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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Magical Plusses

On RPGNet, someone asked how characters would talk about the plusses on magic weapons within the game world, for example if a Fighter asked a wizard to make a +2 magic sword.

My first thought was: Don't let them do that. Don't make magic plusses something that wizards can control. Limit in-game descriptions of magic swords to:

  1. It's magic;
  2. It's Lawful or Chaotic;
  3. It slays lycanthropes (or giants, etc.) or has one specific power.

Roll additional powers for the sword after the wizard enchants it; don't let the wizard or the buyer control this, or control the plusses. Roll the plusses randomly.

What you could do is make a reaction roll. A Bad reaction means a cursed weapon; Average or Good means +1, Very Good means +2. Magic weapons can't be made from common metals, but must be made of meteoric iron, silver, etc. Mithril adds +2 to the roll, while adamantium adds double. On 2d6 reaction rolls, a 13-14 is +3 and a 15+ is +4.


  1. I'm afraid "bad reaction" on 2d6 would produce a little too much cursed weapons...
    Unless you create cursed weapons more akin to the mythical ones like Tyrfing (or Stormbringer) than the usual "-1" or "-2": weapons with a real power (i-e "plusses" & special abilities) but also some drawback (gives the opponent also a "plus" to hit, inflicts damage to its own wielder, etc.)

    1. That's actually close to how I'd handle cursed weapons, anyways. Instead of making cursed weapons impossible to put down/get rid of, give them decent powers but a nasty side effect. Make the player weigh the costs and benefits.

      But you could make Bad reaction=feeble enchantment (no plusses, trivial magical power) and reserve curses for Very Bad results.

    2. Also,, don't overlook those material bonuses. A cursed adamantium sword would be exceedingly rare.

  2. Barely-connected thought:
    Is a cursed -2 sword be effective against creatures immune to non-magic weapons? It is a magical swords, after all...

    1. Same here. In fact, if I were using standard Cursed -2 Swords, I'd make them able to hit creatures immune to any weapon below +2 magic.