Intelligent Weapons

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Bouv
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Intelligent Weapons

Post by Bouv » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:09 pm

I just made up a couple intelligent weapons for my Thunder Rift campaign and wondered how others handled intelligent weapons?

I made a Mace +1, Lawful, 7 Int, 6 ego, 13 willpower, speaks empathically, and can find secret doors 3 times a day and a Sling +1 Neutral, 11 int, 4 ego, 15 willpower, speaks elvin, common, and goblin, can read magic, see the invisible, detect evil, and detect metal. For the sling, I'm thinking it's going to shout insults at enemies, making them want to attack the user more.

How do you handle the damage a non-aligned person recieves from it? If they just pick it up or if they actually try to use it? I'm thinking if they actually try to use it, the weapon senses it at that point and will either try to "bond" with that person or realize they are the wrong alignment and deal the damage.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by rabindranath72 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:55 pm

Usually you don't want to alert a player to the fact that an item is magical straight away, so I'd say the damage is done when attempting to use in battle (when it's most dangerous.) Same principle as cursed weapons.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Bouv » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:58 pm

Yeah, back in my 13 year old days we did that but now I make them find out either through trial & error or employing a sage to help them out in some capacity.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by NPCDave » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:00 pm

While cursed weapons hide their nature, I never got the impression intelligent weapons ever do that(unless they are intelligent AND cursed).

One of the old D&D solo modules, XS1 Thunderdelve, can have the player defeat a bandit holding an intelligent weapon, and get the choice of picking it up. In that situation the character takes damage right away.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Bouv » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:26 pm

And that's the tricky piece - do you have the weapon "speak" once it's been picked up? Or when the PC tries to use it?

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Hugin » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:31 pm

Bouv wrote:And that's the tricky piece - do you have the weapon "speak" once it's been picked up? Or when the PC tries to use it?
In my mind, it would depend upon the personality of the sword and the circumstances.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Bouv » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:19 pm

Hugin wrote:
Bouv wrote:And that's the tricky piece - do you have the weapon "speak" once it's been picked up? Or when the PC tries to use it?
In my mind, it would depend upon the personality of the sword and the circumstances.
Or how evil of a DM you are :twisted: I think that is definately true of weapons that have a purpose (like killing goblins). They may stay quiet until an opportunity arrives and then start speaking up and trying to take control.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by TBeholder » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:25 pm

Bouv wrote:How do you handle the damage a non-aligned person recieves from it? If they just pick it up or if they actually try to use it? I'm thinking if they actually try to use it, the weapon senses it at that point and will either try to "bond" with that person or realize they are the wrong alignment and deal the damage.
If it "zaps non-Lawful creatures trying to handle it", it will, if "zaps Chaotic creatures trying to handle it" it won't. If not defined - apply common sense to the case.
Normally, anyone who isn't explicitly inimical to the weapon's specific purpose ("slay X" vs "X" or "protect X" vs. "X-slayer") it won't zap at all... just constantly try to take over and run away to do its job instead of doing anything else - that's why they have Ego score in the first place, after all - or failed that, jump at opportunities (e.g. it taunts X into attacking - now the wielder will have to slay one, yay).
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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Bouv » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:34 pm

So rolling up some random treasure and I end up creating an intelligence normal sword +4 (BECMI) and ended up rolling a 100% on the powers - so it automatically gets Read Magic, 3 other powers, and 1 extradonardiy power. So I began statted it out -

Sword +4, can speak Common, Elven, and Dwarven. Read Magic, Detect Magic, Detect Gems, Find Traps, and Healing. It is Lawful with an Intelligence of 12 and Ego of 18. Still working on the name (I'm awful with names). Background:

Forged by dwarves and entchanted by a friendly magic-user, this sword was meant to be a gift for some neighboring elves who had assisted the dwarves in defending their home from humaniod invaders (the dwarves would have been wiped out and the elves did not hesitate to help) thousands of years ago. It was designed to help the elves survive underground and in dungeons by finding traps, gem, and magic. It was passed on from elven champion to elven champion, as they retired, till one willed it to a dwarven friend with his dying breath. It has since been with a dwarven clan till it went missing decades ago (along with the dwarf and his adventuring companions).

