Last week I wrote a bunch of alternatives to +1 swords. I did this because I believe that +1 swords are lame. Not only are they uninspired, but they damage the fabric of the game by unnecessarily inflating numbers, and creating standard magic items that players learn to expect. But then someone had the sheer unmitigated gall to agree with me.
So now, of course, I have to prove them (and by extension, myself) wrong by creating the greatest list of +X swords the world has ever seen.
Map Plus “X” A rapier of simple and sturdy make. The blade appears to be entirely indistinct, and yet the point always leaves an “X” mark on anything it punctures. If the wielder takes a map, closes their eyes, and stabs at the map with this weapon, the “X” will mark the location of some valuables.
Which valuables are marked is entirely at the discretion of the referee. They may be of high or low value, they may be free for the taking or guarded by horrible monsters. They may even be in a location within the bounds of the map, but not actually depicted by any cartography. In the margins, for example.
Attempting to use the rapier twice on the same map will result in the map being torn to shreds, rendering it completely useless.
Wielder Plus “X” During downtime, the wielder must meditate with their sword; sitting still in nature and studying the movements of insects. They must acknowledge the superiority of the insectile form, and strive to find the insect within themselves.
At the end of a game session, the wielder may add an “X” to the name they most identify with. This is the name they introduce themselves as, or the one they use to refer to themselves. They cannot extend this process by bringing in last names or middle names that they rarely use. This is about integrating the glory of insect kind within your own identity, not cynically grasping for ever increasing power. The sword will punish those who use its gifts so callously with horrible deformities.
The wielder must be able to pronounce their new name to the referees satisfaction; and they must always pronounce their name that way forever afterwords. Failure to do so results in the aforementioned horrible deformities.
When play resumes next session, the referee will reveal to the sword’s what new insectile feature their devotion has granted them. The nature of these evolutions, and the benefits they grant, are entirely up to the referee. Some suggestions that are in no way compulsory would be:
- The ability to explode their body, harming anyone nearby.
- A stinger.
- A stinger which kills you when you use it.
- A venomous bite.
- A life which ends abruptly the first time you mate.
- A hardened carapace
- The ability to lift many times your body weight
- The ability to climb sheer surfaces.
Plu Sex Sword: Once per day, the wielder may summon Plu. Plu is a horrid boor, and and Plu is horny. Plu has no distinct gender; nor any distinct sexual preferences. Plu just wants to fuck any intelligent creature that will let Plu at em’. None but the most deranged sexual deviants would accept Plu’s offer. Most would sooner vomit than allow the stubby, stinky, lard-beast that is Plu anywhere near their naked bodies.
The wielder has no control over Plu, they merely bring Plu into the world. Plu is a quick way to end any social gathering, or to disgust any decent folk.
Plus X-Beam The wielder of this sword may engage in a minute long ritual in which they slowly wave their blade through the air in a large “X” shape. Doing so summons a pair of well-fortified wooden cross beams. The beams will fill whatever space they’re summoned in up to 15′ by 15′, bracing against the floor and ceiling. In larger spaces the full sized beams appear, but are not braced against anything.
The wielder may do this as many times as they like, but only 5 beams may be in existence at any one time. Summoning a 6th causes the 1st one summoned to disappear. (And so on when summoning a 7th, 8th, etcetera).
Plus Your Ex A Claymore with a thick lens mounted at the center of the crossguard. Once per day, by looking through this lens, the wielder can attempt to deceive themselves with its illusory magic. If they succeed on a saving throw versus Magic, then the foe they look at through the lens will take on the appearance of the wielder’s ex for the rest of the day.
Not a good ex. One that broke the wielder’s fuckin’ heart, ground it into hamburger with malice aforethought. All attacks made against this foe roll double the normal amount of damage dice.
Plus eXtreme! A Zweihander of unnaturally bright colors: a stark white cross guard with hot pink wrapping, and a deep red blade. Once per day the wielder may hold the blade aloft and a beam of light will lance down from the clouds, obscuring all but the wielder’s silhouette. When they step out of this light they will be transformed, and will remain so for 1 turn.
The wielder’s muscles are now massive. Even muscles that do not normally exist bulge as though they’re trying to escape from the wielder’s own skin. This doubles the wielder’s strength score, and allows them to grapple as though they were four levels higher than they are, and to wield the Zweihander in a single hand.
Furthermore, the wielder’s clothes are now covered in pouches. From these they can remove any mundane, non-specific item that is small enough to be held in one hand by a non-transformed character.
If at any time the player of the transformed character smiles, laughs, or shows any sign of an emotion other than melancholy, anger, or rage; the transformation ends.
+ X to Y Sword When this weapon is first acquired, roll the smallest die already on the table that is large enough to include the wielder’s level. (If the wielder is levels 5 or 6, roll 1d6, if they’re levels 7 or 8, roll 1d8, etc.) The die’s result is the numerical bonus which the sword grants.
Next, roll 2d6 on the table below to determine what action that bonus applies to. This bonus remains unchanged until the wielder fails a roll while attempting the task they’re receiving a bonus for. When that happens, both the bonus and what the bonus applies to are re-rolled.
The bonus can never be used to make a roll a sure-thing. If it would, then the referee rules on what the failure conditions would be. They may opt to simply reduce the bonus granted, rule that a 1 is always a failure, etc. Similarly, if the thing you receive a bonus for is not normally rolled in your game, then for you it is rolled, until you fail at it.
2. Making handcrafted ceramic animals.
4. Having a conversation without punching the other person in the face.
7. Attack Rolls
9. Waking up on time.
12. Writing Poetry