Sunday, December 23, 2018

Santicore 2018: 1d10 Useful, Cool, Magical, Cursed Swords!

 For Save VS. Hollowing. Happy Holidays, Anton.

1. The Chicken Knife

What appears to be a simple dagger, and about as effective. However, every time the wielder of this blade runs from a combat instead of engaging with it, the dagger gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls, with no upper limit. However, as soon as it's used for even a single attack, the bonuses are all spent, and disappear afterwards, resetting to zero. This is situational enough, and certainly useful, but there is an additional curse. You see, the higher the bonus the knife has, the more the wielder smells and tastes like delicious chicken, making it harder to actually escape from hungry foes.

2. The Sword of the Swan Prince

This elegant longsword appears to be optimized for honorable dueling and heroic action; its hilt stylized to resemble two intersecting swans. In truth, this blade is a Holy Avenger, save that it will work in the hands of anyone who is pure of heart, fair of soul, and loves the world and is loved by the world. Additionally, at any time, the sword can be willed into the form of two swans that will serve as the familiars of the wielder, and this will happen automatically if the blade is sundered, able to repair itself simply by the mental command given to the swans.
The sword has a power that is both its greatest miracle and its most legendary curse. At any time, the wielder of this sword may, as a prince once did, turn the blade unto themselves and sunder their own heart, sacrificing their will, emotions, memory, and personality. Their spirit will be fragmented and cast to the winds, leaving them a shell that can still walk, speak, and act, but lacks all passion and determination. in exchange for this horrid price, the wielder can perform a miracle, and achieve any Wish, with the caveats that this wish must be noble and selfless in intent, and must not destroy anything. A great evil can be sealed, but not slain, etc. Finally, if the sacrifice's heart is ever restored or replaced, the wish will be rendered null and void.
There is one more curse; a deeper curse. The wielder of this blade is a hero, a prince, a child of wyrd. No matter what happens to them, they will face adventure, calls to heroism, and peril only they can quell. This isn't much different from most fantasy adventurers, so this quest isn't immediately apparent, but there's one bitter catch. The 'prince' of the story spun by wielding this blade... will never live Happily Ever After, so long as the sword exists.

3. The Thousand Knights Fang

Forged from the fang of a great demon lord, this sword was created in order to bring peace and protection to those caught in-between, and those dear to them. This sword can only be attuned by someone of mixed blood, such as half-elves or half-orcs, otherwise it functions as a mere cold iron longsword. In the hands of a proper wielder, it becomes a +1 blade of any shape desired or preferred by the master, and it possesses a unique ability. Firstly, it can cast Identify 1/hour, and secondly, it can sunder and destroy magical weapons and permanently absorb their enchantments. New enchantments overlap instead of stacking, so if the sword has been improved to a +4 blade, and you destroy a +5 weapon, it becomes a +5 sword, not a +9. If two qualities contradict each other, the new one overwrites the former. Curses are also absorbed and become part of the blade.
Additionally, if a magical beast is slain with the blade, their qualities, if applicable, can be absorbed as well. A drider's venom might lace the blade, or it might wreathe itself in the flames of a dragon, as appropriate. However, absorbing the qualities of a monster is especially dangerous. As discussed, the blade absorbs curses, and no curse is greater than the grudge of a dying creature. If a creature is killed for its abilities, it may spend its last breath to prompt a saving throw against its curse, and may add a cursed quality to the blade of their design, as long as it doesn't overstep the bounds of a Bestow Curse spell, and it's thematically appropriate to the creature, the circumstances of its death, or the ironic folly of its murderer.
If two curses conflict, they have a 50% chance of cancelling each other out, incentivizing cursed psychopaths to go get cursed more. They murderfucked their way into this mess, they'll murderfuck their way out.

