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WarKitty
2016-11-03, 10:47 AM
So I officially have an extra-scary looking longspear for my character. I'm debating what a scary spear should look like. I want an obsidian blade, but I'm not sure what else to do. Any ideas? Has to be reasonably practical, in the sense of being able to actually stab someone without spikes or something getting in the way.

Knaight
2016-11-03, 11:27 AM
The biggest things would be to have it show signs of obvious heavy use and obvious maintenance, thus conveying that whoever has been using it has been doing so for a while and successfully.

WarKitty
2016-11-03, 11:28 AM
The biggest things would be to have it show signs of obvious heavy use and obvious maintenance, thus conveying that whoever has been using it has been doing so for a while and successfully.

Despite, I suppose, the fact that I probably couldn't hit the broadside of a magic castle with it? :smalltongue:

Lord Torath
2016-11-03, 01:32 PM
I would recommend a harpoon-style barb or two sticking out from the back of the spear head. Just to make it certain it'll REALLY hurt coming back out. Also, maybe coat the 2-3 feet of shaft behind the head in steel?

khadgar567
2016-11-03, 01:35 PM
Big blade with runes shining when blade is freshly bloodied and blade color is obiously black

Stealth Marmot
2016-11-03, 01:41 PM
Serrated blade.

khadgar567
2016-11-03, 01:44 PM
Living eye in cross guard

Mark Hall
2016-11-03, 01:47 PM
Going with the obsidian blade theme, how about obsidian shards down the next couple feet of shaft?

Also, consider wrapping the shaft in something that cries "bad-ass"... reptillian hide, even if it's not actually a dragon, is pretty cool. Or Wyvern hide, with a wyvern barb as the blade.

WarKitty
2016-11-03, 03:07 PM
Going with the obsidian blade theme, how about obsidian shards down the next couple feet of shaft?

Also, consider wrapping the shaft in something that cries "bad-ass"... reptillian hide, even if it's not actually a dragon, is pretty cool. Or Wyvern hide, with a wyvern barb as the blade.

Hmm...I kinda want to go with a nature-y feel. Alligator hide would be cool though. Or eelskin.

Mastikator
2016-11-03, 04:54 PM
If it's supposed to be practical then don't use obsidian. Obsidian is glass, it's brittle and will shatter if you hit a hard surface like metal armor. Use steel and paint it black.

You could have skulls on the lower parts of the fasting and evil looking runes painted along the shaft.
The spear could have a skull shaped pommel.

InvisibleBison
2016-11-03, 04:56 PM
Maybe give the spear some sort of mystical aura? Not something that actually does anything, just have some magical energy dancing around the shaft or something.

Beleriphon
2016-11-03, 05:00 PM
You can always go with the Japanese version, and just give the a great big spear head covered in written prayers.

Tonbokiri (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonbokiri) wielded by Honda Tadakatsu (www.badassoftheweek.com/hondatadakatsu.html)

And this thing: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%BE%A1%E6%89%8B%E6%9D%B5

TeChameleon
2016-11-03, 06:19 PM
The 'moving eyeball on the haft of a blood-red blade' is, of course, always a classic, but can end up a bit silly looking.

If you want to go the understated route, a fun one might be a spear that looks utterly, forgettably generic... except for the still-beating heart of, say, an Archdevil or some variety of Celestial (depending on alignment) jammed just below the blade, and the attendant sheen of ichor a short distance down the shaft.

Or just one that was black. Not painted black, or anything, but pretty much a spear-shaped hole in the air.

Pauly
2016-11-03, 07:53 PM
The tonbokiri, and naginatas/yaris in general are glaives not spears. They function as a sword blade on an extended handle. Definitely very good looking weapons.

For more fearsome looking true spears.

Boar spears - extra large leaf shaped heads.
Partisans/ranseaurs - have protrusions from the base of the spear head to assist parrying.

Although to be honest I really dislike the inflatable weapons that you see in most fantasy art. I think some discrete decoration on a functional weapon that other people will recognize is sufficient.

eru001
2016-11-03, 07:59 PM
conventional wisdom is that the scariest spear is the one flying directly towards you

Grod_The_Giant
2016-11-03, 08:04 PM
Or just one that was black. Not painted black, or anything, but pretty much a spear-shaped hole in the air.
I like this one.

WarKitty
2016-11-03, 08:06 PM
conventional wisdom is that the scariest spear is the one flying directly towards you

Well, it's a longspear, so it's not exactly meant to go flying. And it needs to have some oomph beyond just a normal weapon, but without being too over the top. It's not magic, just scary-looking.