IF the PC's find it (it's located in a randon encounter I made up with a pack of trolls), they will discover the remains of the party (slain by the trolls and their kin) it will be quite helpful in their current adventure (B12, Queen's Harvest).

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Boneguard » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:14 pm

Bouv wrote:So rolling up some random treasure and I end up creating an intelligence normal sword +4 (BECMI) and ended up rolling a 100% on the powers - so it automatically gets Read Magic, 3 other powers, and 1 extradonardiy power. So I began statted it out -

Sword +4, can speak Common, Elven, and Dwarven. Read Magic, Detect Magic, Detect Gems, Find Traps, and Healing. It is Lawful with an Intelligence of 12 and Ego of 18. Still working on the name (I'm awful with names). Background:

Forged by dwarves and entchanted by a friendly magic-user, this sword was meant to be a gift for some neighboring elves who had assisted the dwarves in defending their home from humaniod invaders (the dwarves would have been wiped out and the elves did not hesitate to help) thousands of years ago. It was designed to help the elves survive underground and in dungeons by finding traps, gem, and magic. It was passed on from elven champion to elven champion, as they retired, till one willed it to a dwarven friend with his dying breath. It has since been with a dwarven clan till it went missing decades ago (along with the dwarf and his adventuring companions).

IF the PC's find it (it's located in a randon encounter I made up with a pack of trolls), they will discover the remains of the party (slain by the trolls and their kin) it will be quite helpful in their current adventure (B12, Queen's Harvest).
Interesting Sword.

But even in the hand of the party I could see him favoring Elf and Dwarf over human or halfling. And I could also see this Sword Demanding to be (or Overpowering it's handler in order to) return to its orgininal Elven or Dwarven clan.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Bouv » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:21 pm

That's what I've been trying to think. The only fighter we have is an NPC so it will probably go to the elf of the group, solving the "who gets it" problem. As for purpose, I think as long as they are exploring dungeons/caverns and stuff, the sword should be happy in that is is doing what it's meant to do - find stuff!

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Bouv » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:20 pm

So a follow-up question...how do you handle "role-playing" an intelligent weapon? The elf in my campaign as the above sword but besides being a magical sword, I'm not sure what else to do with it.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:12 pm

Bouv wrote:So a follow-up question...how do you handle "role-playing" an intelligent weapon? The elf in my campaign as the above sword but besides being a magical sword, I'm not sure what else to do with it.
Great question!

In Dave Arneson's Blackmoor, the Elf King Menander has an intelligent sword. The sword is intelligent because an Elf Wizard once had his soul bound to the blade. He did so because he was advisor to the King and wanted to keep providing the king with council even after his death.

Perhaps this can also be true about other intelligent swords that they have the souls of creatures who have passed on. If so, that could mean that some of the goals the soul had in his previous life would have been brought on into the sword? One blade could demand vengance for instance.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Justinov » Sat May 03, 2014 7:36 pm

I like to introduce an intelligent sword that holds conversation (telepathic or actual speech both work) with it's wielder - but actual speech can bother the whole party.
Maybe it's obnoxious commenting that it's former owner was much better looking or gives critique if the wielder misses a blow or “horror“ flees.
Intelligent swords should have personality - maybe it has honour. If the wielder gets bloodthirsty it will go on strike and stick to the scabbard.
Maybe it demands to be cleaned properly after used. (it could be phobic of blood :mrgreen: ). It could also be “allergic“ (rusting very fast) if put in a leather scabbard and craves the feel of silk.
Maybe it's really a chit chat that can't be quiet, or it gets loud when excited (close to combat).
It could also be political (feminist for instance) and/or having drive - so a lazy PC would get an ear full - or maybe philosophical (when is war just?) - or depressed by all the idiots wielding it.
It could on the other hand be psychotic and blood thirsty making suggestions of “use me“ out loud when other members of the party turn their backs or if sleeping.

An intelligent sword would off course like to be the center of attention (as many intelligent beings) - it might want to lead the group or at least the wielder.
It might see itself as male, female, or non-gendered; it might fall in love (of sorts) with someone. Think of the shame of some wielders if the Sword calls him "darling" or “pumpkin“. “I just looooove the way you insert me into the scabbard“........ :oops:

To give it “depth“ the creation and history of the sword will be important, but also very fun to make......
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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Bouv » Mon May 05, 2014 6:28 pm

So do you just pass notes to the player with the weapon? Or do some "downtime" gaming with it?