4. The Thousand Heavens Fang

The twin of the Thousand Knights Fang, born to give mortals salvation from the sorrow of parting. This blade can only be used by 'monsters', such as demons, full-blooded orcs and other monstrous races, vampires, and the like, or mortals who have killed at least a thousand of their own race. However, it only have value to those with compassion in their hearts. This sword is inarguably, unambiguously unable to harm mortals and the living. Against psychopomps, angels and devils (and other extraplanar beings related to the next world), and the undead, this functions as a +4 greatsword despite its slender, lightweight shape. It offers its wielder perfect Truesight in regards to seeing souls, spirits, and any otherworldly phenomena, seeing them and for what they truly are. However, its true value is when it is drawn through a body. it passes like mist through a mortal, but can fully heal those it passes through, once a day per person it passes over. In fact, as long as the body is less than four hours old, it can even revive the dead, flawlessly with perfect healing. However, the soul must be intact and able to return, and a person can only be raised once ever by the mercy of the sword.
The sword shines with boundless compassion, and that is its curse. Useless as a weapon, it attracts the attention of undead and fiends, who will always prioritize the wielder as a target. The final curse, however, is also its greatest gift. The wielder of the blade can revive someone who is otherwise impossible to see again, either because their soul is destroyed, or they were already revived by the sword once before, or whatever. The only exception is a natural death to old age. This special resurrection also blesses the person with permanent safety to whatever killed them the first time; a child raised from a plague will never know illness again. A hero beheaded will let no blade break their skin. In exchange for this miracle, the Fang's master pays everything. They are erased, vanished, and gone. No afterlife awaits them, and none remember them. Those who loved them most in life will grieve them, feel their absence, but never understand why. This is the worst curse under all the heavens, and yet, if only all curses could be so.

5. The Dead Shriver

This flamberge is as beautiful as it is ghastly, bone-white and stainlessly alabaster. The sword is simple at first blush. Having an ethereal and material nature, it can harm incorporeal beings as easily as physical ones. Additionally, it drinks the blood of its enemies, and heals the wielder. The blade is, however, cursed. These hit points are actually Spectral Hit Points (SHit Points, if you will), and they otherwise function normally, but even one SHit Point keeps the wielder from healing naturally, and any magical healing overwrites the SHit before recovering any actual damage loss. If the sword's master ever fully replaces their hit point total completely with these spectral hit points, these downsides are lost... because he is now genuinely, and truly, transformed into a vampire, and all that implies.
But this is not the true Dead Shriver. If the vampire wielder is destroyed at the same time as the sword, or is staked through the heart with the blade (which will magically shatter it), then both etheric essence become one. The sword's master rises as a unique sort of ghost, wielding the ghost of the blade, which is permanently fused to theirs. The sword has a soul, and now it is thee. You are the Dead Shriver.
The Dead Shriver is immune to Turning or Rebuking, answering to a higher purpose. In 3e terms, it's a "Deathless", not an Undead. You are a ghostly creature that can freely materialize between the Material and Ethereal (and Shadow, etc. whatever other 'spirit mirror worlds' your setting has) Planes, can always perceive spiritual/incorporeal beings, and can now devour souls. When the Dead Shriver kills something, or finds something that's been slain/destroyed for less than five minutes, it can devour its soul, which recovers 5 HP per Hit Die.
This is important, as every minute spent in the Material Plane causes the Dead Shriver to lose 1 hit point, and it is unable to heal through anything except its soul-devouring, or magic meant to heal undead, specifically. When the Dead Shriver is reduced to a third of its hit point total or less, it is unable to materialize, and is restricted to the spirit world until it can devour itself back up to maximum hit points again.
Souls devoured by the Dead Shriver are not destroyed; they are saved. Souls that are damned, damaged, corrupted, enchanted, doomed, or broken are saved, healed, purified, redeemed, renewed, and mended before being sent to their rightful place. The Dead Shriver is, literally, the Spirit of Hope to those who have lost it. The final curse is the Dead Shriver Wraith's alone, then. When it is destroyed, it is consumed by the spirit-blade, becoming part of its consciousness. The wraith then possesses the nearest non-magical sword, becoming the new Dead Shriver, to begin anew.
Because the spirit-blade is a spirit, the Dead Shriver Wraith rolls with Advantage on all mental checks, and can Commune once a day, privy to the collected knowledge of countless vampiric martyrs.