Grod_The_Giant
2016-11-03, 08:48 PM
Well, it's a longspear, so it's not exactly meant to go flying. And it needs to have some oomph beyond just a normal weapon, but without being too over the top. It's not magic, just scary-looking.
Something like a boar spear, perhaps? Some extra fancy spiky bits to stop people from sliding down the shaft after you stab 'em?

Deaxsa
2016-11-04, 08:04 AM
Maybe it's not te spearhead that looks particularly intimidating, it's just very sharp blade. The shaft, however, is a bit thicker than normal and carved with screaming mouths/intestines/republicans. And maybe it's varnished but looks like it's been haphazardly splashed and stained with some sort of dark ichor? I think people are too focused on the pointy bit.

Does it smell odd?

Doesnt a weapon evoke fear as an intrinsic quality anyways? I mean, they are tools of endin lives. Kindof a scary situation if you're being threatened with one.

WarKitty
2016-11-04, 10:07 AM
Maybe it's not te spearhead that looks particularly intimidating, it's just very sharp blade. The shaft, however, is a bit thicker than normal and carved with screaming mouths/intestines/republicans. And maybe it's varnished but looks like it's been haphazardly splashed and stained with some sort of dark ichor? I think people are too focused on the pointy bit.

Does it smell odd?

Doesnt a weapon evoke fear as an intrinsic quality anyways? I mean, they are tools of endin lives. Kindof a scary situation if you're being threatened with one.

Well, in game terms, the weapon provides a +2 bonus to intimidate checks. It's meant primarily for intimidating in combat and providing a bonus over and above what a normal weapon would, albeit a small and non-magical one.

Max_Killjoy
2016-11-04, 10:42 AM
Well, in game terms, the weapon provides a +2 bonus to intimidate checks. It's meant primarily for intimidating in combat and providing a bonus over and above what a normal weapon would, albeit a small and non-magical one.

Is this a magic bonus or purely from the appearance?

WarKitty
2016-11-04, 11:00 AM
Is this a magic bonus or purely from the appearance?

This is a purely non-magical bonus. It's just a scary-looking spear. For 3.5 players, it's basically a masterwork tool, only instead of buying a new tool I put the cost on and added it to a spear.

JAL_1138
2016-11-04, 11:07 AM
Perhaps a ranseur instead of a standard spear?


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/a3/2b/84/a32b8401d892b780e9a2c2c38f2b1491.jpg

InvisibleBison
2016-11-04, 11:24 AM
Perhaps it has some sort of doodad that makes an ominous sound when you move the spear?

Thrudd
2016-11-04, 11:27 AM
The scariest spear looks like just any other spear - until you find out it's shaft has grips made of human skin.

WarKitty
2016-11-04, 11:33 AM
The scariest spear looks like just any other spear - until you find out it's shaft has grips made of human skin.

Ok, new caveat: we're trying not to be evil.

Vinyadan
2016-11-04, 11:38 AM
The base of the spear portrays the face of the Gorgon, or, even better, Charles Bronson giving dirty looks to your enemies.

Thrudd
2016-11-04, 12:04 PM
Ok, new caveat: we're trying not to be evil.

Ok, then it's got a tassel, Chinese style, that is made of the rattling teeth and finger bones if your enemies. Just teeth, that's not so evil, right? ;)

Slipperychicken
2016-11-04, 12:13 PM
It has illustrations of pairs of evil eyes on both sides of the blade. They're those optical illusion eyes that seem to follow the observer, and can be unnerving at times.

Max_Killjoy
2016-11-04, 12:23 PM
There's only so scary you can make an mundane weapon before you make it so obviously useless as an actual weapon that it's no longer scary.

A sort of "uncanny valley" of weapon design.

Longwing
2016-11-04, 12:30 PM
Ok, then it's got a tassel, Chinese style, that is made of the rattling teeth and finger bones if your enemies. Just teeth, that's not so evil, right? ;)

Dangit, I was going to suggest teeth.

I get that you're not trying to be evil, but for this item to intimidate people who aren't fighters, it has to have some kind of obviously scary thing (besides just being a weapon). A warrior could examine it with a practiced eye and say "Hmm, unusually sharp, well balanced, that barb would really hurt, and I bet he can disarm with it"... but a shopkeeper isn't going to pick up on that. He's going to see it and think "Spear.".

So you need a bit of theater. Something that makes normal NPCs think "scary spear" instead of "spear".

Blacken the blade in a fire. Etch runes on it (YOU know it's not magical...). Add some prayer tassels, a scary face... or adorn it with dried enemy body parts. Ears, fingers, etc. Maybe you just take GREAT care of it? In a muddy world, a guy who's spear blade is polished enough to use as a mirror will stand out.

WarKitty
2016-11-04, 12:46 PM
Dangit, I was going to suggest teeth.

