slaying potential was disrupted along with the disrupted forging process, and now it could not bring endings- it could not punctuate the story of a life with 'They died, the end." In fact, it ends endings, shattering prophecies and adding blank space for continuations and transformations and sequels and afterwords. For every possibility it shatters, a hundred more potentialities fragment out from the sundered future.
    In short, it forces a Save vs Plot Hook on every hit, but never reduces HP below 1. Villains reveal mixed motivations and possibilities for redemption. No-Name NPCs reveal themselves to be princes in disguise, or offer to lead the players to the City of Gold in exchange for their lives. Angels may fall and devils may cry real tears. The dead find their way back from the underworld and that which never lived gains a soul. Cosmic laws find their rules bent, eldritch abominations collapse into ontological instability and reform as animal mascots. The story of the world is not set in stone.
  5. Deathwish- In ancient times the true heir of Saresare wielded this blade. The Ifrit blood that mingled with the nobility helped control it, and nobles have wishes that can oft be granted with money and mundane power, so the temptation to draw the blade is further lessened.

    The blade grants infinite wishes while drawn, but consumes the soul of its wielder with every wish. And the rate of consumption is such that the price to take or save even a single life is the soul of its wielder, consumed to fuel the fires of the dark blade. And yes, this includes the life of the wielder themselves, in a catch-22 that makes the wishing function practically useless for combat. Changing the outcome of a fight such that someone lives who should have died or vice versa will surely consume the wielder in a flash. Even with subtle wishes, it is impossibly difficult to make wishes that can change the wielders fate without consuming their life as the price, and fools who wield Deathwish are usually destroyed by the unforeseen consequences of their wishes in a matter of days, if that. For want of a nail, a horseshoe was lost. For want of a horseshoe, a horse was lost. For want of a horse, a king was lost. For want of a king, a kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a nail.
    Apart from the allure of the inevitable doom brought by the life-draining wishes of the sword, it also flames brighter and hotter as the wielder comes closer to death. At <10% HP, the sword is a veritable bonfire that prevents any from drawing near and strikes with the combined fury of every soul consumed by the sword (Statistically it probably goes from +1 to +5 for each 10% step below 60% HP) but an unharmed individual who isn't on the verge of defeat feels only a faint warmth in the blackened blade.
    Saresaren nobility seek to possess the sword as their rightful property, as do their cousins the Ifrits, as do the enemies of both.
  6. Fealty
    A brass sword with a brass hilt Fealty was broken into two pieces when its last wielder, an emperor or something, was thrown down. While separate, the pieces have a very dim intellect, capable of mentally communicating little more than 'Swordfight?' 'Swordfight!' and 'Not swordfight!' and only boasting the magical power of being mistaken for a cursed item by taking over the grip of anyone picking up the detached hilt and refusing to let go unless it can extract a promise from the 'cursed' finder that they will use it for swordfights. But once united, the sword's true power as the symbol of a king's authority reasserts itself. Enemies with the mental capacity to swear fealty to the wielder who are brought to 0 HP by a swordblow in an actual swordfight(executing helpless prisoners certainly does not count) must save or have their desire to live overcome considerations of freedom and past obligations, and be mentally subdued and Charmed by the sword. Once controlled henchmen have been acquired, Fealty whispers advice on hireling management to its wielder, ideally converting all charmed foes to willing servitude via fair pay and a say in things. In the event of betrayal, Fealty gets +3 vs traitors, cutting them down with cold contempt and no small degree of fury. It can smell the stench of oath-breaking on any traitor, not just past hirelings, and so random chaotic social beings that actually have names have good odds of triggering Fealty's specific hatred. Though lacking human warmth, Fealty makes an excellent advisor and path towards domain-level play. However, the sword doesn't know when to stop- it pushes its wielder to always seek greater heights, conquer more men, expand the kingdom to an empire, and so on. Ambition is a hard mental influence to detect in adventurers, as most of them are out for power and influence anyway.
    And if, at the end of the day, the empire is a network of magical tendrils of control that all lead to a magic sword, rather than the wielder, who's to complain so long as the wielder gets treated to hot baths and good food? Good servants are rewarded, so why quibble over who's wielding who.


  1. Hella sweet. Feed me more stuff. If Deathwish is used out of combat, is that fine? Or does it drain something vital with every portion of soul snipped?

    Love the First Sword as well, are you perhaps inspired by the First Weapons? I.e. a rock, and another rock. Can't remember where I read about those.

  2. So long as you limit wishes to amazingly frivolous nonsense like 'I wish for a bowl of figs for every table at my wedding' or 'I wish I could juggle' you can have all the petty wishes you please, but as soon as someone, including you, dies or escapes death as a consequence of your wishes, your soul will be claimed in its entirety. If you look far enough into the future and follow the chain of causality, all manner of minor actions will likely eventually meet that condition, so ones soul is simmered and slowly boiled away even with maximally frivolous use... but not to the point where anyone but picky soul-examiners like angels and demons would notice.

    I've never heard of those 'First Weapons,' but 'Firsts' are, I imagine, a fantasy concept that emerges again and again thanks to the common concepts within fantasy. Maybe I can find your rocks with a google, it sounds like a promising read.