Posts Tagged ‘swords’

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival theme is “Weapons of Legend” chosen by Scot Newbury over at Of Dice and Dragons. Who doesn’t love this theme? Definitely check out Of Dice and Dragons at the end of the month to see all of the carnival offerings from this month piled together.

Here on World Builder Blog the Free Game Resources section of this site is brimming with all sorts of glorious weapon options for your fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons game. There’s firearms, bombs, siege weapons, mechs, mounts, magic weapons (including firearms and bombs), new conjuration spells, and artifact weapons for you to arm your PCs with. What am I missing? That’s right, intelligent magic items. Well the wait is over. Prepare to meet four new magic swords straight out of the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide. These are the swords used by Canus’ international peacekeeping quartet, The Swords of Findalay. Read on!

Who Are The Swords of Findalay?

So if you’re new to the blog and don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of reading older posts about Canus, Findalay is a continent comprised of four countries. Aeranore, a kingdom of humans and gnomes, Taliana, a democratic republic of elves and halflings, Bragonay, an empire of dwarves and their warforged slaves, and Marrial, a true democracy of dragonborn. All of these four countries have warred on and off for thousands of years and so they established a group of peacekeepers known as The Swords of Findalay to police the governments of the continent. Each country sends one hero to serve a ten-year term as a Sword. New Swords are granted special intelligent magic weapons when taking on their mantle presented to them by the outgoing Swords.

The Blades of Findalay

Weapon (longsword), legendary (requires attunement)

Each of The Blades of Findalay was forged by a master smith of its namesake country. The blades of these longswords are large, brightly colored gemstones. While the swords share some similar properties, each blade is imbued with its own unique personality, look, and a defining magical attribute.

Each of The Blades of Findalay is a magic longsword which grants a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it and can be used as a spellcasting focus. When used as a spellcasting focus the item grants a +1 bonus to spell attack rolls and spell save DCs of your spells. When all four of the blades are within 500 feet of each other the bonuses to attack rolls, damage rolls, and spell save DCs rises to +3.

As a bonus action while holding on of The Blades of Findalay you can cause the weapon to shed bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light in another 30 feet after that. It takes another bonus action to extinguish the light.

The Blade of Aeranore

The blue sapphire Blade of Aeranore sings “Aeranore the Bold,” the country’s national anthem, when being swung in battle. It’s gold hilt features the flag of Aeranore on its pomel and the phrase “Power in Knowledge” is carved on its cross-guard in Gnomish.

Flight. While attuned to the Blade of Aeranore you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed. You can use the sword to fly for up to 1 hour, all at once or in several shorter flights, each one using a minimum of 1 minute from the duration. If you are flying when the duration expires, you descend at a rate of 30 feet per round until you land. The sword regains its hour of flying after you complete a long rest.

Sentience. The Blade of Aeranore is a sentient weapon of neutral alignment, with an Intelligence of 14, a Wisdom of 10, and a Charisma of 18. It has hearing and darkvision out to 120 feet.

The weapon can communicate telepathically with its wielder and it can also speak, read, and understand Common and Gnomish.

Personality. The Blade of Aeranore is unrelentingly patriotic, but not overtly nationalistic. It has a love for Aeranore, but it respects the other nations of Findalay. It critiques the other nation’s more harshly, but will grudgingly admit when push comes to shove that Aeranore is not perfect.

The Blade of Aeranore loves good strategy and is always nervous if its wielder acts without a plan whether in battle or diplomacy. The sword will always give its own thoughts and opinions about a plan even if its opinion is not invited. It cannot resist giving advice for the sword feels it is better to over-prepare than to have things go awry.

The Blade of Aeranore desires peace amongst the kingdom and believes knowledge is more important than strength. It is always searching for new tomes to read particularly those which deal with Aeranore’s history. The sword has a vested interest in learning about the other Findalayan countries as well since the right cultural fact or historical reference can turn a diplomatic encounter from unfavorable to favorable.

The Blade of Bragonay

The serrated, ruby Blade of Bragonay revels in combat and laughs wildly when it is surrounded by the red mist of blood. Its adamantine hilt is encrusted with small diamonds and glowing red Dwarvish runes which spell out the word, “Power.”

Thrower. The Blade of Bragonay has the thrown property with a normal range of 30 feet and a long range of 90 feet. Immediately after a ranged attack is made with the weapon it appears back in your hand.

Sentience. The Blade of Bragonay is a sentient weapon of neutral alignment, with an Intelligence of 10, a Wisdom of 14, and a Charisma of 18. It has hearing and darkvision out to 120 feet.

The weapon can communicate telepathically with its wielder and it can also speak, read, and understand Common and Dwarvish.

