View Full Version : Self-Enchanting Weapons

2012-07-09, 12:06 PM
Is there a mechanic, official or homebrew, by which an ordinary weapon can acquire magical effects (+X, bane, speed, etc.) without actually being enchanted by a spell caster?

I'm toying with the idea of tracking critical hits, and giving the weapon a bonus every five criticals or so.

Or am I just making more work for myself, for no real benefit to the player?

Dire Panda
2012-07-09, 12:32 PM
What system is this? If we're talking D&D 3.5, I dimly recall a creature called the Merchurion from MM5 - killing it and dipping your weapon in its remains makes it a +1 silvered weapon.

Aside from that, I'm not aware of any existing rules or homebrew, but I've used similar phenomena as fluff in the past ("This axe gained its powers when it decapitated its thousandth foe"). Tracking critical hits sounds good but might be abused by crit-optimizing players - I've seen characters who have a 1/4 or better chance of critting with any given attack. I'd lean towards weapons being self-enchanted by slaying powerful or plot-important foes. "As you pull your sword from the slain dragon's heart, you notice a fiery glow that wasn't there before." Or maybe when a weapon is used to accomplish something extraordinary: "Left to die in the villain's dungeon, [character name] fought her way out with nothing but a rusty dagger she'd hidden on her person. When she drew it a week later, she noticed a special bond with the weapon." It's actually a pretty common fantasy trope.

2012-07-09, 12:45 PM
I agree with Dire Panda, but you shouldn't hand out Orc Bane weapons for every slain orc. Stick to wealth by level, and try to let it make sense.

Dragon = dragon bane weapon
Fire Elemental = flaming weapon

2012-07-09, 09:43 PM
For D&D 3.5, check out the Bonded Item rules in DMG II. Basically, you use a particular ritual to replace the itme creation feat, and you don't have to be a spellcaster to do it.

2012-07-09, 11:06 PM
4th edition has rules for this. It's actually one of the ways it suggest you handle magic items in general.

I have a homebrewed intelligent dagger that is capable of improving itself. The dagger is vorpal. For every head it decapitates it gets 1 Kill Point (KP). For ever square number in KPs the dagger reaches it gets a new Ego point that may be spent on anything an Ego point is worth or saved up for later purchases. The dagger is currently at 26 Ego points and 149 Kills. It purchased 12 new Ego "abilities" with its KPs and had 14 Ego "abilities" previously.

Obviously, this isn't a system for turning non-magicals into magicals, but it builds on your crit system. Maybe we could combine the two! For every Nat 20 that is a confirmed crit, the weapon gets one Point. After 5 Points it gets an Ego ability. Every 5(N^2) Points it gets a new Ego ability.

2012-07-09, 11:08 PM
In 3.5, the Kensai prestige class can achieve this as well.

2012-07-10, 06:08 AM
Tracking critical hits does seem like a bit of a waste of effort.

I remember reading somewhere about the idea of having weapons improve with the character. Not in the sense of legacy weapons, but just giving opportunities for weapons to be upgraded in lieu of the same value of treasure.

Mundane weapons becoming magical from killing a huge number of creatures sounds like something from the Book of Vile Deeds and would probably be evilly aligned.