6. The Hands of Time

This greatsword is made of clockwork, and it indeed turns to accurately keep time, by manner of the blade functioning as the minute hand, and the handle as the hour hand, both of them slowly turning around the hilt of the blade to form clockfaces. This means that at some times of the day, the sword will overlap in such a way that you cannot grasp the sword's handle without cutting yourself, or swing it without aiming its blade at yourself.
However, the clock is always accurate. This is its power; for if you turn the Hands of Time, you can literally rewind and fast forward through time apppropriately, though you cannot go more than 24 hours in either direction without burning it out for a full day. Finally, the sword can be broken apart, separating the Hands. In the case of this, time is broken, and the wielder benefits from 24 hours of Time Stop. Use this wisely, for afterwards, the sword will repair itself, and the Time Stopper will be gone, vanished into thin air. It's what they get, for they literally broke their own time. They destroyed their future by their own hands.

7. The Monado

A +2 Greatsword of destiny, the sword that governs and guarantees the future. This blade gives the wielder visions of the future, offering Augury at the DM's discretion; the sword has the strange quirk that it will not harm any members of the wielder's race, and deals double damage to any creature that attempts to suppress the future of the wielder's kind. The wielder of the Monado can, at-will, grant its bane ability to all enemies within 100 feet for 1d6 rounds, but each time they do so, or invoke the Augury ability deliberately, they take 1d4 damage, and must save VS permanently losing a point of STR, DEX, or CON (rolled randomly). This is the sword of gods, and is not to be wielded lightly.

If the sword's master is someone who has a limitless lifespan, its nature releases some shackles. It becomes a +3 sword, and no longer causes the ability score burn. The Augury ability becomes Foresight, usable by the wielder 1/minute. Essentially, he can play a round of combat and rewind it in order to change the immediate future. The Monado also gains the ability to cast Dispel Magic, as a Holy Avenger. Using these abilities continues to cause the backlash damage, which is raised to 2d4.

If the sword's master is someone of a mythic nature (such as a demigod or prophecized king), it becomes a +4 sword. It no longer has its restriction against harming the wielder's own kind, nor does it offer backlash damage. However, fate is now trying to correct the Monado-master's existence. Every time they try to change the future, the world attempts to fight back aggressively. Final Destination, straight up.

If and when the sword's Master overcomes 108 unique circumstances of the world's karma trying to counter them as above, they have proven that they are essentially a god. The Monado now bears a +5 bonus, and the wielder can cast Wish 1/day; the sword is also now capable of killing anything. However, the destiny of the wielder is assured; they are now one with the Monado, and they must declare their final quest, their remaining dharma. All the power they now wield must be directed to this final task, and when they accomplish it, they shall vanish from this world, along with the Monado, ascending to a higher plane of existence.

8. The Sword of Dios

The most interesting thing about this sword at first glance is that its sheath is a girl. A maiden named the Rose Bride, whom is engaged to and owned by her current champion, their Engaged, and serves them like a robot, their personality being whatever is desired of them. To such a person, they may mystically draw the beautiful longsword from her body, serving as a Holy Avenger in the hands of the Engaged. This is by default, but the sword actually grows more powerful the more the Rose Bride comes to care for them genuinely. Awaken a true personality within them, and the sword will develop new powers, custom to the context of their relationship. However, the Engaged must always observe the rules of chivalry, and accept any duel made to them. If they lose an honorable duel, the Rose Bride is transferred to the victor, and all that implies, even if it means her personality totally resets. The sword is an unhealthy dating sim with super fucked up inherently abusive power dynamics.
However... if you can fully win the Rose Bride, become irreplaceable in her heart, and truly become her Prince (gender does not matter), then you achieve her power to Revolutionize the World. Whatever you desire, whatever you treasure, whatever you quested for, it is now yours. The world changes to become exactly how you wanted it to be, and the Rose Bride is free to be a normal girl.
Later, however, a new game will begin. And people will fight over a new Rose Bride. He or she will share your face and your name, but... can they be said to share your soul?