I get that you're not trying to be evil, but for this item to intimidate people who aren't fighters, it has to have some kind of obviously scary thing (besides just being a weapon). A warrior could examine it with a practiced eye and say "Hmm, unusually sharp, well balanced, that barb would really hurt, and I bet he can disarm with it"... but a shopkeeper isn't going to pick up on that. He's going to see it and think "Spear.".

So you need a bit of theater. Something that makes normal NPCs think "scary spear" instead of "spear".

Blacken the blade in a fire. Etch runes on it (YOU know it's not magical...). Add some prayer tassels, a scary face... or adorn it with dried enemy body parts. Ears, fingers, etc. Maybe you just take GREAT care of it? In a muddy world, a guy who's spear blade is polished enough to use as a mirror will stand out.

Theater I'm not opposed to. Humanoid body parts may be taking it in to the "I'm actually evil" territory rather than "I just look scary and intimidating" territory.

Max_Killjoy
2016-11-04, 12:47 PM
Theater I'm not opposed to. Humanoid body parts may be taking it in to the "I'm actually evil" territory rather than "I just look scary and intimidating" territory.


How about something from a mid-sized dragon that's clearly from a dragon but doesn't hamper the spear as an actual weapon?

"Dragon skull" or "dragon talons/fangs" has that air of magic and danger about it, says "this spear was used to kill one of the most dangerous things in the world", and avoids the issue of human(oid) body parts and questions of questionable moral standard on the part of the wielder.

Parts like the aforementioned ransuer, with extra bits that also add to the functionality.

A black finish on the blade that's also polished mirror-fine, so that in it glints in the sunlight, and a foe up close can see their face in it as if maybe it's already trying to take their soul.

Thrudd
2016-11-04, 01:04 PM
Theater I'm not opposed to. Humanoid body parts may be taking it in to the "I'm actually evil" territory rather than "I just look scary and intimidating" territory.
I imagine people who are accustomed to hand to hand combat and violence would not find any sort of cosmetic decoration or weird blade shape scary or intimidating. It would make me think the bearer was a poseur more than anything else, as someone that is familiar with actually using spears and other weapons. Too many adornments actually impede a weapon's usefulness. You'd only impress people who have no experience or skill in fighting- peasants and farmers and such.

In actual combat no one is going to have time to see details of what you spear looks like. It flashes and they die. That's the scariest thing: a gore covered blade and dead bodies in your wake.

A spear that would make you stand out/memorable might be one made of a rare material. If you were actually good with it, you'd become famous/notorious as the "adamantine spear" or the "black spear" or whatever.

Max_Killjoy
2016-11-04, 01:06 PM
I imagine people who are accustomed to hand to hand combat and violence would not find any sort of cosmetic decoration or weird blade shape scary or intimidating. It would make me think the bearer was a poseur more than anything else, as someone that is familiar with actually using spears and other weapons. Too many adornments actually impede a weapon's usefulness. You'd only impress people who have no experience or skill in fighting- peasants and farmers and such.

In actual combat no one is going to have time to see details of what you spear looks like. It flashes and they die. That's the scariest thing: a gore covered blade and dead bodies in your wake.

A spear that would make you stand out/memorable might be one made of a rare material. If you were actually good with it, you'd become famous/notorious as the "adamantine spear" or the "black spear" or whatever.


I can see a certain balance of (the right kind of) adornment and utility being intimidating out of combat.

Slayn82
2016-11-04, 01:22 PM
Theater I'm not opposed to. Humanoid body parts may be taking it in to the "I'm actually evil" territory rather than "I just look scary and intimidating" territory.

You mentioned you wanted a Nature like feel from it. How about having a Bull Skull impaled by the spear from bottom to top? The horns could act as the guards of a boar spear, and a cattle skull would be something Shamanistic, and it could be painted, engraved, etc... Maybe it's a Gorgon Skull, that kind of Bull monster that causes petrification and has skin as tough as Iron. The eyesockets could be empty or have gems, and it's teeth are probably quite a sight.

Thrudd
2016-11-04, 01:34 PM
I can see a certain balance of (the right kind of) adornment and utility being intimidating out of combat.

Yeah, bones, ears, teeth, hair: evidence of your ruthless slaughter of enemies. That would intimidate, IMO. But that's too evil, apparently.

Aembrosia
2016-11-04, 02:05 PM
I poorly attached three images together in paint. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55568275/muchintimidate.png

who's the dude walking around with a prison bar pole wrapped in chains, filed to a point with an unhinged lock for a crossguard?

You. You're that edgy bad-ass.

WarKitty
2016-11-04, 02:20 PM
A spear that would make you stand out/memorable might be one made of a rare material. If you were actually good with it, you'd become famous/notorious as the "adamantine spear" or the "black spear" or whatever.

