View Full Version : Elf-flavored Enchantments for a Blade on a Stick

Joe the Rat
2015-11-20, 10:20 AM
Hey all,

I've got my players off on a quest for some spider-farming, spider-themed, dark-skinned elves who are totally not Drow. They live in a forest. Initially they took this job on with the intention of getting some specific magical loot (namely Bags of Holding), or at least some tasty, tasty stacks of coin. My Monk player, however, has a request - he'd like to get his blade on a stick (a Guan Dao - basically a Glaive) enchanted.

Rather than just slap a +1 on it and call it a day, I thought it would be more interesting to give it something more. Something that fits the themes of wood-spider-elf magic, the aesthetics of the weapon (and the elves), and would be useful to a D&D Monk with a polearm fetish.

We're playing 5e, but I'm looking for out-of-the box (and out-of-the-books) ideas on what kind of crazy magics the elves might weave.

So, ideas?

2015-11-20, 10:25 AM
Well they totally wouldn't have anything to do with poison, darkness or producing webs so I don't know really.

2015-11-20, 10:34 AM
What about a glaive that gives him the spider climb ability? Or if you're feeling frisky, maybe freedom of movement? That is, if he wants to be a Wuxia-type monk.

2015-11-20, 10:50 AM
Real wuxia monks are level 20 and with clod step can move at infinite speed and visit the entire universe in one round.
Freedoom of movement is not wuxia enough.
how about convincing your GM that you can have an item increasing your equivalent monk level for the purposes of slow falling so that you can move infinitely fast sooner.

2015-11-20, 11:00 AM
Real wuxia monks are level 20 and with clod step can move at infinite speed and visit the entire universe in one round.
Freedoom of movement is not wuxia enough.
how about convincing your GM that you can have an item increasing your equivalent monk level for the purposes of slow falling so that you can move infinitely fast sooner.

Are monks born at level 20? :confused:

2015-11-20, 11:09 AM
Are monks born at level 20?
Sadly no but they would need it.

2015-11-20, 11:16 AM

Add in some smoke generation if it's supposed to be a stealthy or bluffy monk.

Tarlek Flamehai
2015-11-20, 12:17 PM
Low-light vision or other elf traits while held
Ethereal Jaunt as Phase Spider 1/day
Cleave or Great Cleave
Whirlwind Attack
Dance of a Thousand Webs: 3/day +x to feint/disarm as the ribbon at the head of the weapons multiplies a bijillion times in a flurry of eye distractingness. Illusion affect

2015-11-20, 01:14 PM
Given how weird drow are about a lot of things, you could make the blade literally taste like elf.

Tarqiup Inua
2015-11-20, 04:05 PM
I am going to assume 3.5 rules... (because I don't know a thing about 5e)

I'd make the shaft from some living magical wood...

...something like +1 iguana on stick (or what was it called) ...and considered following abilities:

- regeneration (not of the wielder, but the item so the sunder is little less scary; can be anything as slow as 1 hp per hour when planted to 1 per round)

- maybe on-hit entangle few times a day

- maybe it could regrow during combat to change its reach (or even weapon type)

- it could grapple opponent on-hit (there was a weapon named mancatcher in some ruleset, I think, that did just that... this might do it few times per day?) like monsters with improved grab - vines would sprout from it and entwine the foe and it would keep dealing damage over time with the blade still in the wound - your monk could even drop the weapon while it works that way.

Optional: There could be mangoes growing on it.

2015-11-20, 05:22 PM
A fun option would be that it stabilizes extreme feats of balance, and allows for moving on materials that absolutely shouldn't support the weight of the monk. Running along a narrow rope goes from harrowing and theoretically doable to routine, thin branches can suddenly support the monk's weight, ropes can be walked up at surprisingly high angles, etc. Then you just emphasize the web motif in the physical design of elf dwellings, so it becomes immediately useful.

While seemingly powerful, there are enough terrains where this just doesn't come up that it will probably be pretty reasonable. If we're assuming a new weapon is found (or a redesign, or similar) the following could be used, possibly with only part of the power immediately available, possibly with charge restrictions:

The Way of the Web
The Way of the Web is a long and slim guan dao, with a haft covered in thin wires woven into web like shapes terminating in a simple gossamer blade. When using The Way of the Web, certain powers are bestowed upon the bearer.

When touching The Way of the Web to any rope, vine, net, or thin branch the wielder can balance on the material, regardless of whether it should support them or not. Fighting with The Way of the Web becomes near impossible.
If The Way of the Web is tied to the end of a spool of rope, the rate at which the rope comes unspooled can be controlled. The elves usually use this for rapid controlled descent.
When on any rope, vine, or net under tension, if something else is on the net the wielder of The Way of the Web can make a perception check to detect them with advantage, even if they couldn't be detected with other senses.

2015-11-22, 04:15 PM
Let's see, something for people who have low-light vision and darkvision and Darkness powers (totally not Drow) and who live in a forest and like spiders and poisons (and totally not Drow).

