Sorry if I'm ultimately just bugging you. I'm just trying to say that I think there are ways to make the weapons awesome and flavorful while feeling like artifacts (Which I feel like you did with Caledfwlch) without making them broken to the point where they're nearly unusuable (Which I feel like Durendal is).
My point was that a character should not be able to one-shot anything in the game they can hit. I know it now excludes Constructs and undead, but still.
Originally Posted by Cipherthe3vil
I'm aware of this. I just can't see any point at which I would use Durendal because if it's a multi-person game (Which is what I pretty much always run) the other players will feel superfluous compared to whoever has it.
Which is the point. Any of these swords are intended for situational use that varies on the games its to be included in. In fact, unless the DM wants
to include it your never going to see it in-game as per the general idea behind any d&d content official or no.
I like CaledFwlch a lot personally. Heck, I even plan on using it as soon as I get the chance. It's neat, it's flavorful, and it's not so powerful that it makes the other players (If there are any) feel useless. Though, I would clarify that the wielder doesn't have to make the save against the blindness.
While you have a point about this, I believe there may be a better way to go about it. How about something like this?
I had to have the slaying-sword. What legendary sword list would this be if I didn't have one that would kill almost anything it can cut?
The slaying blade
Durendal is a blade that looks to be made of bronze with a hilt wrapped in red cloth. It does not appear at all special besides the vibrant cloth, but otherwise looks like its merely a well sharpened blade of bronze.
Durendal can never be destroyed, even by things that say they can destroy legendary blades and artifacts.
Durendal Ignores any damage reduction a creature has, bypasses the hardness of any object it strikes, and negates any form of regeneration or fast healing until the user is slain or the creature afflicted takes an extended rest. Any creature slain by Durendal is instantly disintegrated, not even leaving a pile of ash behind.
None can avoid the death brought about by Durendal. If a Lich, Demilich, or similar being is destroyed by Durandal, Its Phylacteries (Or similar thing keeping it from permanently dying) are destroyed along with it.
Durendal's effects cannot be negated in any way, and not even deities are exempt. This blade has seen the death of many immortal creatures, even the Norns- Norse goddesses of fate, and has been used to stave off a hundred-thousand-strong army long enough for its owner's king to retreat to an allied kingdom.
Lastly, Durendal protects its user from those who would wish to stop them. While Durendal treats its user as its true owner, its user cannot be perceived through divination by anybody its user intends to kill, not even deities.
Durendal is treated as a +5 bastard sword.
How's that? Still has good flavor for an all slaying blade, and if this were to ever be used in a game, it wouldn't make other party members feel superfluous.
Which I feel is another problem with the original. It makes pretty much everybody else in your group obsolete and makes fights against bosses which should be fairly epic (Fighting a Dragon, storming the gates of hell, ETC.) Into a foregone conclusion.
One more example of what I mean. If Durendal is intended solely for campaigns with only a single player, you can pretty much ignore the spoiler, but you should say that next to Durendal and any other items that you intend to only be used in single player games.
Let's say Durendal is currently in the hands of an 18th level fighter. Next, let's say he's up against a Mature Adult Red Dragon, a fairly Iconic Monster in a fight that should be pretty epic.
Next, let's use a basic human fighter with the standard ability array (Highest initial score being 15) and put his 15 in Strength. Now, it's not unreasonable for him to by now have put three points into his strength score, and having some gauntlets of Ogre Power, so he has 20 Strength, and has probably gotten Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Focus for Bastard swords.
So, 18 from his Base attack bonus, 5 from his strength bonus, 2 from Greater Weapon Focus, and 5 from Durandal. That all adds up to 30 without any other modifications.
The Mature Adult Red has an AC of 32, and defender loses in 3.5. You hit the Red Dragon on anything but a one, and it will instantly kill the red Dragon.
Heck, let's take away the Greater Weapon focus (Fairly reasonable, not every melee character is a fighter after all) and even reduce strength to a measly 10 (Probably not going to ever happen, but still).
Now, the +2 from Greater weapon focus is easily re-obtained from charging, making their attack bonus still at +25, meaning they'll still instantly kill the dragon on a roll of 7 or higher.
This is with a single character with no support other than his weapon. A fight that is supposed to be a challenge for 4 level 18 characters is no longer a challenge because a melee character who even slightly knows what they're doing can reliably hit the dragon on anything but a 1. Even if they don't know what they're doing and just have the bonuses from Durendal and their base attack bonus, they still kill the dragon on a 9 or higher.
The worst part is that it makes the rest of the party nearly obsolete. They want to have fun, be badass and kill things too, but there's not much point because whoever has Durendal essentially has a "You die." button right there against anything it can hit, which could quite easily be everything.
Hitting is almost never going to be a problem. Attack bonuses scale much faster than Armor Class bonuses do (Which I tried to show in the above spoiler), and there are far more ways to increase your attack bonus than there are ways to increase your armor class.
Which is where the main play is at. The weapon needs to actually hit. As is the general idea behind anything, but yea. Unlike other blades such as Fragarach, Durendal can be avoided with a nice shield and set of armor.