Personality. The Blade of Bragonay speaks only when necessary and usually in short, gruff sentences. The weapon has little patience for hi-jinx and tomfoolery that aren’t in celebration of a job well done, especially if there’s still a task which needs doing. That being said, the weapon has a soft spot for dwarves and dwarvish culture and is extremely protective of its wielder. If ever its wielder is personally attacked with words or steel, the sword comes screaming in to defend. It laughs at all of its wielder’s jokes and praises the smallest achievements like a fool in love.

While The Blade of Bragonay supports the mission for peace in Findalay it does love a good battle, particularly with monsters who have no tie to any of Findalay’s governments. The weapon encourages its wielder to kill first and ask questions never when a band of marauding giants or evil dragon threaten the land. The wielder of the sword finds the weapon publicly pushes for the harshest punishments for nations which violate the Treaty of Findalay including its namesake country.

There are those who believe The Blade of Bragonay to secretly send visions of Bragonay’s future world domination to its wielder. While these visions have never been proven, it would explain why Bragonay’s last Sword murdered the others at the behest of the nation’s empress.

The Blade of Marrial

The fine emerald Blade of Marrial chants prayers to The Sky Dragon as it swings through enemy ranks. The silver hilt of the blade is emblazoned with images of all manner of sea creatures as an homage to the nation of islands.

Amphibious. While attuned to The Blade of Marrial you have a swimming speed of 60 feet and can breathe underwater.

Sentience. The Blade of Marrial is a sentient weapon of neutral alignment, with an Intelligence of 12, a Wisdom of 12, and a Charisma of 18. It has hearing and darkvision out to 120 feet.

The weapon can communicate telepathically with its wielder and it can also speak, read, and understand Common and Draconic.

Personality. True to its democratic creators, The Blade of Marrial supports solutions which make the majority happy. It is easily the best negotiator of all The Blades of Findalay because it is the most-even tempered and patient. The sword listens to all opinions and facts before giving its own well-reasoned stance.

The Blade of Marrial makes it a point to not show any favoritism toward its wielder or its country. In fact the sword goes so far as to force a new wielder to earn its trust before beginning to impart telepathic thoughts to it. In battle the sword preaches mercy believing sparing a life to be the stronger option (when such an option is available).

The Blade of Marrial has a particular hatred of slavery. It is grudgingly accepting of Bragonay’s enslavement of the warforged because it has to be, but refuses to speak in the presence of any who support the enslavement other races, such as diplomats from Parian.

The Blade of Taliana

The wicked alexandrite Blade of Taliana offers bawdy curses in Elvish and Halfling as it cuts down enemies. The onyx hilt of the sword is studded with small emeralds and emblazoned with images of elf and halfling heroes of legend.

Invisibility. As an action you can cast invisibility on yourself while attuned to The Blade of Taliana. You can use this ability three times and then must complete a long rest before you can cast the spell in this way again.

Sentience. The Blade of Marrial is a sentient weapon of neutral alignment, with an Intelligence of 16, a Wisdom of 8, and a Charisma of 18. It has hearing and darkvision out to 120 feet.

The weapon can communicate telepathically with its wielder and it can also speak, read, and understand Common, Elvish, and Halfling.

Personality. The Blade of Taliana is the least formal and appropriate of all The Blades of Findalay. It is quick with a jest and must be silenced in diplomatic situations as often as it must be called upon for jokes to ease tension. It japes in good fun at the expense of its wielder and offends in poor taste at the expense of others.

The Blade of Taliana bores easily, so it’s a good thing it finds diplomatic situations fascinating. While on the road or deep in a dungeon, it implores its wielder to find some mischief to get into so they might have a story to tell. Likewise the sword pushes the wielder to take risks in its personal life not for glory or riches, but for the fun of it. It is no surprise that the sword loves pranks.

When things truly seem hopeless or without proper course, that is when The Blade of Taliana truly shines. For all its rudeness the weapon cares for all The Swords of Findalay and their mission and often gives rallying speeches to bolster its allies. Above all The Blade of Taliana does not want to see Findalay fall into another war on its watch and acts which could put the continent on such a course offend the sword to its very soul more than any bawdy tale told at a fancy dinner party.


You know what this calls for? A free PDF of everything above so you can easily add The Blades of Findalay to your game. While I’m at it, I’ll give the weapons to you in their own PDF and in a second PDF along with the other 80+ magic items I’ve created for Exploration Age. You can grab it in the link below or you can head on over to the Free Game Resources section of the site where it will live forever alongside plenty of other resources for your game like monstersD&D fifth edition rules modules, backgroundsspells, magic items, and more.

The Blades of Findalay

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I love giving out magic items. I think it’s because I remember how I felt getting them as a player. The excitement of unlocking the power of something hidden in an ancient temple for hundreds of years is like no other. The story and history of a sword or helm or belt could be awe-inspiring and terrifying. As a player my magic items are like pets to me. As a DM I look forward to designing and handing out these rewards or rolling on a random magic item table and seeing what might come up.