Sadly "actually good with it" is about the last thing I am. My job is to scare people so the actual melee can hit easier.

Vinyadan
2016-11-04, 02:32 PM
It can carry a personal symbol or trophy of a great evil or danger. The symbol of a cult or warlord, for example. Then people start thinking that you are a dangerous person, or that you represent dangers yet to come.

What about sounds? What about a humming or laughing spear?

Slayn82
2016-11-04, 03:45 PM
Sadly "actually good with it" is about the last thing I am. My job is to scare people so the actual melee can hit easier.
What class are you actually playing?

If you or your party have access to Stone Shape, having that Gorgon Skull attached to the spear as a guard could be a decent bluff, as you could shape statues of eliminated enemies and spread the rumor that the spear can petrify enemies that get too close. Even lesser illusions could help to sell this rumor, backed by some odd sculpted body parts and a random pile of broken stones.

Coidzor
2016-11-04, 03:49 PM
Improbably viciously jagged and with impossible geometry.

Also space-time warps around it and there's glimpses of horrors that can be seen on and around it.

Also it seems alive itself in a lovecraftian sort of way.

TeChameleon
2016-11-04, 03:54 PM
Hmm... if it's meant more as a distraction, then the spear making sounds- perhaps the head is notched to make whistling noises or some such?- would be a pretty good way to go, especially if you're playing a bard, given that sound and distraction are kind of their wheelhouse.

If you want to go a little more esoteric... and if you have a reasonable chance of actually hitting things with it... maybe a couple of (custom?) alchemical formulas applied to the blade could do the trick; one that creates 'flashes' of slightly incandescent vapour on contact with blood that are then drawn to and neutralized by the face of the spearhead, and a mildly paralytic poison or anaesthetic (not enough to cause any change in stats, just something strong enough to be immediately noticeable). The two combined would give a fairly strong impression of 'being hit by this is sucking out my soul/life force'.

Which, in and of itself, isn't actually massively standout in the field of magical weapons. But it's enough to make just about any sentient enemy treat the blade with rather more respect than they'd grant a non-scary spear, which I think is pretty much the effect you're going for.

WarKitty
2016-11-04, 05:40 PM
What class are you actually playing?

Bard. With access to imperious command and never outnumbered. And the flaw that makes it harder to hit in melee. I'm really really good at intimidation, not so good at actually hitting anything.

Thrudd
2016-11-04, 05:59 PM
Sadly "actually good with it" is about the last thing I am. My job is to scare people so the actual melee can hit easier.

Weeell, what sorta magic have you got? Do you have thaumaturgy or prestidigitation cantrips? I still think rattling bones are a good approach. They could be animal bones, but from a distance it's ambiguous.
Or use a skull motif.

I mean, is it practical to think you can actually scare anyone in a mechanically relevant way just by how your spear looks? Is that a thing the GM will give you a bonus for on intimidation?
Without being backed by magic that creates fear or frightful illusions, I don't see this strategy working.

Is this a magical fear-effect creating spear, that you're just figuring out a look for?

If we're talking about using illusions to make you and your spear look scary, that's a whole other thing. You could make the spear look alive, like it's a writhing snake or the blade is made of flame, or it's emanating haunting or terrified screams, or it looks like a learing face.

WarKitty
2016-11-04, 06:10 PM
Weeell, what sorta magic have you got? Do you have thaumaturgy or prestidigitation cantrips? I still think rattling bones are a good approach. They could be animal bones, but from a distance it's ambiguous.
Or use a skull motif.

I mean, is it practical to think you can actually scare anyone in a mechanically relevant way just by how your spear looks? Is that a thing the GM will give you a bonus for on intimidation?
Without being backed by magic that creates fear or frightful illusions, I don't see this strategy working.

Is this a magical fear-effect creating spear, that you're just figuring out a look for?

If we're talking about using illusions to make you and your spear look scary, that's a whole other thing. You could make the spear look alive, like it's a writhing snake or the blade is made of flame, or it's emanating haunting or terrified screams, or it looks like a learing face.

Mechanically, we reached an agreement that I pay the price for a masterwork tool as per the SRD, but instead of buying a new separate tool for intimidation, we add it onto my spear. So it's a mundane +2 equipment bonus to intimidation.

Vinyadan
2016-11-04, 06:47 PM
So, about explosive? "be useful or I'll blow this up" is pretty intimidating.

WarKitty
2016-11-04, 08:19 PM
So, about explosive? "be useful or I'll blow this up" is pretty intimidating.

No magic. And a mundane exploding spear isn't worth much.