Trapdoor Spider Fang Glaive
- Your melee attacks with this weapon have Advantage during the surprise round.
- When you hit on an attack with Advantage using this weapon, you deal +1d6 Poison damage.
- (with Attunement) Once per rest, you can make a melee attack which always hits. This attack deals Poison damage. If the target fails a Fortitude save (DC 8 + Str + Proficiency), the target is Poisoned for 10 minutes.

Webwalker Canopy Elite Glaive
- When you move at least 10 feet, your next attack deals +1d6 Poison damage.
- You are immune to detrimental effects from webs, including magic webs. You can walk on the webbing of giant spiders which are your size or larger.
- You have advantage on Athletics and Acrobatics checks made to traverse trees (including fallen trees) and the webbing of giant spiders.

The Shadowdove
2015-11-22, 04:43 PM
something minor can be that the haft and blade are magically imbued with weblike qualities.
granting some sort of advantage vs being disarmed

or perhaps the blade can become sticky /used to disarm or cling to things (such as walls or ceilings)

2015-11-22, 05:40 PM
How about not changing the blade but changing the monk?
Create a Cantrip in the stale of Greenflame blade, only a bit more darksy elfsy styles that is accessible when wielding the blade.

Mark Hall
2015-11-23, 12:59 PM
As others mentioned, Spider Climb might be good, or Jumping (there's more than one kind of spider), with the jumping bonus being either as a spell or a simple bonus to jump checks. You might also have it cast Web on people hit by it a certain number of times per day... so it webs the target, but not the whole area. It might also have poison, or naturally negate light spells... not cast darkness, just a constant counterspell of light.

2015-11-23, 01:21 PM
So I have a tangential question about these not-drow elves: Are they supposed to be a reinterpretation of drow? The precursors to drow?

2015-11-23, 03:43 PM
More fun traits of Spider biology that could be applied to a glaive as enchantments:

Grants very primitive 360 degree vision (motion only, bonus vs surprise)
First time per encounter someone attacks the monk they get a face-full of mildly poisonous barbed hairs, giving disadvantage on their next action (like a porcupine, but spiders have it too. Check out Goliath Birdeating spider)
Firmly tapping the end of the haft against a stone surface will create a 50ft spider silk rope once per day (it spools out from the hafts end as you move the glaive away from the wall)

2015-11-24, 05:33 AM
So I have a tangential question about these not-drow elves: Are they supposed to be a reinterpretation of drow? The precursors to drow?

Very good question imho. Also WHY are they so spider inclined? It's spiders for FR Drow and scorpions for Eberron Drow because of their respective deities. Maybe they use spider poison to create hallucinogenic drugs to support their spiritual guidance. Making their religion more nature attuned than the sophisticated. Not sure if the following is too complicated ruleswise.

Be able to use Dimension Door 1/short rest. If you use this ability however, suffer a mild amount of poison damage, whether it works or not. Fluffwise, you indulge a bit of the spider poison and "dream travel" to any point in your sight.

Added flavor text: "This weapon helps you move through anything on the combat field. Its poisonous nature might affect other things as well..."

cue you having a plot hook to send the monk dreams about anything really.

Joe the Rat
2015-11-24, 09:06 AM
Awesome ideas, folks. Soooo much to work with.

The mobility ideas (spider climb, balance, jumping) are strong contenders. Just in case he wasn't hard enough to lock down already. Self-repairing is a neat idea as well. Giving it poison would piss off the poison-happy cleric, so that's got potential as well.

So I have a tangential question about these not-drow elves: Are they supposed to be a reinterpretation of drow? The precursors to drow?

A good question. The short of it is, I have no "underground psycho elves" in this world, but I found my self with a group of wood elves that use phase spider silk to make extra-dimensional storage, and thought, "why not go all in on the spider theme?" Hence, the Deep Weavers harvest wild spider silk from the different giant spiders (magical and non) that live in this forest, are known for their textiles, are trappers of the social type, and are not known for being spider-totem worshipping poisoners... because they are very subtle about it. They also keep a lot of "smaller" spiders in their enclave, but they very rarely allow outsiders up into the city proper. Last one was 50-odd years ago... and he was the only one in centuries to "leave". They carry many of the themes and trappings of drow (matriarchal, spiders, hidden cities, dark skinned - in this case a heavy tan and light blond hair, distrustful of outsiders), but without the self-destructive infighting and always evil nature.

This is in contrast to the Green Whispers to the south, who are more directly manipulative of others, and use them as catspaws. They are actually behind the disruption of the silk harvest to damage their trade and standing with the local Baronies, as well as encourage more aggressive harvesting of the northern woods by local loggers to split their attention. It would have been a subtler impact, but a group of goblins ended up monkeywrenching the plot by digging up a ghost with a vendetta against the elves, which escalated the situation enough that the Deep Weavers were willing to ask for outside help.

The Lady of Green Whispers tried to coax the party away (in person!) with a counter-quest (and offered to pay them in what the Weavers were offering, plus some valuable information and sweet ironwood bows), but they decided to go with their first option.

All of this is done by the LoGW in retaliation for the LoDW getting a pair of powerful undead to throw down in the southern woods, leaving a necromantic taint that is spreading. The two Ladies have a history.