This is about a quarter of the magic items needed for a PC in fourth edition to survive to level 30.

In the third and fourth editions of Dungeons and Dragons magic items became exhausting. Just look at this article from James Wyatt’s wandering monsters column. It discusses the number of items a DM was expected to fork over in order to make the game math work correctly in earlier editions of D&D. In fourth edition it was encouraged by the rulebooks that players give DMs wish lists of the items they wanted because there were so many from which to choose. DMs were happy to hand them over because there were literally several thousand items in the character builder alone. Creating a customized magic item took a lot of time since DMs wanted to make sure all the math worked out. It was a lot of work to just give out items to keep the math correct and making your own balanced items was even tougher. Not to mention at higher levels character already have enough options in combat to make even the most experienced player’s head spin… and magic items just added to the confusion and slowed things down.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE third AND fourth edition. I just think they were flawed when it came to magic items.

An excerpt from the Bounded Accuracy article linked below.

An excerpt from the Bounded Accuracy article linked below.

Well no more in D&D Next! Thanks to the bounded accuracy system, a PC needs no magic items in order for the math to work out properly. Magic items are back to being special again, baby! I can give as many or as few as I please and the magic items will feel unique and special. Not to mention a magic item received at first level is just as relevant at twentieth, so I don’t have to stock magic weapons stores with +3 swords because a PC’s +2 sword isn’t strong enough to make the math work at his or her current level. I don’t even need magic item stores at all! Rather than spend their gold on more magic items they need to survive, my players can get creative and spend their hard-earned graverobbings on building castles, researching new spells, starting guilds, or any other crazy thing they dream.

Magic Items in Exploration Age

Any permanent magic item in Exploration Age requires a gem to hold and focus its magic. So all magic items have at least one gem affixed to them somewhere. More powerful items may have larger and/or more gems required in order to be created. This accomplishes a few things which help make magic items in Exploration Age feel unique and special.

  • Adventurers and others have a good guideline for figuring out if an item is magic before casting the usual detection and identification spells.
  • Gems can be affixed to nonmagical objects in order to deceive and give the appearance of magic where there is none.
  • While adventuring in Exploration Age finding gems is more exciting than in a typical D&D game. Finding a gem usually meant turning around and immediately selling it for gold back in town (large diamonds were sometimes saved for raise dead rituals). These economic interactions can be fun to role-play… the first 20 times. It gets a bit old and the players have to keep track of how many gems they find and how large they are. Eventually most DMs just give gold to cut out the middleman. Well now finding a gem means something more! They can be saved and used to craft magic items.

Magic Item Creation in Exploration Age

In a recent Live D&D Next Q&A with designers Mike Mearls, Rodney Thompson, and Chris Perkins they revealed there will be an optional rules module for magic item creation included in the core rule books for D&D’s next edition.

Now unfortunately for me and my designing the details of this module have not been made public. That won’t stop me though. There are a three things I’m willing to assume about the module.

  1. It will cost money and resources to create these items. One can’t make something from nothing.
  2. It will take significant time to create these items. This is a normally safe assumption reinforced by the fact the that this magic item creation rules module came up while discussing how PCs could spend downtime during an adventure.
  3. Magic item creators must meet certain prerequisites in order to create certain items. Those prerequisites could be related to level, class, race, or even alignment.

Most important for me is the first assumption. Whatever the R&D team at Wizards of the Coast decides is the right amount of gold to spend to create a magic item, I’m going to say that rather than paying the cost all in gold, half the cost must be paid in gems which are then incorporated into the item’s final design.

Don’t mess with this guy. He’s got a lightsaber.

In Defense of Weird

On a personal note, might I add I love strange magic items? I’m talking about the things that make you laugh or furrow your brow in the Dungeon Master’s Guide of any edition. Take, for example, the dust of dryness.

Excerpt from the latest D&D Next playtest packet.

Excerpt from the latest D&D Next playtest packet.

Pretty lame when you compare it to magic armor, right? Wrong! You got to think outside the box, my friend!

Get creative and use that dust to turn a tavern brawl into a naval battle. Or to threaten a group of desert nomads withholding information by holding the dust over their oasis. Or dry up an underground lake to see the oozes lurking below. Heck, throw it onto one of those oozes and see what happens! Could be nothing. Or you could be carrying and ooze around in your pocket like a Pokemon trainer. That’s a story people at the table will remember forever. Moments like that are why we pour hours of free time into these games.

Every item is a chance for unique and creative play. So don’t turn your nose up at the apparatus of Kwalish. You just haven’t thought of how to use it yet.