Slipperychicken
2016-11-05, 12:10 AM
No magic. And a mundane exploding spear isn't worth much.

That depends on the explosion's power and also the setting. If the recent mad max film is any indication, non-magical explosive spears seem to be quite prominent in the post-apocalypse Australian desert. And really quite intimidating too.

WarKitty
2016-11-05, 08:36 AM
That depends on the explosion's power and also the setting. If the recent mad max film is any indication, non-magical explosive spears seem to be quite prominent in the post-apocalypse Australian desert. And really quite intimidating too.

The main issue here is that given the setting this is a fairly expensive spear that's meant to be re-used in melee combat (as someone previously mentioned, we're talking something more similar to a pike or boar spear in size). It's not a thrown weapon and it's not the kind of thing that can be easily bought in multiples. So whatever happens it has to preserve that individual spear.

Mr Blobby
2016-11-05, 12:00 PM
A solid-looking, simple affair. The blade's quite obviously sharp, but the metal's dull. Worn, but well maintained. Closer look will show it's the exact size for the wielder. Perhaps it will have grips, perhaps not. On examination will show the metal parts are Damascus steel and shaft is Ironwood, crafted by a master. No fancy stuff whatsoever. The wielder moves like it's simply part of their body.

Fancy stuff / addons are for show, more often seen with people who don't know how to use it. The above for me would scream 'tool of death'. The wear shows it's had much use but it's still good as ever. Now that's what would scare me.

Vinyadan
2016-11-05, 01:03 PM
You could attach to it the numberplates of the cars whose owners you have crushed to their death.

WarKitty
2016-11-05, 01:08 PM
You could attach to it the numberplates of the cars whose owners you have crushed to their death.

While this is really awesome, it is sadly really the wrong genre.

Max_Killjoy
2016-11-05, 03:47 PM
A solid-looking, simple affair. The blade's quite obviously sharp, but the metal's dull. Worn, but well maintained. Closer look will show it's the exact size for the wielder. Perhaps it will have grips, perhaps not. On examination will show the metal parts are Damascus steel and shaft is Ironwood, crafted by a master. No fancy stuff whatsoever. The wielder moves like it's simply part of their body.

Fancy stuff / addons are for show, more often seen with people who don't know how to use it. The above for me would scream 'tool of death'. The wear shows it's had much use but it's still good as ever. Now that's what would scare me.


The character in question isn't very skilled at using it as a weapon.


It's really nothing more than a non-magical talisman.

ExLibrisMortis
2016-11-05, 05:39 PM
How about simply adding a bunch of notches to the shaft, reaching from the blade down nearly to the butt, and keep mentioning how you're "almost out of tally-space" and "looking for an arch-demon to retire this one (into)".

Thrudd
2016-11-05, 06:39 PM
I guess a pertinent question that might help you decide what to make it look like is: what sort of people/beings do you hope to intimidate with it, what would freak them out? Also, how lenient do you expect the DM to be on this issue? Will they just give you the +2 no matter the target or what you say the spear looks like?

Cluedrew
2016-11-05, 06:49 PM
The only scary spear I have ever done had some design features to mark its wielder as the Champion of Murder (Murder being a grim reaper estc being, one of the seven gods of the end). Plus the champion was always followed by crows. So yeah, that tended to creep people out.

Most of this is just an anecdote, but what about icons that refer to some higher power. To give a common example: A police badge announces their authority. Does your character represent anyone or anything beyond themselves.

WarKitty
2016-11-05, 06:49 PM
I guess a pertinent question that might help you decide what to make it look like is: what sort of people/beings do you hope to intimidate with it, what would freak them out? Also, how lenient do you expect the DM to be on this issue? Will they just give you the +2 no matter the target or what you say the spear looks like?

Pretty much - for those familiar with 3.5, it's a masterwork tool. So the +2 works as long as it's an enemy that can be reasonably intimidated. I don't have to describe it if I don't want to. And I have no idea what enemies I'll be facing.

Bohandas
2016-11-05, 09:35 PM
Despite, I suppose, the fact that I probably couldn't hit the broadside of a magic castle with it? :smalltongue:

To be fair if it's a magic castle then it's probably got an enhancement bonus to AC

lsfreak
2016-11-05, 10:30 PM
If keeping around the skull of a defeated enemy is considered evil, then have something that's a replica of a human skull, made of ivory or whale bone. Decorate appropriately for your character - maybe it's attached to a voodoo doll, or there's biofluorescent moss packed behind the eyes, or it looks it's been tortured with nails driven in around the eye sockets, maybe it has a well-known religious or magical symbol etched into it and colored with gold foil, red ochre, or bone char.

Lord Raziere
2016-11-05, 11:22 PM
Ok, new caveat: we're trying not to be evil.