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Justinov » Mon May 05, 2014 6:33 pm

Bouv wrote:So do you just pass notes to the player with the weapon? Or do some "downtime" gaming with it?
Well if the sword is telepathic you can either use notes and draw the player aside shortly.
I often play solo games so telepathic or speaking out loud doesn't make any difference.
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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Michael Tumey » Fri May 16, 2014 10:27 pm

Not specifically intelligent weapons (though the items I'm speaking of are indeed 'intelligent'), I've been developing and now being tweaked by the publisher at Rite Publishing what I call Ancestral Relics, which are essentially my version of Weapons of Legacy, for use in the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror. Note these aren't just weapons, but all kinds of accoutrement for most of the various classes, and of items from folding fans and kimonos to weapons and equipment. These items were created centuries ago, and their secret to manufacture has been lost - by deliberate order of the Shogunate. They are intelligent in that an ancestor was sacraficed in an especially painful and dreadful manner and their spirit is locked into the items in question.

Unlike 3x Weapons of Legacy, there is no XP cost, nor GP cost for the items to level up with the user, rather amount of "honor" (Kaidan has it's own honor mechanic), class level, and item abilities are activated with an event trigger - each power level has some specific requirement that varies with each item and each power level. A weapon for example might require you to defeat an enemy samurai that is 2 levels higher than yours (though you can fight with a party, you don't need to do it single-handedly), or, for example, there's an item that requires you to do a favorable act for a blood enemy.

Because these items are tied to specific familial bloodlines since it's powered by their ancestor, only a descendant can wield the items and activate its powers, in the hands of anyone else they are mundane, masterwork items instead, and cannot be empowered. You cannot buy an ancestral relic, they are beyond price.

These items are still currently in development, but its what is being worked on right now, and should be posted on our Kaidan Kickstarter Update sometime soon.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by BlackBat242 » Sat May 17, 2014 8:28 am

Very nice - an elegant execution of the concept.
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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Ivyravens » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:59 am

But must it be a new weapon, basically being built from scratch, or can it be added to the already existing weapon, like an enchantment or something?

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by TBeholder » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:13 am

Michael Tumey wrote:Not specifically intelligent weapons (though the items I'm speaking of are indeed 'intelligent'), I've been developing and now being tweaked by the publisher at Rite Publishing what I call Ancestral Relics, which are essentially my version of Weapons of Legacy, for use in the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror. Note these aren't just weapons, but all kinds of accoutrement
[...]
Unlike 3x Weapons of Legacy, there is no XP cost, nor GP cost for the items to level up with the user, rather amount of "honor" (Kaidan has it's own honor mechanic), class level, and item abilities are activated with an event trigger - each power level has some specific requirement that varies with each item and each power level. A weapon for example might require you to defeat an enemy samurai that is 2 levels higher than yours (though you can fight with a party, you don't need to do it single-handedly), or, for example, there's an item that requires you to do a favorable act for a blood enemy.

Because these items are tied to specific familial bloodlines since it's powered by their ancestor, only a descendant can wield the items and activate its powers
As in "Soul-Swords & Spirit-Slayers" by Spike Y. Jones, Dragon #198?
BTW, another obscure precursor of WotL were items in "Earthdawn", both thread and blood magic legacy, starting with variations on dying curses (a werewolf chomped the guy with that sword, now it's "vs. werewolves"), AFAIK. Either way, the point is that an item's history defines its peculiar properties.
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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Michael Tumey » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:25 pm

TBeholder wrote:
Michael Tumey wrote:Not specifically intelligent weapons (though the items I'm speaking of are indeed 'intelligent'), I've been developing and now being tweaked by the publisher at Rite Publishing what I call Ancestral Relics, which are essentially my version of Weapons of Legacy, for use in the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror. Note these aren't just weapons, but all kinds of accoutrement
[...]
Unlike 3x Weapons of Legacy, there is no XP cost, nor GP cost for the items to level up with the user, rather amount of "honor" (Kaidan has it's own honor mechanic), class level, and item abilities are activated with an event trigger - each power level has some specific requirement that varies with each item and each power level. A weapon for example might require you to defeat an enemy samurai that is 2 levels higher than yours (though you can fight with a party, you don't need to do it single-handedly), or, for example, there's an item that requires you to do a favorable act for a blood enemy.