Sample Magic Items for Exploration Age

Mind-Warp Rod

Legendary wondrous item

This long iron rod is of aberrant make and has many small mouths carved along its surface. When aberrant creatures are within fifty feet of the rod the mouths all laugh manically in unique individual voices.

Long ago aberrant wild mages created these rods to be used by elite skirmishing troops to sew confusion amongst the draconic ranks. These items are abhorred by dragons and many of them have been destroyed. Only a precious few remain in Canus.

Property: As an action this rod may target a creature, area, or the wielder who is subject to a random effect (roll on the table below). Aberrant creatures targeted by the rod may choose the effect which targets them.

Roll 1d20 Target Effect
1 Wielder Creature becomes invisible per the spell.
2 1 creature within 50 feet Creature is polymorphed per the spell into a cow. (DC 14)
3 1 creature within 50 feet Creature collapses prone in gales of laughter for 1 round. All attacks against the creature have advantage and it cannot take actions. (Wisdom saving throw DC 14 negates)
4 A line 100 feet long and 5 feet wide A lightning bolt per the spell shoots from the tip of the rod dealing 6d6 lightning damage. (DC 14)
5 1 creature within 50 feet Sees all creatures in the area as enemies for 3 rounds. (Wisdom saving throw DC 14 negates)
6 A 30-foot square area Becomes covered in grease as per the spell. (DC 14)
7 A 15-foot radius area within 50 feet Becomes a zone of truth per the spell. (DC 14)
8 1 creature within 50 feet A swarm of spiders and scorpions covers the target for one round dealing 4d6 poison damage. (Constitution saving throw DC 14 negates)
9 Wielder Wielder is instantly more attractive and has advantage on all Charisma rolls for 1 minute.
10 1 creature within 50 feet A ray of enfeeblement is shot from the rod with a +6 bonus to attack.
11 A 20-foot radius within 100 feet Silence for ten-minutes per the spell.
12 Wielder Gains the benefit of comprehend languages, read magic, and speak with animals for 10 minutes.
13 Creatures with an adjacent 15-foot cone Color spray per the spell. (DC 14)
14 Creatures with an adjacent 60-foot cone A barrage of tiny needles attacks, per the conjure barrage spell. (DC 14)
15 Wielder Gains the benefit of darkvision for 1 hour.
16 Wielder Immediately knows where all magic items are within 100 feet.
17 Wielder Gains the benefit of the levitate spell for 10 minutes.
18 A 20-foot radius within 100 feet Creatures are subject to the entangle spell. (DC 14)
19 Wielder Becomes the target of the sanctuary spell. (DC 14)
20 A 20-foot radius within 100 feet 6d8 HP of creatures put to sleep per the spell.

Artifact magic weapon (great sword)

This massive great sword is a copy of the one carried by the dwarf empress goddess, Caramey. The adamantine blade is carved with colorful runes along the flat on either side which name the different levels of the Bragonian caste. When wielded in battle it sings a hymn in dwarven about the power of the empress.

It is said Caramey sent a single copy of her weapon to Canus to give to the first dwarven empress to help her lead the rebellion against the shardmind while fighting the dragons. Others believe the sword was actually created by the shardmind themselves and given to a dwarf warrior to aid her in the war against the dragons. Whatever the case this warrior led the charge against both dragons and shardmind. Though she lost the sword in battle, she did become Bragonay’s first empress.

Property: The wielder gains a +1 to attack and damage rolls made with this weapon. Creatures with the draconic type feels a strong revulsion to the weapon. If they maintain contact with the weapon for one round, draconic creatures take 3d6 pyschic damage.

Property [Attuned]: You must be a dwarf to become attuned to the weapon. The weapon’s bonus to attack and damage rolls increases to +4, and it does an extra 3d10 damage against draconic creatures.

While carrying this weapon, the wielder may speak, understand, read, and write draconic.

While this weapon is drawn, it sheds bright light in a 15-foot radius. Allies of the wielder and the wielder within the light gain advantage on Will and Dexterity saving throws. Whenever these allies and the wielder are subject to a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage from an effect, they instead take no damage on a successful save, half damage if they fail.

Trail-Blazer Beetles

Uncommon wondrous item

This fist sized, copper orb constantly appears to have moment just underneath its shiny surface. The cardinal directions are carved into the sphere.

Property: When thrown the orb turns into 500 tiny, copper scarab  beetles who eat vegetation and snow, making forests, jungles, and snow fields making a small path which is longer difficult terrain. These paths are easily followed and cannot be made through solid rock or large trees. The beetles move in a path defined by the person who threw the orb for 10 hours and then revert back to orb status. They eat only plants and snow. They cannot be used again until a long rest has been completed.

While active the beetles can attack plant-based creatures, who are subject to a DC 12 Reflex saving throw or take 2d6 damage.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!