I'd go for something understated:
black steel, hard edges, but with letters carved into it saying "DEMON'S FEAR" or "Devil's Death" or simply "Justice", or "Liberator" or "Peacebringer" What you choose, that is its name. something short, intimidating and ominous for any evildoer that crosses you. and if you don't get why the last one is intimidating, remember the phrase "peace of the grave."

oudeis
2016-11-05, 11:44 PM
This has always held a special place in my heart:

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u288/bucketuser07/DS.jpg

"Sicarius Draconum- Dragonslayer. The best I ever made."



http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u288/bucketuser07/DSII.jpg

"An edge like no other on this Earth."

TeChameleon
2016-11-06, 01:24 AM
If you want to keep it simple, and the other suggestions haven't really floated your boat aside from the number plate one... why not do something similar, adapted for genre? A decorative tassel made from the canines/horns/scales/whatever of the demons/dragons/liches/whatever the biggest local nasty is rattling when you shake your spear would work fine, one would think.

And as a member of an adventuring party, I'm pretty sure you could get your hands on genuine ones, heh...

oudeis
2016-11-06, 03:33 AM
Some more ideas:


(TeChameleon beat me to this :smallmad:) The spearhead is a tooth. An enormous single tooth, taken from the last of the Great Wyrms that ravaged the continent during the Age of Myth, long as a man's arm from elbow to fingertip and broad as a hand. It is discolored with scorchmarks from the searing flames that once bathed it but its edges are still harder and sharper than any metal forged by mortal hands. It is mounted on a tough, fibrous shaft of unknown nature and origin that visibly regrows or reknits itself when damaged (the most obscure legends tell that when the unnamed maker of the spear sought a shaft worthy of such a blade, he travelled to the highest peak of the world and plucked a hair from the beard of the Comet Titan as he swept overhead). When it draws blood in combat, the tooth will drip slaver, and some claim to have heard an almost imperceptible snarl that makes the ground tremble, as of a faint echo of the mountain-shattering roars of the long-gone Wyrm.


A single perfect crystal of a quartz-like mineral is affixed atop this lance, sharp as glass and hard as diamond. The shaft is a pinkish-purple staff, clearly organic, that feels more like dried rawhide/sinew/muscle than wood. The crystal projects a constant but wavering refraction of unearthly colors, as though it was catching the light of an alien sun, and peering through the planes of its facets appears to show distorted images of a forbidding, desolate landscape never seen on this plane. When wielded it emits a shifting atonal ring that induces vague feelings of isolation and dread.


This spear was reputedly taken from the funeral barrow of a great hunter from the Dawn of the World, found on the dried lakebed of a frigid tarn drained by an earthquake that broke the hills. The haft appears to be the fused spine of a humanoid creature, shaped to fit the hand and carved with glyphs whose meanings have been lost to Time. It is mounted with a rough-hewn greenish-gray head of what appears to be flint, mottled with faint reddish-brown stains, and the striations of the blade appear to shift and form patterns if contemplated too long. If it is flint, however, it is of a type no longer found in the world, because it will not shatter or even chip, no matter how hard it is struck. Touching the edge to iron results in an immediate grinding shriek and a fountain of sparks.


I'm running out of gas so I'll just throw these out without the florid descriptions: giant versions of insect stingers, stingray barbs, or poison spines from stonefish or other marine life.

Beleriphon
2016-11-06, 09:38 AM
Some more ideas:

[LIST]
(TeChameleon beat me to this :smallmad:) The spearhead is a tooth. An enormous single tooth, taken from the last of the Great Wyrms that ravaged the continent during the Age of Myth, long as a man's arm from elbow to fingertip and broad as a hand. It is discolored with scorchmarks from the searing flames that once bathed it but its edges are still harder and sharper than any metal forged by mortal hands. It is mounted on a tough, fibrous shaft of unknown nature and origin that visibly regrows or reknits itself when damaged (the most obscure legends tell that when the unnamed maker of the spear sought a shaft worthy of such a blade, he travelled to the highest peak of the world and plucked a hair from the beard of the Comet Titan as he swept overhead). When it draws blood in combat, the tooth will drip slaver, and some claim to have heard an almost imperceptible snarl that makes the ground tremble, as of a faint echo of the mountain-shattering roars of the long-gone Wyrm.

Considering that the largest megalodon teeth would actually make a half decent spearhead that's probably the best idea.

WarKitty
2016-11-08, 12:56 PM
So I'm thinking some sort of giant tooth as the spearhead, with fangs or tusks (something curved like boar tusks) as a crossguard. It's D&D, I can pretend I found something harder than steel. What should I do for the shaft?

oudeis
2016-11-08, 01:21 PM
Dude, seriously?