9. Ea, the Sword of Rupture

The ultimate sword, the first sword. The divine urmetal that knows the memory of the truth of the world. This is the sword used by the gods to divide Heaven and Earth, and churned the world when it was magma and flame. To cut with this blade is to restore that memory. Anything cut by this sword is reminded of the truth, and reverted to its origin. Whatever you first were, you return to being. For mortals, this generally means 'oblivion'. And if this sword is aimed at the world and swung, then Creation will be unmade, in its totality.
This sword is not even a sword. It predates the concept of swords, and so mortals cannot behold it. Perceiving or observing it in any way overloads the mind, such that it cannot think so long as it is perceiving Ea. This makes putting it away, much less using it, pretty difficult.

10. Cane of the High North

A giant candy cane; though it tastes like peppermint, it is hard as steel and not for eating. In it's natural form, it's a +1 mace that makes its attuned wielder immune to cold. This weapon increases its power with deeper attunement to its master.

If the Cane's owner saves seven people from a life-threaten situation without killing anbody in the process, the Cane becomes mystically merciful, able to convert its damage dealt into harmless, nonlethal fainting 'damage', and can also let the wielder Detect Good and Evil at will.

If the Cane's owner defeats a evil extradimensional being with equivalent Hit Dice to itself or greater, the Cane is now capable of smiting with holy power as if it were a Paladin's Divine Smite. Additionally, the wielder grows a jelly-belly that gives them 5 temporary hit points every round, and allows them to cast a modified Phantom Steed 2/day (and increasing with each tier of the Cane's power, to a max of 5 times) to conjure a mystical Reindeer, with a glowing nose that allows for perfect vision in darkness and fog.

If the Cane's owner ever successfully breaks into a secured space by sneaking through a space too small for them to move, and then out again without detection, they unlock the third tier of the Cane's magic. The wielder can now cast Prayer at-will, always benefits from Freedom of Movement, and counts as insect-sized for the sake of slipping through spaces.

The 4th tier is unlocked if the Cane's master gives 4,000 GP as gifts to the needy within the span of a week. This gives them the "A Few of My Favorite Things" ability as a Fairy Godmother, and they begin every encounter with Sanctuary freshly cast on them. Even when Sanctuary breaks, the Cane's master retains a benevolent aura that gives them a +4 AC bonus against evil creatures, their attacks, and evil spells, and evil summoned/extradimensional creatures cannot touch them at all. Additionally, the Cane's owner can now turn invisible at will.

The 5th and final tier is unlocked if the Cane's master goes on a perilous quest to help a needy child that has already claimed a life, and must do so without any reward. At this tier, the Cane's master gains a limitless lifespan, and any healing they gain over their maximum hit points is reflected outo all allies within 30 feet. Finally, they can cast Limited Wish once a week.

While the powers of the Cane are truly awesome, it is on this list of cursed swords, and while it is not a sword, and it is not cursed, it does bear an obligation. Being bound to the Cane gives the Cane's master a fey aura, making them vulnerable to anything harmful to the fey and the elven. They must also forego all other weapons, and forsake violence and malice whenever possible, as well as any material goods that are not directly in service of bringing smiles to the needy, the good, and the innocent. You're Santa now, act like it.


  1. I love the Rose Bride! Sounds like the premise of a 90s anime. I know this is probably not what you were going for but I'm picturing the sword literally sheathed in her throat like a sword-swallower.

  2. EXCELLENT! It may be the perfect time to inflict... I mean give, some of these swords to my PCs now that they are (accidentally?) ending the world...