Because these items are tied to specific familial bloodlines since it's powered by their ancestor, only a descendant can wield the items and activate its powers
As in "Soul-Swords & Spirit-Slayers" by Spike Y. Jones, Dragon #198?
BTW, another obscure precursor of WotL were items in "Earthdawn", both thread and blood magic legacy, starting with variations on dying curses (a werewolf chomped the guy with that sword, now it's "vs. werewolves"), AFAIK. Either way, the point is that an item's history defines its peculiar properties.
I've only ever read the older Dragon magazines (never had a subscription), usually only purchasing Halloween issues - so I had no idea about Spike Jones article. And I've never played with Earthdawn... That said, every Ancestral Relic of Kaidan has its own history pertaining to one family (each), and every item works differently providing different bonuses and unique event triggers - no 2 are the same, and hardly similar.

Here's a sample Ancestral Relic:

Sangiro's Useful Awl : this ancestral relic is possessed by a rice farming house in Oteru province, House Tanaka, is a simple farmer's tool in the form of dull iron spike on a wood handle as common as daggers are in the west. Used for digging, prying, rough carving and even an improvised weapon it is of a nondescript nature resembling any normal awl. Sangiro Tanaka was an altruistic farmer of middling wealth who sought to better his village and lord by giving aid to every person. The spirit of this item encourages its wielder to give aid and donate to every cause.

1st power (2nd level) when placed on a flat surface it always rotates to point to true north; requires an act to help someone less fortunate than you in a meaningful way. (Honor rank: 1)

2nd power (4th level) +1 ancestral bonus to Hit/Damage when used as an improvised weapon (1d3 damage, crit x2); requires an act to help someone with equal fortune as you in a meaningful way and not accept payment for it. (Honor rank: 2)

3rd power (6th level) can detect false walls or hidden door by tapping which gives a telltale sound; requires an act to help someone with greater fortune than you in a meaningful way and not accept payment for it. (Honor rank: 3)

4th power (8th level) +2 ancestral bonus to Hit/Damage when used as an improvised weapon, and can be thrown as an improvised thrown weapon; requires an act to help someone who does not deserve it in a meaningful way and not accept payment for it. (Honor rank: 4)

5th power (10th level) with a single tap on the floor before placing it flat it will rotate toward any traps in a 10' radius; requires an act to help someone whom you consider an enemy in a meaningful way and not accept payment for it. (Honor rank: 5)

6th power (12th level) +3 ancestral bonus to Hit/Damage when used as an improvised hand or thrown weapon; must save the life of someone less fortunate than you. (Honor rank: 6)

7th power (14th level) can be used to pry open any locked container without otherwise damaging it on a successful Strength check; must save the life of someone of equal fortune to you and not accept payment for it. (Honor rank: 7)

8th power (16th level) +4 ancestral bonus to Hit/Damage when used as an improvised hand or thrown weapon; must save the life of someone of greater fortune than you and not accept payment for it. (Honor rank: 8)

9th power (18th level) gains hardness of adamantine plus considered Good for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction when used as a improvised hand or thrown weapon; must save the life of someone who does not deserve it and not accept payment for it. (Honor rank: 9)

10th power (20th level) +5 ancestral bonus to Hit/Damage when used as an improvised hand or thrown weapon, and you cannot be disarmed with this awl; must save the life of someone you consider an enemy and not accept payment for it. (Honor rank: 10)

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Michael Tumey » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:10 pm

Rite Publishing offers #30 Intelligent Magic Items by T. H. Gulliver, a $2.95 product from DTRPG. Its highly rated and might give you options or ideas for your own intelligent items. Of course this is a supplement for Pathfinder.

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Re: Intelligent Weapons

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:11 pm

Bouv wrote:How do you handle the damage a non-aligned person recieves from it? If they just pick it up or if they actually try to use it? I'm thinking if they actually try to use it, the weapon senses it at that point and will either try to "bond" with that person or realize they are the wrong alignment and deal the damage.
I use the 3rd Edition rules for Intelligent Items, so they cause instant negative levels, rather than damage.
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