WarKitty
2016-11-08, 01:22 PM
Dude, seriously?

...Why not?

Vinyadan
2016-11-08, 01:50 PM
Make it out of wood, riddled with runes which are actually the text of a mortgage agreement. SCAAAAARY!

Mark Hall
2016-11-08, 02:27 PM
So I'm thinking some sort of giant tooth as the spearhead, with fangs or tusks (something curved like boar tusks) as a crossguard. It's D&D, I can pretend I found something harder than steel. What should I do for the shaft?

A white wood that trends towards red at one end... so it looks like a white spear shaft that's still coated in fresh blood.

WarKitty
2016-11-08, 05:37 PM
A white wood that trends towards red at one end... so it looks like a white spear shaft that's still coated in fresh blood.

I like it. Works well with the nature theme. Maybe some bone or horn at the end as well, dyed deep red?

Flickerdart
2016-11-08, 05:54 PM
For bonus points you can write all kinds of stuff into the haft (carve, paint, whatever). Runes, prayers, profanity, it's all good.

LudicSavant
2016-11-08, 07:20 PM
There's only so scary you can make an mundane weapon before you make it so obviously useless as an actual weapon that it's no longer scary.

A sort of "uncanny valley" of weapon design.

On the flip side, there's something to be said for making a weapon's description seem well-used, well-maintained, and utterly efficient at its singular purpose. There are actually quite a few examples of this route being used in fantasy literature.

Fri
2016-11-09, 07:37 AM
So I'm thinking some sort of giant tooth as the spearhead, with fangs or tusks (something curved like boar tusks) as a crossguard. It's D&D, I can pretend I found something harder than steel. What should I do for the shaft?

Put a lot of random black crude spikes on places, have it colored black, and carved with ominous runes.

Honestly, you could do a lot with putting "ominous" on descriptions. It's not tooth, it's "ominous tooth." It's not black shaft, it's "ominous black shaft" :smallbiggrin:

Jay R
2016-11-09, 11:08 AM
A scary looking spear is a spear aimed at me by an older warrior with no scars, who doesn't look at all nervous about facing me, wearing armor that shows signs of heavy use where it hinges, but no scratches or dents.

"There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men."
-- Sgt. Zim, Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein

WarKitty
2016-11-09, 11:11 AM
A scary looking spear is a spear aimed at me by an older warrior with no scars, who doesn't look at all nervous about facing me, wearing armor that shows signs of heavy use where it hinges, but no scratches or dents.

"There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men."
-- Sgt. Zim, Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein

To be fair, I can probably manage most of those. I mean, I can't actually hit anything in melee, but I qualify for older and am ok enough at not getting hit!

Fri
2016-11-09, 10:34 PM
I'd go for something understated:
black steel, hard edges, but with letters carved into it saying "DEMON'S FEAR" or "Devil's Death" or simply "Justice", or "Liberator" or "Peacebringer" What you choose, that is its name. something short, intimidating and ominous for any evildoer that crosses you. and if you don't get why the last one is intimidating, remember the phrase "peace of the grave."

Also I like this.

Basically, make it memorable instead of scary, and it's intimidating on its own. Especially if it's something that sounds good but also ominous (there's that word again) in the same time. As a bonus, it will make your story easier to spread. Because they can refer to you as "Lifesmusher" or whatever phrase carved to your spear.

Katrina
2016-11-10, 04:22 AM
Most of my ideas are invalidated by the fact that you can't actually back up the weapon. You could just go grab any Exalted Spear, if you could actually wield a spear larger than one a normal man could use. But with a Bard, strength is probably not the highest priority you have. In that vein:

A spear that giggles maniacally when you take a combat stance, or constantly whispers about the next time it will get to "feed". Note, this can just be you using Cantrips. Alternately, you could make it always smell of blood even though its clean.

In a more useful suggestion, Barbed heads. They are very common on fishing spears and boar hunting spears, and will make someone naturally think of how painful they are to remove. It actually works better given that you aren't going to hit much with it, as the barbs making it harder to remove won't mean you lose your weapon. ^.^ Inaccuracy as a benefit!

Mutazoia
2016-11-10, 07:43 AM
So I officially have an extra-scary looking longspear for my character. I'm debating what a scary spear should look like. I want an obsidian blade, but I'm not sure what else to do. Any ideas? Has to be reasonably practical, in the sense of being able to actually stab someone without spikes or something getting in the way.

Is it ever going to be thrown? Or is it just going to be used to stab?

If it's just going to be a stab only spear, Then you can make the spear-head a bit wider and longer (since you won't have to worry about it being balanced for throwing). Make the bladed forked (kind of like this (http://s1151.photobucket.com/user/everydaysavings/media/everydaysavings059/Valor_Forked_Blade_Boot_Knife_Set_02_zps5640555d.j pg.html)). Serrate the outside edges, sharpen the inside edges and the cross brace and serrate them in the opposite dirrection (so they rip going in).

Murk
2016-11-10, 07:45 AM
I'd go for finesse over crudeness, in this case.

It depends on the setting, but it seems like the setting isn't very technologically advanced. Weapons are still being made by hand, anyway. In that case, I doubt a spear made out of animal parts would seem intimidating - rather, it would look shabby. Any chump can bind a tooth to a piece of wood: that doesn't make a good spear. It makes a spear that silly barbarians use, that rattles and that probably falls apart once you put it in someone.
Even more so once there's ornamentation and more fangs and strips and colours to it: it looks like someone who has been trying very hard to look tough, but still has an old fashioned, homemade, crude, unrefined, less-than-ideal weapon in his hands.
If you find the wrong opponent, they would mock you for such a spear, not fear you.

So, take it the other route: go for classy. A spear so thin, so straight, so sharp you can barely see it. When it pierces you, you almost can't see the wound, and it cuts so clean that you almost wouldn't feel it. That is, until your blood rushes out.
It is worn with ease. Its bearer is not posturing but looks quick and efficient. It is clearly made with the best technology available, not a spot or a scratch on it.

A spear as thin as paper - because paper cuts hurt worse than anything else.

Jay R
2016-11-10, 10:00 AM
You want the spear equivalent of the Kill-O-Zap gun from Douglas Adams's The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:


The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. '"Make it evil," he'd been told. "Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it, then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with."

WarKitty
2016-11-10, 10:55 AM
I'd go for finesse over crudeness, in this case.

It depends on the setting, but it seems like the setting isn't very technologically advanced. Weapons are still being made by hand, anyway. In that case, I doubt a spear made out of animal parts would seem intimidating - rather, it would look shabby. Any chump can bind a tooth to a piece of wood: that doesn't make a good spear. It makes a spear that silly barbarians use, that rattles and that probably falls apart once you put it in someone.
Even more so once there's ornamentation and more fangs and strips and colours to it: it looks like someone who has been trying very hard to look tough, but still has an old fashioned, homemade, crude, unrefined, less-than-ideal weapon in his hands.
If you find the wrong opponent, they would mock you for such a spear, not fear you.

So, take it the other route: go for classy. A spear so thin, so straight, so sharp you can barely see it. When it pierces you, you almost can't see the wound, and it cuts so clean that you almost wouldn't feel it. That is, until your blood rushes out.
It is worn with ease. Its bearer is not posturing but looks quick and efficient. It is clearly made with the best technology available, not a spot or a scratch on it.

A spear as thin as paper - because paper cuts hurt worse than anything else.

Eh, it's also a world where things like dragon and other such fabulous monsters with harder-than-steel teeth and fangs exist, and where druids and barbarians are actually pretty darn scary.

Hawkstar
2016-11-10, 03:01 PM
When it comes to a spear - spikes/decorative adornments beneath the spear head are not actually a problem - You DON'T want to get a person so impaled upon the spear you can't pull it out easily. So, you actually have quite a bit of creative space to work behind the head itself for any sort of decoration you want, much like the crossguard/hilt of a sword.

Hard not to go "Evil" with a spear, but you may want to go 'animal/nature themed". The bull skull crossguard is a good idea. Whether bone, or just crafted metal (Feel free to put it in a wheel of spikes). Darkwood shaft - you can have it inlaid with any sort of tribal-style carvings and decoration.

Unfortunately, "Not Evil" clashes with "Intimidating", since every form of intimidation boils down to "Do as I say, because I am NOT afraid to do something cruel and painful to you."

You want a design that can be seen whether the spear is presented upright, or intimidating when looking down a leveled tip.

Joe the Rat
2016-11-10, 03:24 PM
A reservoir in the shaft, and a series of tubes fluting up along the flats of the spearhead. Load it up with high proof, light the fumes coming up.

Nothing says scary like a spear that's on fire.

Bonus points for a red dragon fang or claw blade

Jay R
2016-11-14, 11:04 PM
Also, it should be murmuring "Blood ... BLOOD!" in a voice clearly audible to anybody in front of the point.

Atarax
2016-11-15, 03:21 AM
Probably too magical but:

The spear is a snake. When you grab it with both hands, it straightens out and stiffens forming the shaft. Upon speaking a command word, a blade emerges from its mouth forcing it open wide. Any enemy seeing this must succeed at a will save or take a -2 morale penalty to AC.

Idk. It's hard for a masterwork spear to be intimidating in when there are probablymagical spears around